8.11.2008

Brooklyn Newsletter: Month Eight

Dear Brooklyn,

I don't quite know how to start this month's letter; I've been doing so much grand-scale thinking lately that I'm loathe to delve into that pot yet again. Fanny and I had dinner two weeks ago, both of us walking a balance beam between "I'm alright" and "I'm somewhat of a mess." I walked her to Grand Central afterwards. "What are we going to do, the two of us?" I asked. "Hope for miracles," she said. So we threw pennies in a fountain. Boy, am I glad to have a friend who isn't afraid to chuck spare change into the abyss with me.




Happily, none of the self-doubting moments in the past month have anything to do with that big old expensive continent called Europe. I had such a good trip. It was the perfect combination of newness and old friends, gorgeous sunny days and gray contemplative ones. I spent two nights in a bar in Clermont with Erica, chatting with Christophe the barman about the state of the world, the way our countries are different, the way we ourselves are the same. I met up with Suffragettes, a true sweetheart, who reads this blog and got a coffee with me at the base of Montmartre on my last evening in Paris. I took planes and trains and cars and used my own two feet walking miles along the cobblestone streets. And now, it seems that Europe and I have built a committed relationship. We know we're not leaving each other and though we don't see each other frequently, we're going to be alright.





On the home front, time marches on and I can't believe that Katherine's wedding is in a month. I brought my bridesmaid dress home on the train with me this morning and now that it's here in the apartment, it's starting to feel real. Our friend Katherine is going to have a HUSBAND. There will be a WIFE present at our monthly girl dinners. And I'm so excited to be part of their day, to go back to Muhlenberg where we will no doubt be nostalgic and emotional about how far we've come since Prosser '99.




I signed up for Spanish last week. Starting in late September, I'm going to spend my Monday and Wednesday early mornings at the Cervantes Institute, learning how to say my name and age and where I live- in Spanish. It feels like the right time to do this, like a good moment to launch myself into a new culture and language that I don't know at all. I'm thinking of planning a trip to South America next summer as incentive; a year of Spanish lessons and I should be able to chat with the local baker about his favorite music, non?



I feel very lucky to now be at Arc full time; I've never been at a place with such a concentration of brilliance. I realized the other day that, for the first time in quite a long time, I felt smart at work. Not talented at a language, not well-read due to experience, but as if my brain had a little something extra going on. I wonder a lot if it's the influence of all the science and math brains that brings out another way of thinking. And all those boys. They sure do think different, them boys.



But I remain incredibly grateful to know such strong, brilliant women around the world. On my last night in Paris, Katie, Mad and I lounged around on the bed, making flip books and watching SATC. We bounced from French politics to sex to war to music. At one point we wondered aloud what would happen if the US and the UK went to war, how we would feel being on opposite sides of the fight. And it was strange to think about that, strange to imagine something larger than ourselves pitting me against them. Because those girls are on my side. I may not have a clear definition of what 'my side' is, I might not be able to show it in pie charts or fancy vocabulary words, but I think you can feel that sort of thing. And in the core of my core, I feel it.

I am one lucky girl.


Love,
Jen

1 comment:

Maddy said...

And will always be on your side ma belle.

From Paris to New York, with so much love,

Mad xxx