Tuesday, September 11, 2012


I am beat. I am bushed. Despite these heavenly warm days, life has felt like an unrelenting onslaught - worries about my mother, daily calls to Ottawa, decisions; worries about the house, mounting bills; worries about work and life. An hour and a half today, finding a car to rent for an upcoming trip and understanding related insurance issues. The haunting conventions in the U.S., so stark in their contrasts. A recurring pain in my left arm - I finally made an appointment with the doctor. The six foot high pile of brush in my yard, which the homeless guy Bill, his toothless friend Cleo and I slowly cleared away this afternoon. I was supposed to be getting ready for my talk in New York, and instead I was hauling giant chunks of ivy and slinging them into a battered Chevy truck.

But the house is fixed and bug-free. The yard is now pristine. The Ryerson term started last night - sixteen keen new writers. My beloved neighbours Jean-Marc and Richard had me over for a nourishing dinner to talk of their recent long stay in New York. They gave me two recommendations for theatre: "Cock" and "Tribes," and I've bought tickets for both. Life is, as ever, good. But I am beat.

Now I have to clear the decks - one day to prepare the talk and pack for NYC, always a challenge to find exactly the right few pieces that'll cover all the bases - a lecture, a 90th birthday party, endless walking, theatre, 90% chance of rain on Sunday - in a small carry-on bag.

And mostly how to build up my spirits and energy and health so that I leap joyfully into the overwhelming city of my birth.

In the meantime, TIFF is out there. Sparkly movie stars are prancing about my city. But over here in C'town, the real world, we're clearing brush.

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