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Paris in the springtime, and Tàr

It feels like time in the long dark tunnel of the last three years is ending. We know it’s not; the pandemic isn’t over and there are more looming, not to mention a million other problems on our planet. But right now, despite all, I feel life stirring in these old bones.

Of course, we all know: if you want to make God laugh, tell her your plans. 

First, the relief that Solo Woman: Writing through the storm has found a home and we hope will come out by the end of the year. Of course, I can hear God laughing. But that’s the plan.

Second, I just booked a trip to Paris entirely on travel points, because my neighbour Monique’s sister made me an offer I could not refuse: her apartment in central Paris for two weeks at an incredible price. Tourists are perhaps hesitating to go because of serious unrest there, and I almost didn’t go either; Lynn wrote that, due to Macron’s attempt at pension reform, things will get worse in March, with air traffic control, trains, universities, and more in upheaval and often on strike. 

So I decided, rather than trying to get anywhere from Paris – I used to go south to Montpellier and/or north to England – I’ll relieve the stress by staying put. Two weeks in Paris, in such a central location that if transit is on strike, I can walk. The main stress will be getting from and to the airport. I’ll just assume things will be unsettled and do my best to roll with the punches. 

I’ll visit the giant cherry tree in le Jardin des Plantes, where I scattered my father’s ashes. I’ll visit Michèle, a family friend who lives in a suburb of the city, whose husband died last fall and who wants to show me where he’s buried. Her husband was once my mother’s lover but that’s another story. Maybe another day trip to Monet’s glorious garden in Giverny. I will walk and eat and look and appreciate, as I always do in France. Cheese. And more cheese. Sunday March 20 – Monday April 3. Incroyable!

My application to renounce my American citizenship, with complicated paperwork I waited a year for them to send me, has now been sent back, and I’m awaiting a date. Fingers crossed. 

Today I went to see my friend Kathleen Trotter, the best fitness trainer, who ascertained that my left side is weaker than my right and I need to stand on my left leg as often as possible, stork position. However, my right side, she said, is “perfect.” Funny – I think of the left as the best side of me. 

The teacher assessments came back from one U of T class and they seem to be enjoying themselves. The cat is happy eating cat food mashed together with sardines or tuna; she won’t eat just cat food, not good enough for her sensitive palate. Tomorrow is a PD day and I’m spending it with my grandsons and daughter, including seeing Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat in the evening. In 1972, as described in Loose Woman, my father and I took a trip to the Edinburgh Festival, and that musical by an unknown Andrew Lloyd Webber is one play we saw. 

Oh, and a few days ago, I watched Tàr. A tour de force of course for Cate Blanchett, a powerful mysterious film with lots of bits unexplained. Mostly, I felt it explores a thesis I put forward in my book about my great-grandfather Jacob Gordin, a man destroyed by the very things that made him great – his stubborn intransigence and single-mindedness. I think Lydia Tàr, née Linda Tarr, could not have become who she was without her excesses, and in the end, like Gordin, they do her in. A Greek tragedy. Magnificent. 

Today, my cup runneth etc. Thank you, Ralph Waldo Emerson.



2 Responses to “Paris in the springtime, and Tàr”

  1. Anonymous says:

    sigh. Paris in spring…

  2. beth says:

    Also, Paris on strike and in rebellious upheaval in the spring.

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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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