Thursday, July 14, 2005

Allons enfants

A national anthem should be music without lyrics. I’ve yet to come across one with words that I can embrace and sign on to. Saluting war, bombs (the American version), taking back what’s yours by force (that’s the Polish one) and the most brutal of all: la Marseillaise. Consider this:

…Against us tyranny's
Bloody standard is raised
Listen to the sound in the fields
The howling of these fearsome soldiers
They are coming into our midst
To cut the throats of your sons and consorts

To arms citizens
Form your battalions
March, march
Let impure blood
Water our furrows

Lovely little gem for little French children to learn and sing, isn’t it?

But the melodies are alright. Plain and to the point, one might say. So, on this Bastille Day, I’ll put on a French CD, drink some French Roast cafĂ© au lait, and, instead of the cut throats and impure blood, I’ll think about only the first two words of the anthem – allons enfants (come, children).

The picture I like best to accompany this was taken by me in the Luxembourg Gardens in Paris, against a canopy of chestnut leaves. God, I love those gardens (and the museum contained therein, where one can get exquisite prints)!

Paris 04 002
playing to the chestnuts, beckoning to follow, in song

the song of a wren

How can you not smile when someone reads the last paragrpah of your post and sends you this message.*

Thanks, earthgirl!

* It struck me that maybe upwards of 50% of Ocean readers glance at blogs on the side, in their workplace. You guys maybe should not click on "this message."

take good care of my… what? I do not have any babies...

I’m hearing a lot of this: take good care of yourself.

I appreciate the good will in that missive, but I am wondering what it means. I imagine that women who take good care of themselves sit in foaming baths, with cucumber slices over their eyelids.

I never cared much about how my eyelids looked – possibly because I have never seen them – and I am not a great user of the bathtub, so what else is there?

Frankly, when I think of indulging myself, I think of two things, one good, one not so good: exercise to excess and drink wine (not to excess, but still, come on, this cannot be a regular activity). So should I do more of each? If I exercised more, I’d be one of those where AARP magazine will be asking for a photoshoot: look at her! Approaching ancient-hood and still not giving up on life! Eligible for membership (that happens, btw, when you turn 50, so get ready!), and still capable of pulling out a 6.2 5.7* mile run (yes, yes and I am proud of it). Look at her, apart from that bulge on her hip (will you quit asking me about the grapefruit in my pocket? It is my bruise. Bruise. Bruise. Sad but true. It will recede. So they say), she looks… fit.

So, I think I need a new definition of taking care of myself. Were you to ask me what I would want, I may say something like this: chirpy messages and visits, allowing me to pass you on the bike trail, hope, and every afternoon capped with one of these:

Madison July 05 179from yesterday

*Ocean is an honest blog