Archive for December, 2015

Four Day Weekend!

December 31, 2015

No plans.

Well.

A few plans.

Meeting some ladies, seeing my people, doing the deal.

The regular.

And.

Buying books and readers for school.

But aside from that.

No plans.

I suppose after  great big trip to Paris I really shouldn’t have a care in the world about what to do.

I will sleep in.

I will not worry about work.

I will get my school supplies and do the normal weekend stuff I usually do, cook, clean, go to the market, laundry.

I can’t seem to get into doing anything for New Year’s Eve.

A.  I haven’t been asked to do anything, neither date wise or friend wise.

B. I’m not certain I want to be out on New Year’s.

C. After the shit show last New Year’s was, the beginning of the end of the relationship with an ex, I don’t have any expectations.

I can say that yes, I would love to be kissed on New Year’s Eve at the stroke of midnight.

But.

You know what.

I got that last year.

And it was awful.

And I’ve gotten to have a kiss at midnight once or twice before, but it’s never been much good.

I figure I’ll be hiding under my bed when the midnight hour strikes.

I briefly thought about working.

Not that the family asked me to, the mom and dad went out tonight for a dinner to celebrate, but I know that I could raise a tiny flag of maybe I might be available to nanny/babysit for New Years, and I’d have a gig.

I thought about it.

Some scratch for my school books.

But.

In the end.

No.

I don’t feel maudlin or sad, not having plans, although I did have a big wave of sad roll over me last night and I turned to doing a big review of my day and e-mailing my person about it.

It was basically a fears inventory.

I’m not enough.

I’m unlovable.

I’m going to be alone for always.

Blah, blah, blah.

Same old song.

Different night.

It just hit me harder last night for what ever reason, maybe watching the season finale of Downton Abbey where everyone is paired up and there’s babies being born right and left had something to do with it.

Or.

The season.

The time of year.

It’s not a feeling I’m unfamiliar with.

I have had it before and it’s just fear.

And fear is just another thing I get to walk through.

My heart felt tender though, and it was good to do the writing and send it out to someone with greater perspective then I.

I was also reminded that it’s the long, cold, dark days of winter.

And.

Holy mother of God.

It has been cold.

My bicycle riding has not been enjoyable.

Although it has been fast.

I have expended extra energy getting from here to there and back again just to keep fucking warm.

My fingers and especially my thumbs, have been just useless by the end of my ride.

Painfull.

I’ll be giving the bicycle a break for the weekend.

Hopping on the scooter tomorrow.

Not that it will be much warmer, in fact, it will be colder with the wind chill, but I’ll get where I need to go faster and I will bundle the fuck up.

My first stop will be Copy Central sometime before 3 p.m. tomorrow.

Got to get there and get my stuff.

I have to order books too, but I haven’t gone much further in my syllabi to see what I need or how much it’s going to cost.

Last time I think I dropped $350 on the readers and another $150 or so on books.

But I can’t remember and I am not going to worry about it.

I will just show up.

Buy the readers and get on with my day.

I’ll be getting some more of that famous perspective afterward at Church and Market, meeting up with my person and doing some reading and hearing what he has to say.

He always has good things to say.

Always.

We commiserated on jet lag today, which I had again, I really am surprised by it, today, but not as bad as yesterday and nothing like Monday.

I keep waking up too early and having a hard time going back to sleep, which is part of it for sure.

I think it’s going to pass though, and it certainly will by the end of the weekend.

And he commiserated with me about the sad and alone.

Which is fear and false and passing.

Grateful to know that it always does pass.

If I can hold it lightly and let it go.

I have been working on lots of surrendering.

It seems to be the thematic for me this last month or so.

Constantly giving up ideas, people, places, things.

Constantly seeing how I am not well adjusted when I feel like I am out of control of my environment.

Which is all the time.

You’d think I’d be used to it by this point.

Constantly surrendering the idea of requited love.

And constantly accepting the love that is right in front of me.

Tonight I was envisioning it all in white fur.

Being held in warm, soft, white fur.

I was cold, and I don’t usually meditate when I am that cold, but I also forgot my scarf and was in a hurry to get to be where I needed to be.
I worked a half hour later tonight then I normally do so the parents could get to have their own little New Years celebration dinner out, and I had to bust ass on my bike to get to where I needed to go.

Which at least kept me warm.

But once I was settled I realized how cold I was.

So.

Meditating became thinking of all the warmest, softest things.

Being held.

Being surrounded by warmth.

Being taken care of.

Being loved.

I can find it all there when I look for it.

Sometimes worldly clamor blocks it out.

But it is there.

Just on the other side of soft surrender.

An aquiescence.

A total letting go.

And sure.

It may be.

For just a moment.

Sad.

But it is sweet.

And I am held better than I can hold myself.

At least.

That’s what I believe.

 

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If You Ever Need

December 30, 2015

A reminder.

Just call me.

I don’t normally need a reminder, but once in a while an old face, a friend who saved my ass when I didn’t even know how badly I needed to be saved, will resurface in my life and I am just amazed at how far I have come.

“I kept up with all your posts about Paris,” he said and gave me a great big hug.

That’s the thing about social media, I may not see a person for years, literally, but they have been keeping tabs on me.

“You were just glowing in all the photos, I mean, stunning.”

That was nice to hear.

It was nice to get the hug too and to remember how it was, not so long ago, but oh, how long ago, another life time ago, it was.

Almost eleven years now.

We met when I had 20 days.

I had gotten the job at Absinthe when I had 19 days sober.

19.

I remember telling my person how desperate I was for a job and I had gotten an interview at Absinthe and I was real nervous.

I needed to work.

I remember the interview and what cinched it with the GM was my description of the uni pasta at Hawthorne Lane where I had worked previously.

I was a bit worried that he might ask why I had left Hawthorne, um, yeah, I was fired, but it never came up.

Instead.

I was given a tour, a locker, a set of instructions to go out and get a pair of pants, white shirt, a tie, and a pair of black shoes.

I have no idea where the money came from that I purchased those things with.

Wait!

Oh hahahahaha.

Faintest little ring of a memory.

It was the last time I used a credit card.

I had a few in my wallet, none of which should have worked, and the first couple did in fact get turned down, but miraculously the third worked.

I haven’t used a card since that point.

Although it was a little while before I cut them up.

Not that they would have worked had I not.

I came back later that night to audition for the position and I ran circles around the dining room and cocktail area.

I got the job and was instructed to come back the next day for training.

My trainer that day was high on cocaine.

Fuck me.

It was an awful hard shift and I made a few phone calls.

I also discovered that I was allowed to smoke in the back garden and I could make myself any espresso drink I wanted free of charge.

Brilliant that.

I took a break with a great big bowl of caffeine and milk and sat in the back garden area with my feet in a chair and a cigarette dangling from my mouth.

I forget that I used to smoke, but those first few months, oh I smoked like a chimney.

Yes, yes I did.

I managed to get through the shift, but I had serious doubts about coming back to the job.

I was assigned the coke head a second day of training.

I said something to the manager, not that the person was high, but that I had already trained with him if there was someone else I should follow.

“Oh yeah, I need ____________ up front anyhow, go shadow _________”

And I did.

One of the first things said person said to me was, “oh, yeah and we serve six wines by the glass, make sure that you know what they taste like, at the end of your shift you can go and try them at the service bar.”

“I don’t drink,” I mumbled under my breath.

I didn’t like wine anyhow, I was a vodka, beer, cocaine, cigarette type of gal.

“Oh really,” he said, “how many days?”

What the fuck?

“19, no 20,” I said, more than a little spooked.

“Four years,” he responded.

I just about fell over with relief.

“The maitre d'” he continued “19 years.”

Oh wow.

“Are you going to ______?” He asked.

“Yes,” I said wide eyed and more than a little in awe of what was happening.

“Good, where?”

I told him.

“Do you have a __________?”

“Yes!”  I said, nodding my head emphatically.

“You’re going to be ok,” he said, “if you need anything, anything at all, you just ask me.”

I remember tearing up.

I remember he did, in fact, take care of me a couple of times.

It was good to see him tonight.

A lovely surprise.

And a great reminder that I have indeed come very far.

Very far.

I don’t suspect that the journey is anywhere near ended either and for that I have extraordinary gratitude.

“You’re in grad school now right?”  He asked me as we were walking out carrying chairs to be stacked in a corner of the room.

“Yes!  I just finished my first semester.”

“Creative writing?” He asked.

“No, Masters in Psychology, so I can be an MFT (marriage/family therapist).

He is not the first person to assume I am getting a masters in creative writing and truth be told, I would indeed like to get a masters in creative writing, but it would not seem that now is the time.

I told him the story, in short, about how the decision to pursue a psychology masters degree came about and we both chuckled.

It was good to catch up.

It was good to be seen.

It was good to have it acknowledged that I have shown up for so much of the work over this last decade.

I have nothing that matters more than this experience and it is a constant source of amazement for me that I get to keep, one day at a time, one moment at a time, one millisecond at time, showing up for this life.

It is a huge gift.

One that I sometimes question why I was given it.

But never, ever, ever.

A gift that I turn my nose up at .

No.

Never.

It is the gift that keeps on giving.

Good times and bad.

There are no bad times.

Sometimes hard times.

But no bad times.

Really.

And I am grateful.

Yes.

Grateful to be reminded from where I come.

Because I don’t want to ever forget how awful it was.

(It was really, really bad)

Like some I know who have.

This gift, this blessing, this life for which I am beyond grateful for, something that I hold onto, no matter what or who or circumstance–good, bad, they are the same–is something I cannot measure in words.

Only in love.

A depth of love that knows no end.

Infinity x ten.

And.

Then some.

Maybe eleven.

Ha.

2015 in review

December 30, 2015

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2015 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 15,000 times in 2015. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 6 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

Right Back In It

December 29, 2015

I mean.

I could not believe it.

And.

I chose to ignore it yesterday.

But.

There was no ignoring it today.

Nope.

It was time to start doing my school work.

Not from last semester, I am done, I finished all that work before I went to Paris.

I wanted to not have a thing hanging over my head and I successfully did not think about school for seven days.

Until.

Yesterday when the plane landed and I switched on my phone.

I started picking up internet while in line waiting to go through customs.

And the first thing in my in box?

A note from one of my professors.

Hey there, here’s a little note to say, you have a lot of reading to do and you better get on it.

The reader is ready and for those of you who haven’t picked it up yet, here’s a link to the first three articles I want you to know backwards and forwards and oh, you’ll be graded on how much you participate in class and these readings will set the foundation for the semester, so get on it.

Or.

Something to that affect.

But I couldn’t deal with it yesterday.

The best I could do was tell myself it was going to be ok to take one day to get back to a semblance of a routine with work and life and doing the deal and to let the spooky too cheerful e-mail just sit in the inbox for another day.

That was yesterday.

Today.

I dealt with it.

I dealt with a lot of things today.

I got up earlier than my alarm, but then again, I went to bed super early, at least for me, and I got close to eleven hours of sleep.

I was hoping to negate the jet lag and I think I was pretty successful.

I did find myself being tired at odd times today, and then realized it was jet lag, but not too bad, I was able to adequately cope with it.

Mostly because I pretty much forced myself to sleep on the way home on the plane and then yesterday I did my best to orient myself back into my home.

So.

Today I got up, made the bed, did the deal, had the breakfast, made some coffee, wrote four pages long hand and had about two hours of time that was free to me before I had to leave for work.

I took down the Christmas decorations in my house and stripped the little tree of it’s lights and ornaments.

I put all the Christmas in a box and back into the closet for another year.

Thanking the Christmas gods for an amazing year and wrapping it all back up.

I also looked at the e-mail from my professor and went online and looked at my syllabi and realized that I was going to have to start reading this weekend.

Ugh.

I made a call to Copy Central and found out that they would be closing for the holiday on Thursday at 3p.m. and they would be closed Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.

So I will be going over Thursday to buy the readers for my next semester of classes.

I have a four day weekend with the holiday so I should be able to put a nice dent into what I need to have done for the first weekend of school.

Which is still two weeks away.

Thank God.

I feel like I could still use a break from it.

I did not look very far into the syllabi.

I couldn’t quite make it happen.

I had thought I might find the where withal within me to also order any books that I needed to order for classes as well.

But after I read the message from the professor for my Multicultural course I just jumped into getting one of the assignments done for the class.

Yes.

That’s right.

I did homework before work today.

I spent about a half hour reading and then left to run a few errands that I needed to take care of before heading into work.

Work was good.

Busy.

The boys kept me going all day long.

And there is much to do this week too.

Especially as it is a short week for me, the mom wants to make sure I get some cooking in and make some things up before I have another four days off in a row.

Tomorrow I’m going in early to help out and I’ll be working 9:30a.m.-6:30p.m.

Nice nine hour shift.

But I want to help and the extra cash will be nice.

Especially since I will be purchasing a lot of readers and books shortly thereafter.

Wednesday will be back to normal and then Thursday off for the holiday as well as Friday.

So grateful I got to have some vacation time away from all the work and the school work.

It was much needed and won’t soon be forgotten.

It was nice to reconnect with the boys too.

They missed me and I missed them.

Even the dog was happy to see me.

Then again.

The dog usually is.

I do a lot of cooking and she is quite food motivated.

What dog isn’t?

Ah.

Back to the grind.

Back to the work.

Back to the school work.

I am grateful for it all.

I am blessed to be able to do it.

I am happy to have a purpose and a point and to be showing up for my life.

It really is a grand life.

No question about it.

Full.

Purposeful.

Happy.

Joyous.

And.

Oh yes.

Free.

Honor That Love

December 28, 2015

He said to me on the phone.

I hold deep capacities for love.

Sometimes that feels utterly overwhelming.

I sat here, in my chair, home and felt a wave of sadness go over me and said, “self, just have the feeling.”

And.

So I did.

I can lift my face up to the love, I can grow towards it, I can bask in it, I can honor it.

I can love.

And not be loved back.

I can love and not feel that I have to be compensated for that love.

I can see.

I can be seen.

I can be authentic and lovely and lovelorn all at the same time.

I believe.

I do.

That we all have this deep capacity for love.

Not everyone allows themselves to feel it, however, or it gets buried under afraid and not getting enough, not being in control, in the need for validation, approval, acceptance.

I accept, validate, and approve myself.

And I let the love shine like a light above me, something I can grow towards and through.

Not something that I have to fall into and drown.

These are new ideas for me.

To hold love and not expect a return.

I realize too, that I have expected returns from the earliest of ages, and that it is a constant letting go of that expectation.

I am the romance of a lifetime and I get to have these intense, beautiful, full, astonishing feelings.

Sometimes.

I really don’t want them.

But I also know that I have the capacity to hold it, the heart breaks, the heart breaks open, the heart grows in its ability to hold more.

At least mine does.

As I look about my small, but so beautifully appointed space I am ever so grateful that I have this nest of love to nestle in.

I was quite grateful for the space my friend and I stayed in while we were visiting Paris, but it’s not home, and home, oh, she is a lovely place.

I got back mid/late afternoon and like a good camper, unpacked, organized, and put away all my things.

Including doing a load of laundry, going through the mail, and writing out the rent check for January.

A quick run to the grocery store to get a few supplies.

I didn’t have it in me to cook today.

In fact, it feels like I don’t have it in me to do a whole hell of a lot.

So, the feelings leak out and instead of drowning in them, I let them happen.

Such a relief to already have seen them go past and to wave to them from the opposite shore.

I am sure that they will be back, but in this moment I am, as it was suggested honoring the love I grow towards and honoring myself and my abilities to try new things and go and have experiences.

Paris.

What an experience.

It is a little mind bending to think that yesterday I wandered the Marais, and today I am in the Outer Sunset of San Francisco.

I got to have one more last fabulous meal with my dear friend at Cantine du Troquet in the 15th.

I ordered with confidence and even made substitutions.

Ha.

I have to admit my French is not the best in the world, but it felt grand to be understood and to be able to ask for what I needed.

Of course.

I can forget.

Case in point.

The meal today on the plane.

Nothing I could eat.

Like.

Nothing.

And I sighed, accepted, drank some water and adjusted myself to what was happening.

A few minutes later, while I was watching a movie, my friend plunks down next to me and hands me three clementines.

That is love.

I grow toward it.

I smiled.

That small kindness.

Three small clementines, cold from the flight, but warming to my heart, and I am full, replete, and soothed.

And here.

In my space.

Feeling that same warmth.

Surrounded by beautiful things, small reminders of my trip, of my travels, now and previous, the lights around me warm, the candles lit, the bed made.

Oh.

How I am looking forward to sleeping in my own bed tonight.

So very much.

I actually slept quite a lot on the plane.

I set my watch when the time was noted and moved than hands on the face forward ten hours and saw that it was early morning here, that I would be asleep if I was in San Francisco and vowed at the moment to try to let myself drift away into the sleep so that I could reset my own body clock without too harsh a contradiction.

I dozed in and out and I actually believe I got in a few good hours here and there and passed much of the time in sleep on the plane.

A good way to travel.

Then.

Home.

Customs.

Waiting for luggage.

This was my first trip in a very, very, very long time that I checked baggage.

In fact, I can’t recollect a time previous in the last ten years that I checked, so waiting at Charles de Gaulle for my bag and again at SFO was a different experience.

It took longer than I expected, but I got through and got a ride home from the airport, hugged my friend, and came inside.

To be greeted by my sweet, dear home.

Ah.

Home.

Then the feelings came as I unpacked and though I tried to hold them at bay for awhile, doing the laundry, running to the market, sorting and situating, the feelings had to get out.

And.

They did.

And I am grateful for that.

Grateful I can feel so many things.

Grateful I know love to the depth of my being and even beyond.

That I have so much to give and feel.

Yes.

I love hard.

And.

I wouldn’t have it any other way.

I really wouldn’t.

My life is better for it.

I am better for it.

The white velvet light of it.

The richness of it, the swelter and glow.

The sweetness of a clementine in my mouth.

And.

The capacity to dream.

Dream.

Love.

Grow.

Shine.

Let me be that beacon.

I am honored in it.

I lean into it.

I accept it.

And I forgive myself for ever looking outside of myself for it.

I have all the love I need in the world.

And.

Probably.

Quite a bit.

More.

Quick

December 26, 2015

Fast blog.

I want to go to bed here pretty damn quick.

But.

Oh.

The day I had.

So good.

Such the perfect last day.

Even getting into a fight with my friend when I got lost today was part of the perfection.

When I think about it one small tiff in regards to an entire week of travel with a friend is pretty fucking good.

And we made up pretty quick.

It helps when I admit I was wrong.

I joked that I should get “Lost” or “I’m always wrong” as my tattoo.

Yes.

That is correct.

I got a tattoo on my last day here in Paris.

At Abraxas where my good friend Barnaby Williams used to work when he was living here.

He’ll be back in March, to Paris that is, and the shop remembered me, a couple of the guys remembered the jackalope that Barnaby did for me on my birthday and I was able to get in as a walk in.

And my friend as well, even though at first it was a no when we asked, they were booked up.

But.

It happened and I am so grateful.

I got a beautiful tattoo.

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It means “dream” in French.

Here is my awesome and amazing tattoo artist, Bin.

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He was a doll and did great work, despite speaking no English and the barest French–he’s Chinese.

I had the idea for a different piece, I was thinking “ma vie en rose” but I felt like it would be too squashed where I wanted to place it.

I had the idea to change the tattoo after doing a grand walk about through the Marais from some graffiti art I saw.

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“I think of nothing, I dream of everything.”

I think that’s pretty accurate.

And the Marais did not fail with it’s plethora of great past street art and graffiti.

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Fantastic street art.

And I saw a lot of art today.

I started the day with my friend by hopping on the Metro and getting to the Jeu de Paume as it was opening to see the Phillip Hausman exhibit.

It was fantastic.

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Some great Marilyn’s I had never seen before and also a gorgeous Audrey Hepburn and the sweetest photo of Angelica Houston.

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Oh goodness.

And so many other photographs that I just cannot do it justice here.

Nor.

Truly.

Can I do this blog justice as I just noticed the time and I have to be up in six hours to catch a flight back to San Francisco.

A fourteen hour flight.

So.

Bon soir Paris.

Je t’aime.

As always.

 

Joyeux Noel

December 25, 2015

And it was.

Truly.

A very merry Christmas.

My friend and I went to the Centre Pompidou today for a Christmas day full of art, art, art, and yes, more art.

I am such a glutton.

I was like a kid in a candy store.

All the art.

All the time.

Merry Christmas to me.

Thank you God, Santa, Pere Noel, St. Nicholas, Father Christmas.

It was an amazing day, lovely, quiet in the morning, the streets not too busy, the boulangerie on the corner amazingly open so my friend could grab a bite and the train ride a quick and painless one to the Hotel de Ville Metro stop.

Then.

Onto the museum.

And oh, so grateful for the museum pass once again, as the lines were astounding and long.

We zipped right up front and got right smack into the building.

Dropping coats at coat check and riding the escalators right to the top of the building to the observation deck next to the restaurant on the fifth floor.

Amazing views.

Really.

Just amazing.

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Sacre Coeur in the distance.

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Gargoyles on top of Notre Dame.

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Hotel de Ville.

So much beauty.

And I hadn’t even gotten inside yet to get myself steeped, smothered, drowned, divine with art.

Here are some of my favorites from the museum today:

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I got to my very, very, very happy place.

Lunch was had, late in the afternoon at the cafe in the museum, then off to see friends at St. Elizabeth’s in the Bastille by Metro Temple.

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Such a pretty neighborhood.

Then, we walked for a while.

Ending up in Saint-Denis, which is not such a pretty neighborhood and we hopped on the Metro quick like to get out of the hood.

Winding back here in the 15th at Motte-Piquet Grenelle.

A coffee for me.

Some chocolates for my friend.

More walking around the neighborhood.

Not much was open, it is Christmas day.

But.

We did stumble upon a fantastic restaurant–Le Primrose–which was full of French folks, nary a tourist but us, and had an amazing dinner.

I had mushroom risotto with raw ham.

Yes.

I know what that sounds like, it just means it was not cured.

But.

Fuck me.

It was delicious.

Full.

Replete.

And delirious from a day of walking the neighborhoods, walking the museum, climbing up and down the Metro stairs and my friend and I decided to call it a day.

Or a night, as the case may be.

And we arrived back here fairly early.

Tomorrow is our last full day in the city before returning to regular life, “regular” what the hell in my life is regular (aside from my morning routine, which I have managed to keep up here despite being on vacation), in San Francisco.

The day, is loosely planned–the Jeu de Paume, for we have not managed to get into the art exhibit, despite showing up three times there now–an early start to the day, planning on being there as it opens.

Then, to the Marais.

To Abraxas, if it is open.

For yes.

Ha.

Tattoos.

My friend and I both sport plenty of tattoos, and what better souvenir than one I can carry with me for the rest of my life?

Besides, I got one the last time I was here, same place, different tattoo artist, and I have a feeling it’s a nice tradition to have.

Then, lunch, and shopping in the Marais.

After a quick jaunt over to the American Church to say a good bye to friends.

Dinner in the neighborhood at Cantine du Trouquet (because, yes, it was just that good that we have decided to go back for dinner for our last night in Paris).

And.

Finally.

Finishing with a night time trip up the Eiffel Tower.

Because.

Why not?

It has been an amazing trip and I am ever so grateful for my friend and the company as we walked about Paris.

It feels special to be of service–to be a good tour guide, to be able to speak French, which is not nearly as rusty as I thought, although never quite as good as I want it to be, and to share the Paris that I love with another person.

I have had a marvelous time and am so very happy that I had such a Merry Christmas this year.

Once again.

Joyeux Noel from the City of Lights.

Et.

Trop bisous pour toi.

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Another Blog

December 24, 2015

With too many photos.

I realized yesterday, perhaps another day, but yesterday for certain.

That when I have photographs in my blog posts they do not get posted the same to my social media pages, Twitter and Facebook, like they typically do.

I have actually seen a decrease in readership since posting the blogs with photos.

But.

Fuck.

I can’t help it.

I take a lot of photographs and I don’t really care what social media has to say or not say or whether or not I have a bigger audience.

Nope.

I continue to just be happy writing for myself.

About myself.

Because.

You know.

It’s all about me.

Ha.

Are you there God?

It’s me Carmen.

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This is a photo my friend took of me today at the Palais de Tokyo at the John Giorno exhibit.

Oh.

My.

God.

I love this artist.

I had such a good time going through the exhibit.

So, so, so god damn good.

I love art.

I repeat.

I fucking love art.

Here are some more shots from the exhibit:

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It’s true.  I do.

And.

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And also this:

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This too:

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All the fuck over it.

Yes.

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Absolutely.

The show was right the fuck on and I enjoyed every little morsel of it.

Of all the photographs I took, though, this next one might be my favorite, just from the perspective of the light, the framing, and the subject matter.

I can’t quite explain it, but man, I was happy when I made the capture and even happier when I downloaded it to my computer, it stood out in my eyes.

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Just something about it that made me happy.

That might be the best definition of art for me.

Just something about it that makes me happy.

So lucky to have so much art in my life, I’m like a glutton for it right now, bring mama more, let me roll around in it, slather it on my skin, dip my heart into it, rub it on my soul, and wash it over my ethereal and oh so corporeal body.

Yum.

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Art and poetry.

Which is art.

The longing heart.

Oh.

Such much that.

My longing heart had so much love today, it was brimming and overflowed many times washing down my face with the rain.

“Are you crying?  Or is that the rain.”  My friend asked as we were caught in a tiny spat of rain on the way to the American Cathedral to meet with friends.

“Rain.” I said emphatically.

My friend looked at me with a cocked head and a raised eyebrow.

“Oh, both, yes, I’m crying.”

And that happened all day and I don’t apologize for those tears, they well up, they pass, I am sad, I am in Paris and then, I am fine, happy, replete, full and loved again.

Washed over and over with memories and heart ache and a new love and lightness too.

So many layers of love.

Here’s one that brought tears to my eyes.

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Sacre Couer on Christmas Eve.

We went to the church, I was hoping we would be able to eat at the cafe in my old neighborhood on Rue Bellefond, but they were already closed for the holiday.

Instead we walked up the hill and rode the funiclare to the top and climbed the last steps.

I went in, holy, silent, reverent, and lost all at the same time.

I lit a candle for my grandmother who passed on Christmas Eve ten years, no elven years ago and knelt down and said the Our Father.

I am not a Catholic, but it runs deep in my family and it felt appropriate and then I found myself saying all my prayers, all the ones that I know, all the ones in my heart, asking to surrender everything I think I know about myself and to let go and love and be loved and to move on and move forward and surrender again.

And again and again.

And again.

I cried my little heart out to the point where I had snot running down my face too.

So unexpected.

These strong emotions.

But good to let them out.

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Pensive, sad, soft, surrendered.

I feel a lot different now.

Looking at roses my friend gave me for Christmas and a sweet hug.

Knowing that the Pompidou is open tomorrow, on Christmas!

What a lovely gift.

And.

The gift of being here that I wasn’t expecting, the experiences I wasn’t expecting, the grounding and lifting of my heart toward the heavens and the laughter the falls out of my mouth sometimes, too, when I least expect it.

I am never going to be French.

No matter how good my French ever should become.

I laugh too loud.

I cry to hard.

And.

All of that.

Is just alright with me.

Because.

I know love.

I know it so very.

Very.

Well.

Merry Christmas from Paris.

Joyeux Noel.

 

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Grateful

December 24, 2015

Goose bumped with grateful.

Smashed with grateful.

Overwhelmed with the grateful of all things.

Art.

Ballet.

High heels on cobblestones.

The Metro line over Passy.

The taxi cab to the Opera Garnier.

More art.

Walking in the Tuilleries at dusk.

The sunset at Place de la Concorde.

Photographs.

The nearly full moon.

Plans for tomorrow–the Jeu de Paume, the Palais de Tokyo, walks, always the walking, the Eiffel Tower–this time to ride to the top.

Grateful for love.

Grateful beyond words.

Grateful over the moon over the Paris skyline, over and back 100 x infinity.

Grateful for joy.

Grateful for Bottecelli.

Grateful for tears rolling down my face, front row, premier etage, center right, Palais d’Opera Garnier.

So damn grateful.

Grateful I am not going to force myself to write it all down, but rather share a smattering of the days photographs with you so that I may rest, get up early and smash more glorious Paris into my person, my heart, my soul.

My Paris today.

Looked a little like this:

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Marc Aurelius, sculpture fragment, Richeliu Wing, Palais Royale du Louvre.

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Diana the Huntress, at the Louvre.

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Cherubim, ceiling of the Louvre.

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Bottecelli, that made me stop in my tracks.  Stop and break out into one of the most intense art highs I have ever had.  Stop my heart, tears splashing down my face, almost mortified with the joy of the piece.  I still cannot quite put into words how heart stopping this piece was.

Especially her face, the one in the goldenrod dress.

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Breathtaking.  I stood in front of the painting and forgot the masses of people streaming past me on their way to the Mona Lisa.

The Louvre was super overwhelming, so after a few more salons my friend and I left to find fare for a late lunch.

Catching the sunset as we emerged from the Jeu de Paume cafe after a brief respite from the crowds.

I captured these:

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Place de la Concorde with the Eiffel Tower in the distance.

And this:

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Roue de Paris.  The infamous ferris wheel at the entrance to the Tuilleries.

We rushed back to the studio to get ready for the ballet at the Palais d’Opera Garnier.  On the way stopping in the neighborhood for a rotisserie chicken and potatoes from Monsieur Defrenoy, fresh asparagus from the market and apples.

The ballet was not going to let out until ten pm so we figured we’d have a late dinner at the house rather than trying to find something open.

The ballet was smashing.

Over the top–the venue, the lights, the space.  I cannot do it justice with words so I will finish my little blog of joy with these last shots of my time at the ballet.

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Beyond grateful to be having Christmas in Paris.

Again.

I repeat.

Just to hear myself say it.

I am.

The.

Luckiest girl.

In the world.

At least, tonight.

In Paris.

I am.

 

The Day In Review

December 23, 2015

It was a good day.

A great day.

A grand day.

A day full of walking and art and photographs.

Unfortunately I somehow lost a series of them off my camera.

And I have spent too much time searching my computer for them, obnoxious.  I don’t know what happened, but they were imported, then deleted from my camera, which is usually how I roll.

Then.

I was editing them.

And while I was editing the photographs, I plugged in my Iphone and my phone went to download photos and I clicked, without thinking the close button on Iphoto since I didn’t want them to download.

So when I re-opened Iphoto after smacking self on the head, the photographs I had down loaded off my camera, the ones that I was in the middle of editing, poof.

All gone.

Like nowhere.

Like I have spent over an hour looking through everything.

Going back into my camera–nope, gone.

Remember, I deleted them when the import to my computer was done.

In the trash, through all my photo files.

Everywhere.

No photos.

Sigh.

Which is too bad.

I had a couple of good shots and two great shots that I was super excited about.

However.

I did also take photographs with my Iphone.

So.

Some things to share about the day.

IMG_7614This is on the bridge under the Metro line 8.  It has to be one of my favorite Metro stops, Passy, as it has the most beautiful hanging gas lamps.  I just love it.  Plus, the building to my left is the building where Last Tango in Paris was filmed.

IMG_7612This guy here.  Marlon Brando making some furious American love up on the 4th floor.

IMG_7622The bridge was an easy segue off to the Palais de Tokyo.  Where I have been regaling my friend of the amazing cafe inside and the modern art.

Which would have been fantastic to see.

But, um.

Ha.

I read the hours wrong and we went on a day the museum was closed.

We’ll be going back on Thursday.

A brief, but probably not all inclusive look at the following days:

Tomorrow, Wednesday, the Louvre in the morning followed by lunch, somewhere in the neighborhood, then a walk through the Tuilleries to the Jeu de Paume to see some modern art photography.

If we have enough time, possibly swinging over to the other side of the Tuilleries and seeing the Monet water lilies.

We may not have all that much time, and if so, we’ll just be heading back to the studio where we are staying on Rue Juge in the 15th, to get ready to go right back out.

Yes.

Tomorrow we are off to the ballet in the evening.

I will want to have a good hot, long shower after much tramping about the Louvre, and put on my polka dot dress and shoes and off to the Garnier Opera House for a night of ballet.

Thursday and Friday, Christmas Eve and Christmas day, will be a little more flexible, but will include museums as well, the Pompidou is actually open on Christmas and I cannot think of a better way to spend it then walking around a bunch of amazing modern art on Christmas day.

Plus being so close to the Marais and it’s sweet alleys and walkways.

We have also been invited a few places and will likely see friends in the fellowship.

So many good friends.

Saturday perhaps Pere LaChaise and some shopping and who knows.

Honestly, while I write, it could all be completely different than what happens.

As I said, I thought I was going to the Palais de Tokyo today and the Jeu de Paume and neither of those happened.

But.

The Musee d’Art IMG_7624Moderne did.

And they were having an awesome Warhol exhibit.

So much Warhol.

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IMG_7626Plus a divine view from the main galleries.

IMG_7625And an amazing courtyard with cafe tables everywhere.

My friend and I had great fun checking out the art, then we had lunch on the terrace, sitting in the sun eating salads and drinking cafe creme, listening to the babble of French around me and looking out on the Eiffel Tower in the afternoon light.

Pretty spectacular.

Then.

Lots more walking.

Up Avenue George V.

Past the American Cathedral and onto the Champs Elysees.

We went up to the Arc de Triomphe, by passing the enormous line with our museum pass, thank you to whomever it was so many years ago who turned me onto the pass, it really works.

IMG_7628A jam packed line to get up to the top was by passed as well, and we circled quickly through, then back to the Champs Elysees where my friend did a little shopping and we navigated as quickly as possible through the holiday Christmas Village madness.

We cut short the grand avenue and walked over the Alexander Bridge between Invalides and the Grand Palace and Le Petite Palais.

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Stopping for some photo moments, which was nice, having a friend with to take some shots of me too.  I have thousands of photographs of Paris, but not all that many of them have me in them.

It was sweet to have my friend take a few captures of me today.  Although I am bummed that I lost the photos from my camera, there were still some good shots on the Iphone too.

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After walking the bridge, we descended to the river bank and walked along the Seine for a while.

Resurfacing to walk around Place de la Concorde and onward into the Tuilleries.

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We debated, my friend was game, I was not so much, even though I really do want to go for a ride, the ferris wheel, but the line was so long I passed on it.

I figure there is still time and if I make it a point to prioritize it, the ride will happen.

So much will still happen.

And the walk through the Tuilleries at dusk was divine.

We even managed to sneak in a late cafe creme and sit down a one of the cafes in the garden before it closed.

Walking through as the sun went down we headed toward the Louvre.

Just to check out the Pyramid at night, the museum is closed on Tuesdays.

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We’ll be back tomorrow!

The night was far from over and it included a walk across Pont Neuf, a walk through Saint Germaine a visit to the American Church, a walk under the Eiffel Tower and the most amazing dinner at a restaurant in the neighborhood that blew my mind.

I am grateful to have good instincts and though I was worried my friend my faint from lack of food, I urged going there, and my God.

It was worth it.

La Cantine du Troquet.

So very, very, very good.

We had a chacuterie plate with two types of terrine de pate de foie gras, prosciutto, salami, cornichons, pickled peppers, and I had a beautiful pork chop with green salad and a cafe creme (which I probably should not have had, I’m wide awake, but damn it, it was good) and an amazing plate of chevre for dessert.

My friend had pomme frites and the salmon avec coquillages St. Jacques, and an amazing chocolate pot de creme.

A quick brisk walk back to the studio.

Et.

Voila!

Je suis ici.

Full and happy and ready to take on tomorrow’s next adventures.

I am so lucky to be able to do this.

My life is beyond words.

As too.

My gratitude.

I am the luckiest girl in the world.

I really am.

 


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