Posts Tagged ‘snow’

Random Images

July 8, 2018

Daydreams and revery.

Blues songs on the radio station you programmed in my car.

The blue of the ocean in my rear view mirror and the trembling thought of wild-fire in my heart.

You like a car in a meadow filled with flowers and tall grass.

A car with the windows open and soft snow falling inside it.

I saw that car today.

Barbara Lewis on the stereo.

A soft kiss of nostalgia.

I wanted to climb into that car in the heat of summer, to cool off, to be dusted with that soft snow.

I would open the door, climb in and settled down.

No need to change the channel on the radio station.

Just lay my head back against the seat and let the snowfall of memory engulf me.

I could ride around all day in that car.

Eyes closed.

Leaned back.

Checked out in the glossy remembrance of your embrace.

Your smell would wrap around me like a chambray shirt.

I want to curl up there.

On that seat.

In that car.

Drive forever.

I would look up at the ceiling and realize that the roof top was open and the snow fell from the heavens above me.

And then notice that it was not snow falling.

But stars.

Soft and cool.

Stars dusting my shoulders and glittering in my hair.

Star shine.

Moon shine.

Love shine.

I would hold your hand.

Press it to my mouth.

Wanting only to drive down the night into the sunset of my never-ending always longing desire for you.

I don’t know where that meadow is.

Full of flowers and light and monarch butterflies.

Birdsong.

Love song.

Heart song.

I don’t know where that car is either.

Yet.

I sense it there.

In the whispering of my psyche.

In the skeins of time.

Waiting.

Just waiting.

For you to pick me up.

And.

Drive me home.

 

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Beautiful And Drunk

February 20, 2018

Intoxicated.

Tipsy on the way you look at me.

The way you hold me tight.

The feel of your arms around me.

Besotted with you face.

The way it is framed by the window pane behind you.

The view of the river and the dark limbs of trees wet with the falling snow.

Snow.

Magicked from above on your whim.

To sucker punch me with your charms, the brightness of your eyes.

The adoration there.

Dreamy and smitten with you.

There is nothing I could imbibe that would render me more inebriated.

Than your face.

Softly bombed and smote on the laughter that falls from your mouth into my eager ears.

God.

Damn.

How I love you.

I cannot tally all the moments that whirl in my head.

I have snap shots.

Photographs of you.

Kissing your cheek in front of a Rothko.

Holding your hand walking across red brick alleys.

The birds, out of nowhere, singing, harmonizing our love, trilling it loud to the sky.

I turned my face up to that sky and watched the clots of snow drift down, catching some on the tip of my tongue and laughing, knowing that soon you would kiss that self-same mouth.

Sitting across a table from you while music from the soundtrack of our love story played over the speakers.

Snatches of songs that we send one another.

Playlists of longing.

Songs of sorrow and sadness and desires.

Torch songs.

Blues songs.

Love songs for lovers.

All love songs remind me of you now.

But.

Some.

More than others.

You know the ones.

I am woozy with you.

You have gone to my head.

Once again.

Punch drunk on your love.

Enchanted and elated.

Enthralled.

And.

Though I may be foolish.

 

I hear music.

I think of fairy tales.

And.

I want your happily ever after.

I want your love always.

Forever.

I want you.

Won’t you want me too?

Just say you do.

Just please.

Say you do.

 

Hold me close and hold me fast
The magic spell you cast
This is La Vie En rose

When you kiss me heaven sighs
And though I close my eyes
I see La Vie En Rose

When you press me to your heart
I’m in a world apart
A world where roses bloom

And when you speak…angels sing from above
Everyday words seem…to turn into love songs

Give your heart and soul to me
And life will always be
La Vie En Rose.

 

 

 

Frank Sinatra

December 25, 2017

Christmas carols.

Laying in your arms in the glow of the blue lights on the tree.

My heart beat syncopated with yours.

Warm, soft tears slide down my face.

I hope you do not notice.

Content and wrapped in your embrace a softening shelter I did not know I needed.

I think about you.

Love.

And.

Our.

Love.

So many kinds.

Blue love.

Joyful love.

Peanut butter and chocolate chip cookie love.

Christmas carol love.

Hanging filigree ornament love.

Pink bunny love.

Walks on the beach at twilight love.

Butterflies in the garden love.

Flowers wrapped in gunny sacks and tied with twine love.

Candlelight love.

Untold love.

1,000 kisses love.

Tears on my pillow love.

Crows passing red berries in the snow, beak to beak, love.

Love letters love.

Poetry love.

Shameless love.

Not sorry love.

Not safe love.

Hands entwined love.

Squish love.

Passionate love.

Chemistry love.

Alchemical love.

Magic love.

Moonlight love.

Star shine love.

Dressing up in my prettiest dress for you love.

Pink glitter lip gloss love.

Baby girl love.

Dearest, sweetest, tenderest love.

Vulnerable love.

Smash love.

Precious love.

Spectacular love.

Cannot wait to see you love.

Miss you all the time love.

Dreamy love.

All the love I have for you, love.

Christmas Eve love.

Wishing you all the joy love.

All the blessings of love.

All the happiest happiness of love.

For you.

My love.

Wishing you it all.

Merry Christmas baby.

I love you.

 

 

You Are A Magician!

October 10, 2017

I got the sweetest text tonight as I was wrapping up at my internship.

My boss had sent me a message extolling my baking prowess.

I made the family an apple tart tonight.

It was going to be a pie, but they only had tart baking dishes so I changed up what I was doing and made a butter pastry, yes, by hand, it’s not that hard, and did my version of apple pie filling.

The nice thing about it too.

All the apples came from their tree in the front of their house.

It reminded me of when I learned how to make apple pies.

I was twelve, we had just moved from Madison, Wisconsin, to Windsor, Wisconsin.

I went from being in an urban multi-cultural neighborhood and school to rural white country in a blink of an eye.

I didn’t think much of it at the time, the racial stuff, the class system and structure, I got lumped into the “farm kids” group even though we didn’t live on a farm.

And yes, I have drank milk straight from the pail underneath a cow’s udder, I remember very distinctly that it was warm, but I was no farm girl.

I can pass for one though.

I currently pass for very urban, the tattoos do that and my funky style of dressing, which has been evolving for years, but it is still quite urban.

However.

I can pass for a country girl too, not so much a farm girl, but I know a lot about living in the country and the seasons, canning and jarring, making preserves, putting up food for the winter.

We had a pantry in the cellar.

And it was a cellar.

Oh, sure, we had a basement, but we also had a cellar too, an unfinished one with a dirt floor, which was spooky as fuck and after one winter of storing stuff there I declined to ever go near it again.

Some places are just too goddamn creepy and I had a penchant for reading Stephen King in highschool, which did nothing to help matters.

Anyway.

This country girl can also jam and she can bake.

My mom taught me.

We had an apple orchard on the property–4 Red Delicious Trees, 1 Golden Delicious, and 7 Cortland trees.

I don’t know that there are any Cortland apples in California, there might be, but I don’t recall seeing them in the stores.

I have dreamed once or twice about having my own apple orchard.

A modest one.

Maybe a hobby one.

I would be a famous writer.

Or better.

A writer who just made money writing.

I would have a big house and a small barn.

I would put up apples and preserves and make apple jelly and apple pies, apple sauce, and oh!

Apple butter.

So freaking good.

And of course.

Lots of apple cider.

I would write in my office in the barn and have a braided rug and a rocking chair, a big desk and a fireplace.

I would drink hot tea while the snow fell and be super content listening to the hush and crackle of snow falling.

I would fall asleep under large comforters.

I would have my bunny slippers of course.

It’s a sweet fantasy.

One I could imagine having here, partially, but it would be outside of the city, obviously.

Or.

Maybe I could just have my own house and I would have the trees that I like, a couple of apple trees, the Envy varietal or Pink Lady, I also really like the Mutsu apples.  And a persimmon tree.

Fuck I love persimmons.

And it’s persimmon season.

When I get done with my blog I will be having both and apple and a persimmon as my evening snack, I shall cut them up, sprinkle them with cinnamon, nutmeg, sea salt and pumpkin pie spice.

The best.

I might have a pear tree too.

And definitely a fig tree.

Then a little kitchen garden–tomatoes, lettuces, onions, herbs–rosemary, basil, oregano, thyme, carrots, cucumbers, broccoli, heck, maybe even some sweet corn.

But really I want tomatoes, like the ones my grandfather grew in his garden in Lodi.

My grandfather helped my mom quite a bit with the planning of our garden in Windsor, we had an acre of land and the back of it was a big sprawling yard, halved by a grape arbor and then the back was the orchard and the garden.

The garden wasn’t as big as my grandfathers and I remember my stepfather (step asshole, step asshat, step misogynist, oops, sorry, digression) got some weird ideas about what to grow.

One year it was a god awful amount of cabbage and he decided we were going to make sauerkraut.

We made so much sauerkraut that four years later I could still find it in the pantry in the basement, not the cellar mind you, but the basement.

Another year it was potatoes and broccoli.

There was also a small strawberry patch, some raspberries, and red currants as well as rhubarb.

One of my mom’s masterpieces was her strawberry rhubarb egg custard tart.

God damn it was a miracle.

And my mom taught me her pie crust recipe.

Which, to this day, I can see on its index card in her small recipe box, the way she wrote her letters and the fanciful swoops and curves of her lines and the flourishes.

When I think of my mom sometimes I think that her creative soul can be found in her cursive handwriting.

I didn’t even need to look at the recipe card after a few years, I had made so many pies that it was unnecessary.

I made apple pies, of course, until the cows came home.

This is a saying, not literal, although there was a farm just down the road that the dog liked to go occasion once in a while to piss off my mother by rolling in the cow manure.

There is nothing fouler to smell than a dirty dog in cow shit.

Anyway.

My mom taught me well and it was nice to dip back into those memories, to feel the seasons change, to think about fall abundance and harvest.

I miss baking sometimes and I’m a good baker, so it was super sweet and a bit special to make the tart for the family I work for.

I cooked a lot today for the family as it was a stay at home day for the kids, Columbus Day school observance, but the pie made me the happiest to make.

I didn’t need to taste it, I don’t eat sugar or flour, so that was out of the question.

But oh.

I smelled it.

And it was so good.

It reminded me of home, the days crisp and cool and the leaves turning and the grass still green but cold now on my feet when I was out picking through the windfall apples in the tall orchard grass.

I am so glad and grateful that I get to live in San Francisco.

But once in a while.

Yes.

I do get a touch nostalgic for the Midwest.

And baking today felt good.

Sweet.

Homey.

Cozy.

It stirred me and I was grateful for it.

And touched too, that the mom would send me such an effusive message.

I am glad they liked the pie.

I probably liked baking it more than they enjoyed eating it.

That might not seem possible.

But.

Well.

I think it is.

You Mean Your 33rd

December 12, 2016

There is no way you’re in your 40s!

Thanks darling.

That was nice to hear.

I was texting with a friend in regard to my birthday brunch next Sunday at Zazie’s in Cole Valley.

One week left of 43.

Not that I’m counting.

I’m grateful for my age, my authenticity, my life, my person, this body of experiences of heart aches and belly laughs, or sorrow and pain and vast oceans of gratitude, love, and happiness.

I get to encompass so much.

For that I am grateful.

I am also grateful for more affirmations of myself, my abilities, and my work, I received some amazing feed back from my Psychopathology professor today.

I got back my mid-term paper from her.

I was actually a bit nervous, she’s the professor I asked for a letter of recommendation from and I want to impress her (hell fire, I want to impress everyone, truth be told) and she’s the professor that’s got the biggest paper yet to do ahead for me to have the semester of work completed.

I got an “A.”

I was blown away.

Especially as she was explaining her grading scale yesterday in class to a student she hasn’t had before in class; who was asking with the same anxiety that I remember having so well when I first started taking classes with this professor (I will also have her next semester for Trauma), how she graded her papers and assigned grades for the class.

The professor explained and basically expressed that a good grade was an A-.

The a decent grade was a B+.

You don’t want to get less than a B in grad school, FYI.

A B- or a C+ you might as well be failing the class.

That an exemplary, you went above and beyond was what it took to warrant an “A” for her class.

That I got an “A” on my mid-term paper boggles my mind.

After her explanation, which I just summarized, there’s a little more behind how she grades, I was sitting in class thinking I definitely had gotten a B+ for the paper and if I was lucky, perhaps an A-.

I got an “A!”

Fuck yes!

And fuck me.

Now the pressure is more on than before to produce a good final last paper for her.

Especially after the end note she left on my paper: “Carmen, this is by far the most heartfelt, touching, and comprehensive psychopathology paper ever!  You show a deep integration between your personal experience and conceptual understanding.  I appreciate the seamless ways in which you wove in the material from McWilliams (one of the text books I referenced in conjunction with the DSM V)–I can see how much you have made this material your own.  Impressive!”

I just about fell out of my chair.

And.

Yes.

I did indeed tear up.

It just feels so god damn good to be on the right track, to finally, after so many years of soul searching, have a way forward, a goal, an identity (although certainly only a small facet of who I am, but one in which I get to use all that I am), a career path, and that I get to use all those things, all that soul suffering that I went through, to gain access to that path.

Such a gift.

All the pain was not for naught.

All the experience I have and all the resilience.

I’m just stupid grateful.

Which is good, tis the season after all.

My heart full and warm as I pause and look at my Christmas tree, at the neat stack of Christmas cards I just addressed prior to getting started on this blog, on the soft candle light in my home, the hot tea in my body, I feel replete.

Not quite relieved.

No.

Like I said, there is still another paper to go.

But.

I am inspired, alight, and yes, a little nervous.

One of my friends from Wisconsin whom I am shortly to be visiting, sent me a weather update about the cold, the snow and the negative temperatures and asked if I was still coming.

I had to laugh, the cold is scary, but not enough to scare me off from my trip.

And.

I am so looking forward to seeing my friends, their sweet boys, the snow, the Christmas lights in the snow, the smell of firewood burning in the cold night air–one of my favorite smells of all time, wood fire smoke on a cold night (only to be super ceded by wood fire smoke from a beach bonfire).

I messaged him back that I was indeed still coming and that I was in fact finishing up my final classes of my last weekend of the semester.

He pinged back that he would send me something to read.

I said, NOOOOO.

Not yet.

Nope.

I have to write this paper and now I have this additional problem of having some big expectations for myself around writing a stellar paper.

I loved his response: “what a good problem!”

He’s right.

If I am going to have “problems” in my life, this is certainly one of the better ones to have.

Heh.

Goodness.

I just realized that two weeks from now I’ll be there, in the snow, cozy in their home, my best friend, her husband, their three boys, and it will be Christmas.

I am such a lucky girl.

Friends.

Travel.

Snow at Christmas.

Wrapping up gift boxes to send to my mom and my sister.

Christmas cards addressed and stamped.

Meaning and purpose and a design to take all the soul suffering and transmute it into the language of love.

How many people get to do that?

I am blessed.

Happy.

Joyous.

Free.

And.

Loved.

Yes.

Very much so.

It Looks Like Christmas In Here!

December 10, 2013

Indeed.

I answered the door three times and as I was leaving the house today in Cole Valley the postal service was coming up the steps with more packages.

The holidays are here and they are being delivered to the foyer at my job.

Santa brought me a little something too, I saw when I got home tonight.

With cold stiff fingers.

Oh, I won’t write about how cold it is, suffice to say it’s not the most pleasant riding weather I have ever experienced, but it ain’t raining and for a person who bicycle commutes five days a week to work and often another day of scooting around running various errands on my bicycle, I loathe the rain.

People are asshats when it rains here, biking in the city can be a challenge of constant vigilance, but when it rains the idiot factor seems to quadruple.

If it rains this week I will be screwed, it would probably freeze and or snow.

It does snow in San Francisco.

I have seen it twice in eleven years.

One year, when Juni and Reno were two and I was dating the guy who happened to be the engineer running the Red Wood Steam Trains (yeah, that’s exactly what happens when you are a nanny, you end up dating people who run rides where you take your charges, that would be how I dated someone who not only wore the striped bib overalls, but yes, the engineer’s cap as well.) it snowed and stayed put over night up in the hills.

Most of it melted in the first rays of sunshine here in the city, but G. called me up and said bring the bunnies, there’s snow up in the hills.

And there was.

It was probably the most romantic thing he had done, unintentionally, I am sure.

But it was beautiful, cold, the snow, white, so pristine and shimmering it was hard to not want to put your face in it.

Reno did.

Juniper stomped through it with her little feet.

They both got wet and soggy and freaking loved it.

I still have pictures of it and the thick whiteness draping the hanging boughs of the trees.

Then G. took us into the workshop and made cocoa for them and lit a fire in the wood burning stove.

I got all my favorite things in one spot, my bunnies, the smell of wood fire burning, and a cute guy to kiss me.

It lasted but a few weeks longer, the relationship, but that day I will probably never forget, simply for the rarity of all that snow up on the roof, so to speak.

I like the cold.

That may be from growing up in Wisconsin, I don’t know, I also like it warm, which may be from having been born in California and living the first four years of my life here.

I have some very clear, very vivid memories of sky and ocean and of all things, highway signs, of beaches, Muir and Stinson, of many things Californian and warm.

I, however, have many more memories of things cold and snowy and icy–I lived in Wisconsin from 5 to 29 with a few small stints elsewhere, but also cold predominately Midwestern states–frosty and crisp.

Legs so red from being outside ice skating that it took hours for the cold angry blush to fade off my thighs.

The smell of fire burning, so sharp, so intense and intoxicating when the air is cold.

The large, fat flakes that fall through the arc of the sodium lamps on Gorham Street in Madison, shoveling out the driveway to get to work.

Banging up against my frozen shut car door at four in the morning after getting done with work at the Angelic and hollering out loud, “this is why I am moving to California!” at the top of my lungs in frustration.

I have many cold stories in my head, and my toes are defrosting from the chilly bike ride home as I type, but again, I am glad, no rain.

I will happily ride in the cold, just please no rain.

Yeah, I know, we could use it, but I can be selfish too.

So, as I was saying before digressing into a whole long aside about the Wisconsin winter (-7 currently with a windchill of -ohmyfucking God) I got a package from Santa too.

My foam back roller has arrived.

I ordered one last week after using the one at the house in Cole Valley while one of the boys was napping and the other was busy crawling around my legs and snatching at the glasses on my face.

I guess Santa wants me to be healthy.

Thanks Santa.

I rocked it out already before sitting down and then did a quick hula hooping session.

Just to keep the muscles engaged and warmed up.

I am sore after yesterday’s yoga class.

But in a really good way.

Those muscles that I always wonder how am I going to work that out, are getting the work out.

My core is sore, my arms, but not my shoulders, are sore (my shoulder is sore, but not so bad, and I have been using the awesome new double stroller at work, as well as being very conscientious about lifting and moving the babies around), in that good kind of way that lets me know I did the right thing yesterday by going.

I will be getting in another class this week, just not sure when, I may wait again until Sunday.

Saturday is a pretty full day, but I might be able to sneak a class in early before a coffee date to do some deal and go down to the ocean and do some surrender.

I could feasibly go to a class both Saturday and Sunday in the morning.

I am also, yippee!

Getting a massage on Friday.

One of the moms gave me a gift certificate to get a massage for Thanksgiving and I finally was able to get in with the body worker.

Yes.

I work a half day on Friday, I’ll end around 3:30p.m. mosey over to the Mission, her office is at 18th and Treat, get worked on, head to 2900 24th Street at 6p.m., Sugarlump thereafter, and if I still have any zip left, go to a friend’s house up on Church and 30th for a Holiday Housewarming Party (where I am informed we should all be wearing bad Christmas sweaters.  I don’t have one, but I am anticipating that there will be some good ones there) followed by a cold, long bicycle ride back out to the beach.

That’s a good busy week.

Started out just right, too, what with the writing in the morning and the writing in the evening, a good day with my boys, an unexpected hello from a dear friend, a hug from another, a brisk bike ride (to and from work), and a home warm, cozy, filled with the sounds of Coleman Hawkins, and the smell of fresh Christmas tree.

Now excuse me while I heat up the teapot and go bask in the glow of my healthy amazing little life.

Lit up by the blue lights of my Christmas tree.

Il Neige

March 12, 2013

It is snowing.

Crazy snowing.

Heavy snow.

Heaviest snowfall I have seen since I have been here.

Paris gave me the excuse today to take it slow.

Paris is not a city that operates well in this kind of weather, the squeal of tires trying to get up the hill on Rue Cadet as I hopped over the curb and just missed the puddle, rang in my ears.

I trotted up the hill happy to be coming home, happy to have a home over my head, one with radiators all firing, one with a working stove top and a kettle.  I put the tea-pot on immediately.

I draped all my gear over the radiator.

I have an early day tomorrow, up by 7 a.m. out to Courbevoie by 9 a.m.

I just realized I better book myself a little extra time tomorrow, the morning commute is bound to be crazy.  I can’t fathom a lot of people are going to be able to drive into work tomorrow.

I commend the few I did see out in the weather.

I even saw a runner, fleet-footed, dashing between the flakes along the Left Bank as I strode across the bridge at Point Alma.

I did not stop to take photographs on the bridge, the snow felt more like a blizzard than anything I have experienced in years,  I wanted to get home, get warm and get some hot food in my stomach.

However, I could not help but notice the miraculous transformation of the cafe next to the Alma Marceau Metro stop.  I had to stop, I had to get the camera out of my bag and just take a few photographs.  It was just too dreamy.

Snowbound

Snowbound

I leaned my umbrella up against the corner of the cafe wall and hid myself underneath the awning as I dug out the camera with my chilled fingers.

I am very pleased that I bothered to stop.

And to think I was taking photographs of pansies in the park just down the road from here on a sun splashed day just last week.

False Spring indeed.

I was thinking, as the snow crashed down on my umbrella sounding very much like the crackle and pop of rice krispies in a bowl cackling away, that it was like this in the Midwest.

There would be a day, usually a week or so before Easter that it would get decidedly warm and the snow melt would happen and I would watch for the first daffodils pushing through the snow, the first bits of bright green so much more noticeable against the white.

I saw those same daffodils today on my earlier walk.

When I awoke this afternoon.

Yes, I said afternoon, I slept in.

I did not get to bed last night until 3 a.m.

The costs of going to an open mic late night and then coming home to write a blog about said adventure.  I think I may have posted up around 2:15 a.m. or there about, had a cup of tea, watched an episode of Girls, and then suddenly realized it was 3 a.m.

Get to bed!

When I awoke, this afternoon, and looked out into the courtyard I saw the snow that had been steadily falling since early this morning, had transformed the ground and it was not a day to go do big adventures.

It would be a small adventure sort of day.

I read, wrote, meditated.

I had some good coffee–still going on the Philz, but I only have about two, maybe three more days of the deliciousness.  And to my consternation, I realized I had taken the last tea bag out of the box from the package I got from Action Girl.  Oh well, it was damn good drinking while it lasted!

I ate a nice hot breakfast.

I did some laundry.

I decided I was going to take a walk up to the Montmartre cemetery, what could be prettier than headstones covered in snow?

I have to say, I can’t tell you, because it was closed.

Zut!

The sign read: C’est fermer, parce que il niege.

Closed for snow.

It was coming down too, I had not brought my umbrella with me as I wanted to have my hands as free as possible to take photographs once I got up to the cemetery, about a twenty-five minute walk from the apartment.

I was absolutely frosted with it.

I did take some photographs check here to see what I posted earlier today, however, I wanted to capture some of the beauty of the day.

Especially since there really were so few people out and a great absence of traffic.

I stood in the street a few times to get just the angle I wanted to get.

I popped into the Naturalia store on Place de Clichy and got a box of my favorite tea, here in Paris, Yogi Tea’s Sweet Chai, which I would be sipping on, except that I believe that it is caffeinated and I am not willing to risk getting hopped up on caffeine at 9:3o at night.  I will have a hard enough time tucking myself in at 11pm to get the eight hours I shoot for.

I also picked up some apples from the store and some bulk oatmeal.

I miss Rainbow, but these little markets are not too bad.

On the pricey side, but I let myself have a little splurge.

I was asked to pick up another gig on Thursday, thus giving myself permission to shop at the bio store.  I also confirmed four gigs for the last week in March, a friend of a friend is coming into town and has two children.  I am happy to help!

I don’t know where I am going with all of this, this living in Paris, but I do know that any action I can take today is toward staying.

Because I have dreamed my dream and now living it, I get to continually expand on what it is I want from this life and these experiences.

Dream a little dream, Carmen, frosted in snow, and dipped in sugar crunch sweetness, it’ll come true.

Because it already has.

Dream

Dream

Ah, Warm

January 20, 2013

So good, having heat.

Simple things, like heat, electricity, hot tea.

Fuck.

I was not a happy girl last night when I could not figure out how to get the electricity back on.

I was an even unhappier girl when I realized the radiator’s were all electrical.

Fuck me.

I went to bed wearing tights, socks, a turtle neck, a scarf, a fleece blanket, and a top quilt.

Of course around 4 a.m. I was so hot I thought I was going to die, but for a little while there, I was freaked out.  In the dark, literally, figuratively, and alone.

Ha.

Worst nightmare ever.

However, I did not die.

Nope.

I woke up crabby though.

No coffee.

No hot oatmeal.

I got dressed, I made my bed, I lit up some candles.  I actually managed a little makeup.

Then I got annoyed.  I went out and I started knocking on doors.  Barnaby had not gotten a response back from the land lord and I was over it.  I found the guardian for the apartment and he came in and flipped a bunch of the fuses I had and nothing.

He went back to his apartment and got a flash light.

He found the problem.

He fixed it.

Sort of.

There is one fuse that does not work.  He told me I would discover it whenever I was to turn on the item that was connected to the blown fuse.

I was in a hurry to get out and late for my Sunday morning commitment, so I just fled.

Only to come back later this evening, cold, hungry (I had an apple and a banana for breakfast) and ready to eat some lunch and start my day over.

I filled the kettle and turned on the stove.

NO!

NO!

NO!

Fuck my mother.

It is the stove that blew out.

I burst into tears.  I  just wanted to make a coffee and a fucking pot of oatmeal.  That’s it.

Like that’s all it takes to make this lady happy.

Fortunately, the microwave does work.

I scrambled up a couple of eggs and made my oatmeal in the microwave and blasted a cup of water for tea.

I got happy.

I ate hot food.

It really is the simple things.

Warm bed, roof over the head, electricity, heat, hot food.

Simple, really, really basic.

There is a part of me that does not want to admit this, but really, I do not need a lot more than this.  I need companionship, that I do need, and I can forget that quickly and get isolated, especially in the land of I don’t speak French that fast.

I went out today and hung out at the cafe and had good check ins with folks and also met a new face and reunited with a friend who was away in India over the holidays.  It was good and I am pushing myself to continue to go out and fellowship even when I don’t want to.

It is necessary.

Because I am not alone.

I am not in the dark.

I have candles just in case.

I am being taken care of and I can pause and breathe any time my head says otherwise.

Once I had that hot cup of tea and some eggs and oatmeal I knew it was time to get back out there.  I had not gotten to take any snow pictures that had made me happy.

I took a nice long, cold, walk up around Sacre Couer.

There were quite a few more people out than I thought there would be.  I was not alone in wanting to take photographs of the neighborhood.

Plus, as I heard the peels of laughter drifting down the hill intermingled with six o’clock bell tower striking, I realized that there were children sledding down the hills of Sacre Coeur.

Not one of them was on a sled, mostly plastic bags and sheets of cardboard.

Yet, the unmistakable sound of a child careening down a snow-covered hill blew right over me and through me and suddenly I was in Warner Park in Madison, Wisconsin, and I was on a sled and it was a moment of pure magic.

Standing in Paris at the foot of Sacre Couer covered in snow listening to children laughing with abandon, sliding down the hill.

Snowy Sacre Couer

Snowy Sacre Couer

“If you feel like you are falling down the hill, then you are in God’s will,” her voice came to me.

That is the kind of attitude I am going to cultivate.

Instead of screaming and shrieking with fear, I can choose to a laugh and squeal with delight as I fall down the hill.  There’s a fence at the bottom, I am not going to fall through the cracks, I am not going to be dropped.

Enjoy the free fall.

Enjoy the wild abandon.

Follow your bliss.

I trampled through the snow and slipped behind the cathedral to the other less travelled side, I took photographs and I smelled the delicious tang of wood smoke lacing the air and got pelted with snow balls as I inadvertently got caught in between a couple of kids tossing snowballs at their father.

Who was probably glad for the respite.

Je m’excuse madame!  Je susi desolee!

No worries kids, I smiled, I breathed in the air, I climbed the stairs and revelled in the beauty of the city sprawled out cold and snow-covered.

I transversed the slippery streets back to 36 Rue Bellefond and happily warmed up inside, a house with electricity and heat and made a cup of tea.

Barnaby offered a dinner at Odette & Aime and I said, “oui!”

Hot bowl of soup.

Simple.

Soup.

So good.

After dinner, back to the flat, still happily electrified, and into the hottest shower.

Ah, warm.

Happy, joyous, free.

Not in the dark at all.

I Belong in Paris

January 14, 2013

I really do.

I asked for a sign.

I got a million of them.

Soft, cold, fluffy, uniquely beautiful each flake falling from the cold sky onto my upturned face. I got snow in my eyelashes and snow on my cheeks, it was like being sprinkled with kisses.

I smiled all the way to the Metropolitan station.

I love the Metro.

I love Paris.

If it was possible to love it more I am not sure.

Maybe.

In Spring I hear it is just delirious and after many a cold clammy Spring in San Francisco I would welcome a warm Spring.  I would welcome days without layers and warm breezes on my skin.

I dare say I will be here to feel them.

I had some moments of doubt today as I set out for Saint Pancras International.

It was also snowing in London and it was a pretty sight, I won’t deny it.  But London did not feel like home, it did not feel like much fun, it was marking time until I could get back to Paris.

Ma cherie, je t’adore.

Sometimes you just have to go away a little while to see how much you love something.

That has happened to me with San Francisco.

San Francisco was home, but it is not any longer.

I had the worry monster come a knocking on my door, and I admit it, I opened up, I invited it in.  I said, “hey you look weary, have a rest, unload your burden, let me make you a cup of tea.”

Hang on a minute there.

What the fuck am I doing?

I need to make decisions based on faith.

I asked for direction earlier when I was feeling a little blue, go grocery shopping was the response.

Really?

Come on, isn’t there something else I can do?

Some other way of thinking my way into a happier mental state.

Oh, thinking, that doesn’t work for me does it?

Eight years later and I can still forget that thinking is not a great tool for me, it’s broken, my thinking, about all sorts of stuff, but mostly about trying to figure out what I should do with my life.

Notice that try to figure it out are in that sentence and you may begin to see the point of entry for the useless pain of my thoughts to find a place to latch onto.

Ok.

I will just get dressed and go grocery shopping.

It felt like a tall order.  After I had gotten back, home, although it did not feel like home quite yet, I had made a hot cup of tea and scanned the cupboards, they were bare.

I did not want to go out.

I wanted to wallow in my weary wallow of self-pity and woe is me.

Woe is me, my ass.

Fuck, I was in London over the weekend, I saw things and went places and rode trains and got to go for a ride, on the wrong side of the road, and connect with friends, and it was just not that bad.

It just wasn’t what I thought it would be.

Nothing ever is.

I watched a video, I called Corinne, I talked with Barnaby, I e-mailed some friends, I answered some e-mails and I checked on my blog.

The answer was here, right here, in these pages, in these words, a blog I wrote before coming to Paris about failing greatly.  That I would do it anyway, go anyway, try anyway, break my heart anyway.

I would do it.

I am doing it.

Don’t quit before the miracle, Martines.

I pulled my head out of the muck and mire and got a sack, my “I don’t need a sack I am a sack, sack” and went to the Carrefour.

I felt the first breath of cold on my face, then stepping out into the courtyard I saw the snow.

Snow!

Oh, snow.

I smiled, my entire outlook changed.

My perspective blew wide open.

I went  to the corner and watched the snow fall.  I let in fall on me.

I surrendered.

Snow fall

Snow fall

I crossed the street and went grocery shopping.

I smiled the entire time.

I went back out and the snow was still falling.

I took the groceries back, unpacked my bag, took a big deep breath and said, thank you, I understand, I do, I am right where I belong.

I belong in Paris.

Paris is my home.

I don’t know exactly what is going to happen, but my faith has been doused in flakes of surety and softness.

Kissed by my city I tripped down the hill to hop the Metro over to the American Cathedral.

I was so entranced by the snow falling my face again lifted to the lowering sky, I missed the fact that there was a friend standing right next to me, doing the exact same thing.

We laughed out loud and hugged each other.

“It’s amazing, isn’t it?” She asked.

I smiled.

Yes.

It is amazing.

Earlier I was crying in frustration with myself and my not knowing and I just forget, silly rabbit, that I am not supposed to know.  That certainty about anything does not provide me with happiness and if everything was certain and I knew it already I would miss the mystery and the magic.

Snow in Paris on a Monday evening.

Pont Alma completely deserted.

Empty.

Not a soul.

Apparently not everyone wants to be out in the snow.

The bridge was completely deserted.  I have never seen that before.

Ever.

Eiffel tower in the snow

Tower in the snow

Snow and Street Lamps

Snow and Street Lamps

The Eiffel Tower to my right, the arc of the bridge walkway before me.

Nary a person.

Just me.

Just the city.

Just Paris.

Just my home.

On the Bridge in the snow

On the Bridge in the snow

I am exactly where I am supposed to be and that is the only thing I need to know right now.

My heart told me so.

The snow kissed it into me and I acquiesce now.

I surrender.

Paris, I belong to you.

Will you be my Valentine?


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