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Normal People

Watched some of the summer solstice live from Stonehenge. No crazies, no druids, just a camera and a hundred thousand people from around the world. What an amazing thing, another unforeseen benefit of this pandemic. Here’s a screenshot:

Though to tell the truth, it was a bit dull, just watching the light dim very slowly behind these magnificent structures. The first time I saw them, with my family in 1964, we wandered around touching them, and even at thirteen, I was moved. The most recent visit, in 2009, no touching, but they’re still formidable and haunting. What must it have been like, thousands of years ago in prehistoric times, to see them loom above?

A very hot Saturday – what I wouldn’t give for a little swimming pool!

Yesterday, the window guys arrived, two Ukrainian men who had a very tough job removing the old windows from the swollen old wood around them. It took them hours longer than they’d imagined. But now I have two, count them, two bedroom windows that open wide, with screens, and Robin upstairs has a lovely new window too. It is VERY hot in the attic room.

Last night I watched three episodes of Normal People. Sally Rooney is one of those writers who took off to the stratosphere instantly. I liked her first book, was unmoved by this one, her second. But the series is fabulous – two superb young actors, so committed to the work it’s painful, almost intrusive to watch them. OH my God the agonies of adolescent love, its unbearable urgencies and insecurities and lusts and fears. They are bringing it all back, back to when I was 15 and 16 and a bit older and wasting my energy on one impossible boy after another, writhing in pain. Does he like me? Where is he right now? Is he looking at HER? Thank GOD for being old and calm and wise. I wouldn’t go back there for anything. I’m looking forward to the rest of the series, bit by bit.

We are still in this surreal world, my friends, where we can sort of go out and sort of not, where the United States is disintegrating in excruciating slowmo before our eyes, where the world is coming to us through the little boxes we hold in our hands or on our desks. But – roses. Wisteria. Hydrangea. Lettuce. Butterflies and bees and birds. The world carries on, ignoring us to the best of its ability. Wise move, world.

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2 Responses to “Normal People”

  1. theresa says:

    I've been watching hummingbirds in the honeysuckle and thinking at this moment that the world could so happily go on without us. It might not be too late to figure out how to move ahead with care and love but watching the chaos and rage in the White House makes we wonder.

  2. beth says:

    Yes, chaos and rage everywhere. But – hummingbirds in the honeysuckle, does it get better than that? So we celebrate what we can.

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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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