8.06.2007

Paris Newsletter: Month Eleven

Dear Paris,

I spent this past weekend in Nashville (which oddly enough seems to have become my #1 vacation spot in this large country) with the Sarahs. I thought a lot on my plan ride home tonight why my friendship with the Sarahs continues on so strong, regardless of what Midwest state they plant themselves in (and what foreign soil I'm playing on). Staying with them is like visiting family, like having cousins my own age whose values are close to mine and whose love of arts and crafts and everything nature is something we revel in sharing. Maybe it's the wooden paneling in their rented apartment that reminds me of my Nana's or maybe it's the feeling of being far from home that kicks up the family instinct in me, but regardless of what the reasons are, the Sarahs are living proof that friendship can work long-distance.


I am living in a place called Doubtland at the moment; some of you may know it, as it lies directly north of Steam-roll-ahead-Optimistville and just south of Old Regretsbury. There are moment when this just all feels wrong, buying cars and living back at home and working full-time and starting all. over. again. I had a very long and profound conversation with an old boss of mine last week who said it short and to the point when she said "we are misfits. There's no use fighting it, once you become one of these trans-continental people, you can't fit into any one side anymore." She's right of course, and this purgatory-like status feels even more damning when I barely recognize myself in my hometown anymore. Like I've forgotten the language and the will to speak it.

As if such large-scale life changes weren't enough, July brought with it the end to two matriarchs in our family. I spent five days down in Pennsylvania with my Mom at my Nana's, going through her things and was faced with yet another side of myself. To realize we are one in a chain of generations is something I rarely feel in America because the architecture doesn't shout it the same way as it does in Europe. But we found deeds for my great-grandfather's land in the 1800's and photos from the early 20th century that vibrated with history and only fed my over-active imagination at night when I should have been sleeping. To face my past, present and future in the same month has been utterly exhausting.

I greet August with a half-hearted wave, anxious about the next few weeks of setting roots down here, but also dreading the end of the month, when I head back to Paris to collect my things and say goodbye. The future of these newsletters is uncertain as well. I can't continue writing to Paris because it's like never getting over a relationship, but at the same time, it seems too soon to be writing to New York. I may need to find someplace in-between like the Atlantic Ocean or something general like the globe. Or maybe, dear readers, I will cut out the middleman and write directly to you.

Bisous,

Jen

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Don't be scared,
Paris will forgive you
and New York will adopt you again.

take care
xxx
Edith