Must Be An Existentialist Tagger
© Karin Lynn Bates Snyder
Photo taken November 7, 2010 at the corner near the Boulevard de la Villette and Avenue Jean Jaurès, below Métro Jaurès, Line 2 (19th arr.)
This is the post that just cannot seem to get written! It’s for a good cause, however. I am successfully, so far, participating in NaNoWriMo for the third year, writing fiction, on target with word counts, and HEY. We may get a novel out of me, yet! *knock on wood, and spitting FTOU! like my Greek friend taught me to do when writing things that tempt the fates to toy with the hubris of humanity*
Anyway, I have been working away at this post for about a week now, adding in bits here and there.
Here’s what’s been on my mind in that time.
Just over a year ago, I posted this piece: A Writer’s Altar, a Parisian Leafy Mess, and Dog Poo. Today I am sitting here, wondering how it is that a year has passed since that last leafy time, and what the heck have I accomplished in these past months?
Well, thanks to this blog, I now have a lot more friends to explore Paris with. I’ve worked on my writing skills. I’ve tried to fall more “in like” with this city (it is mostly working, thanks to this blog, I have to say).
As I re-read that opening section in the blog dated November 3, 2009, however, there is a lot that has not changed, except that it is a year later. I don’t know if that disappoints me, or challenges me, or what. I’m not sure what to think about that right now, but in this imaginary conversation I am having with myself in my head, it goes something like this:
Self 1: So what you are saying is that some things are really different for you, especially in terms of having people to do things with in the city, because of this blog.
Self 2: Yes, that is what I am saying, Self 1.
Self 1: But what you are also saying is that, de facto, there is also a lot that has not changed from those opening paragraphs of the blog from just over a year ago, and this is not really a good thing.
Self 2: That is indeed what I am saying. Important stuff that I had hoped would have changed by now has not changed one iota.
Self 1: Hmmmmmm. I see. Well. Huh. Not sure what to say about that. That kind of sucks.
Self 2: Yup. It kind of does.
So there you go. An excerpt of one of the conversations inside of my head. Yeah, you should be glad you are not me, too, haha. A lack of change is often a fact of life, though, isn’t it. Especially when you feel that you need change, you need to move forward. You know, kind of like the whole saying about how “The more things change, the more they stay the same?”
(Ooooohhhh — check it. In looking for the origins of the proverb — yeah, that’s the way I roll — I discovered the French version: plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose. It says that the source is “an epigram by Jean-Baptiste Alphonse Karr in the January 1849 issue of his journal Les Guêpes [“The Wasps”].” Uhhh, yeah. I have no idea, either, but putting that here sure makes this post seem intellectual and all, doesn’t it?)
In the spirit of things changing, but not changing, I’d like to revisit one of the hallmarks of this blog: The View Out My Dining Area Window
It is once again a Parisian Leafy Mess:
Outside my window.
One thing is different in this photo compared to last year. The Le Relais clothing donation bins are gone.
And lately, my camera has also been taking extremely blurry photos when using the zoom. More than usual. I hope it is not going on the fritz.
This photo is different from last year’s, too. There is no barrier near the Wallace fountain (the green thing to the left of the phone booths in the photo up there. More info here on Wikipedia).
There was a crew this afternoon who came to clean up the leafy mess, not unlike the year before.
One thing that was different from last year was that I recently walked along the Canal Saint Martin, but this time from the République end of things going up the canal, and I had some company with me. A blog reader was in town and she and I got together to go up the canal from south to north, the opposite direction from that first time I went there on my own. The fall leaves made this a very pretty time to go up the canal, even if it was cool, cloudy, and a little rainy.
This bridge rotates to let boats through. To see photos of how this happens, check out the pictures in my November 2010 Set on Flickr.
The lock in the photo above is the one across from the famous Hôtel du Nord. The hotel is famous as it appeared in a classic French film called Hôtel du Nord in 1938. This is the hotel today, along with its website (it’s cute, and shares more of the history of the place. Click on the shoe with the Union Jack for the English language page).
Here is me, with the leaves.
And one more of the canal, with the changing leaves.
Not far from the area, off a side street from the Quai de Jemmapes, is the Hôpital Saint Louis.
The interior garden in the old section of the hospital is really a gorgeous, quiet oasis in the city. I had been hoping for some time to visit it, and finally got a chance to do so just over a week ago.
I know that “change is the only constant.” I know that gradually, incrementally, things can and do change. Sometimes they change abruptly, and suddenly, too, as in a breakthrough. Or sometimes as a tragedy. Things change. Sometimes all we have to do is wait, just like when the seasons change from spring to summer, fall to winter. Sometimes, though, the change that happens, just like the seasons, is repetitive, and we are hard pressed to find the differences between this year and the last. That’s a bit of where I feel my life is right now.
Still, I am over 25,000 words into a craptastic novel! I have written over 25,000 words of fiction in 15 days. I hope for another 25,000 words in the next 15! That’s nothing to sneeze at.
How about you? Have things changed for you, or are they still the same compared to this time last year? How do you feel about it?
I hope that this week finds you well, and that life is going as you wish.
Over and out.
(an alien parisienne)