Saturday, December 19, 2020

Getting to yes.

Much to be grateful for today. Friends are sending e-cards or their Xmas newsletters - new grandchildren, beautiful photographs. The lights of Xmas on nearly every house have made our street festive and bright. I'm slightly less bah humbug than usual at this time. 

For me, another bit of good news: on Friday morning I sent that 1200-word essay to the Globe's op-ed editor, and later that day, he replied, "We'll take it." 

"We'll take it." That's a yes. After a long trail of many no's, I needed that. 

And a big yes for my daughter. As I've written here, Anna's volunteer group that makes meals for Indigenous elders and unhoused has received a grant from the city. Her new job combines two of her favourite things: feeding people, and making a difference where it matters. She just sent a list of what they're cooking next week, a massive feast for 75 people - it's mind-boggling. 

Sam is busy - his bar is open just for people to buy bottles, but they come faithfully; he's there to greet his regulars even if they can't sit down and wait for him to make them laugh, and their favourite drink. 

More kind words about the memoir: this from a woman I don't know: so enjoyed your memoir, Loose Woman. You have led quite a life. I particularly loved hearing about the time you spent at L'Arche. Your growing understanding of those you cared for and the empathy you showed was powerful. Your memoir showed the path you followed to become a strong, confident woman. I imagine your students now benefit from the wisdom you have gained on your life's journey.

I hope so!

And from a former student, a middle-aged man: I finished reading your memoir today which I found gripping for two reasons. First, because I know people associated with L’Arche, and have always admired their commitment to the handicapped. When as a kid I passed 278 Bloor St. East in Toronto, the sign said “Home for Incurable Children.” Second, because having taken your writing course a few years ago, it was fascinating to read about your relationships and intimate thoughts. Thank you for your transparency. 

My pleasure. It's the job.
Home for Incurable Children. The charity that used to be called Crippled Civilians. Things do get better, names are chosen more carefully. My gay friend Ken told me today that when he heard Pete Buttigieg had been picked for Biden's cabinet, he cried with joy, for all the gay young people who might move forward with new hope and validation. Things do get better. Yes. 

Finally, an image to which we can all, perhaps, relate:


  1. (My comment disappeared as I was sending. I just wanted to say that it's wonderful news about your essay and I'm sending love and warm wishes from a grey coastal forest in the last weeks of 2020. Let's hope 2021 brings more light.)

    1. To you too, dear friend, love and holiday good wishes from the centre of a battered, hollowed-out metropolis. No bears or exotic woodland creatures here but at the feeder, cardinals, bluejays, chickadees, and finches, and in the sky, the occasional hawk. With hopes that human beings in cities open up to the wonders of the natural world, as you do.