Sunday, January 15, 2012

Being There

As I write, Iris and Mac are in the midst of a lunch with David and José in Paris and Eleanor and I are sitting here telling Darwin the cat all about the house on the island and Brittany in general and David's macaroni and cheese in particular. Oh, and their giant dog, Dooby. And the garden. And the water wheel. And that barbecue that one time... I have multiple conversations remembered in my head and dozens more desired. This most wonderful of friendships. It lives! One often mentions the fantasy of being a fly on the wall, but seldom have I so wished to hear what my Iris will say or how David will reply or what Jose has been researching or what Mac has gathered from French culture to discuss. They've been in Paris almost a week and all reports are vigorous: Iris is keeping pace with the students - actually, wait, that's the least of her concerns. Iris is keeping pace with her dad (and probably inspiring the students to do the same) - nothing more driven and half mad with glee than an art historian in an art town. More art!

Mac arranged a tour at the Opera Garnier and here's my small wonder amidst so much opulence. The palace of the big bad bourgeoisie (it actually brings to mind the Soviet metro stations that a student of mine studied in the spring). Oh wow! Eleanor has of her own found her little viewfinder slide show of Carnac (how do kids do that? how do they find small things put away months ago? I'm still hunting articles in my office these days). She is flipping through the images with happy sighs. Does each one of us have a place of Eternal Return of place (and, yes, accompanying loves)? Iris for Paris? Brittany for me? Carnac for Eleanor? Might it work that way? These particular landscapes that we can travel again and again step by step - not according to their events, but solely their spaces, views, and emotions. Now I wonder what those are for Mac, for David, for José, for my Oliver. He stirs, and there is snow outside, so on must go the hot chocolate and the snow pants and away we'll go to whatever adventure he has planned! Santé to all in Paris, France and "Kenavo," too!

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