Posts Tagged ‘Notre Dame’

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!

I Don’t Know

June 9, 2016

And I mean that with every ounce of my being.

I don’t know shit.


I’m showing the fuck up anyway.

Doing the deal.

“What are you going to do?” She asked me two years ago this July, we were just pulling into the Caribou Coffee shack on my way to the airport in Minneapolis.

I had been having a rough couple of months.

I had a severe, like ridiculously severe, in an air cast, out of work, in bed, crying like a baby, unable to do anything for myself, except put on funny stripe socks to bolster my mood, ankle injury and I was heading back to precarious work and the not knowing.

The constant not knowing.

It could have killed me.

Or not.

In the end, it didn’t.

I do remember telling her, my friend who doesn’t have my disease but has some sense of it, she’s a smart cookie, that it ultimately doesn’t matter.

I have a purpose.

I have one primary purpose.

And as long as I take care of that I will be alright.

“I just really want to use heroin,” she wept into the phone.

Well fuck that.

We got together.

We sat over tea.

We did the deal.

We hugged it the fuck out.

And I feel like stellar motel in the sky with lucy and diamonds on the soles of my shoes.

I could dance party until dawn and work a full shift with my boys and be absolutely spot on.

It does not matter what I do.



There are some things I need to do, help others, be a good friend, show up, share my experience, strength, hope, the good stuff, the what works for me stuff.

I don’t advise.

I just give some suggestions and let it go.

Sometimes it is heady and intellectual, but tonight, for me, it was all heart and love, unconditional love for a woman who’s name, ha, I just realized, I don’t know her last name.

If this was a lover.

I might, um, a, be you know.

I tiny bit ashamed of myself for not having his last name on the tip of my tongue.

But this?

Fuck no.

It’s not important.

What is important is that I made myself available and I mainly just listened.

I’m not a doctor.

I’m not a therapist.



I have a special set of skills and with those and some experiences to share, some working knowledge of a basic text, I have a purpose.

I have a point.

I was just reflecting on this as I was looking over air fare to Wisconsin for July 4th weekend.


I know.

Am I fucking nuts?

The Midwest in July.

Do I want to die?

The mosquitos will be big as rescue helicopters.

The humidity will make my curly hair a wild mess.

I will get some stares.

I have a few tattoos.

And though they are more prolific in the Midwest than they used to be, I guess folks be watching LA Ink or something, there are still few women who have neck tattoos or chest tattoos or partial sleeves, let alone all three.



My hair will be pink.



The last time I was there it was half purple and blue.

I got a few looks.

I got proselytized to as well outside of the ice cream store in downtown scenic Hudson on the river.

Nothing like a young girl, a teenager, somewhere between sixteen and eighteen I would guess, talking to me about God.

Oh doll.

I know God.

And I know God well.

Do I understand God?

Fuck no.

Does God understand me?


Do I need to know what God is or does or how God works or doesn’t work?


I just have this deep, unshakeable belief in this entity that absolutely and completely loves the fuck out of me.

Who also has a wicked sense of humor.


Never, ever, ever.

Ever, ever?


Has failed to take care of me.


I don’t always get what I want.

But I have never not gotten what I needed.

And so often.

All the time really.

I am surprised, blown away, beleaguered by the love I am given.

All I have to do is turn and shine that love on someone else.

And I am taken care of.

Taken care of in the best sense of the world.

Sometimes I imagine, my small, petty, limited mind.

That my God is a gigantic sunken living room with white fur carpet everywhere.

Hella plush.

Big old pillows everywhere.

Warm soft fuzzy

There is a fire pit.

There are big, huge, gigantic floor to ceiling windows with let in oodles of warm gold light.

I am held in this luxurious love.

Sometimes God is a memory.

A sense of flying.

A swimming through the aqua blues and greens of the pool at the high school in DeForest, swimming laps back and forth in the last lane, the one by the windows, when on a quiet Sunday the pool was empty, the parking lot empty, and no one in the pool be me swimming in and out of patches of aquamarine love.




A float.

Sometimes it is the emotional, melodic beat of drums.

The pounding in my heart that echoes a song.

A rhythm.

My body moves without thought and dance.

Dance is God.

Music is God.

Love is God.

All of it.

I am all of it.





God is art.

God is standing love struck like a bulldozed girl on Valentines day who finally gets the red carnations call over the loud speakers in school from the principal’s office, come get your flowers at lunch break, to find out that it was her secret crush who had a secret crush on her too, in front of Kandinsky’s “Accent en Rose” at the Pompidou when I moved to Paris in my 40th year of life.



Miserable with the rain and the getting lost and the hungry but not sure for what.

The aching legs from walking lost in the Marais, the wet socks, the squish, so un melodious, of my Converse as I stepped onto the escalator up to the fifth floor.

Sacre Couer in the distance.

The towers of Notre Dame.


The sky mottled with grey, purpled, black, silver lined rain clouds, the bent heads scurrying through the courtyard underneath the flimsy arms of tourist stall umbrellas.

Wondering down the hall.

Wonder (ing) in wander.

Wander (ing) in wonder.

Awed and overcome.

Constricted with the pleasure of art unfolding around me.

Then I turn and see the Kandinsky and I am rose flushed.

Flashed out in love.

High on art.

Stranded in the wilderness of my romantic heart.

Bereft and beguiled.

Beatitudes battering my breath.



High in my throat.

Tears welling up and sweltering onto my fevered face.


Is in the details.

In the ellipses between the frames.

In the pause before the eruption of fireworks after the rocket has launched into the sky.

God is.

Or God.

Is not.

What is your choice to be?

I already made mine.


Always there.

Always holding me.

Always this.

Always this.

Always this.


My love.




Full Time Work

January 8, 2013

Is what I have.

I just realized that as I posted the rest of today’s photographs up.

It is not paid in the conventional sense of the word.

Yet it is what makes my life so rich.

I walk, I write, I take photographs.  I walk some more.  I write some more.  I post pictures up.







It really is a full-time job.

I got up this morning, finally getting my timing down, I got up early enough to eat breakfast, ask direction, write three pages long hand, wash, drink two Americanos, and meditate (before the Americanos hit) and get off to my noon commitment without having to ditch one or the other.

Usually what happens is that I drop the meditating.  I do the writing, I do the breakfast, and you can be damn sure I do the caffeinating, but I don’t always get in those minutes of stillness that I need to have more and more as I move forward.

I headed out to the American Cathedral and hung out there for a little bit, then I went a walking.

The plan was to walk along the Seine from Pont D’Alma to Ile de la Cite and see Notre Dame.

I have not been inside Notre Dame since the first time I was in Paris back in 2002, and I was hung over.  I remember the feeling that came over me then, flushed briefly with something other than alcoholic defenestration, I had a brief connection.

I wanted to go back and say hello to that space again, I also had been given the suggestion to climb the stairs of the towers and see the view.  I did get to Notre Dame, but I did not climb the stairs. I just went inside.

I took no photographs.

I also did not take any phone calls.


I have to restrain myself from the dirty looks I am so capable of tossing out.  I am not the church police.  It is not my responsibility to monitor the people who are in the space, despite wanting to be right, despite wanting to put the smack down on the two girls behind me talking, talking, talking.

Shut up.

I restrained myself.

I took no photographs, except with my eyes, stopping once to get out of the flow of traffic, to press my palm against a pillar growing up into the cathedral, just feeling the warm stone, soft, buffeted by centuries of prayers and entreaties to God.

I walked out, glanced at the line to climb the towers and said, no thanks.

I went back walking.

I easily did a few miles today, putting in about two hours of steady meander.

I ended by weaving my way through the flower market, which was quite diminished after the holidays and a little sparse with flowers.

But flowers there were, including the house of orchids, which was divine.

I am not a huge fan of orchids, I like flowers that smell–woodsy violets, sweet lilies of the valley, pungent lilacs, soft apple blossoms, the heady heavy smell of peonies, the deep lacquered breath of tuber roses, piquant jasmine, peppery geraniums–orchids do not.

However, they are hot-house flowers, and  they like warmth and heat and moisture.

I walked into the steamy jungle of a green house in the heart of the flower district and just let the warmth wrap itself about me.

I shall remember this spot when the megrims chase me down in February and the days don’t seem like they are going to get long ever again, that there may be a sunny spring day somewhere on the horizon.

I will remember the flower market and let myself discreetly nestle beside a pot of orchidae.

After my walk about I was ready for lunch, damn ready, I had just an apple around 1:30 pm and it was pushing 4 pm.

I hopped back on the Metro, headed to the market in my neck of the woods, then home again home again, to make a big lunch.

Fortifying myself with food and caffeine I headed back out the door, after down loading the photographs and sending out a few e-mails (I am reaching out to those people who I know may have a connection to the publishing world), I put in a good word with the bunny bank-my god box-and went to Odette and Aime.

Write it out

Preparing to write

I spent an hour at the cafe.

I might have stayed longer, but my flow got interrupted when I was asked to move from my table to another.

I had sat myself in the dining area, which the cafe does not have any problem with when it is not serving dinner, but tonight they got busy out of the blue and I got asked to move.

I did, however, get in an hour of writing and I got another ten pages of my new work pushed out.

I got lost in the club scene of San Francisco and the nights and the smoke of drugs and the husk of dawn happening on 6th and Harrison and I was gone.

Ghosted along into another time.

It really does fascinate me that I can drop into it that fast.  The cafe dissolves, I am gone, I am in the words, I am in the music, I could smell the garbage can, a 50 gallon plastic Rubbermaid contraption, full of plastic cups, the splash of vodka and Redbull, the sweetly sick smell of raspberry chewing gum gone bad.

Then, I look up and the couple next to me are tucking into a meal–the man had the tartare, which I can vouch for is tasty, tasty, and the woman had the canard (duck) which my room-mate can vouch for.

The basket of bread, the heel left in the napkin, the smear of butter on a crust, the drift of pepper from the arugula salad that was served with the tartare.

And I am back.

Then moved, note to self–sit at the table that only has one chair next time.

I do not always sit there as it is a little disconcerting–there is a mirror right in front of you, but considering that the writing takes me so swiftly, I don’t see it until I come up for air.

I paid my check, wrapped up my notebooks, took my book, tucked it in my bag and headed out the door back to the homestead.

Where upon I went about making a little dinner, since lunch was so late, of oatmeal and banana and tea with vanilla soy milk.  Yeah, I roll like that sometime.  I will eat your raw meat tartar and up you a soy milk spiked tea later for shits and giggles.

I finished with dessert–an album of John Coltrane, Blue Train, and another good session with the Will Self novel, Umbrella.

Once I had a break I got on to the rest of the business for the day.

Post the photographs, write the dialogue for the photographs, update an album on Facecrack, and then go write another blog–this one here.

My job done for the day, I am going to go rest my writing arm.

It is sore.

In that sexy kind of way.









I Don’t Want Your Opinion

November 8, 2012

Or your raised eyebrows.

Yes, I came here without a job and no I don’t have papers.

I know that this means I will be a nanny or an au pair or an ESL teacher.

Or maybe none of those things.

I am holding out as long as I can.  I do not want to be any of those things and I know finding work is challenging and I promised myself I would not freak out about money.

Sort of freaking out about money.

I have been here just under a week and wow have I spent a lot of money.

I did pay rent.

I did buy a GO pass.

I did get a phone with a three-month pre-paid plan.

I am really quite set, at least as far as the rest of the month goes.  But the money seems to be just flying out of my hands faster than I imagined it would.

It is hard to not eat out.  It is difficult to not meet with people for a cafe.  It is super hard to not buy anything that is not a basic essential.

However, I am getting more groceries and I am spending less daily.  Granted, today I spent a lot, but I got the phone.  I have a French number.  I have a Paris number.  I also found out that I can message any one with an Iphone when I am in an area that receives WiFi.

I have made a few texts out and that has felt good to be in touch with Beth and Joan and Radha and Matt.  I Skyped with John Ater and I have e-mailed a few folks.  Of course there is also the ubiquitous FaceBook.

I am not sure I will make it through the month without worrying about getting a job.  Either that or I need to break it down really frugally for the rest of the month.

I do not think I will get away with not working past the next three weeks.  I will have to find a job.  Pretty much a have to do deal.  I have student loans happening and a Iphone bill to pay stateside too–just sleeper mode, but I will need to pay that and those things pull directly from my account.


Off with your head.

Stop with the anxiety.

I keep telling myself that.  Things are going well.  God did not get me here to drop me on my ass now.  It really was easy, not really, but it was not complicated, it was simple, to get here.

When I said to the Universe and I said yes to being Barnaby’s room mate and I bought the ticket, it all just really fell into place.  I did not have to do anything huge, except walk through the fear.

I will just keep walking through.

Today I was not really terrorized by my feelings.  Just did lots of putting one foot in front of the other–in other words, I walked a lot.

Barnaby had today off from the shop so we headed out together to get my phone dealt with and I did not get lost.

This was nice.

We caught the Metro line 7 to the Marais and went to the Orange store and got my phone.  I also stopped by the post office and bought post card stamps.  A carte postale may be coming your way soon!

After taking care of the errands that needed to be done–we also went to Hemma–which Barnaby calls the bastard child of Target and Ikea–we had lunch at the Lizard Lounge with Corrine and Robbie.  A long slow super chill leisurely lunch–two hours I think?

It is nice, this sitting and eating and drinking of coffee and talking and sitting and looking at people and relaxing.




I also took a truly heavenly hot bath last night, so perhaps I am starting to get into this mode of European living.

After lunch we went for a long, meandering walk, from the Right Bank to the Left Bank and then back again and toward Place de la Concorde where we hopped on the Metro and headed to Arc de Triomphe for a seven o’clock commitment.

I took a ton a photographs.

Notre Dame Spire

Notre Dame Spire

In fact, Barnaby would oft-times be walking ahead and I was dropped down on a knee grabbing my camera out of my bag to capture a shot.

Notre Dame Spire

Notre Dame Spire


View from the Right Bank

View from the Right Bank

Book and a Smoke

Book and a Smoke

We did stop a few places, Shakespeare and Company, Barnaby wanted to grab a book.  I sat outside and watch the tourists come and go, speaking not of Michelangelo, but of the next place to buy a pack of cigarettes and whether or not they had enough plausible excuses to ditch the parents and go clubbing.

I also pet the shop dog, Colette, and watched the old men ignoring the girls and smoking rolled cigarettes that smelled at once rotten and strangely sweet and alluring.



After book shopping there was more walking and more walking and more walking.

I think this is just what you do in Paris, unless you are me and then you walk and worry about where you are going to get money.

Then, I remembered that I am fed and housed and have phone and nothing is wrong right here right now, in this gorgeous city, with the  lights and the roil of the river and the mash of scooters and the buskers in the Metro playing their accordions.

Nothing is wrong when the sky looks like this:

Lamp Post

Lamp Post


Because in that exact moment I am too enthralled by the light, by the texture of the clouds by the loveliness unfolding before me.

That is where my attention has to lie.




I say that often, but it is true.  Staying in the moment is the most important thing, because in the moment, there is nothing wrong.

Absolutely nothing.

Everything is exactly how it is supposed to be.







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