this morning, i had local buffalo news on while i was waiting for the Today Show to start, and this (annoying) reporter was talking to a group of kids who were excited for their last day of school. two of them were heading into middle school in september, and the (annoying) reporter asked these two if they were afraid.

the boy answered immediately 'no' and looked at her as if she was insane. the girl, however, when asked the question, took a second. it appeared that she had never given the fact that starting a new school would be something that you would be afraid of. she looked around a bit, and then answered 'yes'.

after all, if someone older who has already been there asks if you are afraid, surely there is something to be afraid of. i would like to think that this girl will disregard the (annoying) reporter's words, but given the look on her face, i think it's more a reality that today is the beginning of a couple of months of apprehension before she begins her new school. and once she gets used to all that 'fun' worrying, there will be more on the other side. worry is not an easy habit to kick.

what madness that we so freely project our fears onto children.


paris (part one)

i hate to be cliche, but there really is something about paris in the spring. not that i have other seasons to compare it to (yet). my trip was simultaneously all that i had ever hoped for and so much more than i dreamed.

my hotel, familia hotel, was amazing. when i go back i will again stay there. the staff were great, and all the rooms have these amazing sepia murals on the wall above the bed of different areas of paris. the hotel is in the latin quarter, and somewhere in the back of my mind, i had decided long ago that if i ever did get to paris, the latin quarter was where i wanted to stay. sometimes i can make good choices, and the latin quarter & familia hotel are among the examples of this anomaly!

the seine and all the bridges that link the left and right banks together captivated me. on more than one occasion did i feel a wave of envy sweep over me as i saw parisians sitting on the banks of the seine eating their lunch. as good as my imagination can be, the credit river will never be a substitute!

every morning, almost like a touchstone, i walked through the busy streets of the latin quarter, amongst the parisians going to work, school, fathers taking little children to daycare or wherever french children go when their parents go to work, up from my hotel to notre dame. the man at the front desk of my hotel said it takes ten minutes, but an odd thing happens when you walk through the streets of paris, time ceases to matter. or at least for me, it ceased to exist. there was only me, and this beautiful incredible city that seemed to have everything bathed in a pinkish sort of light, making it all more beautiful. anyway, back to notre dame, it was almost as though i had made a deal with myself no day would start without seeing the beautiful cathedral. apart from my hotel and the rue des ecoles on which it was, notre dame was the only thing i saw every day.

on friday a friend asked me if i would ever move to paris, and without hesitation i answered, 'yes.' i cannot explain it more than to say that from the first moment the airplane landed, and for some unexplained reason tears came to my eyes, paris felt like home. even as i sit here in the apartment that has been my actual home for more than three years, i know that somewhere east of here exists a place where my heart truly feels at home.

gertrude stein said "america is my country and paris is my hometown." while our countries of origin may be different, this same sentiment echoes through the parts of my heart that made the trip home with me.



one of my many favorite moments in paris.


there is so much that i just don't understand.

beginning with myself, and the less than intelligent choices that i make with alarming frequency... most of which have to do with the annoying discontentment that seems to shadow me, and in those moments when my guard is down, and i'm feeling much like my life is just so much the consolation prize version of the life i wanted, then the sub-intelligent choices seem to make so much more sense.

the reality is that the reasons for discontentment will always be around, and will always be numerous. there will always be some unrealized dream or goal, some piece of life that just doesn't fit the way i want it to...something. i cannot control any of these things, and freedom comes when i start to remember this.

the only thing i can control is my response. it's okay that my unrealized dreams break my heart, if the death of a dream doesn't break my heart, then i can't have wanted it that badly. but broken isn't bad, it's just a place to start again. Brennan Manning sums it up pretty well in the Ragamuffin Gospel when he says:

"to be alive is to be broken. and to be broken is to stand in need of grace. honesty keeps us in touch with our neediness and the truth that we are saved sinners. there is a beautiful transparency to honest disciples who never wear a false face and do not pretent to be anything but who they are."
may i live to be beautifully transparent.

Total Pageviews