Tag Archives: France

Inside Myself

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It could be said by many
that your past year
was so much better than mine,
what with all the
lovemaking,
wining and dining,
the rock concerts,
the dinners with friends,
and yes
even a “romantic” trip to Paris.*
Yes, if you’re only concerned
with external matters
maybe your year was better…
But if you look a little deeper,
you would find
I made out far better than you.
This past year,
I learned about my Self.
I learned where my true power lies.
(Hint: Not with you!)
I learned about my responsibility,
my resiliency, my strength.
I went all the way down,
found the bottom,
and have chosen to come back up.
I touched my deepest sorrow,
reached out and held myself
through paralyzing grief,
searched for and found
a reason to keep going.
Long after your suitcases are unpacked,
the bottles of wine are empty,
the rockstars have left the stage,
and the weight of real life
(and maybe even
the weight of your next wife?)
has killed your libido,
I’ll be here, standing strong
in the beautiful world I’ve built…
inside myself.





*As romantic as Paris can be, in rainy cold January. Good luck with that.


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Friends, some of you may have noticed in the past couple of months that I have periodically addressed Him…the one who shall not be named…the one who married me, had two children with me and then left the marriage, saying it was all my fault. If you’re wondering at all about my writing to him, permit me to explain. Once I realized that he was trolling my posts I decided to address him directly here on this blog…and I discovered as I did so that writing to him as if he were reading my words is quite cathartic. There were many words left unspoken between us, and while I’m still processing the major transition in my life that he initiated, I figured that anything that provides catharsis is a good idea! At some point this will all be a distant memory and I will no longer feel a need to speak to him, but for now, when the desire strikes as it did tonight, I’ll give him a piece of my mind. Who knows? Perhaps he’ll read my posts and learn something? We can only hope…

Ma belle France

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Ah, ma belle France
Qu’est-ce que je peux faire pour toi?
Les larmes tombent à l’intérieur
Je ne crois pas mes yeux, mes oreilles,
la voix de mon mari
me semble loin de ce moment,
ce n’est pas vrai, pas vrai.
C’est un cauchemar,
et je vais me réveiller bientôt.
Ma belle France,
Ce qui s’est passé–
ce n’est que mon rêve, mon cauchemar–
je vais t’aider en me réveillant.
Je vais réaliser que ce n’est pas vrai,
je vais t’aider, ma belle France,
je vais t’aider.

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Ah, my beautiful France
What can I do for you?
Tears are falling on the inside
I do not believe my eyes, my ears,
my husband’s voice seems
far from this moment,
it’s not true, not true.
It’s a nightmare,
and I will awaken soon.
My beautiful France,
what happened–
this is just my dream, my nightmare–
and I will help you by waking up.
I will realize that it isn’t true.
I will help you my beautiful France,
I will help you.

 

NaPoWriMo Day 11: Le Mélézin

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I come back to this place again and again
in my dreams, the dreams I hold in my heart.
Green grass mown by munching goats and sheep
their bells sounding a right racket as they amble along
tracks they’ve worn into the mountain meadow.
I look up and see a crystalline blue sky.
I look out from where I’m sitting and see
more mountains than I can count and the city
where I left my heart nestled in the valley below.
I take off my shoes and dip my toes into the ice cold water
of the stream that has gathered momentum
from its origins in the valley behind me.
A bit of emmental cheese, a bit of dark chocolate,
a hunk of baguette, a sip of water
and now my hands are drumming this drum
I lugged with me from the valley below.
The breath of summer and the scent of wildflowers
caress my soul as the wind whispers through the conifers.
I have endured such heartbreak.

NaPoWriMo 2015 Day 12: Round Like Balance

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Today’s prompt over at NaPoWriMo.net is a lot easier for me to wrap my head around than yesterday’s:

Describe in great detail your favorite room, place, meal, day, or person. You can do this in paragraph form.

Now cut unnecessary words like articles and determiners (a, the, that) and anything that isn’t really necessary for content; leave mainly nouns, verbs, a few adjectives.

Cut the lines where you see fit and, VOILA! A poem!

Okay then!  My favorite place for some time now has been a perfectly round hill tucked in a valley between two mountains in the Briançonnais region of the department of the Hautes Alpes of France.  I lived in Briançon for a few years and came to know some of the mountains like the back of my hand, and there are pieces of my heart and soul that remained there after I left my beloved France to return home to the US.

Last June I wrote this post in response to a prompt from a WordPress Writing 101 course.  When I read today’s NaPoWriMo prompt I said to myself, “Ok, dear, let’s not reinvent the wheel.  You know what your favorite place is.  Find that post from last year and make a poem!” Ah, I love the internets.  I went to my list of the 504 posts I’ve published on Yoga Mom, searched for “mountain” and voilà! There was my favorite place described in detail…ahh, the nostalgia.  Here’s a blurb from that post followed by the poem I constructed from it for today’s NaPoWriMo offering:

If I could go anywhere right this second, it would have to be a little hill nestled in a high mountain valley close to Briançon, France, in the department of the High Alps (les Hautes-Alpes).  The first apartment I lived in during my time in Briançon boasted a lovely view of countless mountains including two which I came to know intimately– le Mélézin and la Roche Motte.  From my apartment window I could just make out the valley in between the two peaks.  I remember wanting to go there, curious about that valley for several months, and then one day…

 

Drive up the winding mountain road,
park in the little village.
Now hike in.

Magical.  

Pine forest, gorgeous wildflowers,
mountain breeze,
sunshine, heaven.
Mushrooms here and there–
Maybe a fairy or an elf
will saunter by.

Stop every now and again
along the winding mountain path
to 
sip some water,
breathe the most gorgeous perfume
of  fallen pine needles,
rich earth,
wildflowers, rock.
Round le Mélézin and
face the hot sun beating down.
Laying eyes the hill,
now climb it.

Sit and watch life unfold from this vantage point
cradled there between the two peaks–
a proper hill,
a BIG hill,
a hill that is steep and rocky on one side
gently sloping on the other.
Choose your steps
rock to rock,
across a rushing stream,
pick your way through mushy grass
wet with the spring thaw
melting into summer.
The greenest grass,
marmots scrambling,
sheep pastured for the summer,
their bells
peppering their bleats
with the monotone music
of intermittent clanging.

At the far end of the valley,
a shallow, ice cold torrent,
melt-off from the surrounding peaks
–the wonder of seeing snow in the middle of July,
icy refreshment
to soothe and invigorate
this body, so hot after a long hike. 

Be brave.
with nothing but the blue sky,
birds, marmots,
and some sheep to witness your courage–
strip down,
take a dip for a few AHA seconds,
hands cupping ice water
pouring over face and body,
shivering.

Get dressed now.
Tingling skin
warming in the sun,
walk back to the beautiful round hill,
round like the earth,
round like a woman in her 40th week of gestation,
round like wholeness,
like completeness,
round like balance.

 

 

Writing 101, Day 2: A Room With a View

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Day 2 of Writing 101, here I come!  When I read today’s prompt, I had no trouble choosing the subject of my post, there wasn’t a shred of indecision in my mind.  Here’s what we were asked to do:

Today, choose a place to which you’d like to be transported if you could — and tell us the backstory. How does this specific location affect you? Is it somewhere you’ve been, luring you with the power of nostalgia, or a place you’re aching to explore for the first time?

Yes, definitely somewhere I’ve been, definitely luring me with the power of nostalgia. Here goes!

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If I could go anywhere right this second, it would have to be a little hill nestled in a high mountain valley close to Briancon, France, in the department of the High Alps (les Hautes-Alpes).  The first apartment I lived in during my time in Briancon boasted a lovely view of countless mountains including two which I came to know intimately– le Mélézin and la Roche Motte.  From my apartment window I could just make out the valley in between the two peaks.  I remember wanting to go there, curious about that valley for several months, and then one day, driving up the winding mountain road, parking in a little village, and hiking in.  Magical.  Pine forest, gorgeous wildflowers, mountain breeze, sunshine, heaven.  Mushrooms here and there–I expected a fairy or an elf would just saunter by at any moment. The path was winding and long and I stopped every now and again to sip some water and breathe in the most gorgeous perfume of  fallen pine needles, rich earth, wildflowers, and rock.  I rounded le Mélézin and faced the hot sun beating down upon me. When I came upon the hill, I just knew I had to climb it and sit and watch life happen from this vantage point.  I never knew the hill was there until I hiked in and saw it cradled there between the two peaks–a proper hill, a BIG hill, a hill that was steep and rocky on one side and gently sloping on the other.  I chose my steps carefully, from rock to rock, across a rushing stream, and then I picked my way through some mushy grass, wet with the spring thaw melting into summer. The greenest grass, marmots scrambling, sheep pastured for the summer, hearing the bells they wore clanging intermittently, peppering their bleats with monotone music…at the far end of the valley, a shallow, ice cold torrent of melt-off from the surrounding peaks–the wonder of seeing snow in the middle of July, and I was so hot after my long hike.  I was also completely alone, with nothing but the blue sky and the birds and the marmots and the sheep to witness me summoning my courage, stripping off my clothes, taking a dip for a few refreshing AHA seconds, water just up to my ankles, feet nearly numb, hands cupping icy water to pour over face and body…and then dressed again, tingling skin warming up in the sun, walking back to the beautiful round hill, round like the earth, round like a woman in her 40th week of gestation, round like wholeness, like completeness, round like balance.  And I was fulfilled, I was content, snacking on fruit, bread, cheese, nuts, dark chocolate, drinking water collected from the village fountain, water collected straight from the mountain spring, water of life.

I dream of this place, surrounded as I am today by the sprawl of urban progress.  I dream of going back to my mountain heaven, taking my little children with me.  Walking the path I walked, watching them sniff the scent of pine needles, of wind, of wildflowers, of perfection.  I want for them to hear the marmots’ whistles, and I want to hear them laugh at how they waddle quickly to return to their burrows when they get spooked.  My children were with me that first day on the hill, as they have been with me since before I was born.  The dream of them came to me when I was resting on the hill one melancholy day, looking up at the impossibly blue sky.  I was grieving and had gone back to the hill for her solace, her wisdom. I knew, in spite of my sadness, that one day my belly would be round like this hill.

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Do any of you read French? Are any of you French?  Here’s a little blurb for my francophones out there:

Je rêve à retourner en France.  Ce pays est dans mon cœur et il me manque terriblement, une manque qui me touche au plus profonde de mon être. Le jour òu j’ai quitté la Françe, j’ai laissé une partie de mon cœur, et il n’est plus entière depuis. Cette partie m’appelle de loin, et je l’entends, et quelque fois c’est la torture. Parfois je me souviens de mes experiences là-bas, et je me r’appelle de me sentir bien assimilée dans la culture–après 9 ans aux E.U., je continue à me sentir plus française qu’américaine.  J’imagine que ce sera mon état d’esprit pour toujours.

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Here’s my poem of the day:

The mountains are in my heart,
they’re in my soul
and for nine years I have wanted to return to them.

Why am I in the city when I feel most fulfilled walking in the forest,
hiking up a mountain, heart pounding, lungs full of fresh air?

Real life has taken over I suppose,
but perhaps one day this real life
will take me back to the place I miss so much
so that I can find the piece of my heart that stayed behind
when I left nine years ago.

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