I have always held onto seeing beauty, clinging tenaciously, proud to be swinging from that trapeze.
But reality keeps slipping its hands in front of my eyes, insisting on a game of peek-a-boo that I really, truly, am not interested in playing. Go away, little boy and let me be.
I am having a really hard time of finding work in France.
With the over forty odd résumés that I have sent out over the past months, I have not had one request for an interview. And I am not aiming for a new career, but only something simple so that I can know in which direction to point my feet each morning.
It is a different environment, with rules that bend at angles that seem odd to me. Yes, there have been a few close calls but only when I have been personally recommended for a position. And even that has not, ultimately, made enough of a difference. I am over-qualified or I am under-experienced. And I have not been on the official job market for a very long time.
It goes without saying that if I do not find a way to make my living, well, then, I will have to return to the States where I can easily find something, even if it is not the stuff that dreams are made on. But it had been mine to stay here.
Does it bother you if I admit that my determination is wavering? Like a heat chimera that obscures the true horizon? It does me; scares me too. I find it deeply unsettling to not know which star deserves the aim of my lasso. Or if I have the strength for a throw.
My "housing situation" is in quotation marks for a reason and when a friend asked the other day what I meant when I said that I was living out of a suitcase, I paused before responding, as I was not sure how literal I could be. I decided to go with the truth. "Often, I am moving from place to place and only have a few items in a bag or a suitcase to take along with me."
But yet, there is the generosity of friends. And it has been exceptional, overwhelming. I am not yet Blanche relying on the "kindness of strangers," thankfully and I know it. They make up beds for me in their elegant homes, I eat at their copious tables, drink their wine. During this heat wave, I have paddled and kicked in their pools, with each stroke trying to "forget, forget" or "remember, remember"; I am no longer sure which.
It is the Provence that one travels from far to experience. Extraordinary places filled with fascinating people...and yet at times I feel like a ghost in the machine. "Be present, enjoy what you can," I coax or chide. But that grasp towards beauty is occasionally so weak-handed that I flirt with free-fall, leaving that trapeze to swing on without me on it.
So at times, I pretend.
I catch the bus to Avignon or Nîmes and take myself out to lunch, even though I need to be very careful with my money. Or buy a gift of some small thing. Just to taste a bit of the past, of what it was like before, to inhabit once more that "normal"...so that it might be again. When I am with my friends, I laugh - and genuinely - to feel that shake in my chest as a promise.
Can I dream my way into being? Perhaps, with a little effort added in. But first I need to be certain of a dream. We all need direction. And structure. A box to put our hopes into.
Tonight is an important New Moon and I have read that it is a time to get very quiet and listen to what our heart is saying. I am quiet; this honesty has made me so. Peek-a-boo, I see you? I may not know where I am going or even what lies beyond these next few days, but I will be brave in this illuminating darkness - or I will try - enough to whisper, "I do."
Thank you with all of my heart for your condolences about the passing of Ben. It meant the world to me. I have reread them all so many times. I will do another post on him, a happy one, as promised. But the bones of what I shared today have been rattling around in my head for weeks and it was time to get them out, let them go.
With much Love and Gratitude from Provence,