Tuesday, June 10, 2008

from somewhere in Paris, by the river Marne: quotidien

She comes to me with her clay and she shows me how she can mix colors. She names them for me in perfect English.

Aurore and Olivier’s (my landlords) girls are enchanting. (Okay, so are their parents, but I think we already cleared that one.)

The youngest is five and she and I have a perfect system of communications going. When she is not listing colors, she speaks to me in French. I’m especially good at five year old French. It’s when I get into technical stuff like politics and my work that I start to falter. Five year olds, unlike us, never ask about work.

I work steadily and my contact with the outside world is minimal. This morning, that awful French Monday morning, when you’re ready to move on and everything is STILL closed (digestion, remember?), I found a bakery and a café and I combined the two to form a perfect union of a breakfast type, but I had been working and it was so late by the time I got to it, that the waiter was already setting tables for lunch.

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Afterwards, I wandered over to a big store and found the newest CD of the French singer Raphael and after purchasing it, I realized that my daily budget allowed for only 8 more Euros. Luckily, I had rose wine left over from the night before and large baguettes with chicken, egg and tomato were less than 4 Euros each. I was happy to still have change because you never know when the urge will strike to buy, say a pastry in the late evening. (I could go off budget, but I am proving a point to those who don’t believe I can do it. There are many.)

I think a lot about Impressionism while I am here. It could be because of the art in my apartment in the carriage house. There are numerous paintings of Jacques Seguin – a local artist who will appear in a later post for reasons that will also become clear later – and he has that slightly impressionistic stroke. But there is more to it: I am living an unremarkable but stunningly beautiful daily routine by the River Marne. In this, the quintessential vie quotidienne, I find inspiration. A girl making pink out of red and white clay, a woman taking a café on her way to the store, two friends and a dog taking in the warmth of a June day by the River Marne.

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Except I have things to write and so I must let go and end for today. And my apologies about one more thing: this week for me is more about words than it is about photography. I think you can already tell.