Posts Tagged ‘Claire Fontaine’

First One Down

January 29, 2018

I did it.

I got my first paper of the semester written and turned in.

It was a small guy, five pages.

I was a bit resentful of it for a few days.

First, fucking christ, the first weekend of classes was last weekend, give me a god damn minute to have some time off.

Second, I got a notification yesterday that it was due at 4p.m. today.

What the fuck?

Four p.m.


I have a god damn life, I have things to do, and this day, this was my first day off in two weeks, two, and you’re giving me a hard limit of 4p.m.?




So that I found annoying.


I told myself to shut the fuck up and do the fucking work.

I also let myself sleep in.

I was on the phone late last night with my best friend and my God, do we know how to talk, like two highschool girls on a school night dishing all the things, I could talk forever with my friend, it is always so hard to say goodbye, goodnight, until we talk again, it never feels like it is soon enough before we can talk again.

I was going to go to an early morning yoga class, but decided to just let myself sleep and maybe I would catch an afternoon yoga class after I had written the paper, or maybe nothing, fuck it, fuck yoga, fuck it all.




My body had other ideas.

Sometimes my feet are smarter than my brain.

I did miss the early yoga class, but I woke up in plenty of time to hit the 10:30 a.m. class.

I still got up and out of bed thinking, telling myself that I wasn’t going to go, I would use the extra time to write my paper, or maybe doing my Morning Pages, God knows I have had plenty of fodder for writing.

Oh my god the amount of morning writing I have done while I have been going through my recent experiences, so much.

But I am grateful for the outlet, grateful for the pen on the paper, the feel of the pen moving across the lines, the words tumbling out, prayers and affirmations, gratitude lists, longings and dreams and desires, all of it, bumbled down on my Claire Fontaine notebook and then a little sweet sticker next to my entry, a way to mark my heart on the page, a mandala, a rose, a butterfly, a baby bunny, something small and sweet to tell me where my heart lies in between the words the dance of magic and poetry that I sense is still there just waiting for the right moment to spring forth again.

Like Athena from the mind of Zeus.

All the poesie and love and magic, the passion, the words, so many words of love and adoration I have.

So many.


I digress.

See, I think of love and poetry and get lost.

Adrift in worlds of magic and sorcery and the poetics of my life, the romance.

My God.

The romance of it.

Sometimes, yes, it is a little dark, a lot emotional, a kind of deep swooning romance that is historic and deep and has an uncanny beauty writ large in the stars, the blue moon waxing full.

But it is so beautiful and I am so grateful for it, the gift of it.

Seared into me.

Pierced into me.


As such, I was compelled to let myself write, but instead I found myself putting on my yoga clothes and then signing up for the 10:30 a.m. class.

My feet had better ideas than my head.

And I am so glad I went.

It was a terrific class, I got to do a lot of heart openings, as though my heart has not been opened enough of late, but it was good, and hard and painful and when I felt stuck, I just breathed through it harder and thought of the love I had and sent it out into the world.

I thought of wrapping my love around my love, a warm cloak, a blanket, I pictured the sun surrounding me and then held my love in my arms, buried my face in the back of his head and then smelled the nape of his neck and I started to cry in yoga.


Truth be told.

I did not mind.

It felt good, a washing of love, a rendering of myself in the moment, a supplication, a surrender to the feeling, to let it go as I lay prostrate on the mat.

And the sensory feeling of putting my arms around the love of my life and covering him with love was so relieving too, as though I could buffet his heart with my love.

It felt right and good even though it felt sad too, just to have another moment to hold him close to me, even if imagined, even in revery, felt so good and real and right.



Grateful I got out to yoga.

And then did all the other things.

Shower, breakfast, reading, writing, working with a new lady who came over to the house and we met and read things and talked about life and recovery and doing the deal and that was fantastic.

And when she left.

I got to it.

I pulled out my books and notebooks and syllabus and I got into the paper.

It flowed so well and smoothly and just dropped out of my head and onto the page, well, I was a little amazed.

It just came and I edited it and read it and tidied it up and had it sent off to my professor by 3:50p.m.

Ten minutes before it was due.

Thank you.

Thank you very much.

Grateful as hell that I know how to write a paper.

I also collaborated with my partner in another class and mapped out the work that needs to be done for a project in that class.

I have my writing calendared for the next week, mostly next Sunday, but also some writing will have to be done Saturday too, I suspect.


I have all my readings prepped for the next weekend of classes.

I will bring my books with me and again sneak in the pages and chapters when I can, where I can, in between going to and from supervision, work, internship, doing the deal, and all the other things I am juggling.

I will have my books with me and when I can, well, I’ll be reading.

It’s my last semester of my Masters program!

Holy fuck.

I have my first assignment in and done.

One tiny step forward.

One tiny march of faith into the future.

I know not where I am going.


I am assured.

That it will be bright and beautiful and full of love.


Always that.


Let’s Go Out in The Sunshine

May 15, 2017

But before I do.

Let me write my morning pages on the deck of the houseboat and eat a plum.

In my long black, sleeveless dress with my bare feet (well, one bare foot, my right ankle was still wrapped up in its Ace bandage) up on a wooden deck chair.

Still need to rest my ankle when and where I can.

It’s not nearly as bad, but I can tell when it starts to get cranky and then, it’s time to sit, rest, let it go, not push too hard.

I have sat far more this trip than I ever have any prior time here.

I have to say.

It’s damn nice.

I’m not so freaked out that I’m not going to get to have the experiences I want to have.

In fact.

I’m pretty ok with whatever experiences that I continue to have here as they have been simply marvelous.

I will never forget sitting on the deck and drinking coffee and watching the Batobus go by with their tops heavy with tourists.

Not ever.

Nor the way the tree dander floated on the wind along the Seine as I walked the river this afternoon perusing the book sellers.

I picked up a couple of really great postcards and had some nice chats with vendors.

I walked from the houseboat down past Notre Dame and had lunch on Ile St. Louis.

I finally got the crappy Paris service that folks complain about, but I also recognize that I perhaps went too long before having my lunch.

Sometimes the walking just pulls me along and I have to go another block, see another building, watch another couple entwined around one another.


You are so enchanting.

I feel enchanted being here.

Like I am in a fairy tale.

I made up for the crap service at lunch by finding a fabulous cafe on the edge of the Marais with bright blue chairs and red tables and had the most fabulous lemonade I have ever had.


A cafe creme.

When in Paris.


It’s my splurge.

The lemonade was so tart it made my whole face pucker, it had no sugar, which is right up my alley, since I don’t do sugar, but the crushed ice and the big sprig of mint made it a savory, refreshing and delicious.

Sitting in the sunshine didn’t hurt either.

After some slow sipping and sitting I wandered the Marais.



Yes, I did.

I hit the fucking jackpot.

I found a papeterie that carried a ton of Claire Fontaine notebooks.

I bought six.


I am a very, very, very happy girl.

I also swung into Abraxas Tattoo.


I will be getting another tattoo.

You know.

That’s what I do.

I will be going in Wednesday at 3:30p.m.

I will probably do a big swing through the Pompidou prior to getting the tattoo.

I am getting Anticonformiste in script on my left forearm.

A visiting tattoo artist from Nepal, Manish, super kind and we had a great chat about when I was going to come in and what I wanted, will be doing the work for me.

I expect that the tattoo won’t take but an hour.

So I may do the Pompidou after.

But the Pompidou I will do.

Tomorrow I will start the museum circuit.

I have the four-day museum pass and Saturday I have plans to go with a friend to Clingancort on Saturday and well, Sunday, I fly home.

But let’s not talk about Sunday yet.

Today is just Monday.


Back to the Marais, back to my strolls.


The reminds me, since I’ll be in the Marais again on Wednesday I should pop into the Marche aux Rouge Enfants.

The Market by the Red Children.

It is located by a former orphanage where the children wore red coats.

Thus the name.

It is a gigantic food market.

Closed on Mondays, so no journeying though the stalls, but it will be open on Wednesday.

I am feeling that is where I will be getting my lunch and maybe taking it to Place Vosges to eat before getting inked up.

Not a plan, but a thought, I make no plans, they melt away, I am just letting myself really experience Paris.

Walking through the Marais I also swung into a couple of stores and yes, I found the perfect black sundress.


I am very happy to have found it, not too pricey, 59 Euro, and my goal of finding a dress in Paris is complete.

It almost never happens that fast.

In one day I found my dress, all my postcards, put a deposit down on a new tattoo, and got Claire Fontaine notebooks!

I am set.

I want for nothing.

The rest is icing on the cake.

Tomorrow I will start the round of museums and get the Paris Museum Pass activated by going to the D’Orsay.

The Orangerie is closed, so I might pop into the Louvre as well, there is a Vermeer exhibition happening that I would love to see.

No pressure to do the Louvre in entirety, not that I could, it is so enormous, I can’t even express it, over two city block long, two wings of art, each wing having four floors, there is no way I will ever see everything in the Louvre, ever.

Not that I need to either, I have seen the things that I want and even the infamous, and tiny, Mona Lisa, but the big draws are always too much for me to deal with, too many people, I like the smaller rooms and galleries.

But the Vermeer looks like a really good show, so definitely I will go to that.


I know the “secret” entrance to the Louvre in the Tuilleries that helps to skip the massive lines that are the queue for the entrance under the I M Pei Pyramid.


Just a quick zip in and out.

And no agenda.


I am so happy to be here and I am having a fabulous time.

Really relaxing and slowing down and enjoying the delicious sun and the walking and the houseboat and the cafe creme.


Always that.

Bon soir mes amies.

A demain.

Trop grosse bixous!


November 2, 2013

This is all just dust, he said to me emphatically, waving at the bicyclists and skateboarders, the dog walkers, and the Friday afternoon revellers in the Mission.

He was pretty damn on point with me today, cut straight through all the bullshit and said, do whatever you’re going to do or hide away in a closet.

It’s all dust.

So get busy living.

Well, I added that part.

“What about Rome?” He also asked.

Now how the fuck did he know about Rome?

I don’t recall talking about it at all to him, although I have had Rome on the brain a little of late, especially this afternoon as I stood taking in the panorama of San Francisco from the top of 19th between Noe and Sanchez.

It is a spectacular view from my employers back window.

It reminds me of how the houses in Rome were stacked up against one another and there was something of the light this afternoon that reminded me of Rome as well.

Rome is one of those places I wouldn’t mind living in for a little while.

“Research” another book.

I started writing a new piece today.

I went to Flax after work and I bought a new Claire Fontaine notebook and a bunch of stickers, I did not find the birthday card for my mom, although I hunted through, that remains on the list and I need to take care of that on the morrow, her birthday is November 7th and I want to make sure the card gets to her by that day.

I bicycled away from Flax with the sun beaming down benevolently on my head and the entire way there I thought, “what is the opening line?  How will I start, where am I going with the story, what am I doing,” etc, etc, etc.

God, sometimes I dislike that part of my brain so much.

I counseled myself and said, just show up, just sit down.

Open the notebook and see what comes.

I wasn’t expecting to write what I wrote.

I wasn’t expecting to have a name for the heroine, and it just popped out onto the page.

I started writing and continued to do so until John Ater showed up at the cafe and he motioned for me to come out and talk with him on the benches outside.

The blue sky, the green flashing leaves on the trees, all the stories I tell myself.

“Have you written about what you learned in Paris yet?” He asked bluntly at one point in the conversation.

“Sort of, in my morning pages,” I said.

“No, have you written about it, not artistically, just for yourself, just to see what is there,” he concluded.

“No.”  I said.

No, I have not.

Maybe I don’t want to learn exactly what it is that I learned there.

Let’s see, there is that I made a lot of connections, I met a lot of people, I was in a lot of fear, most of which was completely unnecessary, and most of which I was able to walk through.

There were days though, when the terror was so strong upon me that I don’t know how I made it through.

I learned that I don’t want to live in  Paris, at least not right now, but that I do want to live in San Francisco, and be also a woman of the world.

Not just Rome.

But what about Africa?

How about that for a six month stretch?

How about being based in San Francisco, anchored here, and then once every few years, going off and travelling, taking pictures and writing.

Or Hawaii.

Or Iceland.

Or, well, who knows.

What if I just nanny for a little while here, build up another nest egg and then travel and write some more.

What if I was not “Auntie Bubba Girl on the Go, but Auntie Bubba, Woman of the World?”

What would that look like?

“Just do it, don’t talk about it, how long did you talk about Paris,” John asked me briskly.

I don’t know.

I didn’t realize that I had talked about it that much.

However, if an ex that I dated six years ago recalls me wanting to move to Paris, well, I guess I have been talking about it for a while.

What did I learn?

That my home is San Francisco and that the people I love live here, Steve and Joan and Beth, Matt, and Radha, Calvin, Tami, Arin, Megan, Sarah, Alex and Shannon, John Ater, Joanne, Mace, Tanya, Stephanie, Taylor, oh, there’s a list.

“I just wanted to tell you how much I love you,” I told a friend of mine today over the phone.

“You were one of my rocks when I was in Paris, I couldn’t have done it without you in my corner,” I had tears streaking down my face and turned into the atm at the bank to deposit my work check for the week before heading off to adventures in nannying.

I felt compelled to reach out and tell some folks today that I love them.

And to also check the balance on my bank account, because I am buying a ticket to Florida to visit some family soon.

When the blog is finished writing itself, it does that, I don’t anymore, this is just a conduit, I am just a channel.

“What else?” He asked, crossing his arms in front of himself.

“I have already broken up with him before we got started,” I said.

“Which one?” He laughed.

“How about you just sequester yourself in your room, nail wood slats on the door and hide for the rest of your life, you are going to get hurt either way, there is no safe way through,” he ended.

“Why don’t you give it a chance, see what happens,” he coughed, “or have you already figured it out?”

“Fuck you,” I said, and turned back to the trees, the light, the sky, the coffee cup with melted ice in it.  I ran my finger around the froth of milk rimming the cup and sucked it off.

“I learned that I don’t have to know what I am doing, I just have to do it.”

This is what I have realized since leaving that bench in front of Philz on 24th and Folsom Street.

I don’t have to know where I am going.

I don’t have to know why.

I don’t have to figure it out.

I just need to let you know how much I love you.

Because that is, in the end, the only thing that really matters.

And with that, you’ll have to excuse me, I have a ticket to purchase, there is someone I need to tell that to face to face.



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