Oh this is such a strange time, these long solitary days, everything closed, the air full of fear. Online petitions for Doug Ford to resign. Somehow time vanishes, swallowed up, another day gone.
Today would have been my penpal Barbara’s 71st birthday had she not died after a heart operation in 1966 at the age of 16. It was that plus other stuff, one of those @#$@ days; I badly needed a walk so went to the Necropolis to commune with the Cabbagetown dead. But it’s spring, hard to be mopey for long.
My house, hidden by forsythia. What a colour!
The magnificent magnolia outside the Necropolis
Sunday night is TV night – 60 Minutes along with The Eighties (flipping back and forth during commercials), The Simpsons, Us – which shows us the fabulous European cities – Paris, Amsterdam, Venice – we might never see again; a new Netflix series, Mare of Easttown starring Kate Winslet as an exhausted, angry cop, which was so relentlessly depressing, I stopped after half an hour – the small town underbelly of America, hopelessly dysfunctional people who eat absolute garbage throughout – the ghastly food a subplot, along with poverty and murder.
And then, a standout: Couples Therapy on Crave, fascinating, reality TV, real couples seeing a very wise, patient therapist. You watch them in their entrenched positions, not listening, feeding their resentment, and her attempts to pry them loose and open them up. Fascinating.
Today the long list came out for the Stephen Leacock Award for humour writing; I’d entered with the faintest hope, and sure enough, Loose Woman was not on the list. All but one on the long list are men. Writing competitions these days are predominantly women, by far, except for humour. Does this mean we don’t have a sense of humour? No, but it does mean – I know this from my classes and from my men friends – that for men, humour is a powerful defence mechanism which allows them to tell their stories without seeming vulnerable or weak. And more power to them, God knows, we need to laugh now more than ever. Bring it on. Please.
On the other hand, here’s another fan of the book, a student from at least a decade ago: I finished reading Loose Woman last night and had to write to tell you how much I enjoyed it. Such a riveting read, and the sentences so well-crafted, just leapt off the page. I felt like I really got a peek into that young woman’s mind and heart. I have recommended it to others, some of whom, like me, are former students of yours who I’ve kept in touch with over the years.
I needed that today. Thank you!
Oh, and I finished a longish article and sent it to a magazine. It’s not funny enough either, but luckily, that’s not what these people are looking for. Stay tuned.