Too much going on in the world. The hounds of hell have been unleashed; angry, heartless men rule. I am going to try to shut it out today. I will close down the garden and plant bulbs and walk and work on the plan for the book. Hunker down. It’s getting colder out there, and the glowing trees are magnificent. To the best of their ability, they ignore us. As they should.
The So True reading event went very well on Saturday — fewer people this time, about 45 as opposed to about 70 in February. But those 45 were wildly warm and appreciative as seven readers read moving, powerful stories, and then yours truly. This work puts listeners in other people’s shoes, I said. If only world leaders were able to do the same. Have to say, I’m proud of producing a successful two-hour show — selecting readers, editing their pieces, rehearsing them, preparing the venue, publicizing the event (not well enough, obviously), shepherding the team through it all, and then speaking and reading myself. I’m hugely proud of the readers, who were all confident and skilful, and grateful for our bubbly, indispensable MC Jason. Monique was at the door taking money; she and I went to Ruth’s after — Ruth’s piece a hilarious meditation about getting hearing aids, inspiring several audience members to resolve to do the same — for a glass of wine and a recap. And then, at home, I collapsed.
Watched The Quiet Girl that evening, the perfect film for someone worn out. Based on Claire Keegan’s novella and almost entirely in Gaelic, it’s a haunting depiction of a sensitive girlchild with a brutish father, a drained, heedless mother, and too many siblings, who spends a summer with relatives who cherish and nurture her. How she blooms. And then, to our dismay, she is sent home. The film, like the book, showcases both the plus and the minus of rural Irish life — the generosity of neighbours who help without question but also gossip and condemn. The lack of birth control for a family without means, saddling the mother with yet another baby when she can’t cope with the last one. And yet – beautiful serene countryside, kind, giving people. A gorgeous film.
Anna became the face of protests about the bombing of Palestinian women and children when a photo of her at a recent rally was broadcast on several TV channels. She has fought for the underdog since childhood. Here she is at fifteen, advertising a car wash to raise funds for her uncle Don’s group home in Vernon. Nothing quiet about this girl.
All right, moving gingerly into Monday. A crazy busy week ahead: teaching Tuesday, seeing a play at Crow’s Theatre Wednesday afternoon, driving to Stratford on Thursday with Monique to see two more plays and stay overnight with Big Anna and Tom, seeing old friend Lani Friday morning then driving back. On Saturday another old friend, the divine Shari Ulrich from Bowen Island, is playing a gig at the new Hugh’s Room, which has moved from way across town to close by. She’s spending the night here. And on Sunday, a third old friend, Bruce, arrives to stay. On Wednesday, a piece about writing Midlife Solo appears on the Brevity Blog. All week, gearing up for the book launch November 6. Excitement.
Good excitement, for a change.