For the Voice and the Life

Hiking down to Gunsbach, France

Hiking down to Gunsbach, France

18 July 2013
3:30 pm

Gunsbach, France

T. —

Breakfast was too early for these eyes, and I enjoyed my bed so much. I enjoy even more being able to opt-out of what other people are doing, having the strength, the courage and ability to voice my preference for a solitary day. I want to do work, I told myself, like my series of poems that all start with that phrase, but the kind of work that is good; instead, I fell back to the bed again and slept. And slept. And through the sleep, I dreamt about men and singing and smoking and living the kind of life that warrants enjoyment. The alarm broke through, but these eyes were resisting the peeling. Even in the dreams, they stayed shut. What does it mean to wander through dreams with closed eyes?

*

I have met the man, and I keep wanting to use his voice:
A girl needs a brush. A girl hopes to find it. A girl could look more closely.

You should be able to know where in the book I am.

*

An email came today: Thank you for your LearningWe had a very strong field of applicants. We were looking for the most useful. We were glad to know you. Many people offered the importance of poetry, and hope. An advantage for the post. You will take advantage of the experience and your future. Good wishes are very strong, but not the combination for us.

(Those aren’t the words in the order they arrived in. I took them, and melted them down, and grew them into something I liked more).

It’s not that I’m upset not to have gotten the job. I know I have more than enough jobs right now. It’s just that — without a direction, it becomes all too easy to ask What am I made for, if not this?

*

We want you to enjoy the contrasting experience, just like you enjoy the contrasting buffet. And we want you to reach the place (and practicing Virtual Reality will help you to gain this confidence) that whenever you’re in front of a buffet that has so much that you do like to eat, as well as some that you don’t like to eat, you don’t feel frustrated that there are things there you don’t want to eat. You don’t feel compelled to put them on your plate and eat them; you just pick the things that you like. And the Universe of thought is the same way. You can choose from it the things that you like.

-Abraham Hicks

*

In the hike, a chapel appeared — a chapel in the woods, the size of a birdshouse. My kind of chapel. A chapel with offerings, with a notebook, with small writings and drawings.

Chapel in the Woods

Chapel in the Woods

I am glad for the chapel in the woods. I am glad for the woods. I am glad for the notebook and the people who write in notebooks. I am glad for paper and sticks and ink and graphite and the courage to rein in focus and follow the fingers.

I am glad for the fingers, and for the voice. I am glad for the wind and the light and the life.

Good morning,
M

In Need of Notebooks

Strasbourg, France 2013

Strasbourg, France 2013

17 July 2013
9:06 am
Gunsbach, France

T. —

After all that fuss, apparently we did have internet at the hotel we’re staying in. Also, I’ve been trying to find my computer converter for days so I can plug it in and charge it. Yesterday, Andrew very kindly reminded me You bought your computer in Amsterdam. I say, Yes, so? He says, So… you’re trying to find a converter to connect a European plug into a European socket. 

Ah. Yes.

Also, I misplaced all of the Song of Ice and Fire books on my phone because I don’t really understand how Kindle works sometimes. Apparently they were all there, and I could have been reading them for hours on the bus.

Such simple misunderstandings are often big stumbling blocks for me. Anyway.

We went to Strasbourg yesterday for the day. It’s about an hour and a half away from where we’re staying in Gunsbach. We went into the Cathedral, and climbed up the main tower (where we got panoramic views of the city). The Cathedral was beautiful, and (as Andrew consistently told me), the largest one he has ever seen.

Cathedral Candles, Strasbourg 2013

Cathedral Candles, Strasbourg 2013

We found a book market which had a French version of the Gurnsey Literary and Potato Peel Society

Book Market, Strasbourg

Book Market, Strasbourg

And I found the most beautiful stationary store. We spent 15 minutes in there before dinner, but I could have spent 15 hours in there. I wanted to buy up beautiful notebooks, but Andrew reminded me they cost almost as much as dinner, and I should wait and order them online when I am actually in need of notebooks (when exactly am I ever not in need of notebooks, though?):

Stationers, Strasbourg

Stationers, Strasbourg

I have so many pictures to show you, so many stories to tell. But until I read your post yesterday, I didn’t even realize that I haven’t been writing much down. There’s lots of sleeping, lots of pictures, lots of catching up. The first thing I wrote down in my notebook was at dinner last night, when my friend Rachael said: The thing I love most about stationary stores is the presentation of the promise of organization. I loved that. But it felt so good to be writing things down again. I have a stack of postcards as long as my hand. The postcard collection process is very successful so far.

Good morning,
M