I meet with the woman who is renting my house next week. How strange she lives in Paris. We have some common interests like film and, so, spent an hour together. Afterwards, I walked to the Ile Saint Louis for coffee at Le Lutetia. It can’t be 10 years since I sat here with my husband. We each had our small black notebooks, writing side by side, watching the Seine, and waiting for our daughter. She worked at a boutique down the street: Le Lutetia was her place.
Le Lutetia Île Saint Louis
Today, I’m sitting in the same seat, looking out at the same Seine, but instead of writing, I’m trying to read Paris Creole. It’s tough going as I get deeper into the text. I think it’s the tenses as the events take place in the past: passe simple, passe compose, passe anterieur, imparfait, etc.
Later a meal in my room- a gyro filled with French fries and a small baklava.
Saturday February 22
A very long breakfast until almost noon. Several of the artists in residence myself, another woman writer, and the military historian talked for several hours about the importance of place. Our preferences are deeply felt. One artist, a painter, lives by the sea but prefers the forest where she feels protected. Myself and an actress have opposite reactions, experiencing claustrophobia in the woods, needing the sea. For me, it’s the edge so I can escape. An irrational concept. What do I plan to do? Swim? Where to? One person believes place has more weight than family. Certainly, sense of place seems to be associated with safety.
Then a description of the Ulla von Brandenberg exhibt at the Palais de Tokyo mesmerized me. Fabric, people folding clothes, a film. The walk would take me an hour and half clocking in close to six miles. But six miles along the Seine intrigued me as well.
I wasn’t alone. Despite the cold, the damp, the grey sky, Parisiens were out: alone, in couples, in families, strolling, running, biking.
Pont du Carrousel La Seine by Louis Petitot
When I finally got to Avenue du President Wilson where Palais de Tokyo is located, I remembered being there with my husband and daughter. We were looking for a pharmacy: he had a blister and insisted on ignoring his discomfort. We wouldn’t let him. For the life of me, I can’t think why we were in this part of town. Is he haunting me or maybe just accompanying me.
I preferred the architectural aspects of the exhibit more than actual exhibit itself.
I finally took a bus after much resistance. Not at all difficult and I prefer it to the metro. I travel alone which seems very brave to some of my friends, yet such small matters make me anxious, can incapacitate me.