Ebb & Flow

Silver mornings, grey skylines, gusty walks, choppy water and frosty noses. Seeking refuge in coffee shops, cavernous and cozy or open and bright, steamy windows and damp air riding in on dripping coattails. Emerging under blue winter skies and sharp light, mastering the art of layering and learning the many discrepancies in heat retention provided by different pairs of sock material, trial and error of frozen toes. Echoing museum galleries, overwhelming color, the exhilaration of travel plans slowly turning into reality. Chlorine up my nose, gliding through the water while words churn around in my mind, the relaxed relief of tired muscles and endorphins.

Auxiliary verbs, irregular conjugations, anxious tutor and uncertain students, dwindling patience giving way to the satisfaction of a student Getting It. A healthy mix of crumpled and deleted spaces with growing Word documents and scrawled sheets of notebook paper. Thrift shop steals, music in the metro, morning plans stretching out ’til late afternoon and drinks on a Thursday evening running into the wee hours of the morning. Yoga mat, face-down, mantras, push and pull, lion’s breath. Sundays on the Seine, conversation, new connections, familiar faces, lots of handshakes and the awkward half hug-bises that characterizes Franco-american relations. Good days and bad days, productive days and lazy days, days when I feel like I’ve got it all together and days when, well…

I try to stay away from journal entry-like writing on this blog; I don’t think it serves either one of us very well. But this month was such a mash-up of wonderful and challenging and gratifying things that seemed to add up to form a wholeness, a steadiness I’ve been craving for a while. There was an unconsciousness of time passing, a welcome respite from 2-, 5- and 10- year plans. Right now, my life is here in this city. I must build from this point, this moment. A structure will fall if it cannot push back against the forces pulling at it. Our organism, built with the refined complexity of a masterful engineer, adheres to the same principles. As we ground down through our center, grasping for roots, we must cultivate the energy to reach up out of ourselves and to step into the world. Push and pull, give and take, ebb and flow. This is the energy upon which our world, our cities, our souls are balanced. Give yourself over to it; cherish its current. What do you have to lose?

rainy paris

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