My new book “Midlife Solo” is now available.

Beth Kaplan logo

Old Friends

Two of our dearest friends, Jessica and Suzette, came for dinner last night; we all go back to Carleton University in the late sixties. Jessica became a well-known curator of modern art, and Suzette is an acclaimed screenwriter who lives part of the year in L.A. Together, we are a gaggle of vibrant biddy buddies who go way back and have a great deal to say.

Here are Jessica’s pictures of us after dinner:

It made me think of the beautiful Simon and Garfunkle song, Old Friends, so I looked it up.

Old friends, old friends,
Sat on their parkbench like bookends
A newspaper blown through the grass
Falls on the round toes
of the high shoes of the old friends
Old friends, winter companions, the old men
Lost in their overcoats, waiting for the sun
The sounds of the city sifting through trees
Settles like dust on the shoulders of the old friends
Can you imagine us years from today,
Sharing a parkbench quietly
How terribly strange to be seventy
Old friends, memory brushes the same years,
Silently sharing the same fears

How terribly strange to be seventy, we thought way back then. And now here we are, or almost. Unimaginable – and yet we are redefining age as we go. No dust on our shoulders, quiet folk sitting on park benches in this neck of the woods.

And incidentally, speaking of old folk, my aunt is getting better, the pain is less, her brain is fully functional even if her legs are not. How terribly strange to be ninety-eight is more like it.

Tonight, I’m throwing a neighbourhood event for Megann Willson; poor woman, she bravely threw her hat into the municipal ring some months ago and now is facing unprecedented chaos as our dictatorial premier challenges the courts. A nightmare. So tonight, instead of listening to a serious progressive candidate speak about her platform, we will try to figure out if there is actually an election and what has happened to democracy in our province.

Thursday, work starts – my home class, getting me up to scratch before Ryerson launches next Monday, the class there almost full already. What happened to summer? Over in a blink.

It’s mild and not actually raining after yesterday’s dreadful cold downpour, but cloudy and grey. To cheer me up, I remember Eli on the weekend. He and Holly were looking at the enormous maple tree in my front yard, and Holly asked him, “What do you think that tree would say if it could speak?”
Eli considered carefully.
“WHY AM I STUCK HERE?” he said.

A reminder for those of you in town: this event coming right up.

Share

Share
Tweet
Share
Pin

4 Responses to “Old Friends”

  1. theresa says:

    Such a lovely testament to friendship over the years, Beth. And I'm reminded of the beautiful Kurt Weill song:
    And the days dwindle down
    To a precious few
    September, November
    And these few precious days
    I'd spend with you
    These precious days I'd spend with you

  2. beth says:

    That's a lovely song too, Theresa. And it was a September day feeling like November on Monday. But now, a bit more summer. And your blog post – a testament to family and the joy of grandbabies.

  3. Who's that woman looking so nice in the photo? She looks so calm and still. She's listening; her mouth is closed and the light is gorgeous. Oh wait….. it's you! It's really a lovely photo of you, Beth.

  4. beth says:

    Thank you, dear friend, especially as I am spectacularly non-photogenic, so this shot is something of a miracle. Are you implying that my mouth is usually open? Yes, eating and talking, two of my fave activities.

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.

 

Archives