My new book “Midlife Solo” is now available.

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on the deck in the sun

They say there are two seasons in Ontario – winter and road work. So today, for some reason beyond comprehension, the city has decided to repair two minuscule patches in my street’s sidewalks. This entails ripping them apart and, presumably, putting them back together. Once more, noise cancelling headphones and bitchy thoughts. 

And on this most stunning day, too – so warm and sunny and bright, the perfect time; it’s always more delicious in the sun knowing its days around here are numbered. I’m in a patch on the deck, drinking it in. 

Today, I went to the Y for the second time. It’s desolate – empty, lacking its usual conviviality, but it’s routine. I did an Arriba class with great Latin music – six other people in the gym, the teacher behind a plexiglass panel. But there was music and there was dancing. I’ll take it.The women’s change room, usually full of chatty naked women.

Somehow I’m busier than ever – Monday an insane day, three Zoom meetings, a face to face meeting with Jason about the book and our next project – a podcast, stay tuned! Editing for several students and writing a piece for the Creative Nonfiction Collective. And then Lynn came for dinner. Sunday, one of my oldest friends, Ron, from Halifax in the early sixties, came. It’s a marvellous thing to see faces we’ve known all our lives. And of course, what we see is the young face, not the old one. Not reality. 

Yesterday, teaching and editing on Zoom for a U of T class which has kept going. I marvel, once again, at the miracle of Zoom that works so well and has kept us all going.

Treats – a silvery-green hummingbird is frequenting the rose of Sharon, darting about, dipping his or her long sharp needle nose into the blooms. The garden at its most beautiful, because soon to fade. Some fading already. As are we all. Went to the little local farmer’s market yesterday for a basket of the last Ontario peaches, the dripping taste of summer. Still here! 

The book is now readily available, I’m happy to report. As I was walking by yesterday, my neighbour Karen called, “I love it!” Two good reviews on Amazon and Indigo. Heard from a friend in France, waiting impatiently for the book I mailed to him, who wrote that the character called Alain in the book “has been absolutely raving about it to everyone he meets.” And that means a lot, because he’s a major figure in the book, and it’s not an easy thing, surely, to read about your own young life through someone else’s critical if affectionate eyes.

In an hour, I am attending a Zoom celebration of the life of my father’s aunt Lola; this would have been her 98th birthday. Many of the Jewish side of my family, my 51%, will be there, and not a single airplane is involved. A new way to live.

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2 Responses to “on the deck in the sun”

  1. theresa says:

    I think the change room at our pool was the biggest shock. Ours is a small facility in a small community. But to see the long wall of empty benches, empty hooks, the curtains removed from the cubicles, and to realize how quiet everything was until I asked for music while I swam — a different world, with the same life-guards…
    I think I must be the only person in the world who hasn't used Zoom. (Our erratic internet connection has kept me from joining in. I don't want to be the person with the twisted face saying "Can you hear me? Can you hear me?")

  2. beth says:

    Theresa, I will write about it, but I was just at a celebration of the life of my father's cousin Lola – family from Los Angeles to Tel Aviv, all onscreen saying, "Can you hear me?" But we did. There we all were, in little boxes, in a new kind of gathering. It's not the same, it will never be the same, but it's pretty damn incredible that it can happen. I hope you can give it a try sometime.

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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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