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May 2011

Trying to post comments with no luck

Hi Everyone,

I want to thank all of you who posted comments on my Huffington post blog.  I feel humbled by the generosity and the sharing of your stories.  Feel like my world is a warmer kinder place for having read what you wrote. 

I tried to reply on the Huffington site, but after the first two, something happened and I can’t seem to find my way back through the labyrinth of computer lingo.  I’m not sure if the problem is on my side or a glitch on the site.  When I get home I’m sure my son, David will be able to figure it out for me.  He is a genius with this kind of thing.

Anyway, thank you, thank you, thank you! xo

Something new


Huffington Post is starting up Huffington Post Canada and asked if I would blog for them.  At first I thought there must be some mistake.  Huffington Post?  Me?  I am not fancy.  What on earth would I blog about?

The answer came back.  I could blog about anything I liked.

Okay then.

Here it is! My maiden voyage as a Huffington blogger.

unexpected encounter

Coming off the plane, rough flight, the line at customs daunting.  It makes the lines at Disneyland look like child’s play.  Languages of all types being spoken.  In the chunk of line I’m in, I don’t hear any English.  There are TV monitors overhead, one playing the news, the others with instructions on what to expect when you finally reach a customs officer. 

I try not to let my eyes wander up to them, because when they do I find it exacerbates my feelings of nausea and airsickness from the bumpy flight.  I guess because the images are shifting, camera angles changing. 

The line for International passport holders snakes back and forth.  My purse is heavy.  It has a shoulder strap but I have it hoisted up on my hip like a small child, to help carry the weight.

Right before I get to the front of the big line, where they break us up into smaller lines, the custom officials decide to shepard a bunch of us over to the custom officals that are for US passport holders.  I don’t know if this is a good thing or not.  We go across the large room to the other side.  There are smaller lines of 5-6 people, but one of the lines only has 3 people waiting.  I step into that line, pleased at my good fortune. 

Sometime later, I understand why.  The other lines have come and gone and we are still waiting.  There are only two of us in this line now, but that is because the person in front of me has slipped off to try his luck at another line.  People join the line behind me, but then, once they see how things are going, dissipate like ghosts. 

Watching the face of the young man who is being questioned as he becomes increasingly distraught, shifting from pale to flushed and then pale again, his acne spots standing out in stark contrast on his blanched out face.  He is skinny.  Too skinny.  White with sandy coloured hair.  It is clear he doesn’t have money.  He is trying not to fidget, trying not to let panic rise to the surface.  It is hard to tell his age.  He could be anywhere from 19 with a hard life, or 27 with a regular one.  He is struggling to answer the questions, I can’t hear what the customs guy is asking, just see the face of the young man as his mouth wrestles with English.  I don’t know what language he normally speaks.

Why did the customs official stop him?  Did something come up when he scanned the passport?  Or was it because he’s been doing this for so long that he can see something the rest of us wouldn’t notice?  Or maybe he is having a bad day and this guy reminds him of someone?

The custom official’s face is a blank.  It’s like looking into a stone wall and trying to find a person there.  He is stamping things on the passport, on papers.  Then comes out from his booth.  He holds a finger up to the man and me who are still waiting in his line.  “I’ll be right back,” he mouths or says, I don’t remember. And then he and the young man disappear around the bend to some other mysterious part of the customs area.

I get a little stab of fear in my belly.  Like maybe I’ll be detained, denied entry, that would be terrible.  Maybe I should move to a different line?  But I make myself stay.  I am not smuggling anything, my passport is up-to-date, I am a grown-up.  There is no reason to be scared.  But I am.  Are they going to take my photo like the TV monitors say?  Am I going to be fingerprinted too?

After a while the custom official comes back.  He is alone.  He waves the man in front of me in.  I am on the red line now, waiting for my turn.  He asks the man a lot of questions.  More than they usually do.  He lets him go through.

It’s my turn now. 

I walk up to booth and hand him my passport.  He looks at it and then glances up to me.  There is a rather substantial red mark on his forehead, slashing upwards right above the first third of his left eyebrow.  People look at him all day long.  I don’t know how long it’s been there, but he needs to know.

He opens his mouth to start questioning me.  “Excuse me,” I say.  “But you have a red mark on your forehead?”

He blinks. “What?” 

“Right here,” I tap the matching spot on my forehead. “I just thought, if it was me, I’d want to know.  I think maybe it’s…pen?”

He rubs the wrong spot.

“No, it’s over this way.”  I point with my finger.  He leans his forehead towards me.  I’m startled.  He’s a customs official.  He could deny me entry, but at this moment, he is like my child.  Vulnerable.  Trusting.  I touch where the mark is.  His forehead is warm.  I slide my finger the length of the mark so he’ll know where to rub.  It feels intimate.  Like we are connected.  I step back, the feel of his forehead still on my finger.

He doesn’t seem like a customs official anymore.  He is a man, human, who is able, for a second, to let the face of his job receed.  From somewhere he procurs a little wet wipe and scrubs at his forehead.  It takes two goes before his forehead is clear.

“Thanks,” he says.  “I’ve been having trouble making,” he gestures at the marker on his desk, “this work.”  His face so different now that the wall’s down, there is amusement, and gentle warmth and he feels like a friend.  And in that flash it’s like I see inside him and I know he is a real good father, a good husband, a good man.  And I feel blessed, like I’ve just received a gift. 

He glances down at my form.  “I have an apple in my purse,” I say, “that’s why I checked fruits.”

“They’ll make you toss it at agriculture.”


“What’s the purpose of your trip?”

I tell him.  He hands me my paper.  “Have a good day,” he says. 

“You too.”  We smile and I pass through.

A request

Hello Everyone,

My daughter has requested that our help.  She is going to be going on a trip with the woman she is corresponding with on the website This is Why We Can’t Be Friends.  They aren’t friends and the website is a series of letters to each other in which it becomes very clear to us, the readers, why these two never did hit it off, and probably never will.  Both of them, lovely people, but just not kindred spirits.

Emily would like to take separate cars since they will be staying at the same place and sharing their views of their various experiences.  This way they will be able to do this, and she will still be able to have short gaps where she can have some space.  Sheera would like to travel together.

Whether Emily is able to drive her own car or have to share the drive with Sheera is to be determined by a vote.  If you could please vote for the second choice, Emily would be ever so grateful!


Much love, Meg


I just finished memorizing the last 5 pages of Whose Afraid of Virginia Woolf and I feel kind of giddy! 

Of course tomorrow I have to start in on the gruelling, possibly disheartening process of reviewing.  I keep reminding myself that what I’ve memorized so far is still in there.  That it’s important to trust that, not to panic. 

When I start to question whether my menopausal brain can possible retain 257 pages in it’s dusty vaults, I call this video up on Youtube and watch it. 

It helps. 

I figure there is so much we don’t know about the brain.  But if this guy, after 45 minutes in a helicopter can draw a city in such amazing detail, then surely, these words, these sentences that I’ve worked so hard in memorizing, are in there somewhere.  That I just have to trust it to pull them out.  I tell myself, it is just a matter of getting out of my way and not blocking off the storage rooms where the necessary words are resting.

Can’t believe I’ve gotten through the script!  If we are able to do this play justice, it is going to be amazing.  The writing…Oops, the phone… be right back!

It was Don.  He wants to Skype.  Yay!  Bye for now.


This was a little quote that was tucked in an email Kirsten sent to me in response to finding out I was going to be in a play. 

“And then the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk to bloom.”-Anais Nin

It really resonated, summed up the feeling I had when I decided to take the plunge, it didn’t matter that the water might be icy cold, didn’t matter that I wasn’t sure if I’d be able to stay afloat.  This was something I had to do, because walking away from doing Whose Afraid Of Virginia Woolf was a scarier proposition than attempting it and falling on my face. 


Feel kind of wistful today.  Don’t know why.  A slight melancholy.  Might be a residual shadow of Martha that has rubbed off, this section of lines I am learning, hard, sad. 

Delectable Dashing Derby Deliciousness!

I just received these photos from my sister and they made me smile, so I decided to share this whimsical bit of happiness with you.


Been busy setting up the Toronto apartment.  Keep having these weird feelings of deja-vu.  Bumping into ghosts of me and my daughter in other times past.  A street I used to wander along, pushing my baby girl, only a few months old, bundled up in her stroller, snowsuit, mittens, her sparkling eyes and rosebud face peeping out from under a pastel knit hat and her pink hood with it’s fuzzy white trim.  Being a mother was so new to me.  Loving her so much, wanting desperately to do it right, not let her down, be a good mom to her.  No manual, no instructions.  One day, you’re pregnant, the next day this tiny person is placed into your arms and you are forever changed. 

Going down the same street with her years later.  She is mostly grown, in University and I’ve come to visit and we are shopping. 

I didn’t realize this apartment we bought was the same area, but there is the store we bought our Fry boots at, and around this corner she found some great cashmere sweaters and they were on sale, and here is one of the first restaurants she took me to when I first arrived.  She had written to me about it and the woman who owned it.  I don’t remember what she had written, but it was a funny story.  There might have been a reference to a wild animal, a leopard or a tiger, I’m not sure.  The restaurant felt like it was in a time warp, could have been a hidden find somewhere in Europe.  I tried an old-fashioned raspberry soda where they mix the flavour into the soda, I can’t remember if we had loaded sandwiches, but we might have.  I think they served things like borscht, but I could be wrong. 

Yesterday, I walked past a department store where I bought some brown eye shadow.  I had been on book tour on this particular trip, and in Chicago, my old eyeshadow had decided it had had enough of resting peacefully on the counter and flung itself into the toilet, rendering it useless.  I thought I didn’t need to replace it, my daughter thought I did.  She won.  She helped me pick out a good shade and I bought it.  We ambled around a bit more and then, spur of the moment, she decided to celebrate a major scholarship win by splurging on a much coveted, very beautiful purse.


Last night, my husband and I walked past a Japanese restaurant my daughter had taken me to more than once.  It that was always crowded and well priced and we would gorge on sushi.

“That’s supposed to be good,” Don said, my hand tucked in the crook of his arm. 

“Yes,” I said.  “Emily and I have eaten here.”  That was the first time I had seen a rainbow roll.  “We should eat here someday.” 

And as we walk, memories and images of other visits flood me as well, some happy, some sad. 

The kitchen in our condo overlooks this very street that is jammed full of memories.  And when Don has headed out to do book readings and school visits, I sit at the table, with my script and tape recorder, memorizing lines and every once in a while I look up and watch the traffic snake along the road.  Watch the pedestrians.  Watch the sky shift, rain clouds come in and rain clouds go out.  I can tell, perched at this table, whether I need to put on a light sweater when I go out or whether a warmer jacket would be better.  I look to see how people are walking, if their necks are hunched down and their hands are shoved in their pockets, or if they are letting their jackets fall open and flap in the breeze. 

Life passes so fast.  Another day lived.  Another day gone.  Feel like one of those old-time books where you flip the corners of the pages real fast and you can see a short story.  A man doing a somersault or something like that.  That’s how life feels right now, sitting here, looking out the window, watching sections of my life flip by.