four women

This is partly a continuation of previous story about Mitzi. That’s her on the very left – photo taken in July 2003. It’s a favourite picture of mine because these are four great women, all friends for many, many years and all wonderful artists, poets, and all-round geniuses in their own right. Next to Mitzi is Judy Copithorne, poet I first met at UBC poetry seminar in summer 1963. Then there’s Lenore Herb – videographer, poet, and activist whom I met after leaving town for a couple of weeks in the summer of 1965 to return and find she’d moved in to my room with her boyfriend who 30-odd years later was my doctor briefly. Then there’s Renee Rodin, poet, and ex-bookshop owner who ran an illustrious reading series for several years and put out a beautiful book of poetry. Renee and I go back about 45 years. There are a lot of stories here but they’ll have to wait. Meanwhile in the last few days I discovered just how estranged I’d been from Mitzi. I knew she’d made some bad choices in life but in the last few days, bit by bit, just how bad they were has become more evident to me. Still, none of it takes away from the woman she really was and the friend I knew.

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One Response to “four women”

  1. judith copithorne

    Hi Brian
    …Firstly I should say that I can’t see a date on your blog so I have little idea of when you published this.
    …And next: Thanks for the good introduction and excellent photograph. I did want to clarify one thing though. I only knew Mitzi in certain situations and met with her only occasionally through out her life so I may be missing any or all of the decisions that you referred to but, that said, I wouldn’t say that Mitzi made such “bad” choices in her life but instead I would say that some of those choices that she made were unfortunate and had bad repercussions for her.
    She had a very idealistic view of life which was counteracted or joined by her definitely worldly understanding of how society works. She was intensely loyal and yet, as she said, she was a Scorpio so was not some one who gave into convention.
    …At any rate Mitzi was an “original” who had no familial and little social support and who also had a number of health problems along with a need to follow her own path regardless of the consequences. But her actions were usually honorable and she usually was aware of why she persevered in difficult situations when others would have moved on.
    …Well I could go on but I am short of time. And this says little that you didn’t already say although you used a much shorter form. All I really should have said I guess is agree with you and add that Mitzi was an excellent friend.


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