Friday, October 15, 2010


Wo-ha - I'm in Montréal.  There's a 16th-century Conference, which is later than I'm used to, but my gal died in 1531, so fair game, yes?  Everything is suspended and strange - and thus wonderful.  Lots and lots of work that needs to be done haunts me, I miss Mister M. and the kids, and I wish that (arhum) my paper were done, but all in good times, these things will fall into place. Tomorrow morning, there are two great sessions at 8:30 a.m. (my gal) and 10:30 a.m. (Orientalism), and then lunch with a dear friend at what looks to be a fantastic place, and then all afternoon and evening to think and write. Plus, they have really big plush robes in this hotel. Plus, my window looks out over what has to be the biggest church ever. It makes the Madeleine in Paris look like a camper ; Brunelleschi's dome look like a thimble! And the name: Basilique Cathédrale Marie Reine du Monde de Montréal, which when said "Mary Queen of the World Cathedral Basilica" is just as grand!  So, really, I have inspiration (and terry cloth) galore here.

I think that I like Canada, I really do.  It's very disconcerting, though: hearing French, and people being really (really really) nice to you, all at the same time.  True reaction: when I got off the plane and heard my first official French over the loud-speaker, I immediately panicked that I hadn't called the hotel to let them know I would be there after 9 p.m. - immediately; hadn't thought about the possibility of them canceling the room until that very moment. Official France always makes me feel small; intimate France (our friends) make me feel like all thoughts and feelings are possible.  Dichotomy.  Now I have to think complicated thoughts about France, as this strike over the possibility of bumping the retirement age up two years gears up.  Part of me admires the absolute conviction that the government is lying about the math, the absolute conviction that there is enough to go around, we just have to keep redistributing the wealth; part of me just wants them to just stop already and let our dear friend make his way home to his kids in the States (and everyone else actually live their lives).  Strikes have always seemed like a big collective holding one's breath - I've come to trust that France won't pass out, but I still worry!  Ok, to bed in my big comfy hotel bed - who knows what thoughts await tomorrow?


  1. Hi Anne, Hope you're having a wonderful, peaceful time away! I think I'm having some jealousy issues over fluffy terry cloth bathrobes and time ALONE in a hotel ;-) Although after 1 night, I know I'd be itching to get back to the chaos at home too! Have a wonderful conference and safe travels home! Love, Mere

  2. perfect bliss is nice, but i wouldn't want to live there! my talk is first thing in the morning and i'm already finding myself daydreaming about coming home and ruffling hair and kissing cheeks and finding out about the latest triumphs and tribulations. here's to just enough solitude to make us grateful for the fray!