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The Crown in the snow

A day to be grateful not to have to go anywhere – slushy rain all day and soon snow. My job involves sitting here thinking and tapping, warm and dry. So that’s what I did. 

Watched another episode of The Crown last night, a shocking exposé of BBC journalist Martin Bashir forging documents and lying to convince Diana to be interviewed by him. It all unfurls like a Greek tragedy, the curse of the House of Atreus, being continued now by Harry and Meghan’s ill-advised onslaught. Why don’t they just shut up? Surely they want to mend relations, at least between the brothers, rather than an endless airing of grievances. I’ve not watched their new doc, was relieved the first shows were about racism, but now apparently it’s a full-on attack on family.

Just shut up. 

I’ll watch more The Crown tonight, as the snow falls. My neighbour has draped Xmas lights around the 25 foot spruce in her garden. I’m watching them dance now in the wind. Light in the darkness.

Blowing own horn department: it was a good term at U of T, and students have written to say so. 

Thank all of you for your honesty and trust in sharing some intensely personal stories, in listening deeply, and in giving respectful constructive criticism to us on our writing journey. Thank you, Beth, for encouraging us to go to those dark places,  to experiment with structure, voice, dialogue  and tone, to speak our truths in a safe environment. 

I recall feeling more than a little uncomfortable that first week, yet the courage and vulnerability shown by this group gave me the strength to share my own stories, so thank you all. And thanks, too, to Beth for guiding, supporting and teaching but especially for creating this safe space for everyone to share.

My gratitude to the whole class, able to show immense compassion while providing constructive criticism. I’ve never taken a writing class before but I’m pretty sure this was a unique and special experience. 

Yes, yes it was — a special group of student writers and a most enjoyable term.


Throwback Thursday: my friend Karin Wells and I in a production at Carleton University in 1969. Oh those smooth faces — babies. I just went to Settings on Zoom and turned the feature that makes you look better up to the max. Because looking at myself on Zoom, these days, hurts.  

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2 Responses to “The Crown in the snow”

  1. Hello Beth. You wrote two conflicting sentences here: regarding Meghan and Harry, you write – "Just shut up." And then, passing on words from your students, you encourage them in class to speak their truths. So which is it? Do we speak our truths or do we shut up?
    As a memoir writer, I spoke my truth (about inheritance theft in my family after the death of my parents.) But I did it after 20 years of silence.
    It seems to me that Harry and Meghan have something to say. Before pre-judging them, I will listen to what they have to say. I won't tell them to "Just shut up."
    Happy Holidays.
    Juliet in Paris

  2. Anonymous says:

    Yes, Juliet, you're right I have not watched the documentaries. I've read a number of commentaries, which of course are everywhere whether you want to see them or not, as this couple are as high profile as anyone on earth. I want very much to be on their side and was, but that support is fading and not just from me. We spend a lot of time in class learning the difference between venting and truth-telling, airing a grievance as opposed to crafting a story. It's vital that memoirs or documentaries about your own life present a vivid, reasoned, balanced viewpoint, so we believe the narrator. And I encourage people who have a painful story to tell that would damage their family to consider carefully if they want to go public, at least, just yet. Sometimes they need to tell the story, to release it to us and to a small group, but not take it out to the world if harm would come to loved ones and therefore fall back on them. It sounds like that's what you did, in waiting 20 year before telling a painful truth about your family. What H and M have done, it seems to me, by what sounds like a stream of accusations about people who will not respond, is kill any chance they might be reconciled to family, which is sad, and I wonder why it was necessary. Accusations about the vile, scurrilous British media, absolutely. But to air family grievances about the world's most public family in one of the world's most public forums – Netflix – is to me unwise and smacks of pettiness. But then, I have not seen it.

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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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Chris Walks
This blog evolves. It once was about travels. Now it’s a reason to be at the keyboard that I value.

Theresa Kishkan
Theresa Kishkan is a writer living on the Sechelt Peninsula on the west coast of Canada.

I walk on. With my feet, and in my mind as well.

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Wherever you’ve come from, wherever you’re going, consider this space a place for reflection and pause.

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