Thursday, June 2, 2022

trying to ignore the election

It's election day in Ontario, and the polls are predicting another Con majority. Over 60% of the population will vote for one of the three centre-left parties, but we'll have another four years of these execrable rightwing politicos doing irreparable harm to this province, as the execrable Mike Harris did years ago, his policies leading to this day. My heart is heavy. 

But yes, at least we're not dealing with a populace armed to the teeth and murdering each other with assault weapons, or with a hostile foreign power smashing our towns, slaughtering our citizens, and kidnapping our children. Good to keep our tiny disaster in perspective.

Life goes on. I did an interview with a freelance writer for the Globe today about - you guessed it - writing memoir. She couldn't shut me up. I'm so looking forward to the workshop on Saturday with Helen Humphreys, who's my new favourite writer. I'm reading Field Study, in which she spends a year at a herbarium studying dried plants. Yes, that's the book, moving, funny, and fascinating. How does she do it? And The Frozen Thames, in which she invents vignettes, moments from lives each year the river Thames froze solid, from 1142 to 1895. Not memoir, no, and yet she's there, heart and soul. How does she think of such quirky, interesting topics? 

Speaking of heart and soul, I watched a short play on Zoom on my computer yesterday; a company called Theatre Ouest, out of Montreal, produced Still Got Something to Say: 6 plays about age, starting with one by Judith Thompson starring Clare Coulter. If you ever have the chance, don't miss it; Clare Coulter is a Canadian acting legend, a treasure, magnificent even in the short time she's on screen, her eyes blazing, her soul laid bare. I ponder what makes a truly great actor: a profound honesty and generosity and commitment, a sense they are giving us everything they have to give. Clare Coulter does that.

Though I've known her for decades, she moved to Montreal and I haven't seen her for a long time, but I immediately wrote to the email address I had for her. And she wrote back to say my note had meant a great deal. She was performing for the camera, no audience, no sense of how the work landed.

Never miss an opportunity to let an artist know what their work has meant to you, how it has affected you - at least, if it's positive! I'm letting Helen Humphreys know how much I love her books. After Helen's I have two library books to finish and then, it's on to Blue Portugal, the new book of essays by my dear blog friend Theresa Kishkan. Can't wait.

Tonight, a special treat: my downstairs tenant Sheldon Elter is in a play opening tonight, and Anna and I are his guests. Where the Blood Mixes is I gather an entirely Indigenous project. It may make us sad, but I'll be happy for Sheldon that it's off and running. It's traditional to wish an actor "Break a leg" on opening night, but he said, for Indigenous actors, you wish them "two wounded knees." So I did. 

Also, got a royalty statement from for the audiobook of Loose Woman: 18 people have bought the audiobook. It was launched in Dec. 2020, so that's about one sale a month. Flying off the shelves, so to speak. LOL. 

A final bit of happiness, to offset anything bad you may be feeling today: yesterday was record-breaking hot, so Sam cooled Bandit down in the bathtub. If that's not a gleeful face to make you smile ... Even with a Con majority barreling at us. Sob.

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