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“Egypt Station” and “Colette” – divine

Many enormous pleasures today. I should feel guilty about enjoying anything as our world crumbles, but what the hell, what good would being miserable do? So – pleasure.

The market this morning – honeycrisp apples, sourdough bread, the first tomatoes I’ve had to buy all summer. A sunny day, glorious. The gardenia is going crazy, as if she doesn’t know the end is nigh, and soon she’ll be coming in for six months.

Jean-Marc came over to discuss my options in the house and had some good ideas which I’ll consider. What matters: options.

Walked downtown late afternoon. My goal was to buy the new Macca CD, Egypt Station, which, he announced at his concert in Montreal, was then and maybe is still #1 in Canada. I had to Google record stores – there used to be loads and now they’re rare. But I found one on the way to my date – Dead Dog Records on Church Street. The CD was sold out! So I had – with great joy – to buy the record. The LP. This is the first time I’ve bought a new LP in decades. I’m listening to it now. Talk about sense memory – slitting open the plastic, withdrawing the big black disc, placing it carefully on the turntable, blowing dust away from the needle – and there, that beloved voice.

As the review in Rolling Stone said, “Make a list of all the songwriters who were composing great tunes in 1958. Now make an overlapping list of the ones who are still writing brilliant songs in 2018. Your list reads: Paul McCartney. Sixty years after “Love Me Do,” his legend already inviolable, Macca keeps adding new gems to his songbook, with nothing to prove except he’s the only genius who can do this.”

Even the very young woman behind the Dead Dog cash register – or the debit machine, anyway – told me she was impressed by this record. As am I. No surprise there. It’s not just a wonderful album, it’s a brand new shiny record on my turntable, just like the very first in 1964!

And then off into the sunshine, walking downtown for a bite to eat with Ken, getting caught up, and off together to see the film ‘Colette.’

Another enormous treat – a wonderful film. Of course Colette is one of my heroes – I’ve had a framed photo of her in my office for many years, looking expectantly, with a touch of impatience, at me. “Get on with it,” she’s saying. Such a brilliant writer, with an encyclopedic knowledge of nature and of human feeling and experience. But the film shows what an extraordinary woman she was, so many years ahead of her time, bisexual, flamboyant, fearless. It also makes us understand how very free the French are sexually in a way that would be unthinkable in any other culture – the kind of freedom Colette and her husband Willy allowed each other and took for granted.

The notebooks. Sitting by the hour writing in her notebooks. A film about the early career of a writer who became so famous and beloved, she was given a state funeral despite her scandalous life. A film about Paris and writing, two of my favourite things on the planet, with Ken, a dear friend, and then home to listen to Macca. Does a day get better than that?

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2 Responses to ““Egypt Station” and “Colette” – divine”

  1. alandmillen says:

    I relished your account of buying a new album, especially one by a certain P.Mc. I have the CD but it was sold out at the first shop I tried. And the film tip is also appreciated. My son's three and a half years in Paris (now in NYC) gave us plenty of opportunities to spend time there. I look forward to seeing "Colette".

  2. beth says:

    Alan, we Maccamaniacs especially appreciate not just the music but the LP format. But still – the music! The man is phenomenal. 76! I know we knew that but still, he needs to keep proving it to us. I try to imagine what I would have felt when I was buying albums and knew the artist was 76 – unthinkable, when we used to say never trust anyone over 30. But how things have changed. His concert in Montreal, once more, was full of fans of every age.

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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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