Tuesday, July 11, 2017

bon anniversaire!

While I was plugging away at my next post, I wiped the sweat from my brow, looked down at my watch, and noticed that hey, one year! One year since le petit garçon and I stepped onto French soil. And here we are — twelve months, four apartments, dozens of croissants, one broken arm, and countless coffees later. In celebration, I offer a concert of thirteen images, one for each month plus one for good measure.

We’ve decided to stick around Toulouse for another year at least, to continue the adventure. La Belle France told me I can stay for ten more, but I’m like, OK, whoa, let’s start with maybe four anyway, and then we’ll see.

The feeling of homelessness persists which is of course SO inconvenient and uncomfortable. Still, that’s such a good thing, for me. To hang out in the uneasy spaces. And so for the next cycle I pledge to continue to use this — this blog, this life — to be more awake than asleep. To go easy on the comparing, my default mode. To go deeper into this human-ness, particularly the alone part, the part where no one’s watching, I’m not groomed, I look silly, I am a schmuck, the beauty fades. Right when it goes from feeling all good and loving and maybe even worthy of a picture to just me, flat on my face. What do I do when I don’t know what to do? When an old wound rears its head? What could it be for? That part, especially. Sticking around there.

the cast of characters

reunited with Irish music again

visitors, visitors, we love visitors — particularly this one

just your basic dentist's waiting room

OK OK twist my arm I’ll stay.
This guy, alive, in such good hands, surrounded by love. A true and unexpected highlight of the year.    

Hans Op de Beeck transforms the chapel at the Couvent des Jacobins
in French class, the essentials    
essential friendships    
For the annual Fête de L’École marking the end of the school year, I helped hang the work of 4-year-olds inspired by Basquiat, Monet, van Gogh, Marc Chagall, and Jackson Pollock…    

not the best way to usher in the summer holidays

Exactly. Good enough.