I didn’t want my last posts to come off as whiny. I’m actually very grateful to my amazing family and friends for the ‘soft landing’ I’ve had in the US. And I enjoy lots of things about being back here – ranging from easy access to Reeses Pieces and having Target-made practicality around the corner to having a good job where people actually ask me what my goals are, are concerned about my professional development and don’t make insinuating comments related to how I look on a given day (let’s just say few people I encountered in France were really shocked about what Dominique Strass-Kahn did to get arrested – most were shocked that he did get arrested. I mean, what exactly did he do wrong?)
Still, I miss France and the beauty of the French language and the beauty of myCroix-Rousse
and the gentleness and warmth of some of my Lyon friends and much more than I mentioned in my previous posts. I think it’s only natural – there were so many layers of beauty in France that I am only gradually uncovering how attached I was to all of them and how hard it is when they all go missing at once.
Also, I had somewhere ingrained in my brain the thought that aesthetic beauty in architecture is the domain of Europeans – it seemed to me that every small village in France would boast the most darling gray stone cottages with vines curling around the front door and domesticated alleys
and on lucky days, a chateau or two around the bend
My memories of American houses were mostly squat ugly ranch buildings looking like a giant had dropped egg cartons on the ground and accidentally sat on them. (Attractive, I know).
Of course the French houses are probably rank and damp with no central heating and definitely no AC, and laundromats are a firmly implanted part of the French landscape as well because few of these homes have the convenience of in-home W/Ds.
In the US, beauty always gets thrown out in the name of functionality.
I closed my laptop and stopped myself from perusing yet more French photos of places I had known and loved which supported my claim above.
Instead, I did what all people writing complaining posts on their blogs should do.
I got up from the couch and opened my door.
And realized beauty surrounded me.