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2020, a reflection

New Year’s Eve. To celebrate, I just opened a fine bottle of Spanish cab sauv and took some of my sauce out of the freezer, for a favourite feast of spaghetti and wine – carbs forever! Maybe I’ll watch Soul or one of the many other films I haven’t seen yet – Bridgerton, Crip Camp, My Octopus Teacher. And I’ll read some of the three books I have on the go – “Braiding Sweetgrass,” “150 Glimpses of the Beatles,” and a library book, procured yesterday, “Writing after dark: envy, fear, distraction, and other dilemmas in the writer’s life.”

Gosh. Wonder why she’s reading THAT?

Good news: my vaccine essay will be in the Globe on Saturday, and the pay is handsome. It means so much! A big yes to my writing and thought after a long series of no’s. Though not from readers, who continue to say nice things about “Loose Woman.” Like Lori on Goodreads, who gave it five stars:

A fantastic journey of self discovery that all can relate to. Well written, funny, sad, heart warming. I couldn’t put it down!

And Barbara, an actress:

I ordered the audiobook (my first!) thinking it would be nice to hear

your voice
reading your own words,
and I was right! I enjoyed it so much, for many reasons.
There was a lovely flow to the narrative – Big congratulations!

Thank you both!

What a year, overshadowed by two shitshow disasters, Covid and Trump. American politics in general, the endless lead up to the election, the endless rollout of the results, ye gods, this speedy nation is so @$#@ slow at some things! The omnipresent Zoom making so much possible in isolation – the National Theatre Live, Hamilton, board meetings, classes, webinars, exercise classes, friendship – Zoom kept us going. Neighbourhood – all spring, banging pots at 7 for frontline workers. A certain blogger turning 70, yes 70, no, simply not possible, yet it’s true. The birth, at last, of “Loose Woman” in its various forms. 

Anna feeding Indigenous elders, heroically keeping two hyperactive boys busy at home almost all year; Sam, the Second Best Bartender in all Toronto. The fact that so far, despite isolation, risk, and paranoia, my loved ones and I are not only alive but relatively sane. And obviously you are too. Congratulations!!

I feel guilty saying it, because countless people have suffered so grievously this year, loss of loved ones, work, security. But for me, I confess, it was not that hard. I missed a lot – travel with Bruce, gathering with family and friends, the Y, movies, plays, shopping. But I’m a single woman and a writer; solitude is in my DNA. The loss of all those things made me focus, hunker down with fewer possibilities for distraction, though of course there’s always the long dark rabbit hole of social media, which I fall down on a regular basis. But no question, it’s going to be a long winter. I’m sick of it already, and it’s barely begun.

I’ve continued the excavation of the mountains of paper left by my mother and my own lifetime of scribbles; yesterday, I unearthed the bill for my birth from the Polyclinic on West 50th in NYC – $135-$80=$55, a steal! Of course, that’s US. 

And more treasures, including this, a portrait  of me by one of my children, who did not like to be awakened in the morning and accused me of torture by cheerfulness. 

 Guilty as charged. 

I hope wherever you are, whatever you’re doing, there is joy, and peace, and comfort, and perhaps even a cheerful face smiling at you, with, however, better teeth. My love to you. Happy New Year!

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2 Responses to “2020, a reflection”

  1. Theresa says:

    There's so much in that hospital receipt. Telephone charge? 15 cents? A treasure. We loved the octopus film, with the unexpectedly beautiful star and the menacing pyjama sharks. Have a peaceful evening and a wonderful year to follow! Travel (maybe). More time with your family. Love from the far coast.

  2. beth says:

    Theresa, I might have known you'd dive straight into that receipt! Yes, I figure that phone calls were 5 cents, so she only called Dad three times in the week she was there. And yes, I watched the octopus film with its, as you say, beautiful, tender, intelligent star, and loved it. Their hugs! It reminded me of "Charlotte's Web," that we weep at the end for the death of a wonderful wild creature, but then her children appear. Sending much love to you across the mountains, and special love to John's foot.

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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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