My new book “Midlife Solo” is now available.

Beth Kaplan logo


I have a personal connection to the mind-numbing horror unfolding in Norway, beyond the fact that the madman actually mentioned Ryerson University in his ramblings, as a centre of Muslim domination. But also, the young Ryerson student who has rented my top floor from September on is a Norwegian of Somali descent, a beautiful young woman with gorgeous brown skin. She left some things here in June and went home to Oslo for the summer. Praying that she was not part of the youth wing of the Labour party, I’ve emailed to ask if she’s okay. Have not heard back.

Reading about the coverage – I can’t bear to watch the TV news – I wonder, where were the killer’s family and friends? How can a man turn into a murderous lunatic and no one notices? I guess it will all come out. Perhaps someone so unhinged has no friends.
And then we read about Amy Winehouse murdering herself. Idealistic young people, slaughtered without mercy; a talented young musician, condemning herself to death. Infinitely sad.
And, too, the news about Jack Layton, a fine politician, a fine man at last at the peak of his very long career, now haggard and debilitated in his fight with cancer. We need every decent politician, cannot afford to lose one, let alone one of his stature, in this time when men with mean and shrunken souls are in power – the mayor of our city wanting to cut libraries, night transit and Christmas charities for needy children; the would-be premier suggesting chain gangs. Chain gangs!
We desperately need your vision and compassion, Jack. Please get well soon.
Sadness all round, not alleviated, right now, by this perfect day with a soft heedless wind.
P.S. I just heard from my young Norwegian friend.
The last four days have been truly testing times for Norway. One man terrorized our country and killed 76 innocent people. Thankfully, my family and I are fine. Some of my friends were injured. Though traumatized, I think they will be just fine. I must say I am very impressed with my fellow countrymen who have met this hatred with love. Not anger, rage or vengeance. Last night more than 200,000 people gathered downtown to show their respect to the victims. It was amazing. We cried together, we held hands, we stood together. Our little country stands united and I have never been more proud to be Norwegian.



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

About Beth

I began keeping a journal at the age of nine. Nearly fifty years later, I started this online journal, sharing reflections, reviews, updates, and the occasional secret.

Some Blogs I Follow

Chris Walks
This blog evolves. It once was about travels. Now it’s a reason to be at the keyboard that I value.


Theresa Kishkan
Theresa Kishkan is a writer living on the Sechelt Peninsula on the west coast of Canada.


I walk on. With my feet, and in my mind as well.


Carrie Snyder
Wherever you’ve come from, wherever you’re going, consider this space a place for reflection and pause.


Juliet in Paris, Spain and Beyond
Juliet is a Canadian who’s lived for decades in Paris and writes about her travels and the many things that interest her.