My new book “Midlife Solo” is now available.

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Joe Biden triumphs; Beth and Chris design her blue commemorative plaque

Sleepy Joe no more! I was teaching during the first half of Biden’s State of the Union address but caught the second. Thank God for a sane, empathetic man and skilled politician at this lunatic time. The divisions of the country were in stark relief — his loud call to ban assault weapons to a standing ovation from the Dems, the entire Repug side motionless. 

If only he were sixty instead of eighty. Or even my age, a mere seventy-two. If only he’d pick a successor and remain in the background as a trusted, invaluable advisor. I keep swearing I won’t get involved in American politics, but it’s like Greek tragedy playing out in front of us. And speaking of tragedy – Turkey and Syria, from one moment to the next, such horrendous suffering. 

I lay in bed last night, fantasizing that human beings changed fundamentally, that we became peaceful, generous creatures who used all our resources to feed, house, and heal our neighbours. Imagine if all the money flooding into war were invested instead in humanitarian causes. And then I thought, no, somebody would emerge who’d want more of the resources and start plotting against the others and there we’d be, again. That’s who we are: a flawed species, marvellous but greedy. 

Speaking of greed, an outraged friend emailed me a link; years ago she and her husband sold their warm, friendly home in a family-oriented neighbourhood. It’s now back on the market for well over two million dollars, renovated to death, marble, stark white, showy Italian fixtures, a huge covered deck with built-in speakers in the small backyard — a monstrosity, designed not for comfort and living but for showing off and prestige. Highlighted in the magazine as something praiseworthy. Made me sick. 

On another note, I had a mad thought yesterday. A huge Vermeer exhibit is opening in Amsterdam soon, running till June. Why, I thought, don’t I go to visit my favourite painter? And friends in France too? It has been three almost travel-less years, I have a ton of travel points, I’m aching for Paris. But I’ve been hesitant to travel, with the world as it is. Maybe it won’t happen. Maybe it will. Stay tuned. 

I’d have to put on a bra and fix this haircut and take off the sweatpants. Yikes. 

Walked in the ‘hood the other day and was happy to see more of those lovely blue plaques honouring artists who lived here. Paris and London are full of them, but we’re catching up. Both of these are new. Writer Richard Gwyn lived just up the street. Varley the painter lived where a friend used to. 

One day a blue plaque will go up in front of my house. “Beth Kaplan. 1950-2070. Blathered in a blog for decades, testing the patience of her readers.”

I’d like to test you further by sharing, once again, the welcome words of another fan: 
I read All My Loving  and Loose Woman in quick succession and loved both of them–they were so compelling to read. Your childhood reminded me of my own–though I am a few years younger, I was also Beatles obsessed and I also kept a diary. I loved the way you balance a “quest pattern” with evocative descriptions and thoughtful reflections in both. The L’Arche section felt very religious to me. Given the unfortunate revelations about Jean Vanier, I was glad to read your postscript. I think you handled it with great sensitivity. People aren’t only “one thing.” 

She’s a former writing student and current editing client who has given me a name: “Bracha.” It means “blessing,” in Hebrew. 

I’ll take it. Put that on the plaque too. 

PS Chris the genius just sent this. My dream come true. LOL!!

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2 Responses to “Joe Biden triumphs; Beth and Chris design her blue commemorative plaque”

  1. Anonymous says:

    It looks like you'll live to a ripe age, though! (Seriously, not blather at all. I love your blog.)
    Theresa

  2. beth says:

    Yes, 120 is the plan. Perhaps not my childrens' plan, however. Ha! Hooray, you're Theresa again and not Anonymous.

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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.

Some Blogs I Follow

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.

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

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