My new book “Midlife Solo” is now available.

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absorbing Yuval Harari and Dani Shapiro

Normally I’d be heading to the Y for my usual Wednesday class. Today, however, not so much. Still in bed, though better. Just checked “pneumonia timeline” with Dr. Google – I’ve been sick for 11 days, for God’s sake! But I’m getting there, that’s the best I can do.

So I get to lie here and read about the scandals, the latest unbelievable, mind-blowing excesses by El T. and his team of scamsters, liars and crooks. Apparently the right-wing press are spinning the Flynn debacle by saying the problem is leaks coming from the White House. Yes, that’s the problem, leaks targeting those innocents. I watched a replay of John Oliver’s Sunday show last night. Beyond brilliant. Watching comedians these days is like watching hungry lions feasting on a fat gazelle. Meat, red meat keeps presenting itself, and they are taking full advantage.

I finished a beautiful book yesterday – “Still Writing: the perils and pleasures of a writing life,” by Dani Shapiro, which I got out of the library just before I got sick, along with her memoir “Devotion.” I didn’t know her work at all but had read somewhere she was worth checking out. Wow! She’s wonderful. Her book about writing is inspirational, vivid, funny and extremely moving. Then I started the memoir and saw there’s a photograph of her at the back. For a moment, I hated her – how could she be a great writer, apparently happily married with a child, and also very pretty? Is that fair?!

To write is to have an on-going dialogue
with your own pain,”
she writes. “The mess is holy. What we inherit – and how we come to
understand what we inherit – is all we have to work with. There is beauty in
what is. Every day, when I sit down to work, I travel to that place. Not
because I’m a masochist. Not because I live in the past. But because my words
are my pickaxe, and with them I chip away at the rough surface of whatever it
is I still need to know.”

Been there. Done that.

Monday night, when I got in from Ryerson, I wanted to go straight to bed but CBC’s “Ideas” was on the radio in the kitchen, and I got so hooked, I had to sit down and listen till the end. Israeli historian and author Yuval Harari was being interviewed about his new book “Homo Deus.” I urge you to listen to this brilliant man and his theses, which made me look up “algorithms,” a word I’d often heard but never really bothered to understand. There’s nothing better than radio like that – like Eleanor Wachtel’s “Writers and Company” too, where you sit in your kitchen and meet the most brilliant minds in the world.

Especially needed for those of us who aren’t going anywhere, just yet.



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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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