My new book “Midlife Solo” is now available.

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Justice done, for once

Yesterday I started writing a post, got distracted, and it vanished. So here we are again. I’ve lost steam, am still clogged, hacking, feeble. A friend sent word about a “flu-like virus called the 100 day cough.” Sounds about right. We’ll see what my doctor, the aptly named Dr. Smiley, says today.

Ruth came yesterday, on a gorgeous sunny morning, to drive me to Pet Valu to get heavy bags of birdseed, and we went for a walk in the ‘hood, radiant with springness. The animals were springy too — at the farm, the brown-and-white spotted calf and mother cow were leaping and nuzzling, and two geese were awkwardly trying, as they floated, to mate. Two bristly red piglets asleep in the mud. All’s well with the world.

Especially because of the good news: Trump in a courtroom looking like a surly toddler denied his Cheerios, and Umar Zameer, falsely accused of killing a policeman, acquitted and apologized to for an egregious three-year-long miscarriage of justice, drummed up to satisfy our often-corrupt police. Three of whom colluded with each other and lied in court about what happened, although the truth had been captured on video. Shocking.

Speaking of justice, I watched Episode 3 of Mr. Bates vs. the Post Office on Sunday night. What a fabulous David and Goliath story, one man’s twenty-year-long ordeal challenging an impenetrable and, it becomes increasingly apparent, criminally mendacious organization. What’s so marvellous is that it’s happening in real time: the actual Mr. Bates  testified in London last week to an enquiry into how these injustices continued for decades, hounding innocent people to ruin and in several cases to jail or suicide. Snobbish, negligent British civil servants and the Japanese computer company Fujitsu are responsible. People should go to jail.

By chance, on Sunday, two pieces of mine appeared simultaneously: a piece on my own Substack Touchpoints: A Writer’s Truth, about the writing life, and on my former student Alice Goldbloom’s A Considerable Age, an essay from Midlife Solo called Sisterhood. Good response to both, I’m happy to say. I think the eulogy I wrote and spoke for my uncle Edgar Kaplan, reprinted in Touchpoints, is perhaps the best thing I’ve ever written. He deserved no less.

And though I’ve not written about Midlife Solo for some time in the flurry of travel, the vehemence of the reviews I receive continue to surprise and gratify. Greg, a retired teacher, wrote: “How brave you are to expose such tender moments of your life … I allowed myself two of your stories each night, to expand the pleasure over several weeks. Sometimes I was reading your memoir at 4:00 am. and woke grumpy John up because I was laughing so hard. But, there were tears too. In short, your book touched my heart.

I will reread Mid Life Solo. One reading is not enough. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.”

You are most welcome. My enormous pleasure. FYI, more great news: at long last, the book is now available wherever books are sold.

Hard to believe, but I need to pack my very small suitcase again tonight, to leave tomorrow morning by train for Ottawa. On Thursday, I go to the American consulate to renounce my U.S. citizenship, give up a passport I’ve carried all my life by the accident of being born in New York and living there for two and a half months. I should have renounced many years ago but never got around to it, saw no need to. There’s a huge need now, as they demand yearly tax returns. Today I go to the bank and take out a money order for $2350 USD, which will cost me over $3200 CAD. That is what they’re charging to release me. It makes me sick. And I’m already sick.

I’m doing this for my kids, so there are no surprises from the U.S. government at my death. Who knows what new penalties they’ll come up with by 2060, when I kick off at 110? (LOL.)

Below: spring at the Farm and the Necropolis – unfortunately you can’t really see, but the island in the middle of the pond is covered with flowers; those are the amorous geese. And a very apt New Yorker cartoon. Sad.





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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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