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Tick Tick … Boom; David Suzuki and Tara Cullis

Yesterday I saw something grey and furry in the yard I thought was a cat, but the birds remained on the ground, unperturbed. Then I saw it’s a rabbit, there again today. We’ve entertained skunks, opossums, an occasional rat, and countless raccoons, but never a rabbit. Should I leave out some carrots? Overhead, a hawk. 

Today was the last U of T class of this term. What a treat; this group was spectacular, every story today evidence of courage and craft. I guess this is one of my contributions to the planet – unleashing many stories that otherwise would not be told. And that should be.

Speaking of stories, yesterday I watched What you won’t do for love, a play and film developed by David Suzuki and his wife Tara Cullis in conjunction with two young actors. It’s a moving discussion in which we hear about the profound love between these two and have a chance to celebrate the dedication and creativity of Tara as well as her famous husband. She talks about how we need both hemispheres of our brain, the left, the analytic side, and the right, the creative visionary side, but how in our society today, the left is all that matters. 


Deeply grateful to these two extraordinary human beings for their lifetimes of work on behalf of us all. As I wrote to them, I was only sorry not to hear my father’s version of events. He always credited himself with introducing Tara to David. But as the film makes clear, they managed extremely well without him. 

After watching, I listed my tiny efforts to help in the fight against climate change: no car, buying local food and second hand clothes, gifts, and products as much as possible, veg garden, tenants to share my house, care with electricity and recycling, even saving water by showering sporadically. But on the con side – travel. Year round avocados from Mexico, blueberries from Peru, tangelos from Florida. Uber! What will we all have to give up to keep our planet safe? 

Another interesting film: Tick Tick … Boom, the story of Jonathan Larson, the creator of the hit musical Rent, his tortuous journey to success before his tragically early death. It pushes sentiment hard – not a surprise, it was directed by Lin-Manuel Miranda, an intensely feeling man – but for anyone interested in show biz, it’s a treat.

Went next door last night for aperitif with Monique. She was busy and then away, visiting her family in France for 3 weeks, so it’s been a long time since we talked. What a pleasure to sit with her again. One of the great gifts of my upbringing is the ability to speak fluent French, which I hope helps protect my brain against the dementia that afflicted my grandmother. Also piano lessons, which stretch my slow, clumsy brain. ANYTHING that stretches the brain. I have several friends dealing with this vile disease. The horror. 

My grandsons came over on Saturday for dinner and play. They’d just had their vaccines – Eli easily, Ben after an hour of cajoling. But it’s done, their first dose. To celebrate, chocolate ice-cream and a game of hangman with Glamma. Eli came up with the word ’emus’, which I wouldn’t have guessed in years. Ben told us he had no idea how to spell anything so he was just putting down “random letters.” Laugh! What joy. 

I’ve been delving into boxes of old writings and notes, looking for material from and about one of my dearest childhood friends, about whom I’ve been writing. We invented a world of our own with alter egos and a very complex story. I kept a diary for my alter ego, Helen Foster, and made a photo album for her life with pix cut from the Simpson’s catalogue. She was blonde. The best thing, then, was to be sweet and blonde.

This was my imaginary self. Could anyone be less like the actual me, then as now? Sigh. Oh, also, she was selfless and crippled and went to church. 

It’s dark most days, gloomy, chilly – the snow has melted but there’s frost. The Beatles are back on the charts in Britain; intense discussion continues about the doc. One tweet with which I agree: I’ve never felt so much sympathy for Paul McCartney, trying to get a small flock of extremely sensitive boys with untreated ADHD wearing stinky fur coats to concentrate on coming up with songs on a deadline.

The movie in a nutshell.

Xmas is looming, but so far I’ve managed to avoid hearing any treacly music. And Benjamin Bunny is in my yard. Magic in the air.



2 Responses to “Tick Tick … Boom; David Suzuki and Tara Cullis”

  1. Susan Kargut says:

    Ah Beth, what a wealth of interesting topics and musings for a snowy morning on the prairies. I felt as though I too had been invited next door to share the news . . only not in French, luckily for me. I love the pages from your book with their cut-out illustrations. I found myself wondering whether your alter ego was crippled because someone had cut off her catalogue legs but that was too flip for such an intense childhood experience. As one who didn't grow her own grandchildren I'm always tickled to see them and hear their latest imaginings. Thanks for sharing all this. We too have a bunny in the yard, drawn in by the strewn seeds from feeders. I hope yours stays for awhile to enchant you. And finally thank you for the list of things you are doing to feel a bit positive in the face of climate change. You are far ahead of me and an encouragement.

  2. beth says:

    Susan, these blog friendships are wonderful in their strange and unique way – thank you for being there, I hope we meet one day. Helen was crippled when she threw herself in front of a car to save her dog. But I also realize the fantasy came from a book that had a huge influence on me — "What Katy Did," written in the 1870s, in which wild and rebellious Katy has an accident and is confined to bed, and learns to be patient and good. I wanted to be patient and good. BORING! I now know. But that was my dream then.

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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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