Friday, June 15, 2007

North Lost

I just read a book in French this week. Which I almost never do because it's just not as much fun. I read to escape and escaping has to happen in English in my version of the universe.

But this book was different. It was written by a Canadian woman, Nancy Houston, who's been living in France for the past 25 years.

The book is about being a foreigner and living in a second langauge. She doesn't call it that, but that's what it comes down to. She talks about losing the north, thus the title, Nord perdu.

The north being our eternal point of reference. But I guess I don't really think of the north as a place so much as a pull. Which explains why sometimes I feel like I'm doing the metaphysical splits over the Atlantic Ocean.

So here's my question: what's your north?


Amy & Charlie said...

jeez, some pull! some splits!

Lorraine said...


My family (including you).

zeb said...

It must be nice to have so much free time to deep think about such things. It must be a French thing you know with the short work weeks and the long lunches.

beth said...

I don't know about my north, but my universe would be my girls

The Late Bloomer said...

This is a tough question... I think my North is my boyfriend, but then again he is of course only part of my universe.

And isn't Nancy Huston great? I'm ever so grateful to MaƮtresse for getting me hooked on her... And I've still got loads more of her novels to read! I'll have to add this one to my list.

anno domini said...

The North of England is 'my North' I lived in London for many years, and driving back to my parents' home along the Motorway, at some point would come across the first huge blue sign saying 'The North' - it always seemed incredibly remote and romantic!

gina said...

Well, aside from my family, my north has to be the ocean - specifically, the Pacific Ocean. It exerts a certain calming influence on me, regardless of whether it's off the coast of Washington, Oregon, California, or even British Columbia. I miss my north.

Oh, and I tagged you. Hope you don't mind.

Nicole said...

A&C - Tell me about it.

Lorraine - My answers as well.

Zeb - I'm ignoring you.

Beth - I know what you mean. But not the same thing.

TLB - Actually, this is the first time I've read anything by her. But not the last.

Anno- I'd try to steal that sign if I were you.

Gina - I miss the west coast too. A lot. Thanks for the tag, I'm seriously lacking inspiration these days.

Papadesdeux said...

I haven't found North in years. I think the magnetic part of my brain got fried when I crossed the Atlantic.

Now I know who "Nicole" is. I've seen the name tossed around and never pinned it down. Of course, as a guy, I'm only on the very outskirts of this women dominated "expats with brats" thing. But I get so confused trying to keep track of everybody. I think I should try to map out a sort of expat tree that I can put on the wall above the computer. Maybe I can put little blinking lights on it that show who's on-line and where.

Does that sound like I need therapy? I thought so. Maybe I can find your Mary. Would she take on a real bizzaro?

OY, like I said, I can't seem to relocate my North.