My new book “Midlife Solo” is now available.

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human again

First, the best news: a friend just wrote that her bookstore finally had Midlife Solo for her, and it’s also on Amazon. My beloved book is more widely available for sale! Made my day.

Okay, enough gloating. When you hear that your faithful correspondent is in Paris, I’m pretty sure this is not what you imagine: that I’ve spent a great deal of time lying on the sofa in a lovely apartment in Belleville, an interesting, shabby working-class immigrant neighbourhood. This is not a Paris I have known. No, that’s not true — when my family lived here in 1964-65, it was in an HLM — a low-income high-rise — in Gentilly, a Communist suburb south of the city. Gentilly, and Belleville, are not shown on the tourist postcards. But they, too, are Paris.

Today, I watched as a chochard — a presumably homeless man — finished his bottle of wine and walked over to put the empty in one of the plastic bags that are everywhere keeping the city clean. The city is amazingly clean. And the delicious wine that Madame and I had for dinner cost $5 euros – about $8. Jealous.

It’s a relief to tell you I’m better — definitely not 100%, but human again. Yesterday I was capable of nothing. Today, after resting in the morning, I got dressed, and we went out into the sunshine — it was hot, over 20 degrees today, but will be back to cold tomorrow. We walked to the Parc du Buttes Chaumont, a lovely big park about 15 or 20 minutes away, and then to the Parc Belleville. Both are built on hills, and at the latter we climbed to the top for the view — there in the distance, la Tour Eiffel, the towers of Notre Dame, the Panthéon. Yes, this is Paris. The parks are vital oases of calm and beauty in the busy, noisy metropolis.

And then back to the apartment to lie down again, and a dinner of leftovers followed by delicious cheese and chocolate.

As Lynn said, just as well you got sick here, where there’s at least some sunshine, as opposed to England, where it’s always raining. She has a point. Thank God, I’m getting better. Friends have been sending kind messages, which help a lot; I thank you. It feels so ridiculous to come all the way to Paris to get sick. But mostly, I came here so my best friend and I could spend time together. And we are.

My new Substack came out today, written before I left and posted by Patrick; FYI, https://touchpointsawriterstruth.substack.com/p/the-value-of-on-the-spot-writing?utm_source=post-email-title&publication_id=2235540&post_id=143147845&utm_campaign=email-post-title&isFreemail=false&r=3d8wo&triedRedirect=true&utm_medium=email

So my friends, no fancy pictures. Parc #1 had a moving sign with a list of the names and ages of Jewish schoolchildren from the quartier deported and murdered. There are reminders like this throughout the city, and, indeed, the country.

Park #2 – Parisians enjoying a sunny day, with beyond, unseen, the Paris skyline.

The eclipse is happening soon, back home. Anna is of course having an eclipse party. Hope you are too. Here, a bit of live-streaming, early to bed, to rise, I hope, even better tomorrow.

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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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