Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Moving On...

My dream plans have crystallized, and I've created a new blog in celebration. Huzzah!

Thanks to Temple of Leaves for providing a space to meditate, and thanks to you for listening and responding.

Click here to bunnyhop to my new blog, The Wandering Muse.

See you there!


Tuesday, September 28, 2010

The Wandering Muse Salon

The Wandering Muse Salon was born this evening!

In the words often attributed to Goethe:

"Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back. Concerning all acts of initiative (and creation), there is one elementary truth that ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then Providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one's favor all manner of unforeseen incidents and meetings and material assistance, which no man could have dreamed would have come his way. Whatever you can do, or dream you can do, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it. Begin it now."

So it begins!

Goethe at the Wandering Muse Salon

Monday, September 27, 2010

Fresh Walnuts

I began this blog so that I could write about beautiful, inspiring spaces. But while I'm in this beautiful, inspiring space called France, I've taken to writing about my daily discoveries. Today I discovered fresh walnuts.

I've never liked nuts, although I recently started eating them because they're "good for me"--walnuts are packed with omega-3s, are a good source of monounsaturated fats, and contain powerful antioxidants, as well as vitamin E, copper, and manganese. But I've never had a good time with a walnut. Until today.

On the way back from my early morning trip to "the Source" (the village spring), I saw a walnut in the road.

I'd heard that the walnuts were going to be ripe soon, and I furtively dropped this one into my pocket. At home, I used the garlic press as a nut cracker, and popped the meat into my mouth.

It was delicious: creamy and crisp, almost like coconut, but with a light and distinctive nutty flavor. And plumper and sweeter than the bitter dried nuts I've suffered through before. Mmmmmm!

On my next trip to the Source, I took some pictures of the trees full of green pods (and a few more nuts):

A grove of walnut trees
Green walnut pods
An emerging nut

Sunday, September 26, 2010

French Sentences

My fellow Muser, Kathy, is in the next room playing a game she calls "French sentences": concocting seventeen-syllable haiku about her experiences in France--a little exercise to get her poetic energies flowing. 

It sounds like fun on this lazy, post-French-lunch Sunday afternoon, so I'll give it a try:

Traversing the forest in the rain, I arrive home cold and happy.

Loaded brush poised over a blank page; maybe I should go for a walk.

We toss the empty bottles and climb the slanting stairs to our cold beds.

Send me your French sentences here.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Blue Shutters

Everyone has blue shutters here. Heartachingly blue.
They thrill me. They kill me. They make me want Everything.

Friday, September 24, 2010


This afternoon, during a rain break, I headed off for a hike with a fellow Muser, poet Katharine Whitcomb. Our destination was Cubserviès, a tiny hamlet clinging to the mountain rock. When we were halfway there, it began to rain. Then it poured. By the time we arrived, we were soaked. But, drenched and cold as we were, we ran through the hamlet and exclaimed over the views, including the Cascade de Cubserviès, one of France's lesser-known ("secret") waterfalls. 

Take a peek at Katharine's blog "Poetry Is Cool."

Thursday, September 23, 2010

French Lesson #1: I've Been a Fountain Pen!

I was sitting out on the patio the other evening, contentedly sipping wine and indulging in my ninth new cheese of the week, when I suddenly realized I'd said something absurd to the clerk at the art store in Carcassonne. The fountain pen I'd been buying was different from others I'd had, so I wanted to know how to fill it. The clerk asked if I'd had a fountain pen before. When I answered and she looked incredulous, I repeated what I'd said (more emphatically this time): Mais oui! J'ai été un stylo à plume. (Yes! I've been a fountain pen.) I'll never confuse j'ai été and j'ai eu again.
The patio of La Muse