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The Wife, and Every Brilliant Thing

Jean-Marc called this morning. “Do you have time for me to pop by with new ideas for the bathroom?” he asked.
“No!” I replied, not meaning to be rude. But, I explained, I was sitting at my desk in a patch of sunlight and absolutely did not want to think about my @#$#@ house for a day. And I didn’t, as I picked my way through the dust and rubble. I got a bit of work done, but mostly, I sat around and DID NOT THINK ABOUT MY HOUSE.

What did I actually do Saturday? No idea. More or less nothing but recuperate from Friday, which was a tough day. Oh yes, I went to see the film The Wife, with Glenn Close, not my favourite actress, always a bit over the top, but she was very good in this, the story of married writers and what was traded off for the marriage to survive. In the end it didn’t quite ring true, but it was very well done, it was about writing, and I loved the final shot of Glenn fondling a blank piece of paper. Been there, done that. Can’t tell you what didn’t work for me without spoiling the film which you might see. But – hard to believe that someone could create a huge body of superb written work and not ever be recognized. Just sayin’. I know, times were different. But still. Anyway, I enjoyed it a lot.

At night, a TV film that was supposed to be something else turned into a documentary about Jane Fonda, so I watched. She has been and done a huge amount and is an interesting woman who overcame a wretched childhood, a cold, famous father and a mother who committed suicide. She’s a living ad for plastic surgery, that’s for sure. She said she wishes she had the courage to live with her real face, but I have to say, I’ve never seen anyone look as good after so much surgery as our Jane. And she has never stopped fighting the good fight.

Today, Sunday, was busier. After a morning working and ignoring JM, I went first to see Every Brilliant Thing, a very interesting piece of theatre starring solo actress Kristen Thomson, telling a story of growing up with a suicidal mother, like Jane. To remind herself to cherish the good in life, she makes a list of all the things she loves. There was a lot of audience involvement, beautifully handled and very funny, and I liked the idea of a list of things you love, which I must try sometime. In the end again, though, it didn’t quite hit the way I expected it to. But it was good.

Off on the Queen streetcar to the Beach, where old friend Jim Sanderson was launching his self-published book Life in Balmy Beach: growing up in Toronto in the 1950’s and 60’s. I know Jim because he and his family ran Dominion Typewriter, a wonderful old shop on Adelaide St., where I used to go with my typewriters – yes, the Dark Ages! – and then with my first computers. All the Sanderson men looked alike and were calm and nice, and they were all there today for Jim’s book launch.

Then I popped across the street to visit my beloved Anne-Marie, only a block away, to meet her granddaughters Arya and Eva, to watch her daughter Amelia, whom I’ve known since girlhood, as a mother, to applaud the girls dancing in the living room. They wanted to be characters from Paw Patrol – Skye! Chase! – and I was proud to know who those characters were. Hope Annie’s girls and my boys meet sometime.

Tonight, The Life-sized City is in Montreal and My Brilliant Friend continues. I have had a whole much needed weekend not thinking about termites and renovations. As so many dear friends have written, this too shall pass.

Not soon enough.



2 Responses to “The Wife, and Every Brilliant Thing”

  1. theresa says:

    Yes, it will pass and you will have accumulated theatre experiences, films, quiet time at your desk not thinking about the bathroom, and friendships. And which will (or what) be richer in your memory?

  2. beth says:

    For today, Theresa, what I'll remember is picking my way through the disastrous mess to my office, where the sun shone in and I could sit squeezed in with all the furniture from the second floor and the building materials, push aside the piles on my desk, and try to focus once more on my writing work, my inner life, the book. It was a lovely morning. I must do that more often. Thank you for asking!

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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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