“If it feels good, do it” ranked among the top most blasphemous phrases of my homeschooled youth. You were not supposed to do what felt good. Because obviously, what felt good was probably a sin. Like drugs. Or fornication. Or maybe just smiling to yourself about how you were really, really excellent at math. “If […]
Having come out of a subculture that was obsessed with modesty of both dress and speech, it took me many years to express interest in men I liked. Looking back, I can see clearly at least three instances where I was attracted to someone who liked me back, yet I refused to flirt, refused to […]
It’s costing me 20 euros to ride in from the airport and back for a few hours in Paris and I don’t even care. If New York is laid out in a grid, Paris is laid out like a splatter painting. To wander through Paris is therefore to be lost in Paris, and this is […]
To recap: in France, I spoke French, toured Normandy, remembered Joan of Arc, and cruised the Seine. And it was glorious. I wrote about it a bit more extensively over on David Lansing’s travel blog.
On my 31st birthday, Antoine, the youngest member of the family I am staying with in France, has given me an unexpected birthday present: a beautiful little pendant that looks like a large pearl or a small, pristinely white Fabergé egg. I put it around my neck and feel the smoothness of it with my […]
Where Normandy meets Brittany, there is a city on a hill, in the sandy land reclaimed from the Atlantic. Mont Saint Michel. I had wanted to visit it for years, imagining this cloister in a cloud, the ethereal chants of the monks of times past hanging like ghosts in the cold air, perhaps the choppy […]
This is the third Christmas I have spent away from my own family. The first was in 2001, in East Berlin, when I was 20 years old. I was studying abroad in France, and I managed to procure an invitation from a German boy exactly three years my senior who had visited my family in […]
From the beaches near Barcelona to Foixarda to the canyons outside Perpignan, I spent a good portion of my trip to Europe with climbers. It was delightful.
I wait in the station for my train to Perpignan, the languid, humid buzz of Barcelona present in the low-swung shuffle of sandaled feet and ballooning fabric. I people-watch. Backpackers, the elderly, chic white-clad youth, confused women with high-pitched voices. The duration of my wait makes me pensive. I wonder at the clashing ethos of […]
Being in France, particularly Rouen, again was weird. C’etait chez moi et pas chez moi; j’etais la mais j’etais entre deux mondes. I walked the same streets and saw the same people… at least a few of them… and spoke French as was my wont, but it had to be short-lived because Scott was there […]