Bad Habits Put to Bed

With the arrival of June is the stark realization that half the year is gone. Never to be seen again. And what do I have to show for it? Deepening love for one character of a guy and a lot of travels (minus a now defunct trip next week to NYC).

The writing has not been in hibernation, but in a state of germination. It’s as if waking from the haze of academia is just taking its sweet time. You know those kids who would cry when they left home and call their parents every single day from camp? I never was one of those kids. Instead, when I returned home, I would pine away alone in my room mourning the cacophony of sound, kids and activity that now gave way to silence. And while post-graduation has been no malaise, I have allowed the other parts of my life to begin eating away at the time that for two years was obsessively inhabited by poetry.

But no more.

I had this quirky last minute opportunity to go to France in a part-work / part-leisure excursion. Some people have places that evoke a spiritual connection for them and France has been it for me for some time. The circumstances around this trip happened so quickly and came together so well that I couldn’t help but see and wonder what His design might be or what He wanted to convey to me.

Enter waking up at 4 a.m. No jetlag roused my sleeping form into the vertical position. A poem (or two) did. And they came so quickly. Urgently, as if tiny eggs hatching to produce the small vibrant creatures of poetry. I felt a rush in being back in my right mind again. Living with “poetry mind” calls a certain mindfulness to replace the typical zooming through life that is my modus operandi. And this is where France typically is my biggest reminder to slow down. Sip the wine, so to speak, rather than the slurp.

I took some ridiculously long walks in Paris, through the light rain and felt at home in the San Francisco-like climate. While listening to an original score of electronica music with grey skies framing the beauty, I walked with camera in hand, letting the road take me forward. My self-direction for the 2 days in Paris consisted of taking my time, not rushing, getting a little lost if need be and soaking in the touristy spots (which I would often counter is so unlike me) but I’d never had THAT Paris experience, so it worked out well. And amazingly I never got lost. We fear the failure of the almost perfect experience, which I think sometimes tends to cause the inertia of not trying at all. By allowing myself freedom, I discovered haunts over the course of my jaunt that would have remained hidden. A question for you, “Do you ever feel like you’re living your life too safely? OR Do you ever feel you’re living your life for someone else?”

My reading companion during the Paris leg, “Art and Fear” is a must for any working artist (or struggling one). Written by a photographer and a painter, they talk about the issues that drive artists to create and the things that keep them from creating. It continued the unraveling epiphany for me. God and I walk. It’s what we do to connect and I felt His presence very strongly over my little forays in Paris and Cannes. It felt good to feel Him again as the winter seems to be finally closing. But this next season, who knows what it will bring? It does not appear like anything I’ve ever encountered with Him before, but does not dissipate His proximity. As grey skies roil above, the questions come and not from a place of incertitude.

Artistically, since my return from France, I have continued writing poetry and other projects. This time, working on a book review and considering a new project that will keep me busy for some time to come.

Though New York is eluding me right now, as a friend said, “You always have Paris.” And a few orangettes from Fauchon tucked away for a rainy day.

1 comment

  1. I was thinking of you today because I was reviewing our negatives from India that I had just scanned into digital format. OK – I don’t know what you remember about that trip, but from our photos there were SO MANY smiles.

    I’m thankful that you found time for long walks in Paris.

    I’m thankful for poetry flowing freely.

    I’d like to know more about “Deepening love for one character of a guy”.


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