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Showing posts from 2010

Happy Christmas to All

I've been struggling with my Christmas poem this year.  Inspiration seemed far away and what I thought I wanted to write wasn't happening at all.
Today, I downloaded a beta version of a creative writing software that I hope to use for editing my novel.  To try it out, I decided to scratch out a poem...and this is what came out.  So that which would be written, has been written; and that which is not yet ready, has not.

Merry Christmas lovely reader.

 Eclipse - 2010

I missed the Eclipse this Winter Solstice
Rainclouds covered the sky As is usual in my bleak midwinter. I couldn’t see the world go dark I missed the red glow in the sky I didn’t feel the longest night Go still and silent and black. I went to bed like any other night I burrowed into blankets And battled with my dreams And prayed that I might wake another day. I did awake. The darkness was still there My northern latitude at its apogee To Sol and light and warmth. But this morning the moon shone large Bathing the bare limbs in ligh…

Looking back or forward

It's raining outside.  It's also dark.  It is a dark and stormy night. There was even a tornado today!  I mean - wtf - tornado?   in December?  I'm inclined to just put on my jammies and pull the covers up over my head. 

I spent last month writing my novel as a participant in National Novel Writer's Month.  I've now got over 50,000 words committed to this narrative.  By the time I'm done editing and rewriting, there will be at least that many if not more.  I am more than a little excited about it.  For one thing, the act of writing, the commitment to my goal got me out of my slump. Secondly, the subject of my book, my grandparents and their careers in the theatre, created for me, at long last, a sense of family.

Coming from a big, noisy group such as mine, you'd think I'd want to do anything but identify with my family. But the truth of it is, while I love my siblings dearly, I always had a feeling that I was on the outside looking in.  I always though…

Paris - final day and final thoughts

This morning we had our last cup of coffee and last croissant in silence.  I know that I am full of thoughts and wishes about our trip and I'm sure Bridgete is as well.  We got to the airport in plenty of time.  And far too soon, we were leaving Paris and back in Boston.

There are few things I wanted to say about my trip that didn't seem to fit with my travelogue.  I knew that I would enjoy Paris.  I had read about it and thought about for many years now.  And even though several people had told me beforehand that I would fall in love and want to live there, I took it all with a grain of salt.  I've traveled before and seen some very amazing cities, but nothing compares to Paris.  It is another world.  And it is indeed a world in which I could imagine myself living.  There is a quietness, a peacefulness, an elegance and a dignity to Paris that I have never experienced before.  I've always craved a kind of quiet in my life - but never knew what the quiet was until now. …

Paris - Day 6

Today is our last full day in Paris.  SOB!  And we are visiting that place famous in history for so many reasons - Versailles.  Testament to the power (and ego) of Louis XIV - the Sun King.  Did you know that he became king at the age of 4 and ruled France for 72 years?  Did you know that he outlived his son and his grandson and was followed on the throne by his great-grandson (who was only 5 at the time)?  Well, I didn't.  During his reign, France was indeed a most powerful country and his patronage of the arts brought him much glory.  French theater and literature flourished under his protection.  Painting, music, architecture all gained prominence.   And he converted the hunting lodge at Versailles into a magnificent palace that would become the royal court of France in 1682.  At one time, the palace alone housed 14,000 people.  That's a town!

We took a train trip to Versailles - about 30 minutes outside of Paris.  The day was like most of our days had been, lightly overca…

Paris - Day 5

First, I realized that I forgot to mention dinner last night.  Oops - my bad.  Dinner was okay.  The French onion soup was divine!  Bridgete had escargot.  And a creme caramel desert was mighty tasty. 

Day 5 - The Louvre.  That's the big museum - with all the famous paintings - and the glass pyramid.  And it is every bit as amazing as you might imagine.  It's the one time I acted like a rude American - but there is no other way to get close to...that picture....without elbows and rudeness.

I took pictures of what I could.  There's this one.  She's quite lovely.

And then look at the look on this little girl's face!

So here's the moment you've waited for - literally sweated for - my hair was dripping wet by the time we reached this room.    That's her - the little dark square on the other side of that sea of people.  Elbows up....

yessir...I saw her.  She's pretty amazing.  You wish all these other people would just go away so you could have some time a…

Paris - Day Four

It's Wednesday.  By the end of today our week in Paris will be more than half over!  :-(

We started with Breakfast.  You know the drill.  Coffee and croissant.  Cheese and fruit.  And really...what else do you need?  This morning, there was a little construction going on next door, it's August and vacation month for many French people.  It seems like every other shop we past has a sign on the door, "En vacances pour le mois d'août."  And lots of them are having face-lifts or renovations done while en vacances.   Well apparently our concierge, Arnaud (not to be confused with our guide Arnaud (who has his own blog here) decided that he'd had enough.  Out the front door he went and the jack hammer stopped.  Back in he came with a look to me that said, 'we'll have no more of that until you are all out and about.'  The rest of breakfast was peaceful and pleasant.

Today we started at the Pompidou Center.  The ugliest building in Paris, Arnaud has succes…

Paris - Day Three

Some of you know my strange and colorful history with squirrels.  Well, we didn't see any actual squirrels in Paris.  But this was the wallpaper in our room.

Look at his little ears! How they are kind of spiky?  Now that's a stylish squirrel.  Apparently this is a pretty close representation of the real thing.  They are red and do have little tufted ears.  And it's quite a blessing if you see one in person as they are quite shy and not at all inclined to scold you from the trees.  Just another example of polite French society.
Day Three started out with breakfast.  This time we were early enough to get croissant - a fine, flaky, buttery thing that melted on the tongue - and of course coffee.  A word about the coffee here.  I've always been a coffee with cream person.  I love the smell of coffee, but the taste of it has always been bitter to me and the acidity does a number on my stomach.  So I have my one little cup with cream or milk each day when at home.  But in Pari…

Paris - Day Two

Day Two
After a perfectly wonderful night, in which I snored, but due to the very cozy arrangement of our beds, Bridgete merely stuck her arm out and patted me and I would roll off my back, we woke up for our first full day in Paris.  

Started out with breakfast of bread and cheese, a little fruit, perfect coffee - what else do you need?  Really?  The morning looked a little cool and the forecast called for rain.  So every one set out with the necessary jackets, sweaters and umbrellas.  We walked to the Metro and got our first instructions in how to use this wonderful system. 

Our stop was Ecole Militaire on the Ballard/Cretiel Line 8.  For today we would be traveling to the Ile de la Cite - the heart of Paris and would need to change Line 1 - La Defense/Chateau de Vincennes at Concorde where the two lines intersect and then get off Line 1 at Hotel de Ville.    When we made the change at Concorde and were walking toward our next train, we were treated to the sound of a tuba and an acco…

Paris - Day One

We arrive in Paris at about 1:00 in the afternoon, after flying overnight from Boston.  So it's actually about 7 AM for us and we haven't slept a wink.  But excitement overtakes us.  We are in Paris.  CDG is a strange airport.  There are moving sidewalks that are more like escalators, going up and down the central core of the airport.  Other than that, it looks pretty much like any airport of any major city.  We collect our luggage, and since we went through passport control in Reykjavik, we just leave like any other EU passenger.  
We neatly avoid the illegal taxi services right outside of baggage claim and proceed to the taxi stand.  After we get all the baggage into the taxi, we give the address of our hotel - Hôtel de Londres Eiffel 1 rue Augereau.  He mumbles a few things in French and off we go.  
There's a middling sense of deprivation.  It's a big city, with high rises and graffiti and trains - then suddenly, you leave La Defense and you are in PARIS.  Beautiful …

Existential Crisis

I couldn't think of a better title.  I'm not really having an existential crisis, not questioning my place in the great scheme of things; but I am having some sort of of "what now?" moment.  At this very moment, my daughter Bridgete is enduring the last day of the Massachusetts State Bar exam.   All my energy is directed at her and holding her in my thoughts.  It's the least I can do.  It's the only thing I can do from here.  And it's probably best that I am here and not anywhere near her.  I'd be one of those  awful hovering parents - and I don't hover well. 

But I love well.  As much as it breaks my heart to be so far from her, I celebrate the fact that she has become this amazing person.  So strong and capable.  Wise and funny.  Kind and honest.  With such great friends, people I would be proud to call my friends.  And I just sit back and love her. 

There is great joy in being a parent at these moments.  And there is great sadness as well.  I …


Sorry I've been so long in writing.  The block is strong in this one.  But I did want to update everyone. 
Feeling much better.  Still not 100% back to strong, but I have to pat myself on the back for seeing things coming and knowing there was a cause and fighting the demons away.  Seeing Dr. Molly tomorrow for an update on the Vitamin D and thyroid issues.
I'm getting very excited about Paris.  VERY EXCITED.  I just have to get my plane ticket to and from Boston!  I've been waiting for prices to drop, but so far, no luck.  I don't have enough miles with Alaska to get a half price ticket just yet.   So it's down to Continental which would not be a direct flight but reasonably priced or my usual direct flights on Alaska.  Have to decide by next week - or at the very latest - the first of August.
I promise to update you later.  REALLY!  I do!!