15 Mar 2013

in two

In exactly two months we will begin our epic journey across the world, home.

to say the word and not mean
(our tiny, quaint parisian-suburbs granny flat, but)
in the great wide land
bush lands, rolling hills, scrub,
sea side, blue sky, familiar stars,
heat, ash, thunder,
streets and houses
known like the back of my hand,
my sisters, my kin, my dear friends,
pearl tea, falafels, cheddar,
city where I was born,
met my husband,
ocean I was baptised in,
room where my child was conceived,
hill I rode my first bicycle down,
magnolia tree I have climbed in,
ah, yes, there -
that place -

I wonder what it will be like to hear and see and speak english in public everyday, everywhere again, at first, I suspect, it might feel overwhelming loud and obvious. I have become accustomed to a kind of gentle fuzz of incomprehension, you see... I can only describe the feeling as a kind of numbing of the senses - my ears strain to listen (and understand), my mouth fumbles over verb and phase, my eyes adjust to the newness of life mundane and beautiful...

And, after months of struggling at times with homesickness or culture-fatigue, I am beginning to feel that prickly sense of sadness at leaving this faraway place, here. I have drawn up a wish-list of sorts - of things I think we really to try ought to do (or really, just, would like to do) while we live here on the outer suburbs of Paris - knowing we will most probably never live here again...

-eat a lot of good french bread and butter (and fresh goats cheese and walnuts)
-picnic by the river Seine
-picnic in the park (with grotto)
-picnic in the shadow of the eiffel tower
-gaze at some of marc chagall's painted beauties
-wander through the french fabric district (and find some unlike-anything-else yards of cotton)
-have a bistro meal, just my love and me
-visit the enormous rambling antique markets in the 20th
-eat ripe raspberries off our fingers
-cook with pigeon
-cook with fresh artichokes
-visit some fancy boulangeries: 
-stock up on some extravagant but much-more-affordable here french epicerie items to take home
(like pure ground vanilla beans, beeswax, goodnight tea, chesnut puree, truffle oil, creme de violet)
-buy some provencal linen spray
-ride on a river ferry
-have a solo excursion to ride a bicycle and eat brioche...
-get in the photobooth
-walk, wander, drift
-oh, did I mention eat good french butter?

I wonder, if you have been to this fair old city what did you like to do best, or if you have never been, what would you love to do?

A bien tot et bon weekend,


  1. I have been...I lived with a French family for a few months...my favorite place in Paris was Montmartre...and the surrounding streets...I also loved the long green parks around the Eiffel tower too...and just riding the bus and getting off somewhere exciting...and I experienced the same sense of loss when I left...although I still correspond with my friends there...they are very far away...and the same quietness on coming home...like my voice so much unused and uncertain in France sort of failed me here for a while...

    ...I hope the rest of your stay there is everything you want it to be...

    ~Have a lovely day!

  2. Change is so bittersweet. We recently journeyed to the city where we met and fell in love. Those streets and parks and stores you think you will never forget when they are your everyday - they had somehow faded and I found myself wondering where a certain landmark was. I always miss it but I have found a new home where we have lived as married couple and became a family of three. I love looking back and seeing the little chapters so clearly.
    Excited to watch as another adventure unfolds for you three.

  3. Dear friend- I am both happy and sad for you in this time of change! How wonderful to be going home to your people and your places, where all is familiar and comforting! But a little bittersweet too, to be moving from the city where you became a family of three, where you spent Reu's first year. I think you've made a fantastic list to squeeze wonderful memories of life out of these last two months!

    ps. I've missed you 'round here lately and am so glad to be caught in your dreamy words again ;)

  4. i am excited for this big change in your life, and can't wait to see how you chronicle it. :)

  5. What a post!
    You described home so perfectly - ever, ever so sensitively and akin to authentically LIFE.... as I still try to figure out where home is.
    Two months! wow and I can finally meet you face to face and give you a hug!

    If I were to visit France, Paris....I would do precisely all those things you wrote about! And get lost in the streets....and go from cafe to cafe...wow and to see the ceiling Chagall painted!

    I pray for all the best in these last few weeks, I hope that you can live it all fully and savour each moment.

  6. Wow, big changes! There is such an excited apprehension around change.... I pray the future back in Australia holds beatuy & hope for you and your family. I lived in England as a teenager & we visited Paris when I was about 15.... I remember getting giddy with excitement over the gift shop in the Louvre....the fact that they had miniature reasonably priced cards of some fabulous artist's paintings....it was my first real exposure to loads of fantastic art.

  7. So wonderful.
    Blessed experiences, and more to come...
    If I plan a trip to OZ, we must chat over tea!

  8. its going to go so fast. enjoy it.


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