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last day

There will be weeping today. It’s my friend’s last day on earth. One of her oldest friends wrote to say she and her husband and daughter are going to the island today, to spend the day with her, and will be organizing a kind of shiva. Someone else wrote that another friend, who makes costumes for films, has made her a beautiful shroud.

Her doctor and a nurse will come to her house at 11 a.m. tomorrow. 

I am trying to imagine — they give you this exercise as a psychological tool, but I never thought it could actually be real — what it would be like to know this is my last day on earth. It’s stunning here today, hot and bright. I sat outside, taking in the lilac which has just come into full bloom, above the viburnum which scents the air. The cardinal came to check out the deck for the water dish but I’ve moved it nearer the feeder. The holly for the first time has clumps of yellow sweet-smelling blossoms. The mock orange glows bright yellow-green. It is paradise. 

Another dear friend is having breast cancer surgery today. 

Last night for the first time Uncle Sam had the two boys for a sleepover at his small apartment. His dad wrote that his theatre-turned-medical clinic has just issued its 10,000th vaccination. 

And yet, as the virus still rampages, people filled with hatred are slaughtering each other. 

Last night was the first event of the CNFC conference, a talk by two journalists at the top of their game, Johanna Schneller and Ian Brown, who are married, on “writing about other people.” They were hilarious and informative. “Sometimes your take on the story IS the story,” said Ian, talking about flashes of discovery. “There’s a difference between confession and candour,” he said. “Trust the physical and the concrete,” he said. It was fascinating and beautifully run, not a glitch in sight. Today, our first long day, from noon to 8.30, 3 workshops, including one moderated by me, and a big panel tonight. 

Looking at my garden, I said, if I were to know I’d die tomorrow, what would I ask myself today? And the answer came instantly. Have I given enough? 

Have I loved enough? 



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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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