Tuesday, May 25, 2010

I learned today

Which is a good thing to be able to say about any day, I should think.

A new word. Retors. As in "Il est retors." Which is an unfortunate thing to have to say about anyone. But which, on occasion, is true. Whether it needs to be said or not is an entirely different subject.

The dictionary says crafty but it's a bit more pejorative than that. Maybe dipping a toe into shrewd or malicious. In any case, sly and probably underhanded.

Really, nothing you'd want to be around. But at least we know what it's called.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

From the rooster to the donkey

Passer du coq à l'âne. I love this expression, probably because I do it from time to time.

It's when you're talking about one subject and then you jump to a completely unrelated subject with no transition at all.

To be truthful, there is always a link for me, it just may not be apparent to everyone. And I am usually able to loop it back around so that, in the end, it all makes sense. I have a few friends who have similar conversation styles so they trust my sense of direction. Those who don't usually smile and watch me draw swirls.

Conversations are spirals and swirls, as opposed to straight lines, aren't they?

Friday, May 21, 2010

The things I don't know

Cannot be counted. Some of them probably can't even be imagined.

No longer waiting to live, I'm trying to live while waiting. Don't ask me what I'm waiting for, I have no idea. If I did, it would be anticipation, not waiting. Right?

Monday, May 10, 2010

My France

I suppose there are stages to living in a foreign country. An early stage where you compare many things and judge a few of those. A stage after that where you notice and resist. Another where you notice and accept. And another where you don't notice any more.

I suppose that's why I haven't written about France in a while, I don't really notice so much any more. Which may be because my energy has been focused on those same stages but within my own life. Or it may be because I'm in circumstances unlike any I knew at home. And so now I have nothing to compare it to. France is the only place I've been divorced, or a single mother or quite so completely alone. And the only place where I didn't know what would happen next.

So here I am, in a France that's new for me. In a life that's new for me. The newness of my life, mercifully, has come gradually, one change at a time. And while I have longed for faster and/or more, time has been treating me with a kindness I have not.

This France, my France. There is affection in that possessive - how could I feel otherwise for a place that has been so patient and gracious a witness? There is a tolerance, deep and quiet, in this land. I feel it everyday when I walk by the river. But there is also a pledge in that possessive. I will walk barefoot on the land that has been so gentle with me and I will ask it to remember the path my footsteps took.

Monday, May 03, 2010

Map this

Map the lines you've crossed, all of them, they will be the scale. Every map needs a point of reference.

Map what you've lost, it matters, the way a neighboring country matters - best to have good relations, but that's enough. Peace between borders.

Map what you know, it's precious little, but precious still. It is the ever changing landscape. Time and season always take care of what you cannot.

Map what you've learned, a mountain range. Hard to get to but majestic views worth the risk.

Map what it cost you to learn, the valley nearby, carved by glaciers of hard truths.

Map the grace that melted glaciers into a river of acceptance whose beginning and end cannot be mapped.

Sunday, May 02, 2010

A battle of wills

Lights on or lights off? As you will.

On a quest for answers, hows and whys, a mortar and pestle are your only tools. Grinding river stones down to nothing, searching for traces of water, the only thing that could have made them so smooth. Well, that and time. There must be some in there, mustn't there?

In the land of answers, you knew you would find blood. How could you not, given your questions? But you make friends with swords and find a home in the shadows, nothing sinister there. Honey where you were expecting blood.