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