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Angels and Insects

So much to do – back into the thick of it and too busy to write to you. But I’d better stop and connect, or I’ll get so far behind I’ll never write here again.

So – first of all, three hours in a full airplane with tiny seats and a very energetic toddler who does not like to be confined and has just discovered the joy of screaming – not in anger, just for the pleasure of the scream – well, I’ve had more restful journeys, I can tell you. Anna and I were side by side juggling the boy; I felt sorry for the elderly man next to me, but he was a trouper, offered Eli some liquorice which, as it was crammed in, bought us two minutes of peace. Eli also did an enormous poo; we managed to stand him between us, remove the diaper and stuff it into an air sickness bag. Oh it was fun. The boy, of course, fell into a deep sleep in the last ten minutes of the flight, as his mother had predicted he would.

We landed, got through the rigmarole and into a cab. Eli’s dad was waiting on the steps of Anna’s place to help them in. I put the baby in his crib, kissed them both goodbye and rushed home. With relief. I adore my grandson, but living with him 24/7 is another matter. What enormous patience and energy it takes. Did I ever have that – with two children? It must have been some other woman.

My tenant Carol had the place shining and a welcome sign up – so good to be home. Toronto was hardly cold at all, though the city looks horrible, covered with filthy snow and ice. But here’s the internet, the pussycat, and every bit of my lovely life – hooray. By next day I was drowning in Things To Do, rushing about, the punishment for going away. And then a treat: Wayson came over and we watched a DVD I’d rented, “Angels and Insects” – be still my beating heart. An audience member in NYC recommended it for any fan of Mark Rylance, the best actor alive, and it is indeed a beautiful movie made spectacular by its star. He is utterly believable and beyond gorgeous in the film. Mark Rylance is right up there with Paul McCartney and Jon Stewart in the Best Men on Earth category.

Wayson drove me to the vet to have the cat checked out – she has a huge cyst or tumour on her paw that’s growing and she isn’t eating properly, but is in no pain. It cost me $84 to find out there’s nothing to be done about the paw and nothing wrong inside. She’s just getting old. She’s 13. Sleeping now with her paw over her furry face. She actually purrs when I stroke her. Mellowing in her old age, as am I. I purr when you stroke me, too.

Tonight, a PBS special on 1964 – my year of specialty! It was very good. I took notes.

It was wonderful to be in the sun, to see a naked boy running on the beach. It was wonderful to do the same things as my mother – for years, she welcomed me and my kids to her place, as I welcomed Anna and Eli – and to realize that I am not her. Not even close. My relationship with my daughter is very different than hers with me, and that is a good thing. Anna and I have love, friendship and respect, and we also have a certain distance. We have boundaries, a concept my mother did not understand. It was heartening to feel that difference, there in the place so filled with what was delightful, too, about my mother – her taste, her generosity.

I thank you, Mum, for all you did and gave. But this past week, I was glad to see for sure that in some ways, I am not at all like you.



2 Responses to “Angels and Insects”

  1. theresa says:

    That was a strange film. I read the novella and I think I might have preferred it to the flim but of course no Mark Rylance…!

  2. beth says:

    The film was too heavy on the obvious metaphors, for sure – moths consumed by flame, butterflies emerging etc. – and the central woman, his wife, was completely miscast. But … sigh …
    My brain ceases to function.

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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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