My new book “Midlife Solo” is now available.

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making music, and Mark

Beautiful day, busy day – much to do, and in the middle, a visit from Anna, Matt and Eli. Matt’s first time in this house – as everyone does, he said, “Wow, does your yard go all that way back?” Eli likes to water and this time learned how to fill the watering can from the hose. He was very serious. “Maw water, Blamma!” he said as he emptied the can into a container that once held a plant but is now empty. “Maw water.”

It was supposed to rain but did not.

And then at two, I had my first piano lesson with Peter Kristian Mose, who lives a few blocks up the street. We chatted and I played a few of my childhood pieces for him, which I’d been practicing. He told me that I hold my hands in exactly the right way though I had no idea I was doing this, and that I’m musical, which I know. And then we explored an English folk song and a simple but jazzy piece. I almost wept. I know I cannot blame my poor parents for my decades-long lack of making music; it’s my own fault. And yet – the piano was my mother’s turf, and as soon as I was allowed to quit, I fled. So now I can reclaim it for myself. It feels like a big hole in my life – another big hole – being filled in.

Peter even told me about a choir that meets nearby on Tuesday nights; Tuesday is often a free night for me. So I may even find the choir I’ve wanted to join for many years. And I am thinking of getting my flute repaired and looking for a new nylon string guitar, as my guitar was ruined in the fire and never replaced. Oh, the Joan Baez, Leonard Cohen and Joni Mitchell songs I sang to myself, over and over and over. And over, with my simple C G A chord progressions. Suzanne takes you down … And go round and round and round, in the circle game.

I had a roommate once – Ken – who said, “You’re the most boring guitar player I’ve ever heard.”

It has just started, finally, to rain. It’s raining on a yellow and red plastic car on the deck. My favourite person in the universe was here today.

If you can make it to see this show, you won’t regret it. I saw it in New York – a production of Twelfth Night from London with an all-male cast and the sublime Mark Rylance, the best actor in the world IMHO, as Olivia. It’s at the Bloor – Hot Docs cinema. Not to be missed.

SHAKESPEARE’S GLOBE ON SCREEN: TWELFTH NIGHT

London’s renowned Globe Theatre sets the stage for this moving production of Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night, a comedy of loss and misplaced love starring Stephen Fry and Mark Rylance. Rated STC.

SAT, OCT 18, 11:30 AM – One day only!

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2 Responses to “making music, and Mark”

  1. theresa says:

    I'm so glad you're finding music again. It's never too late. I've been meaning to buy a ukelele, having heard some children I know strumming theirs with such joy. (Their mum says she can teach me…)

  2. beth says:

    Theresa, yes, it feels like a missing piece is being added back – after more than 50 years! I'm only playing a bit per day, if that, and am stumbling along like the beginner I am – but it's sitting at the piano to make a sound that's thrilling. Buy that ukelele!

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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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