Wednesday, August 18, 2010

The France Life Museum

We've been away for seven months, and thus far, I've found no pithy way to describe it all and my dear, patient friends have listened to tales randomly chosen by nostalgia and desire.  Miss I has found a way, though - she has created a museum of our France Life, as she'd always called it.  I hope that it stays open a long, long time, under the watchful (or is that surprised?) gaze of that Swiss cow piggy bank to the right.  Now, of course, I question that I ever resisted buying that small, breakable thimble from the Douamont Memorial WWI battlefield gift shop, or the awkwardly jagged unicorn from the Cluny Museum . They're just so great.  When you go to the France Life Museum, you should know that it's free, but you have to give up your driver's license (or some kind of important document) in return for a ticket which is scanned under a book light.  Wonders of the world are yours to behold after a precise bureaucratic ritual - welcome to France!

So I'm here because I can't stay away.  I've had this running blog post in my head ever since we've come back and I realize anew, afresh, always, how fantastic writing is.  What a cool, unusual act.  These writings will be short, scattered, and ever-prey to every-day life.  But there's to be this place where we can puzzle things out.  I'm a little puzzled by the funky background I've chosen here, but only because it's so much of a piece with an insistent attraction to the 1970s: we've watched The Muppet Movie and School House Rocks videos (both of which I credit our society's moral and social progress over the past 30 years to) and listened to a lot of Carole King (more than Miss E can bear, but since "We Will Rock You!" is more her idiom, I guess I get it).  What is that all about? The Muppets and School House Rocks were the emblems of everything cool and free about America when we moved here in 1978 and I wonder if my gladness at this return isn't triggering some of these old admirations and loves.  Mister O has simply said: "I feel good here" which, when taken existentially, sounds very late 70s groovy.  Let's be clear: late 70s groovy is distinctly not my idiom - but it's making a lot sense these days as that sense of possibility that right now I'm perceiving as distinctly American is so palpable.

To quote Dr. Teeth in the hit Muppet single "Can You Picture That?": "There isn't anything you can't do.  Even Santa Claus believes in you."

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