Monday, January 17, 2011

I Love Paris

 Paris has a personality all her own.  Yes, her.  She's definately a woman.  Soft, sensitive, enticing, great fun with a mystery about her as well. She's a skilled courtesian who flirts endlessly, but you're not sure she's really interested.  I love Paris!

So much to see and do in gay Paree.  The Eiffel Tower is amazing.  So are the Arc de Triomph and Versailles and Louvre and on and on.  The architecture is beautiful.  Just walking down the street is an experience, any street.   No wonder Hemmingway loved it so.  He once said

"If you are lucky enough to have lived in Paris as a young man, then wherever you go for the rest of your life it stays with you, for Paris is a moveable feast."

Hemmingway's words were comforting because I didn't want to leave. And Oscar Wilde gave me hope of returning.
When good Americans die they go to Paris.”  Oscar Wilde

I didn't do so well with the language.  I felt as Mark Twain must have when he said "In Paris they simply stared when I spoke to them in French; I never did succeed in making those idiots understand their own language."

I know Paris is the city of gourmet food.  For some reason I didn't experience those wonderful dishes.  Maybe I was too busy walking the city.  I spent hours walking.  So I found French peanut butter and some wonderful bread and made do with that.  I think that was a good decision based on Charles de Montesquieu.  He said "Lunch kills half of Paris, supper the other half."

Parisienne women ride motorcycles and scooters.  They do so in heels and short skirts.  Everyone is dressed in black.  If you want to stand out, wear color, but it will mark you as a tourist.

Paris has many faces and can be whoever you want her to be, yet she is decidedly Paris.  

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Burning the Old Year by Naomi Shihab Nye

Burning the Old Year

Letters swallow themselves in seconds.   
Notes friends tied to the doorknob,   
transparent scarlet paper,
sizzle like moth wings,
marry the air.

So much of any year is flammable,   
lists of vegetables, partial poems.   
Orange swirling flame of days,   
so little is a stone.

Where there was something and suddenly isn’t,   
an absence shouts, celebrates, leaves a space.   
I begin again with the smallest numbers.

Quick dance, shuffle of losses and leaves,   
only the things I didn’t do   
crackle after the blazing dies.

Happy 2011!

  I love New Year's.  Not the party, but the experience.  Though it's just another day, I love the feel of unwrapping a whole new year, one that's fresh, clean, just waiting for me to figure out how to use it.  So on New Year's Day I spend some time thinking of my intention for the coming year. I set a general direction for myself and though I may be off course much of the time or the path I take changes, I keep focus on that general direction.  Most of the time.

     This year I'm letting go of more fears to live with more ease.  It's a little scary to even write that.  If my mother is listening, she'll be scared too. She'll be saying how much more wildly could I possibly get? But though I've succeeded in living way beyond my comfort zones, there are ways I still limit myself beyond what's reasonable.   Being frugal and careful and saving for the day you might be living under a bridge has always been a way of staying safe.  So I do a lot of things like reuse aluminum foil, save plastic bags and work on Labor Day.  All of which may be a result of growing up in Appalachia (which was wonderful, but that's another topic.)

     So I'm risking more this year.  I'm sending out queries for the novels I've written, joining a writing class, and working less.  I'm opening up new areas of my clinical practice and traveling more.  I'll still save plastic bags and aluniminum foil but with a different intention.  Most of all I will give myself more time, view the time I have as abundant, and spend more of it connecting with people I love.

     A good start is--I'm going to Paris.  That sounds so decadent to me.  But I am blessed with a special opportunity.  See, I'm giving myself reasons it's okay even now.  It's okay.  It won't put me under the bridge.

     So we'll see how I do as the year goes on.  I hope the angels are helping my mother relax right now.