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brava Bonnie Raitt

Sunday morning in paradise – my green garden. The roses and gardenia are overloaded with buds about to burst, and the tender lettuce leaves are begging to be picked and dressed. It’s so quiet here on the weekends because, I guess, the neighbours are at the cottage. My idea of heaven is not having to get in a car, ever.

Bonnie Raitt – what an inspiration. She’s a few months older than I am, with a career spanning more than 4 decades, fabulous to look at in her skinny black jeans, and listen to, with her powerful guitar and her clarion voice as strong if not stronger than ever. I read on-line that she went clean and sober in the mid-eighties, right afterwards had her first mega-hit and has been sober ever since. She was gracious to her longtime band, constantly pointing out their solos and talent, and they to her. The music ranged from real old-timey blues to raunchy rock to achingly beautiful ballads. How can she still wring so much from “Angel to Montgomery”? “How the hell can a person/go to work in the morning/and come home in the evening/and have nothing to say?” She made me cry at least twice, and I was not alone. Magnificent.

This is what she said recently about getting older:
“My end of the music business doesn’t rely so much on looks. It allows you to age more gracefully than the mainstream pop stars that are total babes. People are snarkier about them getting older. It’s just terrible. So I’m actually relieved that I’m in the character actress end of the world, where I can just get more seasoned and people go, ‘Oh, well, look how mythical she’s become!'”
Time to get out those old records and listen again. (And FYI, I rode my bike to see her at the Sony Centre.)

Yesterday, off to the documentary cinema to watch “Sacred” with Ken – a doc about religious practices around the world. We were going to see “Wonder Woman” but chose this instead, and I wonder, as a woman, if that was a mistake. It’s a messy film, skipping about all over the planet, a bit of a Filipino crucifixion re-enactment here, a bizarre Buddhist practice here – monks walking ceaselessly around a mountain for 1000 days – an almost violent Christian service in Botswana, a terrifying view of zillions of worshipers at the Hajj in Saudi Arabia. All the way through, I the atheist kept thinking – bizarre, cruel, a waste of time. The fact that countless people worship with ferocious blindness is no surprise but scary nonetheless.

The only place where it seemed to me religion actually served a great purpose was in a Louisiana prison, populated almost entirely by men of colour, some of whom have found god. Faith gives them hope, kindness, something to live for, which is good because most of them are serving life sentences and will never emerge from that hellhole. But otherwise, even Ken, who’s a practicing Catholic, was completely put off by what was shown. We’ll have to try again for “Wonder Woman.

I realize – as I bop around, seeing musicians and films and plays and friends – how lucky I am, but also, how easily distracted. There’s SO MUCH TO DO! And summer is just heating up in Toronto, the Luminato arts festival is just starting and all the other festivals non-stop around town. How to settle down to the work?

First world problems.

Tonight, the Tony Awards from NYC. I am rooting for the Canadian “Come From Away,” but am torn – my ex was the original producer of “Dear Evan Hanson,” another best musical nominee, as well as one of the nominated plays, and will be in the audience. So either one. Break a leg, Newfoundland. Break a leg, Ed.



3 Responses to “brava Bonnie Raitt”

  1. alandmillen says:

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. alandmillen says:

    Beth, I can well imagine how Bonnie Raitt got to you. I have loved her music right from the start and still have lots of stuff on vinyl to prove it. When we saw her in concert in Lucerne a few years back, she coyly asked the audience if we wanted to go skinnydipping in the lake with her after the show. Oh such a tease! But imagine the state I was in as a non-swimmer!!!

  3. beth says:

    Yes, she's gorgeous and does sing those raunchy songs so well.

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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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