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A visit to Oakville, and Merrijoy the star

I wrote a depressing post Wednesday, below, but didn’t upload it. Right now, I’m watching the birds swarming the feeder through much falling snow. It’s a day to hibernate, but this morning, I confronted my snail self, the woman who hates to leave her house. I had to go to Oakville for a meeting with my possible publisher and editor. Oakville! 3/4 of an hour west on the GO train, but like Calgary to me. 

The whole trip was remarkably smooth, even in a blizzard. Streetcar to subway to Union Station to GO train, not a minute delayed by the weather, suburban transit much better than I’d realized. As I waited, I managed to spill a Tim Horton’s latte all over myself, that was fun.

It was surreal to sit in the offices of the press, surrounded by piles and stacks and shelves of books and the lovely dusty smell of books, with a vicious storm outside, much worse, for some reason, in Oakville. Was relieved to get on the train home and – of course – unwrap the tuna sandwich I’d brought. I never go anywhere without a sandwich.

There’s work to be done. Not rewriting, they were very complimentary about the writing, it’s the structure, the order of essays, that needs work. Okay. We’ll see.

Taught twice yesterday, including a hybrid Zoom/in person class, terrific. Anna wrote about seeing her new doctor for the first time: “Mum, this doctor is taller than Sam and SO HOT!!! I almost started blushing!” Sam is six foot eight so this doctor must really be something. Now, however, her boys are sick and she may be too. That poor woman. 

Here’s my dear friend and former writing student Merrijoy Kellner, getting some well-deserved attention. An inspiration, as always.

My soul is not swooning, but it’s hard not to think of James Joyce when there’s this much pretty soft snow and the silence that accompanies it.

His soul swooned slowly as he heard the snow falling faintly through the universe and faintly falling, like the descent of their last end, upon all the living and the dead.

Here’s my gloomy post from Wednesday, to show you all is not hearts and roses over here sometimes. 

Today the world is too much with me, and my heart is heavy. The sun’s glorious, so it’s not the weather or winter. It’s the explosion of human vileness on display right now, everywhere, but especially in my city, which is filthy and falling apart. The provincial Cons are making one loathsome decision after another, yet the Star reports today their popularity has not waned, it has increased. Our premier’s faux folksy manner takes people in, while he destroys our waterfront and carves up farmland in a way that can never be fixed. The Ontario Arts Council budget is about to be cut by millions. 

Meanwhile, after our milquetoast mayor’s resignation, no one is running the fourth largest city in North America. Transit is worse than ever, snow everywhere, traffic speeding, snarled, out of control, and the homeless population grows. Racism and violence grow. 

Oh yes, it’s International Womens’ Day, in a world where women’s rights are being eroded daily, not just in Afghanistan, a nightmare of a place, but in the country to the south of us. And in Florida, there’s legislation that would require me to register as a blogger critical of the government. Not to mention the war and climate change. As writer Eleanor Catton said on Writers & Company on Sunday, “The centre has shifted so far to the right.” 

What happened?



4 Responses to “A visit to Oakville, and Merrijoy the star”

  1. Hope Oakville treated you well Beth. I live here and it's not so bad. Although yes, the storm outside is ongoing and it's pretty if you don't have to commute in it.

  2. beth says:

    It's always good, Pearl, to talk to people who've read your work and want to make it better. Hope we can do that. The storm for some reason was far worse in Oakville than here.

  3. Anonymous says:

    It seems incredible to me that the gender equity issue has dragged its heels for so long here in this country and the global situation is unthinkable. In addition, The gutted earth can only take so much abuse – I worry. Our poor grandchildren! What a mess!!!! I hope they can learn from our mistakes. It’s frustrating!

  4. beth says:

    Yes, it does feel like a dire time on our planet. Good to remember that many times have been dire, however, and we got through. This time we may not. But let's pray our grandchildren will prevail.

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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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