My new book “Midlife Solo” is now available.

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Giving thanks for baseball, dancing, turkey, and Midlife Solo

And just like that, it’s fall. From 29 degrees to 14 overnight. A scientist called our recent heatwave “gob-smackingly bananas,” but we weren’t complaining.

I spent this Saturday morning getting in Thanksgiving supplies; have to be strategic without a car, get things on the bike in stages, at the market, No Frills, and at Mark the butcher. Picking up the turkey this morning as I have for 37 years, I ran into my neighbours Michael Ondaatje and his wife Linda Spalding buying a ton of supplies. Glad to know one of Canada’s best-known writers, and one of Canada’s least known – aka moi – will eat well tomorrow.

Yesterday was a PD day, supposed to rain but turned out to be beautiful, so Anna and I took the boys to High Park for lunch and to play baseball, the women against the youthful hotshots. Haven’t held a bat for decades but I actually had some hits and ran home. The girls won! Glamma’s legs hurt on the long walk home, however.

I’m preparing for the book launch November 6, spent a morning going through the complicated process of applying for a liquor licence so guests can have a glass of wine while they buy books. (More wine, more books?) I was finally granted the licence because the event is of “municipal significance.” Imagine — my book and I are significant municipally! Does it get better than that?

And more good news, a short piece I wrote last week about the difficult birth of Midlife Solo has been accepted by the Brevity Blog, a site founded and run by the wonderful Dinty Moore about the craft of nonfiction writing. It will run on the site October 26.

Last night to the ballet with Ruth, to see Siphisehle November and his brother Mthuthezeli dance together for the first time since their childhood as ballet students in a dusty village in South Africa. There’s a moving documentary that shows the talented Siphisehle being discovered by a Canadian visitor and brought to Canada as a young boy, alone. He’s now principal dancer with the National Ballet; his brother dances in London. It turned out to be a long program with lots of other dance, some of it iffy with aggressive music and harsh lighting, magnificent dancing — oh those incredible bodies! — but no story. The brothers came out to rapturous applause, danced separately, then together with joy and grace and powerful athleticism for a few stunning minutes, and then it was over. The finale was an enjoyable dance about the life of Nina Simone. Ruth and I were glad to be there but wish there’d been a great deal more of the November brothers.

Speaking of dance, I went on Thursday night to something called Ecstatic Dance, which the friend of a friend told me about. It’s just down the street in a church hall, lights low, music played on drums and violin, and people dancing barefoot around the room. It’s a bit woo-woo, if you know what I mean, but I’ve been looking for years for a place to go and simply dance, by myself. And there it is, five minutes away. I’ll be back.

And now a peaceful day to continue book marketing work and begin Thanksgiving prep. Tomorrow the family comes, with our other family members Thomas and Holly, my upstairs tenant Robin, and anyone else who needs turkey. 13 pounds should go far. It’s my mother’s 100th birthday tomorrow — born Oct. 8 1923 — so she will be in my thoughts, and we’ll celebrate Sam’s birthday too, in advance — Oct. 13 1984.

So much to be grateful for. So many blessings, in this burning, drowning world: health so far, family, friends, roof, food, art, creativity, democracy, relative peace. Thank you, thank you for all of it, whoever you are.

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2 Responses to “Giving thanks for baseball, dancing, turkey, and Midlife Solo”

  1. theresa says:

    So many nice things here, Beth. Baseball, Brevity, turkey for many, dancing. A bit of woo-woo is ok, esp if you have fun. We are bringing plants in and the day is so beautiful it could be summer. I think I’ll have a (final?) lake swim later this afternoon. All the little gratitudes add up to, well, a life.

  2. Beth Kaplan says:

    “All the little gratitudes add up to, well, a life.” How true, Theresa. I will be bringing plants in tmw, I think, it’s going down to 9 at night. A bit of a shock after weeks of extended summer. You know, I am grateful for being able to feel grateful. Imagine having all that we have in our rich lives, and not appreciating every minute of it. Now that would be true poverty.

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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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