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Vancouver friends, including that bright thing in the sky

I have moved the chair in this tiny room so I can sit in a patch of what I believe is commonly called “sunlight.” Yes, something delightfully warm and bright is coming through this east-facing window. And this strange thing was there for much of yesterday, too, struggling through the clouds. Heaven.

First, a huge thank you to my dear friend Nick Rice, fellow actor from the seventies in Vancouver, now a Toronto-ite who avidly follows my blog and writes me letters – actual letters – both when I’m home and when I’m travelling, three to Chris’s place on Gabriola. How rarely we have the treat of opening an envelope, unfolding some paper, reading. Yesterday, Nick emailed to let me know, after reading my post about the doc on Itzhak Perlman, that the man himself will be playing in Toronto the day after I return. I went online instantly and got one of the last tickets. What a thrill, thanks to my old friend.

Off to Kitsilano, to the offices of the David Suzuki Foundation, to connect with more old friends – Tara and David. David was one of my father’s most beloved friends; after Dad’s death in 1988, David wrote a tribute to him in the Globe that I have framed on my wall. So our lunch together involved a lot of reminiscing, but also a lot of talk, as you can imagine, about the state of the world. David is 82, with the agility and vitality of a teenager – an inspiration in every way. Tara is a beautiful, warm, hospitable soul.

Tara and I took their new twin grandbabies in the wide stroller for a windy walk in the park. She told me their 8-year old grandson, who lives on Haida Gwaii, has volunteered to spend time picking up garbage. Hooray for the next generation of this exemplary family.

From there to the west side of the city. Jane Ellison teaches the fabulous dance/movement/meditation class Boingboing at the Western Front 4 times a week; I try to go at least once when I visit – this time, have managed twice. She begins with a long detailed warm-up, then puts on 3 or 4 fantastic pieces of music, always different and with a strong beat, and we all dance. Just dance, move, fling ourselves about. There’s always a moment when I imagine my children taking in the scene, all these lumpy bodies boinging around, but I put that thought away and shake my booty. And then a cooldown. I adore Jane and her vital class.

From there to dinner with Kathryn Shaw, who was my director a number of times during my acting days in Vancouver. Kathryn has run the terrific Langara acting school for decades and has turned out many of Canada’s finest young actors. So, more reminiscing and gossiping with another old friend, with two glasses of wine for me. At one point, the woman in the booth next to us turned around, and it was Cathy McKeehan, one of the only other people I’ve reconnected with in Vancouver. “What are the chances?” she said. Pretty good, as it turns out. She’s a close friend of Chris’s so I was able to bring her up to date on him and his move. She’d seen the picture of us together on his blog, “like an old married couple,” she said.

And then home. All of this done on the first rate Vancouver transit system, busses and subway, efficient and speedy. And though I carried an umbrella all day, not one drop of rain. Instead, that unaccustomed warm thing struggling to appear in the sky. And there again now, through the clouds. Time to go out and say hello.

Oh yes, almost forgot – arriving at the restaurant where I was meeting Kathryn, I told the hostess I was meeting a friend. She said, I think she’s here already and has gone to the washroom. Is she an elderly lady, like you?

Kill. Kill immediately without regret.

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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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