My new book “Midlife Solo” is now available.

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I went to HMV today, to find a singer called Eva Cassidy whom I’d heard on Randy Bachman’s program on CBC. I’d never heard of her before, but it turns out she has made many CDs. But I was also looking for a piece of classical music. Mum told me once that at her funeral, she wanted Mozart’s G minor string quintet played, because it was one of her and Dad’s favourites. Even though it sounds as if she’s getting better, and we hope she will be around for many years to come, I thought I should have Mozart’s G Minor string quintet on hand.

So I went to the top floor of HMV, and there found such a nice man, obviously starved for company, who wanted to discuss Mozart, and classical Spanish guitar, and who wanted very much for me to buy a sale CD of young French pianist Alexandre Tharaud playing Bach with les Violons du Roy from Montreal. “Listen, please listen to this,” he begged, and put it on his sound system. A few bars, and I started to cry. I am almost too emotional to listen to Bach, right now. Almost too emotional to listen to Eva Cassidy, for that matter.

I bought all 3 CDs, and they’re all wonderful, through my tears.

My Francophone discussion group gathered here tonight, a reduced version, four of us. Monique and I did an exchange; I’d just finished my library book, Alison Bechdel’s “Are you my mother?” which was even more powerful, difficult, embarrassing and moving than her last book, “Fun Home,” about her dad. She’s incredibly brave, because she not only tells us all the details of her life, her childhood and parents, her therapies and sex life, she DRAWS IT ALL FOR US. I urge student writers to be brave, but let me tell you, Alison Bechdel makes us all look like shrinking violets.

So Monique asked if she could borrow the book for the weekend, and in exchange, offered “Fifty Shades of Grey,” the vaguely pornographic S and M novel, first in the trilogy which has sold nine trillion copies worldwide. I heard the writer Anne Rice discussing female porno writing with Jian yesterday – the frank release of women’s sexual curiosity, as seen in her work and now in books like this. There was an article in the paper today about how they’re going to turn Jane Austen and Bronte sisters classics into porn. Mommy porn, they call it.

I am curious yellow to read this book. I’ll let you know.

And … I’d heard of this guy who goes around the world dancing with people, and here is a beautiful short film sent by my friend Chris in Vancouver – like me, another weeper – who writes:

“This made me weep after, making me feel that life can be such a wonderful gift and thing to enjoy.”



2 Responses to “daring”

  1. theresa says:

    I love Eva Cassidy — her version of Fields of Gold is beautiful, as is everything she sings. And how good to have music on hand for what's to come. I have my list ready for my own wake, though I am 57 and in perfect health (touch wood). Or if not exactly ready, at least in the works. I've said so often, I want that song, that I've been asked to write it down. And courage, Beth. My mother died very suddenly in 2010 and how different the world is without her in it.

  2. beth says:

    Theresa, it was her "Fields of Gold" I went looking for, also for Mum eventually – she loves the Sting version of the song but once I heard Cassidy's on Randy Bachman, that's the one I wanted. Couldn't find it, so settled for another of her CD's and very beautiful it is.

    I'm sorry to hear about the loss of your mother, Theresa, and hope it will be a very, very long time before your family needs to drag out your list. For Mum, Mozart's G minor quintet, "Fields of Gold," and "When I'm 64," which was her and my dad's favourite Beatle song. By then we will be reduced to a blubbering mess. For my own – where to begin? I'll set aside some time in, say, 2024, to figure that out. TOUCH WOOD.

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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.

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.


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A new book by Beth Kaplan, published by Mosaic Press – “Midlife Solo”

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