Wednesday, July 13, 2011


When I was young, I believed that time was slow. I believed that in order to write, I needed a story to tell. Now that I am grown and time has quickened, I know that sometimes all one needs is the life one leads to light the way.

* * *

I arrived home in the United States about one month ago, with the thought that one month was a vast expanse for me to stretch out my visits, to say hello to those I love, an infinite and endless boundary. The clock, however, doesn't always allow me to trick myself. In two days I leave to start another phase of my summer, before jet setting back into the country for a beloved friend's wedding, and then abruptly departing for Europe.

All the come and go has certainly got me thinking about time...attachments...the inevitability of departure. I am happy, beyond happy, to be going back to Paris, to France. But I cannot help but feel an inexplicable sadness again.

* * *
That France is my home now is undeniable. That I am a (temporary?) expat is now irrefutable. How strange it is to feel alien to one's own country...but what country is that? My brain lives in the murky waters of no-man's-language, a fog of French and English. America may literally be my patrie, but France is my ame soeur. She seduces me in ways that America never can, nor ever will. She is my refuge, my inspiration, my blood.

This is something I will never be able to convey to those who have never felt entirely at home in another place and culture...something I cannot even explain to my own family. My only extant justification for the force France wields over me is that she is within me...that what I feel are the echoes of centuries of French blood buried within my skin, eyes, hair...tongue. I wander the Faubourg St. Antoine wondering if my great grandmothers set foot there, gaze at Pont Neuf and imagine the carriages pass over stone, and feel like I belong.

I have not figured out yet if you will all lose me to the continent, cannot divine if I will be lost to France forever, because the proposition itself is lovely. But there are things--and there have always been things, larger forces at hand--that seem to guide my life.

* * *
I am still post-grad, post-Berkeley...but not post-France. And until I am post-France, which may, in fact, be never...I will not put any limits on anything...I suppose I'll keep writing here, for myself if no one else.

A la prochaine.

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