We’re still here …

We feel we owe our friendly readers an apology or at least an explanation for our negligence.  It has been a while since our last post.  It has been on Renee’s “Desktop” for weeks and weeks. Here’s what’s happened .

Slowly we have become aware of our imminent departure. This makes us sad and we say, “Why are we going?” and “What will we do back there?”

We have felt more and more at ease and in fact at home, lessening our need to talk about this experience in travel terms.

The weather has turned absolutely gorgeous and we are feeling very much a part of the nature of things. Not something one writes home about as a program or with a sense of obligation.

Our experience both individually and shared has become something less “blogish” and more,can we say, metaphysical. If capable one could write a short story or even a novel or a poem, paint a picture, sing and even pray, (this I write listening to the bells of Notre Dame proclaiming mass).

At the same time as we have loosened our attachment to our “roots” or grown another set, we have become concerned with our country.  The view from here makes us sad and almost a bit guilty for thinking about deserting a foundering vessel. Especially just now when there are signs of a kind of renaissance in the political process. It may be time to go back.

We have made wonderful friends here. We miss them already.  However, they are friendships not defined by time or distance. They will endure. In fact we have found the French to be warm, welcoming, helpful and able and willing to fully engage with us as they do with most things. Their communitarian spirit and the attention paid to whatever they do is inspiring.

The music, oh the music. We have seen and heard more miraculous performance here than anywhere else we have been. Moreover we see and hear it as often as we like. There are endless venues and it would appear, endless numbers of talented performers.

And of course, the food. We have come to the fullest appreciation of the subtleties of not only the cooking of it but the texture and taste and how it stays with you.  As the French say “il reste dans la bouche”, it stays in your mouth. Everything has an aftertaste and the great surprise is how it engages all surfaces of cheek and tongue, places you never thought had anything to do with tasting. This is unforgettable and more importantly, not replicable.

This said, we will take a pause. We will put up pictures with commentary sometimes. We hope our readers have felt and even enjoyed at least in small measure, a part of our experience and we are happy to report we will be back.

There are two quotes I want to record here given the state of quasi-melancholy in which we find ourselves. One is a quote from an interview with Turkish writer Elif Shafak about what moves one to make a journey like this:

“The nomad lives in a perpetual present moment.’  To live the life of a nomad means to be able to make new friendships, meet new challenges, but most of all to let go– of  your possessions, of your old self. A sorrowful enrichment attends the soul along the quest.”

The other is a paragraph about leaving a place you love from the book by Azar Nafisi titled Reading Lolita in Tehran. The book is an eloquent memoir written by a woman of relentless passions after making the soul stirring decision to leave her native country to live and teach in the U. S.

“You get a strange feeling when you’re about to leave a place….like you’ll not only miss the people you love but you’ll miss the person you are now at this time and this place, because you’ll never be this way ever again.”

The fact that we have a plan and a place to return to in France at the end of 2008 has made this going easier. We are not through with this exploration, not by a long shot.  We have learned as much about ourselves and our country as we have learned about the French and France. The experience of being “the other” is a remarkable and almost transformational event.  And, we’ve both gotten great haircuts!


One Response to “We’re still here …”

  1. Well said, well done and well being… what more could you wish for? (is that where “wishing well” comes from :)

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