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when I’m 64

My son just called. “I’m working an event,” he said, “and there’s a Beatles cover band. Listen!” And there they were in the background, sounding authentic, singing “Eight Days a Week.” He said the band was in full gear and haircuts with a blow-up of Sgt. Pepper’s behind them, and went on, “I told my co-workers, ‘Excuse me, I have to call my mum!'”

I am the Beatles go-to person. It’s wonderful. I have not heard from this busy man for many days, and tonight made out his voice for less than a minute shouting over “Eight Days a Week.” Lucky me. He turns 30 on Thanksgiving Monday. I will be the ancient mother of a 30-year old, very tall son. But there’s a Booboo to make me feel young.

Wayson brought him a multicoloured Slinky that turned into a bracelet. Eli is now talking up a storm. When I asked if he wanted to go to the farm, he looked at his toys and said, “Not yet.” What a sophisticated concept for someone not yet 2 1/2 – not yet! The first time he called Wayson by name was a great moment for us all. We did go to the farm and petted sheep and watched ducks being herded from the pond into the barn, and the sun was bright and it was heaven.

My email crashed this week – didn’t recognize my passwords, resulting in huge frustration and a useless call to Rogers, which could not help. But luckily the magnificent Chuck made his way across town this morning with his one-year old. It took him ten minutes to sort out the passwords in my keychain and fix this infuriating problem. And then my fridge malfunctioned and my tenant’s microwave broke. It’s endless.

But as reported earlier, I do not have termites or colon cancer. The weather is beyond glorious – hot hot hot for the next few days, people out in tank tops and shorts. These beautiful days are all the more sweet because we know what’s coming next. I think this weather is like being 64 – it’s only September so winter is still a fairly long way off, but it’s there, looming, nonetheless.

PS. Sometimes I look at past posts on this blog, to check in with where I was a few years ago. Just looked at September 2008:

I was working at the Ryerson table yesterday at Word on the Street when a woman with a familiar face came up – a student in one of my very first classes at Ryerson in 1985, there with her son, who then was a newborn and now is a young adult who has written a 500-page novel. She has been working as a freelance writer. “I remember the class so well,” she told me. “You talked about the book you were going to write on Paul McCartney.”

A jolt in my heart. I didn’t realise I was talking about that material back then, and now, more than 20 years later, I am still talking about it – still labouring to find a voice in which to tell that story, with fifty different beginnings in my files and still no push through to the end. So I need to tell myself, also: perseverence, humility, self-confidence, guts.  And that final but so important necessity for a writer: BOC.  Bum On Chair.

Two things about this: one is that I started teaching at Ryerson in 1994 not 1985, so had not been talking about the McCartney book for 20 years but for 10, quite a difference, learn some math you idiot! 

And … I finally got the book out into the world SIX YEARS LATER. Jesus, I’m slow. 



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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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