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musical storytellers and sharks

A mild, murky day, and I have nothing scheduled except Carole’s class, writing work, and dealing with the five cucumbers in my fridge. So – lots to do.

First, and most importantly, as soon as I wrote in the last post that I was stuck in my writing, it began to flow. A voice came, a starting place, and I was off. No idea if it works, but it’s there. Before, for weeks, I was discouraged, wondering why I bother when there are so many interesting, fun ways to spend time that are not sitting at a desk poking myself in the gut. Why put myself through it, when 17-year old “influencers” have hundreds of thousands of readers, and only a handful of people read what I write?

But some do. And even if they don’t, I need to write things down, have needed to write things down since childhood. So here we are on a lovely morning, not working in the garden or doing the laundry or making gazpacho, things which need to be done, or exploring the city, fun things – no, sitting at the desk working out how to tell a story. Taking a break to talk to you.

Speaking of telling stories, last night I went to the folk club Hugh’s Room to hear Shari Ulrich in concert. I do not usually head clear across town at night and had some trepidation about being there alone. Immediately, people at the table where I was placed as one of Shari’s guests invited me to join them, and we chatted for the whole night, interesting, nice people and great fans of Shari’s. I thought, as she sang, how wonderful it is that story and music combine in this glorious way unique to humans. I guess birds as they trill and call are telling stories, and whales, and other musical creatures. But we write and sing songs. As I wrote to Shari afterwards, I am jealous of how disgustingly talented she is, playing many instruments, writing the pieces, singing them beautifully with two fabulous women accompanying her. Thrilling.

Yesterday morning, I took Ben to the aquarium for his birthday present. It’s a gift to see the world through the eyes of a 4-year old. The aquarium is too crowded and noisy, but still, it’s very well set up for kids, with an amazing passageway where fish, sharks, and manta rays swim not just beside you but over your head. It was feeding time – men in wetsuits fed shrimp to anemones (!) and in another pond, to rays, which circled around like huge grey underwater birds. Ben and I were very lucky with the weather – it poured while we were inside, stopped as we left to go to lunch, started again as we ordered our burgers, and stopped just as we finished. Ben likes meat. He doesn’t even bother with the bun.

In the meantime, my daughter was dyeing half of her long hair bright red. She is off for a well-deserved vacation, to visit her best friend in Nova Scotia and go to the Stanfields’ annual weekend-long bash The Blacktop Ball. The Stanfields are a Nova Scotia rock band and dear friends of hers – when they toured to Toronto, in past years, they all crashed with Anna, all five of them. So off she goes, for four days. There will be music. There will be stories.



2 Responses to “musical storytellers and sharks”

  1. theresa says:

    Wonderful to read of new work from you, Beth. And ooof, the 17 year old influencers….so what? Just plunge in and do your work. There's a place for it.

  2. beth says:

    Theresa, you are an inspiration. Some time on the Sechelt Peninsula, away from distractions, would do me good. But nothing for it but not to notice everything begging for attention and focus on the page. I'm not good at focussing, tho'. As you might have figured out by now.

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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.

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.


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Juliet is a Canadian who’s lived for decades in Paris and writes about her travels and the many things that interest her.