Asking For Help

by

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.

 

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