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Ben and Dante and Maria Ressa

First day of spring – and it’s snowing for the first time in months! Nature is confused.

Most importantly, my younger grandson Ben. Last summer the boys were part of a free Blue Jays sports camp for inner city kids, and at the end, a few kids were chosen to attend a game and be part of an ad campaign for Jays Care. Ben of the long blonde hair was one of them. The ad campaign just came out; it’s possible he’ll be splashed on billboards and in the media. And this is a boy who detests having his picture taken. As you can plainly see. LOL. Way to go, Ben!

Last night’s treat: a doc about Dante on PBS. I’m ashamed to admit I didn’t know his Divine Comedy was one of the greatest works of world literature. The doc animated his journey, with Virgil, into the nine circles of hell, for sins that still resonate for us today — greed, wrath, violence. The ninth circle resonated particularly — where treasonous liars are confined, those who tell deliberate untruths to advance their own causes at the expense of everyone else, who betray the trust of loved ones or their country. Not to mention the planet. I’m overjoyed to imagine Netanyahu, Trump, and Putin joining Stalin, Hitler, Pol Pot, and other monsters in the freezing confines of the ninth circle.

One of the commentators remarked wryly that Dante assigned his actual enemies to various circles. He was a great hater, he said. I guess I can be one too. In you go, fellas, and may you rot.

Okay, that’s hating done with for today. Tonight, the last class of the U of T term, loved them all. I had a real treat the other day with a new editing client, a 94-year-old woman of great energy; I edited her memoir and when she came here to get the edits — which were typed in a binder, not online — she had so many great stories to tell, I thought we’d be there for a long time.

Once again, I have to tell you that my book is still not available at Amazon or Indigo. I’ve given up asking the publisher why that is so. Instead I am urging readers to buy a signed, dedicated copy directly from me. And soon I’m going to the library to offer to donate some copies. Nine branches have ordered the book and there are three holds already, which is thrilling, but no books have appeared. So I’ll try to get things going. One does what one can.

I’ll also go to the library to return my copy of Maria Ressa’s How to Stand Up to a Dictator, a superb and inspiring book by an extremely brave woman who has faced and is facing endless harassment and trumped-up criminal charges in her native Philippines, a country now ruled by the son of dictator Marcos, who was apparently the leader who stole the largest amount of money ever from his country — many billions. Another stellar candidate for the ninth circle.

Sorry, still hating. I’m feeling beleaguered today. The world is too much with me.

It may be a light snowfall, but it’s not looking much like spring today. Hope the flowers make it through. Hope we do too.

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2 Responses to “Ben and Dante and Maria Ressa”

  1. Theresa says:

    Beautiful images of your grandson!

  2. Beth Kaplan says:

    He is small and tough and fast as can be. And to think he was born with a club foot, turned completely sideways. As always – thank you, Tommy Douglas!

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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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