My new book “Midlife Solo” is now available.

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a prisoner of comfort

I’m so excited – today’s home class is going to be a hybrid, some students on Zoom and some HERE AT THE HOUSE! We are planning to be outside or inside distanced if it’s raining; so far the weather is perfect, cool and grey but not wet, though that could change. I’ve not seen these people in person since March – they were here the evening of the last day, Thursday March 12, before everything shut down.

My hands tingle all the time now – I guess because of all the hand washing. I have hand cream scattered about the place to try to keep them from shrivelling into desiccated claws. A fresh pandemic joy. Recently, I was going through old notebooks and found one from the years I was trying to find places to live or at-home help for my mother and her sister Do – lists of residences and what they offered, names of government people to contact … Just seeing it brought a wave of nausea. It was an anxious time. I’m just so grateful, as I’ve said before, that those two strong old women did not have to go through lockdown and that I don’t have elderly residents to worry about.

However, more excitement: a chunk of time yesterday was spent deciding on the cover for the memoir. Yes – the cover! I had a Zoom call with Meghan the designer and Jason my friend and trusty assistant, who knows all about design and fonts and colour; it was amazing, she shared her screen and worked her magic, changing fonts and colours and sizes and shapes in front of us. In the end we had the concept, just a few details –  colour mostly – to work out; I hope to get some prototypes today.

And I just heard from the proofreader, who has nearly finished. It’s happening, folks. The slowest book in creation is finally emerging from its shell.

Last night I watched a documentary about Giacometti, explaining his power, his place among the greatest 20th century artists – his figures are stripped bare, nothing extra, just the essence of what it is to be alive. He lived as he worked – even once his art was commanding huge prices, he lived in the same squalid Paris apartment, caring nothing for money. When asked why he didn’t find a decent place to live, he replied, “I don’t want to be a prisoner of comfort.”

I looked around. Yes, Alberto, I sighed. I am definitely a prisoner of comfort.

I also watched part of a doc about phenomenal shapes in nature, which included icebergs, sand dunes, mountains, and the manatee, which is a relative of the elephant and has the vestiges of toenails on its fins. How I love PBS and TVO!

Today I had a Zoom consultation with Tova who works at Artbooks, a company that does taxes and finances for artists. She was a writing student of mine years ago, and today she told me her mother later took the class and loved it. I wanted advice about the complexities of my finances – part self-employed writer and teacher, part landlady, part teacher employed by the universities. What can I claim? Etc. At the end of our talk, it almost made sense, though not quite. She wouldn’t take payment from me, so I urged her to write something that I’ll edit. “Explain money,” I said. “Explain what it is about finances and taxes that you find so satisfying.” I hope she does, because I think a lot of people would like to know. At least, I would.

Have hardly been outside my door for days so no photos except, as always, the garden. I know, you’ve seen it before and you’ll see it again, but it’s so lovely, I have to keep sharing it with you. The Rose of Sharon – what a showoff! You’ll be happy to know that after my efforts at pollination, there is one, count it, one zucchini growing. But as always, cucumbers dropping from the sky.

Time to tidy. The garden and I are expecting guests.



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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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