My new book “Midlife Solo” is now available.

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V. Zelensky speaks to Canadians

A profoundly moving moment in Canadian history: Zelensky addresses our parliament, followed by a very long unanimous bipartisan standing ovation and moving speeches from every party leader, even the leader of the Senate, whoever he is, who was terrific. Nobody capped Elizabeth May, who spoke what we all feel as she nearly wept as she cried, Dear God, let’s do something! 

This viewer, as you can imagine, wept too, all through. Zelensky, begging Canadian to imagine our cities – Vancouver, Ottawa, Toronto – being bombed, trying to explain to our children what’s happening. As Singh said, we cannot. It’s unimaginable, as we sit here in comfort and safety, nearly one hundred Ukrainian children dead and a million displaced. 

A fantastic British writer, Ian Leslie, sends a substack newsletter regularly; his last was “Is autocracy smarter than democracy?” Authoritarianism does some things well, he says; look how fast China gets things done and has lifted millions out of poverty. But one man (always a man) with limitless power almost always descends into madness. There are the obvious culprits, Stalin, Hitler, Pol Pot – but also the leaders of many countries in Africa and South America. And now Russia, afflicted with a psychopath threatening the world. 

Whereas, Leslie points out, this cannot happen in a democracy, too many checks and balances. Mind you, the US recently had a narcissistic delusional lying man-baby in charge and may well again. But try as he might, he could not destroy a part of the planet as Putin is doing right now. 

To my simplistic eyes, it has to do with people looking for a wise all-knowing father figure to fix things, to tell them what to do and think because they’re busy and tired and don’t want to do it for themselves. They grant him full power over them and then find out to their chagrin what happens when they do.

On top of all the daily horror and grief of the news, it’s grey and snowy again in this endless winter, though it will be hot on Thursday. And I had terrible pain again last night. How is it possible that I’m bent over with pain, take a painkiller that helps, and then even when the Tylenol wears off, the pain has gone? I almost feel fine now. What’s happening in my body? I’m waiting to speak to my doctor.  

BUT on a happier note, if I may indulge: people currently reading the essay manuscript have been sending nice words. Said one: You capture essences in such a compassionate and complete way. i am engaged for the long haul. 

Ruth: I have read up to page 52 of your book and love it. Loved the part about being eleven. All of it interesting and beautifully written of course.

I’ve asked them to let me know what does not work. But am happy to hear what does.

From Brad, famous for his sense of humour: I’m not going to critique anything because I can’t imagine what I would critique. Since you sent it in word format and that allows it to be changed, I inserted in bold text “I love Paul McCartney” into every other paragraph on your behalf. LOL!

Speaking of which, I have a bunch of these photos so here’s one: one of my favourite fathers, who happens to be a world-famous rock star, bathing his daughter Mary, who grew up to photograph the Queen. 

May we all find peace and warmth, comfort and safety on this dire day. 



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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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