My new book “Midlife Solo” is now available.

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superb Oslo

Tell someone you’re going to see a play about failed Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations and watch their brows wrinkle. That’s the thrilling plot of Oslo, a powerful, important play about what it takes to be a peacemaker. A Norwegian couple with links to the government took it upon themselves, in 1992-93, to bring Palestinian and Israeli negotiators to the table in neutral Oslo, to try to find common ground, gambling that when these men came to see each other as human beings and not as monstrous enemies, progress would ensue. And that is what happens. The characterizations – in the script and on the stage – are superb, the tension mounts; one Israeli is arrogant and the next is worse, one of the Palestinians is a surly hardline Communist who hates everyone, surely nothing can happen here.

And yet it does, inch by inch, as you hold your breath. At one point, two of the men find out they have daughters with the same name, a tiny moment with vast repercussions. They manage to make a deal. Tragically, it did not last, but for a brief moment on our embattled planet, peace broke out. A deeply moving play in a fantastic production.

In the spirit of letter writing mentioned last post, I just emailed Mirvish Productions to thank them for making this town so rich with theatre. At Oslo, I talked to the couple sitting in front who are from Timmins; they fly into Toronto regularly to see theatre and eat at good restaurants. They’d seen the new Sting show,  then The Father, a great new production of a French play about Alzheimers by a very small theatre company, and Oslo. The woman sitting next to me, with whom by the end I exchanged email addresses – we will, it turned out, be in Paris at exactly the same time in April – goes often to the theatre alone, like me. What a richness of choice we have, with so much on offer. Grateful.

And grateful to former students who write to tell me their news; just got this: Just wanted to send you a note that I have finally completed a memoir that was sparked in your class. I’ll be self publishing in June. I would love to invite you to the book launch in Toronto in mid August. Thanks for your class.

It’s Family Day, a holiday, and all is still. No one here, no banging, no drilling, mudding, or sanding. There’s beautiful fresh snow to shovel, a house in chaos to sort out, a Wayson to invite for dinner. We are alive, my friends. It doesn’t get better than that.

PS Wish I could show you – there’s a cardinal at the feeder, flashing scarlet against the snow, in the sun. Winter is brutal but with moments of great beauty, even more appreciated because … rare.

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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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