Sunday, April 29, 2018

"The Whirlpool"

At the Y on Wednesday, my locker mate Tina, who changes next to me and whom I have never met outside the Y, said, "Welcome back. I followed the blog and feel like I was in B.C. with you."

I didn't even know she was aware of my last name, let alone the blog.

Today, in the Sunday morning class at the Y, I realized how out of shape I am. Forest bathing and wrestling with a wooly puppy over her favourite slipper do not a fitness regime make, and let's face it, I was mostly sitting in Chris's studio fussing over words or cooking or eating Chris's baking. So the legs, arms, and heart need some upgrading. How - my usual cry - how to find time to do everything that needs to be done, including fitness? I am still overwhelmed, though gradually feeling more in control - finally got some groceries, that helps. But the house - the house needs so much time and tending, and each time I enter a chaotic room, especially my office, I am tempted to turn around and walk out again. So I do.

Yesterday's treat: a student's book launch. Laurel Croza took my course many years ago, transformed one of her class exercises into the picture book "I Know Here" which won many prizes, put out a second picture book, and, now, a book of stories for pre-teens. She sent all of them to me to edit in the early stages, so it was a huge treat to read them again in a beautiful little book, "The Whirlpool," put out by Groundwood. Laurel had never done any creative writing before coming to my class; she's tenacious, hardworking, focussed. Very proud of her. (And grateful - when she gave her speech, she thanked family and friends, then turned to me and said "Beth is the best writing teacher in Toronto." And I didn't have to pay her much to say so.)

To be honest, I would give my eye teeth for a book launch here, at the offices of acclaimed Canadian publisher House of Anansi.
From there to the Emerson, a great little restaurant nearby that happens to be where my son works. We had time before his shift for dinner together; I haven't seen him for months. The owner, who's a high school friend of Anna's, bought me a glass of champagne. It's amazing how good the service is when you're dining with someone who works there. Beef Wellington, tomato salad, champagne followed by a Cote de Rhone, with a charming beloved companion - I'm a lucky woman.

Today it's chilly but the sun is strong. I have to say, I'll take this over mild and dark cloudy grey. Now to write a list and get moving, figure out what's most urgent. Top of my list: centipedes. There are always a few around, but they're moving up and out: there was one in the bathtub last week and in my bedroom last night. Not welcome. Must kill.

I don’t need time. What I need is a deadline. -Duke Ellington, jazz pianist, composer, and conductor (29 Apr 1899-1974)

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