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The Mahabharata, Part One: thousands of years ago and today

I gather things are no better in Paris — protesters burning garbage still, and now, Lynn tells me, because the refineries are on strike, the possibility of no gasoline and a food shortage. I do regret that today I’m not in the Jardin du Luxembourg, the Musée d’Orsay, and my favourite shop, Monoprix, with my dear friend, but I don’t regret avoiding subjecting myself to the anger of the French.

I’ve been gradually sorting out my life, unpacking, filling the empty fridge, indulging in my favourite Sunday night activity: instead of scrunched up on a jumbo jet trying to sleep, I was watching PBS by the fire. Call the Midwife provoked tears, as it always does, as did a second watching of the documentary Come From Away, about Newfoundlanders on 9/11, the power of human goodness, a marvellous, not-to-be-missed doc. Last night, an excellent doc about Arthur Miller, one of the greatest playwrights of the twentieth century, filmed by his daughter. 

Yesterday was the best day of the year so far, 12 degrees, melting the snow. I went with my other dear Lynn to Niagara-on-the-Lake to see an extraordinary production, the first half of the Mahabharata, a many thousand-years-old Indian story. A show full of music – musicians with tabla and sitar on stage – and dancing and so many gods! Characters sprung from the headlines: petty, destructive Trump-like men fixated on personal gain and revenge, good men struggling with their demons, women struggling against the terrible power of men. At the end of the first half, a senseless war provoked by resentment, aggression, and greed is about to erupt. Where have we seen this before? Thousands of years ago and now. 

Lovely to drive through the Ontario countryside, stop in the small town to buy Damson plum jam and have lunch at Lynn’s sister’s house, where, because NOTL is in its own eco-zone, there’s no snow and the gardens are in early bloom: snowdrops, hellebores, croci, aconite, such welcome colour. We’ll get there, Toronto.

Today, Carole’s class, of course. As I was grunting my way through her gruelling regime, she said, with her usual beaming smile, “Isn’t this better than Paris?” Oh yes. 

So — back to work. But first, joy: son and grandsons. 

With his best friend Vince

At the hotel on the drive home from Washington. Be still, my beating heart. It was when I saw French Lynn’s children asleep that I decided I wanted kids of my own. Can you blame me? When they’re asleep, they’re angels. They do, however, wake up. 

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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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