Oct 19, 2010

About home

Two months have passed since we arrived in Paris, and I'm afraid I haven't been sharing as much as I should. I feel like I've been given the chance to look at my life, (and myself) from a great distance--from this vantage I see things I couldn't see before and I am learning so much. It's also difficult; the simple things are not always simple, and what I want most of all--home--seems far away--a dream. A few admissions here: I have literally been dreaming about homes lately, so i suppose it is on my mind! AND I sometimes look on craigslist for homes to rent in the bay area.

Yes, its ridiculous and we won't be returning home for many months, but its comforting to dream.

Yesterday, I was sitting in front of Notre Dame. It was cold, and dreary and wet, but I was happy. Maggie had fallen asleep in her stroller, and perhaps this had something to do with it. Though she is now two years old, I still feel the comfort and surrender I felt when she was just a baby sleeping (mostly in my arms). I looked out at the groups of people swarming by; at the gothic spire and arches and plunging tower. I couldn't help but recall the six months I spent here ten years ago. Actually I was thinking, has it really been ten years? And who was that person, who was I ten years ago?

I was twenty one years old. Technically I was in Paris as part of my Global Studies major. I was taking classes and doing research for my thesis about identity and the European Union. Ha! That makes me laugh just a little now. I think that my wonderful advisor at the time thought Paris was a little tame for the type of study abroad experience he hoped his students would have. He did research in Africa, and many of my fellow students (there were about 40-50 people in this major) spent time in Columbia, Nigeria, Libya...Things have certainly changed a lot since then. Well, despite my relatively tame aspirations, I was interested in politics, philosophy, thinking. I wanted to make the world a better place. But at the end of my 4 year degree that same advisor sat me down and basically asked me, now what? What do you want to do with your life? And I said "write." Probably the first time I admitted something I'd felt for a long time.

Even then I was exhausted with politics, exhausted with the way our ideas seem to go round and round. It has been a long journey. So much has changed. here I am in Paris again, but this time its very different. I have a daughter and a husband. THis time he is doing research. And this time we are going to Senegal for six months.

Another guilty admission: I have not read a newspaper since we arrived in Paris. And I don't know that I will. I know that since we;ve been here there have been strikes and demonstrations. Yesterday I saw highschool students demonstrating down the street. So much is going on in the world, and its not that I care any less than I use to. I do care so much. But all I can do is take care of what's in front of me. And if Im lucky, write.

What have I been up to? A lot. its been busy here. But so much of what I spend my time doing these days is trying to find any way I can to feel at home. SO here it is, what we've been loving lately:


Arts and crafts. We love gathering treasures at the park and bringing them home with us!Meet "camille". Got to have a french name for a french doll, yes?

Sewing! I've started a log cabin quilt for Maggie

dress up and dancing of course


  1. "So much is going on in the world, and its not that I care any less than I use to. I do care so much. But all I can do is take care of what's in front of me." -- thank you for this beautiful articulation of our station in life as mothers of young children. and our quilt is gorgeous. i know how hard it is to find time to write but it's so nourishing to read. xo hannah

  2. Amy, thanks for sharing again. Seeing maggie's little face and your creative projects and reading your thoughts is a gift. miss you. lots and lots of love and good wishes for this next part...xo

  3. ps...your quilt is going to be lovely!

  4. oh too sweet. thank you for sharing all of this, Amy. you are such a beautiful writer. i feel folded into your soul when I read this. i feel more at peace where I am. i really can't wait to see that maggie girl. love to you all.

  5. Amers- first real rain is coming down right now. I have the window open wide, it smells really sweet.... I just picked up mom and dad, they are cute and cranky. Dad was going on about how good little mags is. "so easy"... well, you are a good writer, this is so true. this is quite a ripe opportunity, eh? plus- if it is any consolation I am dreaming of fleeing the bay lately. but it is really nice here. it is home. you are on an adventure my sweet big sister. of course you don't feel at home, you aren't! I think you are the most amazing woman.