Friday, June 10, 2022

What You Won't Do For Love, and the Jan. 6 commission

We've had the oddest spring, cold, hot, blazing sun, torrential, biblical rain. Yesterday I set off, all dressed up, on my bike, to be turned back by a sudden rainstorm. Set off again in rain gear; ten minutes later, by the time I got to my destination, it was boiling hot again. 

I was on my way to an opening night party for old family friends David Suzuki and Tara Cullis, who've written and are performing a moving play about their activist lives and their very long marriage, What you won't do for love. I've seen the film online and will see the play next week; couldn't go last night because I was teaching, but enjoyed celebrating them beforehand. David will no longer fly because of the climate; they took eight days to drive across Canada in an electric Volvo. An admirable, idealistic, extremely hard-working couple. An extraordinary family. 

My father, who was a good friend of David's and loved him, always credited himself with introducing David and Tara. David disputes this, but I'm going with Dad.

Last night, after class ended, I turned on the January 6 enquiry. It was mesmerizing, with damning testimony and footage, incontrovertible proof of Trump's guilt and the craven collusion of his allies - as if any of us had any doubts. The testimony of that beautiful young police officer, about slipping in the blood of her colleagues, was incredibly powerful. But who's watching? Will it get through to the other side? I was flipping around to find other reports and happened upon Fox "news" - we didn't used to get it in Canada, when did that change? They were interviewing a woman who said, "It was all antifa." Will all the thousands of hours of interviews leading to this ground-breaking hearing change anything? Let us pray. 

A busy weekend ahead - both Word on the Street, which is again actually on the street, and the annual Creative Nonfiction Conference, still virtual. And gardening. The garden is one of my greatest joys, as perhaps you know. Best of all, the William Morris heritage roses are about to burst, with many buds. One reason I don't travel much in summer; I just want to sit and look at the roses. 


Blowing own horn department: lots of great feedback about the Helen Humphreys workshop: 

That was such an excellent talk. Amazing what can be packed into an hour. The two of you were so effective together (and it was gracious of you to make so many comments specifically about Helen’s work). 

The best part of the workshop for me was when you and Helen asked each other questions about the process of writing, the challenges of writing such as being vulnerable and open and taking risks. It was a different learning experience from the writing coach/student, to two distinguished and accomplished writers sharing their wisdom and knowledge with each other.

Ha! Distinguished and accomplished, that's a first for me. 'Distinguished' makes me feel old. But then, Helen is younger than I am, and she's definitely both distinguished and accomplished. 

A former student sent her second essay in the Globe:

And this, from a student who wrote, "I love when my books match my breakfast tray!"

In the midst of all this, I wrote a fan-girl piece about Paul McCartney's 80th birthday, which is coming up Saturday June 18, and am trying to get it placed somewhere. Hello, editors, a distinguished, accomplished writer is sending you something, could you open your email please? 


Off into this stunning day.


  1. Let's hope long productive relationships (in love and in activism) will somehow nudge us into goodness rather than the cesspool of US right-wing politics. A good post, Beth.

    1. Thank you, Anonymous, whoever you are! Saying a loud yes to long productive relationships of any and all kinds.