Posts Tagged ‘Claire Fontaine notebooks’

That’s Not A Shower Curtain

December 13, 2016

Then I burst into tears.

I got an early birthday present.

Two beautiful Claire Fontaine notebooks.

Be still my heart.

My favorite notebooks of all time.

Gorgeous, smooth, silky, satiny, soft, soft, soft, French paper that is the most exquisite thing to write on.

I am a tactile person.

I love textures and things that soothe.

Writing on this paper makes me happy.

Happier than one would think, all things considered, it’s such a small luxury, but not a luxury I allow myself very often.

It’s special, they are special.

And sometimes I have a hard time letting myself have nice things.

I’m working on it.

In the mean time.

There are those out there who love me and that’s what it was like.

Getting a big box of love.

And it was sweet and made me feel tender.

I was already feeling a little tender.

Date cancelled.

Fool me once, shame on you.

Fool me twice, shame on me.

Shame is on me.

I sort of knew it too.

A pricking in my thumbs.

A feeling like something was up.

And I find it funny since I was planning on approaching the date differently than I have in the past.

No such practice was to be had.

I reminded myself, gently, that “rejection is God’s protection” and there were probably many things that I needed to be doing instead of this date.

Psychopathology paper.

Organizing my books to sell back to the book store at school, although the majority of them I bought online, the store will buy back books that they didn’t sell.

So there’s that.

And I did actually work on my Psychopathology paper today, although there was some push back and it took, what felt like Herculean effort to open up my books and notebooks, I got in there.

The baby took a nice long two-hour nap and yes, I did take my sweet time cracking the books, but once opened, I dove in and I wrote a bit of the paper out.

Not, actually, in my computer, I’d left my laptop at the house.

But rather.

By long hand, in my notebook.

I began the outline and I got my thesis statement written.

I wrote four pages long hand in outline, which should correlate to about seven or eight on my computer once I format the paper.

I know what I am going to write about for the first section of the paper, I have my symptoms outlined, and I have my diagnosis and I have my differential diagnoses, and I have my reasons sketched out as to why the diagnosis that I chose is the “correct” one (there technically is no correct diagnosis, I have to argue my point of view) and I can support my decision quite well.

Doing that work today really felt good, actually.

That means that I have a third of the paper written.

Even though it’s not written formally, having the knowledge of what I’m going to write is huge, and as all the previous papers for this professor have done, I am learning more as I go.

Which is pretty fucking cool when you think about it.

Albeit a little exhausting.

I really did have a hard time getting into the books.

But I knew that I would be more upset with myself if I didn’t, especially since I had a pretty good feeling the baby would sleep for a while.

And now.

Now I feel really good.

I have officially, in my brain anyhow, set aside Saturday afternoon to write the paper formally.

I will do yoga in the morning, meet with my person in the Inner Sunset at noon, then scooter back to the house for lunch and sit my happy ass down and write.

I have a commitment at 7 p.m. and I will be done with it by the time I need to leave.

Guaranteed.

I’m feeling a lot better about it since having done the preliminary work on it last Monday and again another couple of hours on it today.

Including the time reading and re-reading the material I have put in quite a bit of time already on the paper.

But.

I want that “A.”

I’m going to get that grade.

And then.

I’m going to go merrily to my birthday brunch and not give two fucks about school for a week.

No practicum freaking out.

No ordering my books for the next semester, unless the syllabi go up, but I don’t think they will, it usually takes a week.

No reading, except for pleasure.

I will definitely let myself have a least one pleasure book for the holidays.

And perhaps a real date.

I’m ready for some fun.

Which is what I thought tonight was going to be about and I realize that it’s not on the menu, it happens sometimes, the fun runs out, and the next dish doesn’t seem that special.

But having gotten to unexpectedly open a birthday present early I feel quite happy and very loved.

I really didn’t realize.

I’m usually quite the good girl about waiting.

My mom sent my birthday and Christmas present already and I haven’t open those yet.

I’ll open my birthday present on my birthday and my Christmas present on the 23rd, since I’m going to Wisconsin that evening on a red-eye and I don’t plan on carrying that with.

Although I will be traveling with gifts, I got my friends some little things and their boys some stuff, I’m actually quite excited to give them their gifts–Arrrgh maties, I went to ye olde pirate shop–826 Valencia–the only pirate supply store in the world.

At least that I know of.

It’s like the coolest kids store ever.

And got the boys some ridiculous gifts.

So.

Hey.

Look.

It’s ok that my date cancelled.

I had better things to do it turns out.

Like let myself experience love.

That was the better choice, despite my best laid plans.

And truly.

I’m ok with that.

Although I did burst into tears when I got the notebooks.

They were good tears.

Sad.

Sweet.

Bitter.

Sweet.

And happy.

All wrapped up in one beautiful package.

Love.

Love.

It’s all that really matters.

Seriously.

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Faith Is The Wheelbarrow

January 31, 2016

That carries hope across the high wire.

This is how I see it, I explained to her over coffee at Tart to Tart.

It was good to see her, it’s been a few weeks.

Plenty of check ins, but no face to face meetings and it was nice to be held accountable, to show up, to be an adult.

I’m adult’ing all over the place.

Who’s done with her reading?

Me.

That’s who.

Well, almost done.

I still have my Ethics and Family Law class to finish, but in the last week, culminating in today, I have read ALL of my readings for my next set of classes for Psychodynamics, Multi-Cultural Counseling and the Family, and The Clinical Relationship.

I just finished a little while ago and to celebrate turned on some music–I can’t read with music in the background, even pleasure reading (unless I’m in a cafe, then somehow I am able to drown out the noise, and interestingly, I am doing it right now, I like to listen to music when I am blogging–never when I writing my morning pages, but almost always when I do my blog.  The brain is a fascinating thing.) becomes too much with music playing.

I also opened up my Fantastic Cities coloring book that a dear friend and ladybug gave me a few weeks ago.

I did some coloring and it felt good; I’m exploring it as a meditative spiritual practice.

Some preparation for my Applied Spirituality class proposal.

The proposal is due the 5th of this upcoming month.

Which sounds like all the time in the world, but is actually next Friday and since the weekends is when I do my writing for school (weekdays I read before work, which is how i am done with the majority of my reading, a consistent effort to read a half hour to an hour before work every day, plus the morning pages and my morning routine, you could say I have a job to do before I do my job.) I want to have it done tomorrow.

The proposal is something I can work on when I meet up to study with my friend.

I am excited to see her and also give a little tour of the neighborhood, despite living in San Francisco for a little bit now, she has not see the Outer Sunset.

We’re going to meet up after lunch.

I figure she’s got to have a tour of the house, it feels vulnerable and scary and wonderful all at the same time to show someone my home.

I feel it’s quite a reflection of myself and a look into my secret, well, not so secret, I do so often wear it on my sleeve, heart.

It’s the epicenter of my personality that’s for sure.

My room always has been.

My sister told me once that she used to sneak into my room when we were in high school and she would lay on my bed and look at my stuff.

I wonder what she saw.

I feel like my home is warm and inviting, like me, and sweet, like me.

Ha.

I know how that sounds.

But that is what my person called me today.

Sweet and warm.

I don’t believe I have ever heard her use those words to describe me and I felt tears pooling in my eyes when she said it.

I had just finished reading her my list of what God is.

(EVERYTHING)

Here is the list, with a few things edited for the sake of anonymity, that divine spiritual principal that is at the center of everything I am and do:

-Love

-Light, sunshine, warmth

-Apples

-Restful sleep

-The Ocean

-The smell of jasmine at night

-Daisies

-Summer time, sundresses, wearing my hair down long

-Poetry

-Burning Man

-Shadrach

-Being held, holding someone’s hand

-Plum trees blooming in spring

-Art, museums, getting art high

-Paris, travel, gardens, cafes

-Recovery, service

-Coffee, friends, tea, tattoos

-Having curly hair, beauty

-Fun, pinball, coloring

-Self-care, hot showers, walks on the beach

-Kissing, romantic love, good sex

-The smell of sweat

-Salt on my food

-My scooter, my bicycle

-Perspective

-Stickers, collage, art magazines

-Photography

-Blue skies

-Surrender, letting go, forgiveness

-School, reading, flexibility

-Serendipity, getting out of the way, being taken care of

-Family, school friends, children I have nannied

-Bunny rabbits

-Writing, blogging, morning pages

-Music and dancing

-More and more and more love

-Good pens and Claire Fontaine notebooks

It was a good list to make and reminds me of others I have done.

“What a sweet, warm, beautiful list, there are so many women I work with who wouldn’t be able to see what you see, how freeing it is, there’s that too, that sense of freedom, joy, you have it,” she leaned toward me, “the feel of paper under your hand, is that what you said?”

Yes, it is indeed what I said and she knew the notebooks I was talking about and how I wish I had gotten a couple more while I was in Paris.

“They sell them at Flax!” She exclaimed.

They do, although not the same kind that I like, they also have an online shop and that may be where I indulge myself a little when I get my tax return.

But, I digress.

Warm and sweet.

I’m now describing my tea.

Haha.

Perhaps that is why, I’m full of hot tea, spicy, sweet tea.

Or.

Maybe, I’ve just kept showing up and doing the work and letting myself be seen more and more, even when I resist, even when I thought, but did not act, about canceling on my school friend.  Instead, I shared my crazy and told my person.

“Oh, she said that to you?” My person said, “well, she sees you–the real you, that’s what you’re afraid of.”

Yup.

As desperately as I want to be seen, and believe me, I do, I do, I do.

I also get scared by the thought of intimacy, of being seen into, of being vulnerable, I don’t want to be hurt.

But if I sequester myself I won’t get to continue to enjoy the benefits that being open hearted and vulnerable have brought me.

And I like those benefits.

They are so good.

Freedom from the bondage of self being just one of many.

So tomorrow.

I show up, which should not really be all that hard since my friend is coming to me, and I show myself for who I am and I let another person in.

I am grateful for this ever widening circle of friends.

Love.

And.

Life.

It is all so damn good.

I mean.

Really.

REALLY.

Good.

Morbid Reflection

November 1, 2013

Must be careful to not drift that way.

Just a reminder.

I was supposing that as this day drew near that I might be tempted to do just that.

However, without even realizing it I am excited to be here, one year later, ready to take some of what I experienced and move forward with it.

“The first time I moved to Paris,” he said to me with his rakish British accent, “I fell in love and married her and within a year we were divorcing, she took everything I had, and I had to move back home to live with my dad.”

He shook his head, “I was sixty thousand dollars in debt and living on the fucking pull out at my fathers flat.  I was 45.”

“Nobody makes it their first time in Paris, it takes time, but I wouldn’t give up that experience for the world.”  He paused, ran his hand through his hair, “I was in an awful place, but I was there for a reason, and I took a lot of photographs.”

Photographs that were about to be the main attraction in a big show at the Tate in London.  Photographs that had already done the Biennial at Venice and shows in Paris.

I knew he was an artist and I knew that he was annoyed by me.

Sometimes we are annoyed by that which reminds us the most of ourselves.

By the end of my time in Paris he would bear me grudging respect, and he hugged me when I was saying my good byes the last time I was on George V heading away from the American Cathedral to the Metro.

“Everyone comes to Paris to write a book, you’re not special, or unique, if I had a fucking dollar for every person who dreams about coming to Paris and making it as a writer, I would be a filthy rich man.”

He was not always the nicest with his opinions, but he had a point.

A point that I have been reflecting on as I sit here not at all sad to be in the place that I am.

Happy indeed, “I love my life,” popped into my head a lot today, walking through the park with my charge dressed as a bunny on our way to Music Together to do some Halloween themed singing and dancing; on my bicycle as I crested Lincoln Ave at 19th and the smell of singed pumpkin tops greeted my nose; again when I was walking out of a store on 9th and Irving.

I bought myself a pretty dress.

It had been too long.

I paid my rent yesterday, leaving me flush today, anything I earned was to be my special treat.  I dropped $21 at Bi-Rite on Divasedero getting myself some brown rice, avocado, cucumber, and crab sushi for lunch, some artisanal apples and persimmons, organic pears, and yes, some carrots for the bunny and me.

The dress cost $95.

I made $128.

I still came out ahead.

And I have a new dress to wear tomorrow.

Tomorrow it will fly out behind me as I wing down Valencia Street after work to make an artist’s date run on Flax.

Why Flax?

They have my Claire Fontaine notebooks.

I am doing the writing challenge.

I had an idea and I am going to run with it.

Because even if I don’t succeed at doing the novel, which I will, it’s there, I can feel it itching to come out of my head, in fact I can’t shake the story even if I am not sure of the middle and the ending, I have a beginning, an antagonist, a heroine, a character, and she, like Athena, longs to spring forth from my brain.

I am going to buy my favorite notebook, a bunch of stickers, and a birthday card for my mom.

Then I am going to go to Philz on 24th and write until I meet with John Ater.

Every day I have time in between this and that which I can fill with the writing.

The implementation to my laptop can happen on the weekends and in its own way become a second draft.  It will be a project, but a project I am happy to attend to.

My time in Paris was amazing.

Hard.

Challenging in ways that I never expected.

And when I look at the experience with a little perspective, where I was six months ago moving back from the experiment, to where I was a year ago, I can see that I took a fucking research trip.

I gave myself up to the city.

I walked as much as my feet could handle, and probably past the point they could handle.  I took so many photographs, I wrote, endlessly in my journals, in my blog, in notebooks, in a moleskin that I jotted down my financial spending.

I can tell you what I spent where on what day when in this neighborhood, pair it with the blog I wrote, see the photographs I took and recount in detail things that happened.

I gave myself a huge experience to draw from.

I gave myself the best artist date ever.

And to not use that would be sacrilege.

I suspect that what will happen is that I will sit down and start writing long hand and just see what comes.  Showing up for the page is two-thirds the battle.

Then when I take the words to the second draft from my notebook to my laptop I can flush out ideas, images, sensory happenings, I can write in detail what it was like to be in Sacre Couer on Christmas Eve pressed in to the masses of people singing with the choir, the smell of roasting chestnuts in the Metro stops, the way snow flakes looked falling in the light of the sodium lamps on Pont d’Alma next to the Eiffel Tower.

I can flush it all out and bump the word count significantly, I believe without too much of a stretch.

My first short story to get published was a science fiction piece inspired by something I observed on the Metro heading to French class.

It was published in The Bastille.

Which, fyi, small aside, has contacted me to submit to the December issue.

I shall be sending them some things, as well as some photographs.

How fitting, then to write my first real fiction novel set in Paris, a future Paris, one I get to make up, that’s the fiction, and a Paris that I will allude to in flashback, to the time when I was there, utilizing the astounding amount of data I collected.

That’s what I did.

I made a leap of faith and I went.

I did something brave.

I shall not let down the experience.

I shall continue to do something brave.

I will show up for the page and see where the story takes me.

I will write.

Wasting nothing.

My experience, my greatest gift.


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