Tuesday, April 18, 2017

over the Atlantic

Listening to James Ehnes play Bach partitas as we float over the Atlantic. The plane is jammed but much more comfortable than the flight over. After 25 days away, I'm going home.

What a trip. Not a single mishap. The worst thing that happened was smashing a glass of red wine at the Haymarket Theatre. Even the weather was a blessing – yes, London was chilly, but there was no rain. There was no rain anywhere except once in Paris, just after Lynn and I came inside, and a tiny sprinkling during a walk in Provence. Extraordinary.

I was almost never alone. Even after leaving old friends and flying to London, I wasn’t as alone as expected; there was time with Penny and Harriet and the unexpected friendship at the Penn Club – Chris, now sitting two seats behind me, with whom I have a lot in common. Except packing – she has a tiny suitcase for a 3-week trip, half the size of mine for a slightly shorter time away. But then, I care more about style than Chris. And there was Paris. Still. Reduce, reduce, reduce.

Wish I’d done more work, but that’s okay. I am especially glad to be returning as the world quivers before the twin psycho bullies in North Korea and the U.S. And apparently May has just called an election in England, which does not seem a good idea.

Just watched “Manchester by the Sea,” which I’d avoided before as I’d heard it was relentlessly depressing. But in fact, though it’s about unfathomable grief, it’s also about kindness, family, community, decency – much more heartening than I’d thought. And I thought the British had stiff upper lips! Which apparently they won’t any more after Prince Harry’s brave confession today.

I watched a French doc last night on the Vermeer exposition at the Louvre, showing how all those Dutch painters influenced each other, painting the same subjects in almost exactly the same ways, but Vermeer’s strength, they showed, was simplicity, taking everything unnecessary away, the meditative quality of his voyage into the self.

I’d like to say meaningful things here about France and England and travel. But it’s all a blur right now. Listening to Eric Satie. I will reclaim my piano. I will insert my own key into my own front door and walk into my own house. Funny how you don’t think about those things until you’ve been away, using other people’s keys, fitting into other people’s houses.

Back to reality. Laundry, income taxes, grocery shopping, the garden, work on the memoir. The conversation group, eating healthily again, finding a yoga class for my sore back. Getting a haircut and a pedicure. And mostly, seeing the boys, my kids. BK, this is your lovely life.

And getting ready for the next trip, next week. Don’t even want to think about it.

Later. Just watched "The Eagle Huntress" - fabulous. We're nearly there. 

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