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summertime and the livin’ is busy

I’ve been taking a break, bloggees. Perhaps a needed break for you too, from the endless daily exposé of BK’s life. Things have seemed very busy, though I’m not sure if anything was accomplished.

Well, I did write a long essay to send to the “Modern Love” column at the NYTimes. After 28 drafts, I thought it was pretty damn good, and then made the mistake of showing it to Wayson. Who, of course, hacked at it with his pencil and said to me exactly the things I say to my students – animate! More detail. Risk more. Go deeper. “Easy for me to say,” he said easily, which is exactly what I say to my students – and, I’m sure, what his editor says to him.

So – drafts 29 to 43, coming up.

On Monday, I went to see John Fleming, an accent coach and wonderful young man who helped me get my mouth around the wide flat cadences of Liverpool. Hard; much work to be done. From Tuesday through yesterday night was a record-breaking heat wave; your correspondent somehow survived struggling through the wall of smog to two writing classes and the Y, once, though not much else.

Yesterday, the hottest yet, I rented an AutoShare car for the whole day, to go across town to pick up Anna and Eli, then take them to the far north of the city for Eli’s circumcision. I know, many disapprove, and tempers run high about this subject. As I have stated before, my father worked in the MASH units during the war; one of the things they did most was to circumcise soldiers in agony, who in difficult circumstances had been unable to keep themselves clean. That, plus the powerful statistics about the incidence of AIDS infections being halved with men who are circumcised, plus undoubtedly a residue of atavistic Jewish sentiment, and there you go. The office was full of baby boys, many from Muslim parents. These days, it’s done with anaesthetic. It’s still rough, and I can understand why people forego it for their sons. Eli slept through it, however.

Driving home, we were stuck in traffic with a hungry baby in a heat wave, and then we couldn’t get the car seat out of the car. I was too distraught to take my usual 197 pictures of my grandson, and by the time I got back to my place in rush hour, was completely drained. I so rarely drive these days that I’m nervous in thousands of pounds of steel, plus feeling the pressure, now, of driving the most precious cargo in the world. Terrifying.

Off to Riverdale Farm for their fundraising picnic, and then home for my Thursday home class, seeing this wonderful, inspiring group for the first time in ages. Today, my salad at lunch was lettuce and tomatoes from my own garden, thrilling. Tonight, a RunFit fundraiser at the Y, tomorrow, my dear friend Annie’s daughter’s wedding in the country. So much fundraising and celebrating going on! It must be summer.



4 Responses to “summertime and the livin’ is busy”

  1. Chuck D says:

    I was circumcised as a baby (1974), it was normal practice then. I don't see what all the fuss is about … people will complain about anything they seem inappropriate or pushes them to think outside of their comfort zone. It's not their equipment, so they can leave well alone!

  2. beth says:

    Chuck, for some reason this has become a huge issue, with California recently suggesting that circumcision be outlawed! One thing that drives me crazy is people talking about the barbaric practice in Africa as "female circumcision" instead of "female genital mutilation" – as if gouging out a girl's clitoris which kills all sexual feeling is the same as removing a male baby's foreskin. It's a complete misnomer. I have written letters to newspapers, but am about to let it go.

    In the end, it seems, some parents circumcise for religious reasons, and some do it so the son resembles the dad – but now, you have to pay for it and go a long distance to find someone to do it, so it's falling away.

  3. Juliet says:

    I would love to read the essay you're planning to send to the "Modern Love" column at the NYTimes. Will you let us know when it's readable and how to access it? Lovely and cool here in Paris.

  4. beth says:

    Juliet, when I get to the 42nd draft and send it in, I'll let you know what happens. It's interesting, because I used to write a lot of pieces for the "Globe," which allows only 950 words or so. The NYT is around 1400 – lots more juicy detail possible.
    Lovely and hot here in Toronto.

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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.

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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.


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