My new book “Midlife Solo” is now available.

Beth Kaplan logo

“The Outside Circle”

Yesterday, some
blessed sun, so another walk in Drumbeg Park where we met all kinds of nice dog
people who wanted to meet the adorable Sheba. (click to enlarge)

Tom Thomson, anyone?

Harder to work when the sun’s
out, but the morning was rainy so we did get stuff done. When Chris went out to do
errands, Sheba took full advantage for a little nap on his bed.

Later, Patsy came to
get me; we had supper at the Surf pub with the most glorious view of ocean, mountains,
passing ferries – and a seal. 
I ran into a couple Chris and I had just met at
Drumbeg. “Where’s your husband tonight?” they wanted to know. “Say hi to Sheba.”

Patsy and I were there
for a “Reading and Reconciliation” literary event
, two indigenous writers discussing their
books, hosted by Shelagh Rogers who lives here. The discussion was particularly
terrific because one of the writers, Patti
half Ukrainian and half Metis, who runs Native Counselling Services in Alberta, spoke of her
graphic book, The Outside Circle. About
a violent young indigenous man who enters a healing warrior circle, learns the
history of his people, and manages to heal and change, she says it is nonfiction
based on her work. Its powerful story illuminates First Nations history and
life, and Patti was extraordinarily articulate about what’s needed to change
our society, to “dismantle the colonial foundation of systems of despair.” “We
don’t need Indian agents,” she said. “We need caseworkers to walk with
indigenous people on the healing journey.” Amen.
The other writer was Monique Grey Smith, author of
“Speaking our Truth,” also interesting. A moving and stimulating evening. And
then the ride home on the nearly empty roads lined with thick forest. Not what
I’m used to after an evening at the IFOA.
Today, dark and wet again. I truly don’t mind, because
it makes working so much easier – spent the entire day finalizing my talk on
the Beatles for the Miles Nadal JCC on the afternoon of May 24. With music, slides and video –
and a bit of singing from me – it’s going to be a LOT of fun. Then during a
brief lull in the rain, taking Sheba for a romp, and then more work before
dinner. Only two more days here to finish this rewrite,
and then I hit the busy, distracting world. I’m already missing the millions of
trees, the sweet air, the silence, the many wild animals and birds, my dear friend and his
gorgeous pets and house, his fireplace, his baking. Today he
brought me a present to the studio – a tiny pot of the divine lemon meringue pie he
just made.
But I’m sure he’s had enough of this intruder, and it’s
time for me to go to Vancouver, my re-entry point to city life, and then, next
Saturday, home.



2 Responses to ““The Outside Circle””

  1. Anonymous says:

    Sounds absolutely divine. I can imagine myself making great progress on my own writing project if I were in a log cabin with gorgeous trees all around. And silence. And fresh, clean air. And the ocean not far. On an island. Out here in the dangerous big world, we woke up this morning to learn that the US, UK and France are bombing the hell out of Damascus.


  2. beth says:

    Yes, Juliet, unfortunately the news gets to Gabriola Island too. There's no escape from the madmen out there. But it's true that being surrounded by trees and ocean helps forget them for a bit.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

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.

Some Blogs I Follow

Chris Walks
This blog evolves. It once was about travels. Now it’s a reason to be at the keyboard that I value.


Theresa Kishkan
Theresa Kishkan is a writer living on the Sechelt Peninsula on the west coast of Canada.


I walk on. With my feet, and in my mind as well.


Carrie Snyder
Wherever you’ve come from, wherever you’re going, consider this space a place for reflection and pause.


Juliet in Paris, Spain and Beyond
Juliet is a Canadian who’s lived for decades in Paris and writes about her travels and the many things that interest her.