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finding peace

Friends, I have regained mon equilibre. A few rocky days there, no question. And last night, I came back in the rain to the quiet apartment after emailing and blogging and asked myself, What the @#$# am I doing here? I spent the other night working on my Documents file, deleting all the files for the Beatles book – scores, hundreds of pages, draft after draft using just about every title of a Beatle song, so much verbiage, extremely depressing.

So the other night, after a take-out supper, I sat down to work and was paralyzed. Why go through that again? Why drag myself into another exercise in memory, through countless drafts, only to waste countless hours for seventeen readers?

Well, why write it at all? I asked myself. Who’d care? Why not just watch TV, or read the hawk book, or go back to the bar and troll the internet some more?

Because I want to tell the story, came the answer, and I’m here to tell it. So I sat down and started. Three attempts later, something came, a start. I’ve already got a draft, but it had problems and needed a new take. And I may have found it. It was most satisfying. Then some reading and bed, to awake for that half hour of blessed peace before the noise.

But yesterday I talked to a workman and found out the drilling is going to last 4 weeks or so, so – that’s just the way it is. This morning I just put in my earplugs and went about my business, making breakfast and plans. And somehow, I didn’t care.

Here are yesterday’s pictures:

Jeff Koons at the Pompidou, with a dark, rainy Paris in the background

A children’s wading pool full of chunks of wood. Made me laugh.

Really made me laugh – the Hulk as an organ.

 Mmmm. Which colour to choose?

La Place des Vosges, so beautiful and calm, and the sun came out briefly.

Today I went to the Gare Montparnasse and took the train to Chartres, the incredible cathedral finished in 1268, vast, towering over the small town. It’s famous for its 176 stunning stained glass windows. Of course it’s better to see them in the sunshine – like La Sainte Chapelle, better with light glowing through. But they were still profoundly moving and glorious. How was that massive building made? It boggles the mind. The workmanship in the sculptures and windows, the columns, the carving everywhere, a marvel. The windows were removed during both the first and the second world war and stored somewhere for safety. What a miracle they’ve survived this long.

Had lunch in a simple but terrific restaurant, a delicious two course meal with wine and of course basket of bread for about $27. Great ambiance, service, everything; felt hugely nourished. Got to the station just on time for the train back to Paris, to realize I’d read the wrong billboard – my train wasn’t for another hour. So out into the rain, to walk around the great cathedral again.

And now drinking a dark rich hot chocolate while emailing at the cafe (internet not working very well today), then home to work. Tomorrow, when the noise starts, I won’t care. I’m in Paris. Even though the weather today was worse than ever – freezing and very wet and windy – I didn’t care either. C’est comme ca.

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About Beth

I began keeping a journal at the age of nine. Nearly fifty years later, I started this online journal, sharing reflections, reviews, updates, and the occasional secret.

Some Blogs I Follow

Chris Walks
This blog evolves. It once was about travels. Now it’s a reason to be at the keyboard that I value.

Theresa Kishkan
Theresa Kishkan is a writer living on the Sechelt Peninsula on the west coast of Canada.

I walk on. With my feet, and in my mind as well.

Carrie Snyder
Wherever you’ve come from, wherever you’re going, consider this space a place for reflection and pause.

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