Photo and text by: Corey Amaro
Will this love affair with France ever end? Will the painted shutters, cobble stones, saints on the corner, hand door knockers, statues popping up in the middle of nowhere ever became mundane? Will the whole mis en scene, theatrical performance of day to day life in France bore me? Is it possible that after eating enough baguettes to look like one myself, drinking rivers of wine, brocanting in every village and birthing two babies in this country I might wake up and find it ordinary?
Will the stone walls stop talking? And the geraniums of the window sill stop waving hello?
Eventually will I focus on the dog poop, graffiti, incredible taxes, small containers, lack of public bathrooms, unsmiling faces and cigarette smoke more than I pronounce empty glasses on the abandon cafe table as art?
Will my senses become matter of fact?
Will I notice the big picture and not the thread-count?
Honestly, how many French cafe does it take to make one say,
"Yeah, Yeah, been there done that?"
Paper cubed sugar,
Long white aprons...
How many blue shutters... before one slams the door?
When will fast food replace the Epicerie? When will France lose its flavor? When will I begrudge the bakery that closes between 12:30 and 3:00?
Do you think someone can have a change of heart because they cannot buy a pain au chocolate at 2 pm?
Black bicycle leaning on the wall...
How fast I could ride from "Point A to Point Z" if I did not notice the adjective-
...one after another typical soulful thing that spells French every step I take.
How fast? What a boring question.
How does one measure light? Is it in the shadows or in the reflections?
I am in it for the long view: Dark leafy places, red clay roof tiles, the change of seasons that weave history, the narrow streets, the stone step and the four o'clock hot baguette.
I am glad family and friends come to France with an open mind. Taking in France with gusto, soaking up the old, the deep, the wonder, the history, the day to day beauty.
(My cousins Rachel, Barry, Sherri and Elizabeth.)
The dictionary defines blasé:
1. Uninterested because of frequent exposure or indulgence (Hard to imagine that... But then I have a fixation with frequent exposure.)
2. Unconcerned; nonchalant: had a blasé attitude about housecleaning, oui?
3. Indifferent to something because of familiarity.
4. Lacking enthusiasm; bored with the same old, same old...Moi?
Can one's sensibilities deadened by French excess? God help us if it is true.
I pray I never wake up and find it ordinary.