Archive for November, 2012

Dead Line

November 30, 2012

I have 18 more days.

18 days left of being 39.

18 days left to finish up the book and get it done.

I asked Corinne for a suggestion this evening when we met at the Lizard Lounge and she set, “deadline, give yourself a deadline.”

My birthday, it just popped out of my mouth.

It makes complete sense to me.  I will also be finishing up with French class, although, I am certainly down for taking more, and I will be 40.

40.

Sounds like a serious age.

Sounds like a grown up age.

I do not think that I shall ever really grow up.  I don’t plan on it today.  I saw a bunny bank in a store tonight on my way through the Marais and had I had some room in my bag I might have tucked it in right then and there.

I want.

I left my other bunny bank in the basement at Graceland.

This one would make just the best companion piece.

Bunny Bank

Bunny Bank

I would stick all my spare centime in it.

So cute.

You know I also want a jack-a-lope tattoo for my birthday.

You may see a theme here.

I know it has something to do with my dad.

He gave me a velveteen bunny bank to me when I was four. I loved that damn thing and I have one that is similar to it–also in storage, in San Francisco, in a basement off of San Jose Avenue.

One day, and it does not seem that far off, I will have my own place to put all my bunny rabbits.

The other thing about turning 40 is that I got a chance to look back at the things that I have done in my thirties.

Big things, little things, stupid things, amazing things.

Dreams, all the dreams I had and what happened with them.

Today in French class we had an exercise in which we described what was our dream.

This, this is my dream, I told the class–to be in Paris to celebrate my 40th birthday, to write every day, to take photographs every day, to walk the museums, and to ride my bike along the streets.

I am living my dream.

How amazing is that?

Really, it is sort of ridiculous when I let myself acknowledge what is truly happening.

I shared this with Corinne, it brought tears to my eyes, my life is astounding.  We talked about many things and the gratitude kept overflowing, ie, I had tears standing in my eyes and drifting slowly down my cheeks.

I told her I was also willing to be a nanny, an au pair, or whatever else I needed to be.

She smiled.

She was glad to hear of my willingness.

When I asked here what suggestions she had about my money situation–after explaining that I got to pay rent, I have money for food, and my phone bill, and I have had a few lovely, amazing, wonderful people gift me some patronage (thank you beautiful friends, you know who you are and I could not do this without you, not just the Euros although God know it helps so much, but also just the positive response–I think sometimes that is what I need the most, people behind me, in my corner believing in me.  Thank you.), I will make it through December.

But what about January?

She laughed, “honey, it’s still November, relax, you just said you paid rent for December.”

Oh yeah.

And breathe.

“Set a deadline, when must you have money coming in?”  She asked, regarding me with bright eyes.

I thought briefly, and it just popped out of my mouth, my birthday, I can make it until my birthday without having to freak out about finding work (I also, mind you, have been looking for work, I just have not applied to do the two things that I am a bit nervous about–bar work and nanny work–I am uncomfortable with both).

At which point, I will happily, gladly, willingly go burp some babies.

I would rather burp my own, but I also want to stay here.  And if being a nanny or a baby sitter or picking up a gaggle of kids after school is how I get to stay, than I am willing.

But until I have to.

I am not going to.

I am holding out hope that something else will happen.  I have faith.  I have a book to finish as well as some ideas about other projects that I want to flesh out.

I have another idea for a short story and as it won’t leave my brain I need to write it down soon–by Sunday, I think that will be good, get it out of the brain pan–and the story dovetails nicely with the one I wrote recently called “The Button Boy” and then I realized I had a thematic and should I desire to do so I could actually write a small book of these themed shorts.

I desire.

18 more days.

How apropos, my birthday is on the 18th of December, this feels exactly as it should be.

My dream, living in Paris, being a writer in Paris, walking in Paris, being here for my 40th birthday, the gift I have been given, it astounds me.

Talking with my new friend W. on the Metro today after class I told her about other dreams I have had and she looked at me with wide eyes when I added that I had actually achieved a lot of those dreams.

In fact, while we were in class I wrote them down in my journal I carry with me and was rather amazed to see how many dreams I have gotten to live out already–

-do the AidsLifeCycle ride (did that 2010)

-lose 100 lbs (mission completed in 2011) and keep it off (yup, size 10 now for two years)

-Swim in the bioluminescent sea (did that in Puerto Rico in 2002)

-Live in San Francisco (August 30th 2004-November 1st 2012=10 years of good times)

-Go to Burning Man (six times now and a seventh is in the works, I feel it)

-Turn 40 in Paris (just a scant few days away now)

This was good for me to see.  Good for me to know that when I set out to do things, I actually do them.

Which made the rest of the wish list believable to me.  I actually have faith that the following things will happen for me if I keep showing up and doing the footwork and taking suggestions:

-Win an Oscar for Best Original Screen Play (based on my memoir)

-Ride the Orient Express

-See the Northern Lights in Alaska

-Own an apartment in Paris

-Own a home in San Francisco

-Be married to my Beloved

-Have children (two would be nice)

-Learn how to hang glide

-Ride my bicycle from Paris to the South of France

-Play cello beautifully

-Finish writing and publish my memoir

-Have a financially successful well paid creative career I love

Wild pie eyed dreams.

But as I look out from where I came and see what I have already gotten to do (and truly when it all comes down to it I am living a life I do not deserve to have and am graced to still be alive to experience at all) I do see that those things are possible.

They can come true.

They are already in the works, just because I cannot see how they flesh out, does not mean that they are not already happening.

They are.

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Sex and Chocolate

November 29, 2012

Yeah, I bet that got your attention.

It certainly got mine.

I was heading toward Charles de Gaulle Etoile, Metro Line 2, this evening and I passed what may be my favorite Patisserie and Boulangerie.

It smells so good.

I wrote a poem about it yesterday:

 

Patisserie in Your Pocket

 

Sex that tastes of chocolate and bread.

Smells of wood burning at dusk, cold

wind tries to tussle underneath.  Red

cheeked, ruddy nosed, I try to hold

 

you in my chest, tight, like nesting

birds after the sun has gone to bed,

close as the saucer to my resting

cup cooling after foamed hot milk bled

 

from silver canister to bowl.  Jazz

soiree in my heart dances still

with you and we never pirouetted, has

that thought occurred to you, will-

 

fully distant, ghost of breath haunts

me yet, even in Paris, in a café, it taunts.

 

I walked past the boulangerie, I do not stop.  I have nothing to partake there any longer.  And I thought of him.

“Glad I didn’t take you to ‘Flour and Sugar’,” in a text to me after our first date.

I do not eat either.

I quipped back, “at least you didn’t take me to ‘Vodka and Cocaine'”.

I was unexpectedly hit with the smell and all the good meals I got to have with him before heading over here.  And I had a brief scent bath walking past the boulangerie and it came unbidden, that is what sex would be like with him, it would be like how bread and chocolate taste together.

Some one who has lived here in Paris longer than I exclaimed out loud, “what?!  Bread and chocolate?”

Ah yes, a good baguette torn apart warm from the boulangerie wrapped around a dark piece of good chocolate, may be the best thing I have ever eaten.

I have no hankering to eat it again, I rather like how I look without the excess weight that a lot of bread and chocolate will do to me.  And, no don’t ask me if I can have it in moderation.

No, I cannot just have one cookie.

That is rather like asking, “can’t you just do one line of cocaine?”

Nope.

I have also had that question asked, which makes me chuckle.

Not so much.

However, I do like the way bread smells baking.  It has to be in my top five smells.

1. Wood burning on a cold night.

2. Warm bread just pulled from the oven, brushed with melted butter.

3. Coffee steeping

4. Bacon frying in a pan

5. Lilacs on a warm night

The boulangerie of which I speak is not just a regular bread bakery, it is also a patisserie, so it also has tartes and cookies and chocolate cakes and sugar crumbled fairy star-dust, and it is striped pink and white and has bright red awnings.

It looks like a confection.

I walk by it about two, sometimes three times a week.  It is near the Anvers Metro stop and when I go to Charles de Gaulle Etoile–which will basically drop you right off at the Arc de Triomphe–I go past it.

Even closed it wafts sugar sweet chocolate drop dreams onto the sidewalk.

I imagine that is frequented often, it just smells way to good to not be, plus it is catty corner from Square D’Anvers which has a children’s play area in it and is mobbed daily with nannies and au pairs.

Then there is the something that takes my breath away, seeing a man and a little boy this morning walking hand in hand toward the park, both buried deep in their mufflers, it’s getting cold here (it might snow this weekend!), the little boy had a pastry wrapped in white paper clutched in his mittened hand and there was a smudge of chocolate on his nose.

I could have just scooped him up and licked his nose.

Papa might have been a little taken aback.

The French, they take their chocolate very serious.  There is a specialty chocolate shop (there are chocolate shops everywhere) I pass on the way to the St. Sulpice Metro line and they have hippopotamus heads carved, life-size, thank you very much, in cacao in the display room.  And the original picture, which shows a huddle of hippos, is propped in the front window.

I wonder where the other hippos went?

Swimming in a chocolate lagoon.

How come the Simpson’s never go to Paris?  I could see Homer dancing a soft shoe shuffle through the arrondissements with  a beret and a striped shirt and chocolate smeared all over his face.

I so digress.

The smell of the boulangerie reminds me of the Mister, and it makes me think not of eating bread but of having a sleep over.

Damn it.

I do not believe there will be any sleep overs here.

Not when my room-mate is sitting in my room with me reading online news about Syria.

There is no privacy here.

Nope.

Ah well.

Not that the French men who have approached me have been exactly available.  Although I was flirted with quite a bit tonight as I hit the Metro going to Etoile.  He sat down next to me and he was definitely attractive and he smiled and said I was “tres charmant” very fuckable.

Um, I mean, very charming.

He said a few other things and he was flirting and I had to go and of course, I had been thinking about bread and chocolate and sex, the sex that never was, and I must have been oozing hormones.

He got off at the same stop as I, which is not actually unusual, it is a really busy stop with a lot of connecting lines that run along it, and he followed me up a set of stairs and then he turned left and I ducked right.

And promptly got lost underground.

Grr.

I am not really remiss that I lost the man in the crowd of the underground, but I am a little over the longing for some one in another country, another continent–it smacks of a pattern that I have had for a long time and I am not interested in having it any longer.

Time to let that go to.

Time to be here fully.

I can still enjoy the smell of the boulangerie, then walk by and get on my way.

I gotta go Mister.

I have got a book to finish.

 

 

 

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Awning

 

You Have Meaning

November 28, 2012

You have purpose.

I was given a beautiful tiny pot of pink roses this afternoon on my way into French class.

I was talking with Johnny, who I had not even noticed walking down the street as I had my head in the clouds.

Literally, I was watching the sky.

Sometimes, when I wonder what I am doing in Paris, yes, aside from the obvious, writing, I think it may be just to observe the color of the sky, the formations of the clouds, it is God television and it never fails to enthrall me.

Of course, sometimes, it does make me a bit of a nuisance as I stand blocking the sidewalk, looking for my camera, juggling my gloves, my bag, my apple stuck between my teeth, then I forget that I am blocking the sidewalk.

I take the photograph.

Head in the clouds

Head in the clouds

Then I take another.

Skyline

Skyline

Some times, most often, truly, I take that photograph with my mind’s eye.

Which is what I was doing when I startled out of my reverie to see John standing in front of me waving.

He smiled.

“Oh!  How long have you been standing there?”

“Only about 20 seconds,”  he laughed.

We did the French greeting, faire de baise, kiss, kiss, one cheek, then the other cheek.

“Ca va?”

“Ca va bien,” I said and smiled.

As we were standing there catching up, my class mate walked past, the lovely W. who had consoled me last week when I was homesick for, well, I don’t know what, the fantasy of Thanksgiving?

Je suis mal de pays.

I am homesick.

I could not quite express what it was, but she knew.  She is a sympathetic soul and despite not having had huge conversations, we are somehow connected.

She is a person I feel compelled to confide in.

I have told her a few things about me and she is becoming a friend.

She touched my shoulder and handed me a small pot of pink roses wrapped in lime green paper touched with white ribbon.

Budding Friendship

Budding Friendship

“What’s this?”  I asked, then I saw the inscription.

“W….!”

She smiled, “I will see you in class.”

Tears pooled up in my eyes, which I now, just now, mind you, realize that I cry when my heart is full.

My heart so full, it overflows.

It read: Carmen….

You have purpose, you have meaning….

I do?

I do.

How is it that you meet the exact person at the exact time that you need?

How is it that some one I do not know, really, a week and a half of French classes is not a true intimate, yet, I do know, knows me better than I know myself?

I was beside myself.

“Wow.”  John exclaimed, “that is so sweet.”

I was abashed and shy and overwhelmed and how silly, flattered, but yes, that too.

I had also, wished, in a slightly dreamy sort of romantic way, that I would be given flowers.  I love so to be given flowers.  It has been a little while since I have had them given to me.

Of course, I think that they should come from a romantic interest.

But what is more romantic than being gifted something so brave and beautiful and full of hope with the promise of faith in who you are and what you are doing?

That is romance.

Especially when you least expect it.

Especially when you wonder, like I had earlier this afternoon, what I should be doing, what was I doing?

I was going to go to French class.

I was using g.ood o.rderly d.irection.

What is the next thing you need to do, I thought to myself as the doubt rose like gorge in my throat threatening to strangle me and hold me hostage.

Put on your coat.

Breathe.

Put on your muffler.

Shoulder your bag.

Participate in French class.

Now go.

And off I went, traipsing down the cobblestones on Rue Bellefond, down to the Metro, off to French school.  Where upon arriving ahead of schedule I walked around the neighborhood.  I walked past a florist and thought, I really want to have some flowers, I really want some one to give me flowers, I corrected.

You could just buy some, but that feels frivolous in these times of economy as I just put aside my rent money and then dug down to make sure I could pay for the Metro pass another month.

Do not fret, do not worry, there is a reason you are here.

I told myself, one foot in front of the other, look as you cross the street–lost in my thoughts yesterday I almost got mowed down by a taxi–look up.

And there, look, the sky.

My heart filled.

I ran into Johnny.

I got a pot of flowers.

My heart overflowed.

I have purpose.  I have meaning.

French class went by in a flash, then off to Rue Madame.  I carried my little paper wrapped package with me on the Metro headed to St. Sulpice reading Hemingway’s “A Moveable Feast.”

I got off.

I walked around.  The sky was doing that incredible French movie Paris sky thing it does and I pulled out my camera, setting my roses onto the ledge next to me.

I took a few photographs, looked at my watch and realized I had more time than I thought.  I could go for a brief walk before I needed to be where I needed to be.

I gathered up my roses.

I realized where I was.

Pres de Rue Fleurus–the street where Gertrude Stein habituated.

Oh, why the hell not?

I walked down the street pulled along by the flowers in my hand toward the pinks that marched along the sky line.  I watched a cloud float between the two towers of row houses lining the rue and saw it go creamy golden to rosy pink to dusky velvet yellow and backlit with softest gauze pink.

I saw the window sill on the building of Stein’s home.

I set my flowers there.

Windowsill

Windowsill

 

27

27

 

 

 

 

Stein's Place

Stein’s Place

 

 

 

 

 

I actually do not want to write like Gertude Stein, her stuff is a little over my head, however, I do want to write like Carmen Martines.

And I did that tonight.

I came home.

I took my flowers out of their wrappings, watered them, set them by my bedside, gathered my lap top and my journal and headed off to Odette & Aime.

 

I wrote a poem.

I edited my book.

 

I have purpose.

I have meaning.

 

 

Sounds Like You Live Here

November 27, 2012

Well, that brought it home.

I do live here.

I was chatting with a gentleman this evening on the stairs to the American Church getting ready to walk along the river and cross the bridge from the Left Bank back to the Right Bank.

I live on the Right Bank.

He had some questions about Burning Man.

I rather love that.

“When is it again?”  He asked, “I really want to go.”

“Labor Day weekend in the states, end of August, first few days in September,”  I replied.  Then I told him of where would be some good places for him to camp and some things that he might be interested in checking out, the kind of community that is out there that not everyone is aware of.

“That sounds amazing!”

He smiled.

I smiled.

“You’ll be around, so we will talk more, get home, have your dinner,”  he patted my arm and I headed toward Metro Alma-Merceau.

I will be here.

Still not sure how, but I am beginning to feel more and more at home here.  I do not know what it is, I do not really care.  But his words travelled in my ears as I walked over the bridge and looked at the skyline.

Note to self the first Sunday of the month, literally, I said it out loud as I went over the bridge, “note to self, it is the first Sunday of the month, this Sunday, time to go to the D’Orsay.”

First Sunday of the month is free at all the museums.  They are all packed and the lines are long, but this is the best time of year to be inside a museum, warm and cozy and crushed between others staring at art.

Besides, if I get an early enough start, the lines won’t be long.

Hmmmm…. maybe I will ride my bike to the museum.

Oh, yes, that does sound like a plan.

Brisk ride along the quite Sunday streets, then an afternoon in the museum.  The D’Orsay is my favorite, well, at least for the moment, I have not done a lot of museums yet.  I have gotten, of course to the Pompidou, that was my first Sunday here.

Yes, that’s right!

I am coming up on a month of living here.

I live here.

“It doesn’t sound like you are visiting or on vacation,” he said, “it sounds like you live here.”

I do.

I am just going to keep repeating that, I live in Paris.

Seine

Seine

I live on the Right Bank of this river in the 9th Arrondisement.

My address is 36 Rue Bellefond, Paris, France, 75009.

In case you wanted to send me a postcard.

Just kidding, I am heading into my second round of sending out postcards.

There were a few kind, generous, anonymous, folks that threw a few Euro my way.  Enough to help me live here a few more days, absolutely.  I will be sending out holiday postcards.  Who doesn’t want a Christmas postcard from Paris?

Come on now.

I was actually invited to London for Christmas, and I thought, wow, that sounds lovely.

But I live in Paris.  I want to spend my first Christmas here.  I am not entirely sure what I will do.  I have a few ideas. Just as I am not completely sure what I will do for my birthday, but again, I have a few ideas.

One of which is to go take a ferris wheel ride at Place de la Concorde.  At sunset.

Now that would be spectacular.  Perhaps a day of walking through the Louvre.  Dinner at a cafe some where, I was instructed to get a shellfish dinner and something pretty.

I will be doing just that.  Although, I admit here and now that I spent those Euros already.  However, I have been holding to myself that I will spend the Euros that I was given as a birthday present on a birthday present.

Regardless of what my situation is.

They were given as a gift and I will be sending her a photograph or five of what I do that day.  I may walk through the Jardin de Luxembourg as well, really take a long walk about.

I passed on the Christmas invitation and he said, “of course, I didn’t really think you would be anywhere else but in Paris for Christmas, but the offer is there.”

My room-mate is sweet.

Christmas though, in Paris.

Insert slight homesick or as I should honestly call it, heartsick moment.

I miss the Mister.

This is not where I am going to write about it either.  At least not yet.

And now moving on to the rest of the I live here in Paris blog I am writing.

Today in the life of Carmen I got up and wrote four pages long hand, had some oatmeal with sliced banana and nutmeg and cinnamon, a large house made cafe au lait, some reading, some French home work, hot shower.  Meditation, stretch, small walk about, then editing book for a while.

Break for lunch at the house.  Roast chicken with garlic potatoes and small tossed salad with tomate.  Another cafe au lait, why, because, why not, they taste damn skippy good.

Off to French class.  Ride Metro to Crimee stop.  French class two hours.  Walk in the rain.  Metro line 7 to LaFayette, transfer to Line 9 headed to Pont Sevres, stop at Alma-Merceau (having batted through another couple of chapters in “A Moveable Feast”).

Then a walk along the Seine to the Eiffel Tower.

Eiffel Tower

Eiffel Tower

I walked around the tower for about an hour.

The rain had stopped, but the streets were still slick and the light lovely.

Wet Street

Wet Street

I took it in.

I smelled the wet pavement.

I peered at the sky, bluish gray, thick strewn with the passing storm clouds.

I watched the crows fly in and out of the base of the tower.

I discovered a small garden that I had no idea was anywhere near the tower.  The other times I have gone there have just been too many people there for me to enjoy walking around it, I usually just want to get out as soon as I am there, or not go in the first place.

The park was empty, a small little lake, a water fall, old trees shedding yellow and brown edged leaves into the pond.  The quiet was so quiet I could hear birds nesting down for the night.

Park

Park

I skirted the pond and walked out the other side to the statues flanking the bridge.  The two sides capped by stone horses.

Horse

Horse

Riding right alongside the carousel they carried me forth into the night as the tower lit up behind me, ushering me forward and onward to a cafe creme at Le Cafe de L’Universite.

Night Riding

Night Riding

 

 

 

 

I met with a new lady bug.

I went to the American Church and talked about the adventures I have gotten to have–Burning Man, the Aids LifeCycle Ride, moving to Paris.

Living in Paris.

“You live in Paris, now,” he said with finality.

I realized he was right.  I feel at home here.  I feel that I am doing a good job here.

Despite not having a job.

Living in city does not actually have all that much to do with work.  No, that is not how I want to think of it.  I do work here.

I am an artist, a photographer, a writer.  I write everyday, I read every day, I study French, and I show up where I am supposed to be and sit where I am supposed to sit, every day.

I live here.

In Paris.

I am not trying to be here.

Lights

Lights

I am here.

 

 

 

 

 

One of These Students

November 26, 2012

Is not like the other.

I spilled the I smoked crack beans and was homeless in class today.

Apparently nobody else has done either.

Or at least no one else was owning up to it.

The girl sitting next to me, woman I should say, asked me something about what I do and how long I am in Paris and what brought me here.  I told her I am a writer and that I am working on my first book, completing it truly.

She was confused, you are not writing about Paris?

No, I am using Paris as the well to replenish myself with when I need to get images.  Funny that, filling up my idea well with Paris when I am actively writing and engaging in the craziness that was the early 90s post-Hurricane Andrew Southern Florida, with a dash of crack and a side of homeless.

“What are you writing?”  She asked.

She, by the way is a professional actress and comedienne.  Who?  I have no idea.  But she is in Paris performing and filming and I do not recognize her at all, although I get the distinct feel that she is quite well-known in her country of origin.

I almost want to Google her.

I probably will not, I can barely pronounce her name, let alone spell it.

Besides, if I am going to be doing any Google’ing, it is to look for publication opportunities and agency and the like.  Which, I continue to remind myself, is putting the cart before the horse.

There is no need to look for agency until the book is a complete piece.

It is not complete yet.

However, it is fleshing out nicely.  Despite my embarrassment, self-imposed at the childishness of the writing.  It is young, it is not dynamic and it falls flat often.  The story is good.  The writing not as much, which is why I am editing, and I am writing into the story, deepening it, polishing it, cleaning it, and I get over the, I cannot believe I wrote this drivel when I actually get into the meat of what is happening and am able to show it, the story, instead of describe it.

“You are writing a memoir?”  She asked, after prompting me more to tell her about the book.

“You are too young to have memoir.”

I smiled and told her that it was only about the four months I was homeless smoking crack running around with an older man when I was 19.

I smiled.

Her face.

“You have stories to tell! You should write!”  Then she smiled, I nodded, yes, I need to write.  That is what I do.

Sidebar, my computer has been making the scariest noises recently, I am not excited by them.  Please do not die my friend.  Please.

I told her a few things, not like there was much time to discuss my crazy, but she asked another question, “two years” was my response.

Two years.

I was homeless for two years.

I slept in cars, I slept in tents, I slept in weird pop up campers in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.  I slept on plywood.  I slept in abandoned houses.  I slept under the trees and on beaches.

Today I sleep on a fold out futon in the living room of my friends three month-let in Paris.

It is not really my bed of choice, but it is not bad, eh, when combined with the recall of where I have been previously.

I had these thoughts flash about my head in a swirl of fallen leaves as I was walking through the Jardin du Luxembourg.  I had thought that I was to be on Rue Madame at 5 p.m. this evening and as it turns out I was to be at Quai D’Orsay and the American Church at 8p.m.

Oops.

However, I had gone by the gardens last week, not realizing how close I was to them and, since I did not have to be where I thought I was supposed to be, I went for a walk in the gardens.

It was divinity.

That same sense of terrifying happiness engulfed me as I was walking, as when I was at the Pompidou and saw the Kandinsky.  The brilliant blue sky was overlay with the dusky light that seeps between the buildings at twilight and tinged with grey curling smoke.

There were huge drift piles of leaves pushed together along the dirt paths.

Children running about with ruddy cheeks.

I am walking in the park in Paris.

I am looking at the trees and smelling the good smell of wood smoke and crunching through the leaves.  I am having autumn.  I had taken the edge off my hunger with an apple I had in my satchel and the sweet rose taste of it was still about my lips.

I sighed, smiled, looked at the sky, let everything bleed out of me and into the swirl of cirrus clouds above.

It matters not where I go.  I am here now.  Stunningly simple, this quiet reflection, I have this time, this gift.  I get to be here writing.

I thought about the list of jobs and things and what I had and have.

I have a bicycle.

I could sell it.

I love it.

But it is just a thing.

I have a tax return probably coming.

Then, I thought, let it all go.  Just be quiet in the twilight.

The quiet only lasted another brief moment as I trod toward the wide circle of fountain sketched with a few small scurrying boats and the scudding clouds above reflect back into it.

I was about to take a picture of an urn overfull with flowers, when the whistling began.

Flowers

Flowers

Urns

Urns

 

 

 

 

 

The urns were situated all about the circle of fountain.

I wanted to walk around it, circumnavigate it, see it from all sides, but the gardens were closing and the whistles, although not unharmonious, were insistent.

The sound of whistles came from all corners and gathered us up in an apron of leaves and shook all the park revelers out the front gates, which black plated and tipped with gold spikes, were to be closed prompt as prompt could be, at sunset.

Some thing of the civility of that, the closing of a park, at dusk touched that deep well, a ripple of thoughts dropped there.

I once lived around a man made pool of water deep in the treacherous heart of Dade County, Miami Florida, and perhaps lived is a too neat a term, survived to tell the tale, perhaps more like it.

Today I lived, present and peaceful, serene and full and I walked soft dirt paths by another man made fountain, but this heralded by the skies and the whistles and the laughter of children plunging in and out of leaf piles as they were herded out of the park.

A deep breath.

Bliss, wood smoke, autumn leaves, the sky fading toward the mottled purples of evening, and a walk under the bare tree branches, spartan and brave, I tucked my hands into my pockets, and shouldered my camera back into my bag and wished the gendarme “bonne soiree.”

A good night indeed.

Sunset in the Park

Sunset in the Park

Branches and Sky

Branches and Sky

 

 

 

 

 

Tree Branches

Tree Branches

 

 

 

 

Asking For Help

November 25, 2012

Should not be so hard.

Then again, it has gotten easier the more I have done it.  I actually just put a post up on Paris Craigslist for a patron/ness as well.

I would never have thought of that.  A friend made the suggestion.  I mean, why the hell not.  I am game for trying just about anything.

I was in a weird place today as I got some responses to the request I put out.  Most were just a lack of response, which as I have been told is a response.

That is cool.

Then there was the conversation in my head, not so cool.  The overwhelming, what am I doing with this as well.  Lastly, the what anybody thinks of me is none of my business, nor what I think of myself is not my business.

What is my business?

The next action in front of me.  The living, to the best of my ability as an artist.

Aha!

I just had a thought.  I have never tried to just live as an artist.  I have always looked for a career that would support me being an artist.  Of course, all that has happened is that I would find myself in a job that I did not like working too many hours for not enough money and not spending the kind of time on my work and my art as I would like.

Thus defeating the entire purpose.

Although, each job has given me something.

Like my small, poorly spoken interaction in the middle of the road today in the Marais.

“Pardon,” he said to me at the stop sign.

“Avez-vous un fixie?”

“Oui, c’est un fixie,”  I smiled and nodded my head briskly.

There were two guys next to me, both on fixed gear bikes, neither of which I recognized.  They were absolutely agog at my bike.

Velo

Velo

There is nothing like my bicycle in Paris.

Rien.

Then again, my bike is unique in that there is no other quite like its design.  There are similar bicycles, with similar frames, but nothing else set up quite like mine, it screams custom.

We had an awkward talk, my French, though better is not up to par, and neither of the guys spoke English, but their eyes, full of admiration, spoke volumes.

I felt proud of my bike.

I felt proud of me for finally getting on my bike.  The fear was great and my room-mate’s parting words did not help either, “take it out of fixed.  Do not ride it fixed, the cobblestones will kill you.”

Of course, I ignored that admonishment.

I am a fixed gear riding gal, dontcha know?

Happy, joyous, free.

Free as a bird, free as a girl on a bike.  I got on my bike, then a half block later I got off and took a photograph of it, I ended up taking a number of them, I could not help it.  I mean, when you are by the Louvre you need to stop and take a picture of your piece of art.

Framed in the doorway to the Louvre

Art

My heart was full, a smile plastered on my face, I rode my bicycle around Paris.

I felt so at home and so free I cannot describe how amazing it was to be in the saddle riding along the Seine.

Of course, the traffic was very light today, it is Sunday and Paris is verifiably asleep.

I do wonder where all the people go.  The traffic is none existent and the pedestrians also few and far between.

When I left the house I turned simply to the left on Rue Bellefond.  It is a one way, I just followed the traffic direction.  The cobblestones are not the most fun ever, but they are not horrid, and I actually had no problems riding down the streets.

I just followed the bicycle lanes and figured I would let myself get lost.  I had my book of maps on me and hours before I needed to be anywhere.  I knew I would be writing tonight and I figured I would use the bicycle as my photography studies today.

I followed a few people as they rode, mimicking the way they wove in and out of traffic, which again was light, I do not know what tomorrow or the rest of the week will look like, but I am going to add riding into my repetoire.  It felt so good and the exercise is good not just for my body, but really for my brain.

A moving meditation, truly.

Following other bicyclists worked really well.

Then following street signs.

Then, yes, oh yes, I rode down the Champs Elysees on my fixed gear sparkle pony.

I can only admit this here on my blog, but yes, that damn song was in my head the entire time, “Oh Champs Elysees, Oh, Champs Elysees…”  I think it is from Les Parapluies de Cherbourg?  It was a film I watched in French class way back when.

I rode all the way to Place de la Concorde, then on to the Louvre and since I was nearby I figured I would surprise my room-mate and see if he was up for grabbing a bite of lunch.

Of course, I got lost.

That’s what I do.

I decided to not push myself, I had food at the house and what with my finances being what my finances are, read previous blog about looking for patronage, I rode back toward the direction I thought the apartment might be in.

I also had an apple with me.

I stopped at a likely looking spot close to Gare de L’est and took a few more photographs of my lovely steed.

Gates of St. Laurent

Gates of St. Laurent

I sat on a bench.  I ate an apple, one I had purchased at the market on Rue Mouffetard.

I sat in the sunshine.

I smiled.

Life.

Life is amazing.

How lucky am I?

How did I get here?

And how long do I get to stay?

Insert mild financial insecurity.  Which I squashed like a bug immediately.  OH no you don’t, enjoy this.

Be present.

This is such a gift.

I am so beyond grateful to be here, living, just living, writing, doing the work. I spent an hour at Odette & Aime this evening editing.  I wrote a lot earlier today in my journal–I actually am going to have to get another one soon, probably by Friday of this week.

I read from Hemingway’s “A Moveable Feast.”

Being a writer, it is important for me to read, to fill the well with others words and images.  It is also nice to juxtapose the Paris that Hemingway writes about with the Paris that I am living in.

I find it humourous, to be reading it on the Metro–to be on the Metro Line 4 coming back from Rue Madame this evening, headed toward Pt. Clignancourt to connect with the line 7 which will drop me at Cadet.  I do not know why exactly this tickles me, but it does.

Metro

Metro Stop–Cadet

I am not the first person to come to Paris and write.  I will not be the last.  There is a kind of comfort in that.  And I am not the only artist to ask for help.

Papa did it.

So can I.

 

Patronage

November 24, 2012

And how I am now officially asking for it.

That is after consulting with another person who knows me and knows my motives.

She said, and I quote, “do it.  The worst some one can say is no.  And then you are exactly where you are now, no different except that you asked for help.”

Gah.

This whole asking for help thing.  I did not want to be given humility for my 40th birthday, but that is what it is looking like I am being given.

That and a used copy of Hemingway’s, “A Moveable Feast”.

Which is what led me to the discussion with Corinne today.  I had been reading the book, it was left here by a guest recently and she had asked if I would care for the book, had I ever read it?

Nope.

She recommended it highly.

Then another person recommended it to me yesterday.

I thought, ok, ok, I am being told something, listen to it.  I also decided to head off to the market associated with Hemingway and the book–Rue Mouffetard.

Flowers

Flowers

I was a little disappointed with the market, to tell you my thoughts exactly, it was a tourist trap from hell.

But there were parts of it, here, this flower vendor.

And then there, that bit of color on the leaves of the trees in the corner park.

Fall Color

Fall Color

 

 

Lovely little things.

I did traverse the street and I was not entirely disappointed.  I found some delicious apples and a pair of darling finger less gloves.  The kind of gloves I have been looking for since I got to Paris.  I scooped them right up.

Frankly, though, the market was over priced, as are many of the places where the tourist is a targeted mark.  I understand this, but as I am doing my best to be a local, despite not looking, acting, or sounding like one, I am trying to shop like one.

My favorite market is on Friday on Rue D’Anvers.  It is a small market around the Square D’Anvers.  It strikes me as being for the more upper class in the neighborhood, but I always find a really good price on a chicken and I get the best and I do mean the best apples ever from this older woman and her son.  They are not only exquisite looking and quite large, the flesh and taste is something wild and old and tart and sweet and antique.

I feel like I am eating an apple from a tree in the countryside that has been grown on a tree that is over two hundred years old.  It is good stuff, I tell you.

I digress a wee bit.

I get off track a little.

I am embarrassed to ask this.

But ask I shall.

Will you support me?

Will you help me write?

Will you send some money to my Paypal Account?

I am not kidding.  I am actually asking for patrons.  Corinne said, “it’s not like you’re not working.  You are not asking for some one to pay for your vacation, you’re working.”

She is right.

I am working a lot.  Aside from the two hours of French class every day.  Which should you opt to help me out, I will sign up for another month of classes (190 Euro plus 28 Euro for the study book and workbooks), I am also out every day walking and taking photographs.

In the three weeks I have been here I have taken over 500 photographs.

I do not have an exact count.

Some make it to my other blog–www.whereintheworldisauntibubba.wordpress.com

Some make it here onto this blog.

Some, a lot of them go onto my FaceBook account.

Today I spent about a half hour editing the 54 photographs I took today.  Then I posted the ones that I liked the best to my photography blog.  Then, I spent another hour uploading about another 80 to Facebook.

Last night, I also spent about two hours re-formatting my photography blog.

In addition to this, I write every day.

Some times you see it, I have posted a poem and a short story that are completely separated from my blog and my book and my photo blog, here.

The short story is “The Button Boy”  which I am thinking about expanding, to what, I am not sure, but it feels like there is more to just the short story than I wrote, I feel like it has some legs.

The poem is “Salon De The”  written last Sunday at just that, a Tea house, or salon, as it may be called off Rue De Vieux Pompiers et Rue Madame.

I also, really, this is the juicy part of my day, the part I like the most and dread the most, as the case may be, edit my book.

I am 75 pages of editing in.

I do the majority of it at Odette & Aime which is the cafe just down the street from me.

Odette & Aime

Odette & Aime

 

Editing

Editing avec cafe creme

 

 

 

 

 

 

I try to get in about an hour of editing a day.  There have been times when I go about an hour and a half and there are times when I only last 45 minutes

The material is emotionally draining.  I am writing about being addicted to crack cocaine, about homelessness and poverty, about an abusive relationship, about being lost, it is challenging to keep myself and the story separate.

Which is the grace and the beauty of the situation.  That is my situation.  I am here in Paris, having given myself perhaps the greatest gift I could, unlimited beauty to assuage my soul with as I delve into the ugliness of reading and editing my first memoir.

Yes, my first, there are two follow up pieces.

I cannot write yet about Paris.  I have not lived here long enough.  However, I can use Paris as my muse as my inspiration, as the place I get to take a break into when the image of being 19 and scared and overwhelmed and sleeping on a piece of plywood on an abandoned airforce base becomes a little much.

I set my pen down.

I take a break.

I make a bowl of cafe here at the house or I take a walk or I go to market.

I got myself here, not alone, I cannot say alone, so many people loved and supported me.  But if I am going to stay, I am going to need a little more help.

Hemingway had patrons.

I am allowed patronage too.

I have a Paypal account.

I have a work ethic too.  I am not going to sit on my ass and eat baguette and chocolate bon bons.

I promise.

What I am going to do, is continue to write, to edit, to walk, to take photographs, to live an artistic, bohemian life, in Paris.

You send me 5 Euro.  I will send you a postcard.

You send me 200 Euro.  I will take another month of French class.

You send me whatever the hell you want and I will write you a poem, I will take a photograph for you. I will go to market, or Notre Dame, or walk along the Seine.

You send me rent, 500 Euro, you get a signed first edition of my book and I add your name to the acknowledgements.

I do not know what I am doing.  But that is how I learn.  I make a jump.  I take a risk.

I ask for help.

I take some one else suggestion.

You got one, let me know.

Current suggestions being followed–read “A Moveable Feast,” write every day, blog every day, take a walk every day, meditate, be of service, ask for help, let people know what is happening, get outside, sit up front at French class, take the opposite direction from the Metro stop as you think you should.

Let yourself get lost.

Oh, and let me not forget, my lovely, my dearest, my blog.

I will keep posting to my blog, every day, every adventure, every tear, date, dream, love.

     Patronage is the support, encouragement, privilege, or financial aid that an organization or individual bestows to another. 

My Paypal account is my old yahoo e-mail address:

carmenreginamartines@yahoo.com

Click here to donate.

Don’t forget your address so I can send you a postcard!

Three Weeks In

November 23, 2012

I went out to dinner with a new group of friends.

I had tartar.

With raw egg.

And frites.

And salade.

And salt.

And yum.

It rained today, but it did not bring me down.  In fact, I rather enjoyed the soft on and off drizzle that happened all day long.  Only once in a while do I find it disturbing and that is when it gets on my glasses and I cannot see and I am turned around.

Perdue.

Lost, yes, once again.

Barnaby called me.

“Where are you?”

“I am somewhere nearby, but totally turned around and how is that even possible, I know where I am going.”

Then I burst out laughing.

Hey, now that is an improvement.  Laughter.  Which, by the way, is how you can tell that I am American, the French women here do not laugh out loud in public.  I know they laugh, I have heard them, they have a great laugh, but it is not a public laugh, it is a private alone with friends in a room with a shut door laugh.

Then, man, watch out, they can let go.

In public, not so much.

I have laughed out loud a few times in public and I want to stuff my hand down my own throat, it is so loud.

There, I admitted it, awkwardly, but it is true, I am a loud American.  At least when I laugh.

I am also an American who is starting to sound less Americainne and more Francaise.  Not much, but a bit.  In fact, two of my dinner companions noted that my French was really quite good for just the three weeks that I have been here.

They both also said that it came down to not being afraid to make a mistake.

This is a good thing, I make mistakes all the time.

Like when I told my French teacher that there were twenty-five letters in the alphabet.

Oops.

Forgot one.

But I got a good solid laugh out of Anna.

I also like how she and I can have a conversation of sorts beyond just the text in front of us.  I understand a little more than the rest of the class.  I like this.

Then again, sometimes I am just struck stupid by what is happening.  And more than a few times I have cringed, I mean out-and-out cringed at how badly some one speaks, it hurts the ears.

I am grateful for class as well for two solid hours submerged in French, where I can make mistakes and it is expected and I can practice and I can listen and I am un judgemental of my process.

I also realized yesterday that I could go quite a long time without speaking any French as well.  My room-mate is English and a great deal of the people I constantly on a day-to-day basis engage with speak English.

I also have been wearing my headphones more often.  This is good and it is bad.

It is good when the two girls on the Metro are talking loudly and with brash juvenility about their mutual “friend” back home who is not as cultured as they and where are my headphones, I need them now?

Also good for when the not so good busker comes by on the Metro or the loud bum begging for alms.  Then the head phones, a godsend.

However, I realized that they also exclude me from what is happening.  I am in my own private movie with my own private sound track and the old man with the cabbie hat slouched forward on his head and the newspaper gripped in his paw will suddenly look up at me with neon blue eyes and I have a story in my head about where he is going and what he is doing and how does this affect what stop I get off at?

I fantasize about people on the Metro.

I tell stories in my head about where they are going.

Some times when the right music is on and the night is coming and the Metro is snaking its way through the tunnels it becomes a little Science-fiction fantasy movie.

I quite entertain myself.

Yet, I don’t hear what is actually happening.

I like to hear what is actually going on.  The names of the Metro.  Just listening to the conductor say “Pigalle”.  I can say it better.  Or “Miromensnil”.  Now that is a word I would not have tripping off my tongue if I had not heard the voice over the speaker system.

Or “Chateau D’eau”.

Which seems like an easy one, but the quickness of it, the fleetness of the word falling out of the speaker in the corner, makes me realize that I am still chewing words while the Parisiennes around me are spitting bullets of words, the brevity, quickness, and rapidity of the words flying around me is amazing.

I need to be knee-deep in that soup of French words and sounds.

Today I left the big head phones at the house, the Skull Candy’s that completely muffle me into my own little fantasy land of Paris.

I let myself listen to what was happening.

Yes, I pulled out my little ear buds for a moment or two, but for the most part, I let myself drift in and out of the words.

God, I love me some words.

English words, French words, les bon mots.

I am so grateful to be here.

“Wow! You are really doing it.  You are really lucky, we all are really lucky,” he said expansively as we crossed the wet slick shined streets near L’Opera.  “Most people they don’t do what we do, they don’t leap.  Oh, they think about it, but they are too scared.”

“I am scared too,” I said, with a laugh, “but I am know that I can walk through it, and voila, je suis la.”

Which in French is equivalent to “je suis presente,” I am here.

I am present.

Oh, yes the fucking hell I am.

I am totally present.

Je suis la.

En Paris.

I don’t think you need a translation for that.

Get Your Gratitude On

November 22, 2012

I got homesick, in of all places, French class, today.

Homesick for what?  I am not sure.  But it was definitely a case of homesick.

It’s Thanksgiving and it is not really a French holiday, in case you were wondering.

I thought I was fine today, in fact, I woke up before my alarm went off with more energy than I have since I have gotten here twenty days ago.  I did not feel sleepy, I did not feel any dread, I did not feel achey, or depressed, wonky, none of it.

In fact, I had been ceaselessly thinking about my bike.

I saw a guy walk out of an apartment building yesterday and hop on a Bianchi fixed gear.  I stopped in my tracks and watched him pedal off, his feet finding the toe cages and sliding in, the little hitch in the pedal as he pumped up to speed, and I could have tackled him.

I wanted on my bike right then.

Right there.

I pulled it out of the box this morning.  I laid it on the bed.  It would not be hard to put together, come on, I worked in a bike shop, I told people how to put their bike together all the time.  Just because I had not ever officially done it myself did not mean it could not be done.

I have it assembled, sans the pedals.  I did not give myself enough time to do that.  But she is ready to go and damn, she looks good.

My room-mate was like, “do you need some alone time?”

I was all up on my bicycle, her pretty sparkles, the lovely saddle, the curvaceousness of the crank set.  Oh la la indeed.

I have  a damn pretty bike.

All thoughts of not putting it together flew my brain as I unwrapped her and with a helping hand from said roomie, it was assembled quite quickly.

I thought I would need a pedal wrench to put on the pedals, but when I got home tonight I took another look-see and I believe I will be able to throw those bad boys on with just my Allen key.

If I do end up needing a pedal wrench I will take my bicycle over to Bicycle Store Paris and have them give me a hand.  I may well go over to the shop anyhow, as I do not have a chain breaker and I need to leash up my saddle.

I have already seen a few sad bicyclettes without their saddles.  I like my saddle quite a bit, it was special ordered for me and I have no desire to part with it.

Plus, the store looks pretty darn sweet and it will be a nice destination ride.

Tomorrow rain is forecast and I actually have a pretty busy day, so Saturday, I believe, shall be my inaugral ride.

I am quite excited.

Now, here I am all excited, all set to go, and I sit down, have a nice little spot of lunch, tuck my French home work in my bag, grab le livre et le cahier (my book and notebook) and get ready to leave for the day.

I suddenly feel dreadful.

I do not know why.

I go out onto the streets, they are bustling, it is Paris, and it strikes me, there are too many people out.

It’s Thanksgiving, no one is supposed to be out.

I have not seen the streets ever this busy.

Then, of course, it hits, this is not the United States.

This is France and this is not a holiday and no one eats turkey here and whatever, it’s a Thursday and there are places to go and things to do and French class to attend.

Fast forward to sitting down at the table in class and feeling again, this very real sense of displacement and I am starting to feel again, this odd sadness.

My new friend Wilohmene says hello and how are you and I tear up.

She hurries over, and sits down.

“What’s wrong?”

I had opened my cahier and the homework assignment was next to a writing exercise about football.

It’s Thanksgiving, that’s what we do in America.  Eat turkey, play cards, and watch football.

The writing exercise in my workbook was not even about American football, it was about soccer of all things, but the word, just hit home.

And there it was, that weird little pang again.

“It’s stupid I said, it’s Thanksgiving, and I, uh,” I pause trying to think of the equivalent holiday in France.  On top of which, Wilhomene is not from France, she is from South Africa, even further removed.  “I guess, maybe it’s like Bastille day in France,” I stumble around for the right holiday (Bastille Day is nowhere near Thanksgiving but it was all I could reach for).

“Oh!” She said brightly, “it is a holiday for you.”

“Yes,” I sad, more tears running down my face.

You could have hit me with a stick, I was just absolutely in shock that I was feeling this blue over Thanksgiving?  Really?

Mina, from Korea, comes over and hands me a tissue.

Suddenly I am surrounded by sweet women from all over the world who aren’t native French people either and we all are commiserating about being homesick.

“Red wine,” Wilhomene said, “or chocolate.”

I laughed.

I did not tell her I would not be having either.

I shed a few more tears and then suddenly, it is class time and it is French, and hey, I am learning French.

This is pretty cool.

I did go back and forth, waffling a bit, earlier this evening after class let out and I had made my way over to Rue Madame, about going to the Lounge Lizard tonight for Thanksgiving dinner.

I did not want to go, but I had and have things to be grateful for, amongst them, people who wanted me there.

I went.

I felt better.

Yes, I did cry a little bit more.

I do not think I am so much homesick right at this moment, but just supremely grateful to have these new people in my life.

Sweet, kind, generous people.

That for me is the essence of Thanksgiving anyway.

I got my holiday, just with a French twist.

Tired and Annoyed Blog

November 21, 2012

Tired and Annoyed Blog

I really feel like I do not have a lot to write about.

I took photographs today.

None of them look like anything special.

I took walks today, nothing new there, just went to the post office and dropped a post card in the mail.

I went to French class.

I conjugated verbs.

I made lunch and dinner at the house; breakfast too.

I sort of got lost.  Which in the end I did not, but the person who I was supposed to meet was not at the church.  In fact, the church was not a church.  It was a garage door.

Granted, it was a lovely garage door, but not I am assuming, the church of St. George.

Twice this week I have arrived at the designated spot to find that it is not the designated spot.

This is annoying.

I mean, I am not going to die, as I stood on the platform to the Metro waiting for the train to come in.  I could just fall over onto the tracks, I thought to myself.

Really?

You again?

Go away.

Just one freaking time I would like my brain to go the other way.

Actually, it did do something different as one corner of it contemplated the idea of falling, gracefully, mind you, across the tracks, there was a little corner that piped up and said something different, something new, something I had not heard before.

First, there were the words of John Ater, “you’re killing the wrong person if you commit suicide in your first ten years.”

Then, another quiet voice said, “what if you killed yourself right before it all got ridiculous?”

What if, having had the poverty, the tightness with money, the lack of financial security for the first 39, nearly 40 years of your life, what if it was all about to change?

What if?

I mean, I cannot imagine it.

I do not know how it will happen.

Then, that little voice, again, soft, insistent, just there, just there past the large reptilian lizard GODZILLA MONSTER, in my brain (which is really just a baby gecko standing in front of a bright white light throwing a large shadow on the wall of my subconscious) said, “you do not need to know how it is going to happen, just that it is.”

Frankly, the idea of wearing really nice shoes that fit and going to Harry Winston, to not surreptitiously take photographs of the store front

Harry Winston

Harry Winston

but to actually purchase something of my very own.

That suddenly sounded good enough to not throw myself in front of the Line 7 Metro and just get on the train instead when it pulled up.

God.

I am a drama queen.

It did make sense to me though, I am making some progress, I am taking in Paris, I am learning new things, French, anyone?

I am also doing the work.

I feel like I am always doing the work and that it is not paying off the way that I think it should, but then again, let’s look at the facts kid, you’re in Paris.

I am in Paris, writing, every day.

This morning my room-mate looked at me and said, “wow, you really are writing, aren’t you?”.

Yup.

I don’t even think about whether or not I am going to do it, I just do it.

That is a good place to be.

Let me also tell the lizard brain to shush as I wrote today.  I edited my book today. I finished that poem that I wrote in rough draft a few days ago.  I have had another day as a successful writer in Paris.

Today is the 21st of November.  I have given myself 19 days in Paris.  19 days of writing, editing, walking, sitting in cafes, drinking coffees, getting lost, speaking French, looking at art, watching the sky, watching the faces of the people on the Metro.

Let me tell you, Metro people watching is some damn good people watching–from the extraordinarily wealthy to the poorest of poor and every single stripe in between. The fashion is outstanding to look at and the music is often times quite astounding.

So, my brain can say, tired and annoyed, that’s fine.

But my actions say, hey, lady, another successful day in Paris as a writer, go you!

You can skip past the poem, if you like, but I wanted to post it.

Salon de The

The loud voices ring out, asking brisk political questions.

Words in French float in and out of my awareness.

My foot falls asleep, drifting in a pile of suggestions.

I tumble, wishing to swim out, the weary sameness

 

of the day.  It is another afternoon.  Does time

change, here, in the now?  It is this Paris,

this jangle of tin Eiffel Towers, tangled lime

French world, old tarnished Hotel Atlantis

 

across the street, flickers into my view.

I am in a poorly translated movie without

Subtitles.  I do not know where to go.  Perdue.

Lost.  I lapse between the polka dots, doubt

 

arises, thirsty in the morning, slack and dry

eyed  I stand in front of the mirror, again to try.

 

Fin

That’s French for “the end”.

Ha.

This may not be my best blog ever, and I don’t care.

Sometimes you just have to show up and trudge.  I am trudging for certain.  But I know, I really do, that there is a point to this and that things are working themselves out, quite magically, without my needing to poke my fingers in it.

I keep doing the writing, that is the direction I feel every morning when I wake up.

Go write some more.

I have now edited 74 pages of Baby Girl.  That is some action.  I just need to continue doing that. I just keep showing up at Odette & Aime and sitting down at one of the tables and not having to say what I want anymore, because they know what I want and they bring it out to me and smile.

That is nice.

I am a regular at my cafe.

My brain may say tired and annoyed.

But my hearts says full and happy, useful and active.

I choose to listen to my heart tonight.

 

 


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