Wednesday, May 25, 2022

Word on the Street panel with BK and Helen Humphreys

The heart breaks. We're living in a surreal time of madness — when children are murdered, slaughtered in their schoolrooms, and American politicians claim their deaths have nothing to do with easy, near limitless access to guns. How to comprehend the faces of pure and total evil, those who benefit from the bribes of the NRA. How to comprehend the abject failure of a country that puts access to guns ahead of the lives of its citizens, especially its children. Madness. Insanity. 

Trump was not the cause but the symptom, sure, but still, it's as if he's the Pandora who opened the box to liberate human vileness of every kind. It's all acceptable now. Here — Victoria Day celebrations marred with violence, teenagers aiming fireworks at celebrants and police. Many arrests. Has never happened before. 

Have to say, if I lived in the States and gun murder happened to a loved one of mine, my first impulse would be to buy a gun and murder a Republican senator.

Wouldn't help, I know. But I'd want to do it. To make a point. 

Okay, moving right along. I cannot do anything, cannot vote there, can only mourn and rage. And mourn. 

I spent Victoria Day with my grandsons. Their mother was working with her Indigenous group of food providers, Dashmaawaan, at a kids' festival at Harbourfront; we went down to see her. Back home, we played basketball and baseball in the alley until they wore me out and then watched Turning Red, such a superb animated film, I highly recommend it for adults even if you don't have a child to watch it with. And it's set in a recognizable Toronto! A beautiful, wise film. Don't miss it.

Excitement: Next Saturday I'm appearing at Word on the Street on a panel about memoir, with the marvellous Helen Humphreys, on Zoom. It's free! I'm thrilled. I'm reading Humphreys's And a dog called Fig right now and loving it; she's a beautiful writer writing about writing and puppies, and these days I'm interested in both. Please share this link with anyone who might be interested.

A much lesser excitement: a small Ikea just opened at Yonge and Gerrard, about ten blocks from me. Never did I imagine I'd be able to ride my bike to Ikea, but today I did. It was packed, of course, but it's surprisingly big for a downtown space. The Ikea designers are brilliant. I bought nothing but watched dazed people filling their carts with cushions, sheets, curtains, shelves, filing boxes, lamps, rugs, frames. Just what we need: more stuff.

Two nights ago, I lay awake thinking of a dear friend of mine, Michèle, in France, saying to myself, I must get in touch with her. A few hours later she called, to tell me her husband Daniel had died suddenly of a brain aneurysm. Daniel, with a head of tangled grizzled curls, was one of a kind, a wild crazy musician, dreamer, idealist; he wanted to change the world. He also at one time had a passionate affair with my mother and after her with many, many other women, yet he and Michèle remained a devoted couple to the end. That's France. It's hard to imagine a world without his lively, joyous, eccentric presence. 

My friends, hold your loved ones close. The monsters are out there.


  1. I'll try to attend!

  2. Hi Beth...I clicked to register but it asks for a promo code which I don't have. It appears to be "sold out"?? meaning the zoom capacity has been filled perhaps? At any rate, it does not allow me to go further... :(

    1. Surely it's not "sold out" since it's free and on Zoom! I've written to the organizers to ask, will post the reply.