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  • I found hope in Hope thanks to nature and my nieces.
  • Reminder: There is always light at the end of the tunnel(s).
  • Possibilities.
  • "After you have exhausted what there is in business, politics, conviviality, and so on - have found that none of these finally satisfy, or permanently wear - what remains? Nature remains." Happy 200th birthday, Walt Whitman
  • Spring is always the most alive after the darkest and rainiest of winters. #hyggehouse
  • "There are far, far better things ahead than any we leave behind." C. S. Lewis. Or, as the Secret Sisters sang, "Tomorrow will be kinder."
  • "It was here in Big Sur where I first learned to say amen." Henry Miller

Friday afternoon I decided to take a last-minute trip up the coast. Every time I've driven it, I've  always had some place to be and up against time.

But not this trip.

Friday I spent time in Santa Barbara and Paso Robles.

Saturday I spent time in Steinbeck country (of Mice and Men is one of my favourite books) and finally drove the G16 across to Carmel before heading up for a quick stop to see of my friends who I would literally drive 8hrs for only to spend 2 hours with.

Today I got up super early and got a super big coffee so I could drive down highway 1, through Big Sur and hopefully beat the crowds.

Henry Miller is the author of some of my other favourite books so as I drove though Big Sur I thought of him and Steinbeck and how they wrote about what they knew, what they loved, and what they questioned. I've had this idea in my head for a new project and community that I know will resonate and mean something but just unsure how to begin.

So I made sure today to stop when I wanted to. Linger when I needed. Drive wherever for however long.

And, after all the times driving through Big Sur, I finally stopped at a beach. I spent two hours here practically alone and just was.

People say it but there is something magic about Big Sur and today was the first time I felt it. I felt the shift, the inspiration, the hunger. And I felt wet sand between my toes. 
I'm ready.

Amen
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  • That time I wore 👖
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  • Last week I drove through the area of Malibu that was most hard hit from the fires. It was completely devastated only last December but now, life is blooming again in a way I've never seen it before. The scars are there and it will take 20yeara to get back to where it was but life is back. That's the amazing, heartbreaking and beautiful thing about life. #malibustrong #earthday

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French Life

French Inspiration

March 30, 2007
Chenonceau Castle, Loire Valley, France

Although I’m only half-French, France is the only place I feel whole; I adore it, I understand it, I feel it. I go as often as I can with plans to move permanently in about 7 years so that I can have a view like this. But for now it’s just yearly trips which always seem to take place in the winter, which perhaps not the prettiest, is the most intimate.

The Loire Valley holds my heart the closest I think. The first time I was there I felt instantly at home; I knew the back roads, I knew the buildings, I knew the people. I can’t explain how, it’s just one of those things, you know?

It was a very cold, dark, and windy day when I decided to forge out to Chenonceau (pictured above). I had never seen a picture of it, nor had I heard anyone ever talk about yet I knew the name and knew to go back. And on the day I went there was not another soul on site except for a handful of people working there.

I literally had the place to myself.

Of all the things I saw that day, the moment that was the most powerful for me was also the most quiet. I was on the 3rd floor in the hallway, standing still. All I could hear was the wind blowing through the windows and a slight banging of doors coming from some other corridor. Everything else was silent. Having this moment to myself gave me an experience that perhaps most visitors here don’t have. People rushing to see this room and that room. No one stops to hear the wind blow in the same way those who lived here before would have heard it. They don’t take in what a place like this means, they just take photographs.

One of the things I love most about the Loire in the Winter, and Provence for that matter, too, is how quiet it all is. There’s a sense of just a little sadness in the air; nature is dead for the season, it’s cold (the mistral winds in the south!), life seems a little harder but at the same time, there is a joy in the routine of the season. A beauty to. It’s in having the time to notice the wind, or in the case or Provence, the smell of the air. To see how cosy it is in restaurants from 12-2 because you just stop to eat and get warm with stew. In the winter, people have time to talk to you because they’ve claimed their home from the touriste. It’s in the conversation with a cheesemaker or winemaker and getting a little more of his secrets because you’ve had some time to develop a friendship – your a person instead of a passing face. There are so many beautiful, hopeful moments to just take it all in, to be. It’s why France has my heart in winter. And why I can’t wait to go back.

However, until I can here are some things that are tying me over:

Movies:

Websites:

Also a list of my favourite books dealing with France, Marie Claire Idees Magazine, a list of my favourite French inspired music and NY Mag has a great bit on where to buy beautiful vintage clothes!

  • Reply
    LindaNo Gravatar
    March 31, 2007 at 6:32 AM

    I’m lucky enough to live in France. My first castle was Chambord which was open for late night tours in the summer. We carried lanterns through the halls and up the winding stairs. It was also the first time I ever heard a live cuckoo in the forest. A magical time.

  • Reply
    JenChiNo Gravatar
    March 31, 2007 at 7:11 AM

    Les Choristes is such a good movie!

    Give a listen to Autour De Lucie, my favorite favorite french band!

  • Reply
    gischerylNo Gravatar
    April 1, 2007 at 6:21 PM

    Heyyy,
    That was beautiful. What you wrote, what you described, your words, the picture.
    Ahhhh. I like this. I had always wanted to go to France!
    Am from Singapore by the way.
    Cheerios.
    Cheryl

  • Reply
    susanNo Gravatar
    April 2, 2007 at 6:47 PM

    Beautifully written. I can help you dream a little more, as I am doing a series on French kitchens on Wednesday. I hope your 7 years from now, ends up being 5 or less! I hope to go to France someday.

  • Reply
    RussNo Gravatar
    April 2, 2007 at 7:30 PM

    There’s just something about walking down narrow cobblestone roads with buildings on both sides that are four times older than the United States is.

    France is a marvelous, magical place.

    One of my favorite shows is the A&E series “A Year in Provence”

  • Reply
    MonicaNo Gravatar
    April 2, 2007 at 8:42 PM

    I love Château de ma mère and La gloire de mon pere. My two favorite French movies!

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