today i got a letter from my 23-year-old self. it was in the form of a card that i sent to my mother as i was getting ready to return to a far away Asian country. i had no idea of where i was going to live when i got there and no idea of how i would make a living, and my mother had apparently expressed some kind of concern to me. this has happened so many times now (the foreign country, the lack of concrete plans, the parents who think i’m crazy) that i no longer remember the exact conversation we had. in any case, i knew i had to go back (there was, after all, a girl to be wooed), and although i couldn’t explain to my mom why i had to go, i wanted her to understand that i would be okay.
i don’t remember writing the card, nor do i know how it became scarred with coffee-colored splashes, but i do recognize the handwriting and the sentiment behind the quotes as my own. i’m not sure why she chose today to scan the card and send it to me, but i’m glad she did, because i need to be reminded of what i wrote then….i need to try to remember who i was when i wrote it, and i need to figure out if under all of this grief and disappointment and anger there is still a little bit of that same girl who said, “fuck fear,” and flew across continents and oceans to follow her heart:
that 23-year-old girl seems a lot wiser than her 40-something-year-old incarnation. i do so hope she and Hazrat Inayat Khan are right….
we left in the dark, our plane ascending until the city became nothing more than a collection of tiny amber lights. everyone around me, including Froggy, dozed as we slid across the sky, but even though i’d slept fewer than four hours the night before, i was too excited to close my eyes. Continue reading →
my calf has been bugging me since i took a very long, dehydrated walk about a week ago, so with plans for the Camino in mind, i kept my Monday walking to a minimum. i needed to buy a few small gifts, so i took a mini tour of the Marais. i stopped first at Mariage Frères, aka tea heaven, and bought 100g. of a very seductive smelling Earl Grey. i then found myself very close to what people here tend to call Beaubourg and what everyone else seems to know as the Pompidou Center.
two weeks ago, i went for a walk around the Pompidou. the building is a jumble of tubes and color and glass, there is always something interesting to see in its vicinity. Continue reading →
i haven’t felt much like communicating lately. i stay in my head most of the time, because that’s where i feel safest…least likely to be intruded upon by more bad news, new disappointments or the epidemic of strollers filled with six-month-old babies that’s recently broken out. my well-padded list of friends has gotten rather gaunt these last few months, and there aren’t too many people left with whom i have the energy to share even a few of my words.
almost two weeks ago, i made another trip to Notre Dame, and i planned on posting about it right away, but then life and grief (mostly the latter) got in the way, and i just never got around to it.
then, earlier this week, something truly horrible happened at Notre Dame. i’m not going to waste my blog space talking about it, but i will say that i feel quite lucky. i happened to walk right along back of the cathedral that day, but for once, i didn’t feel like going in and lighting candles. what’s that quote about small favors? Continue reading →
in case you haven’t heard yet, we got some good news yesterday. the French marriage and adoption bill, which was recently passed by both the National Assembly and the Senate, has cleared its final hurdle and was signed into law tomorrow by President Hollande. the first marriage between same sex couples will take place in Montpellier some time in the next two to three weeks. last night Froggy turned to me with a smile and asked, “so, do you still want to get married?”
it’s somehow fitting that my post today is about Sacré-Cœur, the place where Froggy first proposed to me. it’s one of my favorite places in Paris, and if, like me you are a fan of Jeunet’s Le Fabuleux Destin d’Amélie Poulain (aka Amélie in English-speaking countries), you will recognize the area in front of the basilica from one of the movie’s scenes.
i’m not in that part of town very often, but i’d met a friend for drinks in Montmartre, and when i realized how close i was to Sacré-Cœur, i knew that i had to climb those gajillion steps to the place with the best view in Paris. Continue reading →
on Monday i finally went back to Notre Dame to light candles for lost babies.
i like to wander my way to places in Paris which means that i rarely go the same way twice. the weather was a bit capricious, going from cloudy to clear, from pleasantly warm to far-too-cool for what i was wearing and back again.