Thursday, May 12, 2016

Unfolding the bloom




I think that today I am ready to tell you what is going on. I have been ghost-dancing around this decision for quite some time now. 

I hope that you will be patient and understanding. Because more than ever I realize that "the only way past is through."

So. I am writing you from the United States. Michigan, to be precise.

Remi and I are "taking a break" or a trial separation, if you prefer.

Do you remember when we had the head-on collision in the beginning of January? While we both were so fortunate to walk away physically unscathed, it became apparent, within days, that a lot of important emotional issues had been shaken loose and brought to the surface. 

While the details of those issues only concern the two of us, the outcome was that we would take these months apart. To be clear - we did not fight, both of us are at "fault" for lack of a better word and these are issues that developed over a long period of time.

However, I can tell you that I did not see this coming and I was devastated. It all happened quite quickly. This is, by far, one of the most challenging periods that I have been through in my life. 

I miss Remi, our home, Provence and our dogs.

But. But, this is an opportunity. And I am taking it. 

My friend Stephen joked that I was going to "rehab" before I got here and that is really kind of perfect in its way as I am taking a good long look at my life and my behavior. Stripped of so much of what has been my world, there is plenty of room not only for introspection but also for action.

And so that is what I am doing.

I am incredibly grateful to have had a safe place to land. My Mom and her Husband have welcomed me into their guestroom, my Sister is close by. They have literally held me up when I needed it.

At 46, I am learning to drive. I am petrified, especially after the accident, but am breathing through it. Actually, so much of what I am going through is about facing or "leaning into" my fear (as the very wise Tara Brach puts it) and shining a light into the dark. That includes my well-being so I started therapy and am attending Al-Anon meetings. My Sister has sponsored me for a class in Tibetan Buddhism and I have started meditating. I bought a stack of books before arriving to help me understand me better and have been reading voraciously. My tennis shoes are getting put on every single day as I exercise. My diet has been completely shifted to eliminate inflammation (more on that soon) and I have lost over twenty pounds, safely. I have never eaten so healthily in my life. My pen is my friend as I have been journaling again. And alcohol has been completely cut back so that I can think straight and hear my heart. I don't want to hide. I am learning so much.

On Monday, I ran into someone that I had not seen in a few weeks who said, "It makes me really happy to see you doing so much better, Heather." That felt good.

Many of you have been through this or similar or harder already in your lives. I am well aware that this is just my current story but I wanted to let you know about it before diving back into the beauty of Provence. Of course I am going to keep the blog going, am staying up to date on all that is happening and prepared material before leaving - such as these photos of the magnolia tree in the courtyard, taken with the hopes of one day having the courage to make this post happen. I didn't talk about this sooner only because I was a) frankly too much of a mess to find the right words and b) afraid that I would lose all of you when I admitted that I wasn't in France. But again, I am tired of fear running the show. I also remember how you remained loyal during those months when I was in the States for visa reasons in 2014. And it is just better this way.

Yes, I do have a return ticket for France.

Do I know what will happen? I have no idea. But I am doing my best to stay positive and open.

Let's keep moving forward then, yes? 

It is never too late to unfold the bloom.

****

To those of you that have known about this, thank you so dearly for all of your kindness, wisdom and support. 
Some of you have gone above and beyond, including an amazing friend who I am going to meet very soon...I may not post for a bit but not to worry, I will be having a very good time!
Thank you so much for being here and I ask that you are considerate of all parties if you leave a comment, much appreciated. Your responses to my previous post made me feel wonder-ful and full of hope.











Be well.

Bisous,
Heather

70 comments:

  1. Tears for my brave, brave sister!!! Beautiful magnolia blossoms mirroring your own being - open, open. Yes for going through pain (tho I'm having trouble taking my own advice on that one), yes for putting it all out there, yes for EVERYTHING you are doing in the name of growth, wellness, and self-care/self-love. And self-care IS self-love - hooray! We grieve for you missing your puppies and home, but we support you and will follow you anywhere you take us - we love your voice, your photos - we love YOU. I LOVE YOU!!!!!! Bravo on this brave post and your brave EVERYTHING!!!

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  2. WHO could LEAVE YOU!YOU with YOUR beautiful WORDS.......and PHOTOS.
    NOT ME!!!!!!!!!!
    LEARNING TO DRIVE.............that's MY JOB to TEACH YOU.SO, we do not DO it in FRANCE..........CALIFORNIA is just a PLANE RIDE AWAY!
    YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL AND STRONG and YOU HAVE US...........WE YOUR READERS ARE YOUR SECOND FAMILY.THANK YOU for sharing this................
    A CHANGE OF SCENERY DOES A BODY GOOD.
    Take a BREAK.......RE-Group..................WE will still BE HERE!
    XOXOXO

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  3. I just wanted to say this is amazing and congratulations for bringing this darkness to light. I think we've all been in the shoes of having a secret that we think the world generally would not accept--and I also think anyone else who's done this would agree that secrets rooted in any kind of shame or embarrassment are diminished when brought to light. Your blog is special not because of Provence but because of you. So now that you're here you can cover Donald Trump more closely, right?

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    1. Lovely reply, Stephen......

      sincerely,

      david terry

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  4. You are as beautiful, unfolding and in full bloom, as these flowers.

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  5. And now that the secret is out, don't you feel better? And Stephen Andrew is right. Your blog is special because of YOU. Of course, I found you because of Provence, but I have found a LOT of blogs about Provence that never "stuck". I have continued with YOUR blog because of you and the friendship I now claim because of it! Courage, dear girl. You will see your way through this.

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  6. Hello Heather,

    Thank you for your honest and courageous post. Be gentle with yourself as you have a lot going on. We are all sharing this planet and struggle constantly with inner turmoil and fear. Take things one step at a time and if you have to step back go right ahead and do so - you'll get forward soon.

    I subscribed to your blog because it was about a place that I love, I stayed because I appreciated your words and photo's. I'm not going anywhere - still out here in cyber space with an inner hug just for you.

    I wish I had words to make things better but I honestly believe you are stronger than you think.

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  7. Dearest Heather,
    wishing you love. Stephen is right,we read your blog because of you. We may have discovered you because of France but we are still here because of you. Our greatest challenges are opportunities for growth in all ways,and at some point I'm sure you will find your silver lining. Having never been to America I'm looking forward to the beauty you will show me through your amazing photography. Much love and healing to you,Katrina xxx

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  8. Oh I'm so relieved that you found the courage to finally talk about this on the blog. I have felt very worried about you. But you know Heather, we, your loyal readers, do not read your blog because you talk about France. We read it because of the WAY that you talk about France. And quite frankly, if you moved to the moon and wrote a blog about it, we would still read it gleefully, hungrily... because it is your clarity of writing and honesty of heart that makes your words strike so beautifully true. So please, write about Michigan. Write about the tennis you are now playing. Write about the healthier food you are now eating. (Personally, I have never liked the French diet - too meat and dairy heavy for me - but I realise everybody is different in their tastes.) Write about the beauty you find each day, in a self-seeded flower on the side of the road where you are. Because your writing is a gift, and I hope it (+ the support of loving family and friends) will make you a stronger, better, wiser and healthier person - whatever you decide to do in the end. Much love (and only sulking a little bit that we don't get to meet next month as we had planned...! !) Virginia xx

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  9. This is the first time I write on your blog.I started following you because at one point I was looking for a house in Arles. I ended up in a small village in Pyrenees Orientales. I am sorry for what you are going through, but believe me, you are young and you ca re-start your life several times from now on. I think it is important to learn to drive as it will give you independence. This is my big problem and challenge. I got my
    driving licence at 45. Now I am 60 and I am still affraid to drive. I hope to break this fear this year.

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  10. Hi Heather, leaning into the fear is a good way to describe how to deal with big, scary life changes. I am so glad that you are using this time to take care and work on yourself. I know you will look back on this as a time of tremendous personal growth. Thanks so much for sharing this with your readers. You never know, writing about your current situation may give others the courage and inspiration to make difficult, but long needed changes. Gros bisous my friend.

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  11. Those photos are so evocative - beautiful post.

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  12. Dear Heather, though I have not commented much, I read and love every post. I would love your words wherever you wrote them. I admire your courage and this leap of faith in all of us. Do whatever you need to feel better, and know that we are sending you love and well wishes. Angela Muller

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  13. Oh heck...Lost in Michigan, this is going to be fun. I am on a lonely road and I am traveling, traveling, traveling, traveling....

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  14. I'm not surprised Heather, I thought something was going on. Be kind to yourself, and go slowly, what you're going through can't be rushed. Always remember, I'm here for you if you need me, stay strong dear friend.
    xxxTracy

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  15. I wanted to thank you for having the courage to write this. In on online world where so many people present pinterested perfect lies, authenticity is very much appreciated. I don't have any profound words to help you. Life is life and it just keeps happening. Love grows and fades and changes and sometimes comes around again. Sheesh that's corny :) As long as you keep writing your blog I'll be reading

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  16. really lovely -- and courageous -- Hannah Arendt writes of "natality": "the new beginning inherent in birth [that] can make itself felt in the world only because the newcomer possesses the capacity of beginning something anew, that is, of acting." -- in this sense I suppose, we are always beginning again and again...

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  17. My thoughts are with you this evening, Heather. I admire your strength and grace during this trying time. It sounds like you are meeting these challenges with determination and are thoughtfully moving forward.
    Never think those who follow your blog will fade away because your life has taken a turn. Everyone goes in a different direction now and then.
    Whether you are in France or the States, we are there for you.



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  18. Dear Heather

    I was saddened to read your latest blog – not because of the trial separation but I was so looking forward to finally catching up with you – your photography has been an inspiration to me to put a renewed interest in photography on the top of my agenda for when I move back to Uzes and I was hoping to pick your brains for good sites 

    Your absence and return back to the US is as you say something that you obviously needed to do. It will give you a better perspective of all and any issues. Life is what it is – sometimes things work, sometimes they don’t but in a way that is what makes life challenging and exciting. You just need to be open to opportunities. I love that you are looking at some meditation/Buddhism too It is one of those things that interests me but I keep on putting off doing until I move!!

    Learning to drive at any age is scary, but I think you will appreciate the freedoms it can give you. It is the one thing that I miss the most in Saudi is not being able to drive!

    As everyone else has commented – we don’t read your blog just because you are in France – you write so beautifully and as I said before I love your photos – the Magnolias are just wonderful. I will continue to follow your blog and hope that whenever you return to France we can finally meet up.

    Continue to take care of yourself, believe in yourself and in your strength to see you through this hopefully temporary turmoil.

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  19. It seems you are very lucky to have this time and just be and reflect. Wishing you well Heather

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  20. Darling Heather,

    For those of us who love you -- and I am sure we are many -- it's all about you. . .your evocatively beautiful, sensitive, creative photography and your absolutely stunning writing.

    You know I can never tell you enough how brilliant and beautiful you are.
    xoxo

    Let's talk soon. xoxo

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  21. You see,thats what I thought... Your readers are here because of what and how you write not because you write about France. Well yes also, but I remember those posts about Detroit a loooong time ago and the ones 2014 and I would LOOOVE to see posts and your way of seeing beauty in Michigan or wherever you are. Please!
    But you just do as you feel!
    And to be honest I am a lot into rough beauty and beauty in imperfection.

    Learning to drive after having had an accident? Chapeau, dear Heather.

    And welcome to the club of those who learned this year with 46 how to drive! ;-o
    Will you drive with La Comtessa in California? I highly recommend it! Doing that you will feel a lot more comfortable behind the wheel!

    I never dared to ask you about the doggies though. But I admire you took this opportunity and now I am happy you found the courage to tell your followers here.

    Isn't it a relief?! Take a break if you like and go ahead with your healthy way of life! We'll be still here and other may come too.
    Gros Bisous,
    Silke

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  22. Sending you lots of love and strength, Heather.

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  23. Well, my goodness, Heather......what honesty (and, quite frankly, courage and clarity....the first two words that come to mind, having just read your posting).

    I, too (and as you've no doubt noticed), have been "off the radar", "out of touch", whatever..........as my own domestic life was suddenly (and utterly unexpectedly) horribly (and with a considerable degree of sheer cruelty)turned upside-down. We can talk about this later...just telephone me, if you like, at (919) 245-0087.

    Suffice it for now to say, however, that I'll be keeping this 220 year old old house and gardens (friends and family have stepped in to write the check and tell Herve where he can stick it, to be frank), I have all my dogs, all my friends (except for a few who were, it seems, only attracted by the money to begin with....but why would I ever sound bitter?).....and, it seems, a whole lot of time on my hands to sit down and figure out how I INTEND to be happy (as I was for all the 3 decades before I married) for the remaining 25 or so years left to me.

    It's that simple. Sink or start swimming.....not a choice I've ever, before these past two years, had to make in a privileged (or, obviously, just lucky) life in which nothing really bad has ever happened to me before now. In the end?...I recognize that I've been and, in almost all ways, am still a lucky boy.

    Now, here's a song for you....and do recall that lyric "I rely on the heart and nerve".

    go to: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cgZCbHcp1JE

    Much love being sent out your Michigan, Yankee way (say hey to your Mommer for me, please), and we'll talk soon, I hope,

    David Terry
    www.davidterryart.com

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  24. Oh, Heather?.....the lyrics to that song (written by Mary chapin Carpenter and most convincingly sung by Mary Black) are:

    When I was young I spoke like a child
    And I saw with a child's eyes
    And an open door was to a girl
    Like the stars are to the sky

    It's funny how the world lives up to
    All your expectations
    With adventures for the stout of heart
    and the lure of the open spaces

    But there's two lanes running down this road
    Whichever side you're on
    Accounts for where you want to go
    Or what you're running from

    Back when darkness overtook me
    On a blind mans curve

    I relied upon the moon
    I relied upon the moon
    I relied upon the moon
    And St. Christopher

    Now I've paid my dues 'cause I have owed them
    But I've paid a price sometimes
    For being such a stubborn woman
    In such stubborn times

    And I've run from the arms of lovers
    I've run from the eyes of friends
    I've run from the hands of kindness
    I've run just because I can

    And now I've grown and I speak like a woman
    And I see with a woman's eyes
    And an open door is to me now
    Like the saddest of goodbyes

    When it's too late for turning back
    I pray for the heart and the nerve

    And I rely upon the moon
    I rely upon the moon
    I rely upon the moon
    And St. Christopher

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  25. It is you, Heather, as all the others have said. YOU and your beautiful words and pictures are the reason we return and why so many of us consider ourselves your friends. Those words and pictures have illuminated your life for our benefit, for which I am so grateful. But I hope they help you, too, and that this post does, as well. I am so happy that you are finding some good in the changes. Who knows what the future will bring, but whatever it is, I hope it sees you happy.

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  26. sending light and love your way.

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  27. Heather, I will continue to read your blog no matter where you are and who you are with. Bon courage mon amie.

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  28. It is interesting, this blogosphere world, where we become so intertwined in each other's lives and develop such friendships and support. I find that many who read my blog know me much better than those real-life friends who want to meet for lunch or coffee. It is the friendships of people like you that I have come to treasure. So please remember that it is you and not your location in the world, that brings me back to your blog. This was a beautifully written piece and I look forward to reading of your journey forward. Enjoy each day. xxx Jackie

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  29. Heather, I'm in tears after reading this, but not sure which kind. Sad for everything you've been going through, and happy for the progress you've made and your incredible bravery. I continue to be so in awe of your ability to grasp this opportunity and rock it so that you come out other side with everything you are supposed to gain. I've read the universe will give us a slight nudge and then a larger and larger one until we get what we need. I'm so glad you both entered this phase of growth with a relatively slight "nudge." What you're doing is inspirational and it's all so good:) xo PS Your photos are stunning and, as always, perfect for your prose.

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  30. Beautiful pictures today and a beautiful posting. Bon courage to you.
    Some time back, a good friend shared this poem with me, and I pass it on to you:
    I have walked through many lives,
    some of them my own,
    and I am not who I was,
    though some principle of being
    abides, from which I struggle
    not to stray.
    [...]
    Though I lack the art
    to decipher it,
    no doubt the next chapter
    in my book of transformations
    is already written.
    I am not done with my changes.
    "The Layers", by Stanley Kunitz

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  31. Be kind to yourself, and be gentle. I love your blog and I wish you all good things. I hope you will find your way back to France again, whether it's to Arles or elsewhere....and please keep writing, it's always good to hear from you.

    Be well.

    Jxx

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  32. Heather, my love we are here with you through thick and thin. We love you and your stories and you can write anywhere and anytime, we are not going anywhere! Take all the time you need to heal, to mourn, to become whole in body and in mind. Just remember this too will pass! As Ellie would say "Bon courage", stay strong!
    Love to you lillian xxx

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  33. You are a dear, brave, lovely kitten. It's like you're having a re-birth: discomfort, pain, but in the end, a better, thinner you. Auntie is in your corner. Let's go driving together this summer to celebrate your driver's license. We'll go all Thelma and Louise but without the cliff. XX

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  34. Dear Heather, what most struck me, when I learned about your pain, is remembering all you have done during this time to help others. Continue being your thoughtful, lovely self, and write where and when and about whatever you want. As Stephan says, "your blog is special not because of Provence, but because of you." Lots of love.

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  35. I am sorry Heather but I am also happy that you are learning to get to know yourself. I know that sometimes we lose ourselves because of so many things. I hope that things will work out for the best for all concerned. Don't worry so much about driving. I managed to get my licence during the year we lived in the US. Driving on the highways used to scare me but people there observe the rules so it isn't bad. Now driving here is another story but there's not need to go into this island's particular brand of craziness. Your photos are gorgeous. Truly outstanding.

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  36. My heart is breaking for you. I will continue to follow your blog because beauty seems to follow you.

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  37. Love and peace to you. So many have posted before me saying all the things I feel. Take strength from all of your supporters out here in the www. We are faithful to you and only wish the best for you and your future.

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  38. You will make it through this. Sending healing thoughts your way.

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  39. Oh dear Heather,
    Getting this news out there..and off of your chest is a big step, and I am positive not easy to do. All of your wonderful followers have said it all. It is so true that we all show up for you..Provence was just the icing on the cake...You know there is icing on cupcakes too :) Not to promote myself...but if you have a chance...read what I discovered last week in Southern France. You will get through this. Love, Janey

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  40. I don't so much follow your blog, as follow the two of you on Instagram. I had been wondering where you both went and had begun to worry. I am glad you are both safe and well, but I am sorry for your struggles. Walk in peace, and may your path be filled with light and love.

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  41. Dear Heather (and your readers),

    I woke up this morning and immediately thought "Oh...I need to delete that comment I wrote yesterday". And, then, I thought "Well, it's the TRUTH...and that, for once, is a breath of fresh air in this particular household." So, I'm letting it stand.

    Much more importantly, you and your readers (I was very gladdened to read the comments sent to you) should all go to this song by Carrie Newcomer (one of my three or favorite singer/songwriters these days). your comment about "leaning in" immediately reminded me of it (not that, during this past, pretty dreadful year, I've ever forgotten it for more than a day or so; I've relied on this song a great deal).

    go to:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=47CFh_2Aw0k

    fondly as ever,

    david terry
    www.davidterryart.com

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  42. The bloom will come. "Don't let your heart be troubled."

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  43. This post is less cryptic, but no less complex than others.
    Thank you for once again giving us so much to reflect upon.
    Sending you goodness,beauty, and joy.
    Bernadette

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  44. Heather,
    I have not commented before-- ever-- on any blog. But, I love your blog and wanted you to know that I will follow you from Arles, or wherever your life and energy take you. Please know that so many of us are sending best wishes. (Somehow blogger has come up in my daughter's name.
    Please pardon my awkward entry to commenting.) Sincerely, Andrea Nash

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  45. I'm thrilled you are cocooned with the love and warmth of both your mom and your sister. There are few accidents in life (I believe) and the scary head on you survived six months ago was a jolt in more ways than one.

    And, don't be ridiculous!, you could probably make the food court in the middle of nowhere look amazeballs. If you head to west coast, let me know!

    xoxoxo

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  46. Heather,
    I echo every comment made above. I too could sense a change in your posts. My heart bleeds that by separating you must be so far away from the country, people and puppies you love. Continue on your positive path. Can't wait to hear where that takes you. All the best to you.
    Nina - also in Michigan (just a few miles north)

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  47. I am glad to read you are paying attention to yourself by being good to yourself with an open heart. Keeping your blog up anyway you feel like it can be helpful as well as interesting (for you to see where you go with posting while you are progressing to another phase of an interesting life.) In amazing ways, a blog can be a thread unbroken that helps bring all the fabric of our lives together.

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  48. Life is the journey we are taking together, Heather. Relationship changes mean adjustment not abandonment (for the friends of the couple involved). I have learned so much through your blog and Remi's instagram and admire both of you as individuals, my friendship and support is for both or you equally in the hope you find the road you want to travel on next be it alone or together. Your self searching will bring tears, laughter and love for yourself and others, concentrate on loving yourself and the rest will follow. Love and strength to you both in this part of the journey. Maureen

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  49. Oh Heather, this is so personal, I feel I am intruding by commenting. Having just connected with each other, your thoughtful, kind, sensitive soul was immediately shared with me and I thank you for that. Buddha will help ... "As you walk and eat and travel, be where you are ...". Keeping you in my thoughts.

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  50. 1.Your blog is about you, you write and we love what you write. Provence is the dessert.
    2. You are very lucky to have a family that loves and supports you.
    3. Dont do everything at once, one thing at the time.
    From one that had been greatly devastated, her life had been upside down financially and emotionally but keep going.
    Many many kisses to you everywhere you are.

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  51. Brave and beautiful as always, Heather.

    Sending love.

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  52. Your writing this has helped people in more ways than you know, most of us can only ever hope to be so brave and determined.

    We all know how hard it is to get up and do all those things, especially when one is aching, but you do it, showing yourself and the world that there is always something to achieve no matter the circumstance. Thank you.

    I wish the both of you peace in your hearts and a path that enlightens your lives wherever you are ♡

    With all my love, and all my best,
    Bashaer x

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  53. I am coming over via The Contessa and wanted to let you know that I am thinking of you. I've walked a similar path and think you are facing things beautifully. I hope you had some restorative time in the gardens and, you are right, it is never too late to unfold the bloom.

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  54. Dear Heather,
    Life throws us curve balls for a reason...we come through them stronger, we learn more about ourselves, and we know what to let go of before we can move on.
    Your family sound loving and supportive and my goodness your readers adore you and are standing behind you wishing you the greatest success. Learning to drive and visiting The Antique Goddess in California sounds like a wonderful adventure!
    I have one book reccomendation, no make that two for you to consider reading...AGift from the Sea by Anne Morrow Lindbergh and Simple Abundance by Sarah Ban Breatnach...both helped me during a very dark time in my life.
    Wishing you all the best,
    Leslie
    XO

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  55. So sorry you are going through this, if it hurts, and yet I know that even things that hurt can lead you to places of joy and peace. Feel no shame. These things happen in the lives of all kinds of people, with no respect to "good" or "bad."

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  56. Sending love to you, what a difficult time. But you are handling it with extreme grace and are accomplishing so much, I think it's amazing. XOX

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  57. Decades of marriage to an alcoholic. Hope was wearing me down. Finally realized I had to give my hope for him to G*d. I didn't lose hope, but was no longer weighted with hope.

    Fear. Queen of fear. Epiphany, a question. What would I do tomorrow if I were not afraid? Now, several good choices appear, none fear based.
    .
    I 2nd the Anne Morrow Lindbergh book !!

    The group Lois founded to help friends/families of alcoholics? The BEST !!

    Garden & Be Well, XO T

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  58. I'm late to comment .... but it seems you are on the right path with family support and all your blog pals on your side. We all have non perfect lives at some point. The trick is to learn and go forward.

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  59. Somehow I missed this post so thank you for the post of today as it led me here -- and I had been wondering at the silence, and had kind of guessed through your veiled words in previous posts. A couple of things struck me: I follow your blog because of you, not because of where you are. I love your photography (your eye) and the way you weave words. So, blog about Michigan - there is beauty there as well. Secondly, the introspection and self-work is a good thing. I did the same about fifteen years ago and it was life changing. Difficult, oh my yes, and painful but I emerged a better person. I used the book "Inner Compass" by Margaret Silt and highly recommend it if it isn't already in the pile you have. And, lastly, Al-Anon is a wonderful program. My husband went for a while and it has helped him come to terms with his relationship (or lack thereof) with his son. Hugs to you, Heather. And Godspeed.

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  60. Hey girly with the glorious hair. We old play readers often wonder how you doing. We are not gossipy types and actually all this is news to me. So I am, as requested, leaving you a message dear heart. If you are ever in Paris call us and we shall have a most unhealthy sugary snack & drink of coffee or beer or green tea. If wont matter. As long as old mates can get together. But if you are not in Paris then lets do that virtually here. Cheers & hugs flying to you. I enjoyed many of the above comments. People are so eloquent and delicate. But Im not. ;) So Im going to wish you a wicked time of going off and doing new stuff and meeting new & old people and liking yourself at least a half as much as the rest of us love and admire you. Even those of us who have not see you in a ruddy decade ! Take care. Keep in touch. I will pop back onto this blog now and then. And when I see the play reading ladies Sally, Sandy & Barratt I will say hi from you and we will cluck and peck :) Big kisses hon. Lucille xox

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  61. Dear Heather,
    Your brave honesty is refreshing and so helpful got those who struggle with tough choices. Your writing has always taken my breath away! Sending best wishes for your exciting future!

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  62. HEATHER, I have followed along with you for years and enjoyed your stunning photos, your pups, and your adventures, even the one year in the state where if my memory serves me right the weather stranded you in Michigan? I even commented to you then that I was from Michigan as well.

    Anyway, I am rooting for you. Whatever happens is what is right for you. Take the time that you need, go to therapy, it is always nice to talk to someone who is not a friend or family but has your best interest at heart.

    I went through a crisis myself in 2014, I thought my life was over and frankly there were days when the only thing that got me out of bed was therapy and my pups. I look back on that time and being so far from family and friends was a terrible detriment to me because I frankly I needed them to support me in a way that is different from talking on the phone and email.

    Take care of yourself FIRST! YOU are the most important thing right now.

    I admire your courage for telling your story and will be here with everyone else to offer support.

    A big hug to you,
    Elizabeth

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  63. Dear Heather,
    For some reason I had missed this post until today. It explains a lot. I was sensing some discomfort there somewhere, recently.

    Thank you for your beautiful poignant post, as painful as it must have been to bare all. It took courage to show a willingness to be vulnerable. We appreciate your courage and honesty. All your blogging friends are there to carry you and support you.

    Please do continue your posts. As many others have written, it is not so much France that is what we value in your writing. It is your observation skills. Your keen eye for detail and the beauty in imperfection or simplicity. You notice small things others would pass by and not "see". You have a lens focused on beauty and fine elements that is unique. You teach us to see and to value things that others would rush past and not notice. There is an honesty and a valuing of things that your readers' respect. And your sense of wonder at what you see, through your camera lens.

    All of that is not just contained in France. I would like to see your perspective of Michigan or anywhere else you happen to be!

    I know you must also be missing your puppers!

    You are fortunate to have friends like La Contessa, who must have showered you with American warmth and a big hospitable hug.

    Take care of yourself!
    Very best wishes,
    Deborah C - Melbourne, Australia

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  64. Life is sorrow-overcome it, life is a game-play it, life is life-fight for it.
    My heartiest wishes for both of you.

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  65. Just checked in after a pause and am now wishing you all the best Heather!
    Learning,learning always learning....sometimes hard sometimes wonderful, sometimes hard and wonderful together! hugs h

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  66. Dearest Heather, I have been away for so long and am only just catching up on your recent posts. I am sorry to hear about you and Remi but so happy to hear you are taking this time to really find yourself and go within. I too have been journeying within albeit for different reasons - having a baby made me want to dig deep and align with my soul, to learn to really love myself. For myself and for little family. Sending much love your way xxx

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  67. I so admire and respect what you are doing, Heather. I will always read what you write and look at your photographs, no matter where you are. You teach me with every post, you generous soul. May your pain soon be transformed into something that feels better, Leslie in Oregon

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  68. You know, all those years ago, that I sought you out. Out of the vast internet world as I saw something in your photographs and in your writings I recognized as very very special. I championed you, which surprised you, but I knew I was right. Being in France was not the reason. You could have been anywhere and I would have loved you. It is YOU, not the landscape which is important. And, yes, all of us have travails in life, some of us never understand we can correct, change, overcome, re-think, leave garbage behind, and create ourselves all over again in any way we like. You are doing that & you will succeed. You may seem fragile, but I know you are not. Your devoted virtual friends will not allow you to be alone. WE are ALL here for you. Look at the huge number of comments left by people on whom you've made a beautiful impression. My home is open to you at anytime, if you would like to spend time in Houston, go to the Houston Texan football games with me, have dinner at the Tex-Mex with all the girls on Sunday night, help me walk my beloved dog, Bono, and sit quietly in the pew at my church...you are welcome, it would only be me and you. Please tell me how you lost 20 pounds, as I need to do the same thing !!!! I love love love you !!

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