Friday, 6 February 2015


I arrived in Paris yesterday. An auspicious start to my year, as one friend kindly emailed, because it was my birthday! Spent mostly in a jet lag haze, but today I feel good, happy even.

One of my biggest challenges for the research, and to be here, is learning to speak, read and understand French better then I do. I can feel how far I have go and it’s daunting. I’m not a language person in that sense, or maybe I just resist the learning—bit by bit I go.

I’m in that space of being here and not here. Walking out to get groceries, seeing the bakeries and cafes, and feeling like: I am here? It takes some time to arrive.

I took pictures today to share, and maybe to make myself believe in my own location. But I don’t have the download cord for my computer! They were great pictures, especially the one of my desk, ready to go with "Eve Escapes/Ève s'évade" (Cixous, 2012/2009), notebooks, and a package of creme caramel (because you can buy that in a French grocery store). 

I made it to Notre Dame this aftrenoon, and the Seine, to say hello to the mother of Paris (the water/river and the land). The Seine cuts through this city in its serpentine path, it's banks perfectly shored on both sides by stone. Walkways and roads are river banks, after eons of human habitation. Looking down, I noticed how fast moving the water was, coursing through the city, faster then I remember, and a murky brown. 

At Notre Dame I was amazed that there was a line up to go into the cathedral at this time of year. Paris is always full of visitors I guess. Inside, I kept returning to the statue of Joan of Arc. I was drawn to her armoured yet gentle presence, her hands in prayer, her gaze pious and entranced. I lit a couple of blessing candles, keeping warm from the cold Paris weather.

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