As the world turns, Selfridges, London.
Ten years ago today, David and I met in New York. A few months later, my daughter Jordana and I moved to London. A year after that, we moved to Paris, for David's job with an international organisation. Jordana attended high school at the American School of Paris and I resurrected my college French and struggled to adjust to French logic. It was my first experience not working for a salary since age 16; initially I didn't appreciate the loss of steady income and control. To lift my spirits, I began frequenting brocantes, flea markets and antiques shops. Soon our apartment was filled with an eclectic collection of art and antiques.
After discovering the endless bureaucracy required to get married in Paris, Jordana, David and I flew to Santa Fe, N.M. Our wedding ironically was at (French) Archibishop Jean-Baptiste Lamy's private chapel. Jordana's friend Vince played acoustic guitar, while she sang Bruce Springsteen's "If I Should Fall Behind." A dozen friends witnessed the happy occasion and later joined us for dinner at the Inn of the Anasazi.
We traveled to many, many places in Europe and the US. At home in Paris, David honed his cooking skills as we hosted hundreds (!) of guests. I became a fan of rugby and horse-racing at Longchamp (although I never bet on horses; just admire and photograph them). My daughter went off to college in the US.
I started this blog and picked up a camera for the first time in many years. I took Eurostar to London at least once a month. I worked on my novel. I wrote poetry. I campaigned for Barack Obama and worked on human rights initiatives. I had a few health woes, but was lucky to have quality medical care in both Paris and London. I studied Spanish in Seville, Spain and photography in London.
I have lived in Paris longer than any city in my adult life (followed by San Francisco and New York). Ten years ago, when David was a guest speaker at an e-commerce conference (at the World Trade Center) and I a writer, covering the conference, I wouldn't have imagined this life. It's had its ups and downs, but for the most part, it's been rich with blessings. While Paris has never felt like home to me, I know we are fortunate. Having traveled as a journalist for much of my adult life, I've learned, as John Cage said, that "we carry our homes within us, which enables us to fly."
Balancing act, Selfridges, London.
P.S. Don't miss your chance to win a copy of Leonard Pitt's new book Paris Postcards! Go here to enter.