Sunday, November 19, 2006

Natural Habitats

Even if you travel to a new and mesmerizing place, it seems as if you will eventually gather around something of your natural habitat. Even if it isn't the easiest thing to come by.

Exhibit A. This is Karl. He is happy. This could be attributed to several things. First, he has finally got his keyboards set up in a pleasing, feng shui-ish fashion. Not only that, he's got some talent lined up as well. Between the two vocalists (count 'em two) beating down our door tomorrow to practice, and his rendezvous with some musicians from the church we've been frequenting, he oughta have his hands full. Of a lot of white and black keys. And that's the way he likes it.

Exhibit B. I love to teach. But, truth be told, I actually prefer to be on the learning end of the equation. I know that some people avoid classroom settings like the plague, only attending if they absolutely must. I'm a bit odd in the sense that I went looking for lectures this week. I happily attended a couple of talks on the medieval troubadou
rs by a distinguished English professor with whom I've been carrying on an email correspondence for some months. The classroom time itself proved to be utterly refreshing (seriously, like a fish in water...) not to mention the tea we enjoyed together afterwards. This honorable man has had a long and glorious career, but is precisely at the point when generous-spirited academics are ready to pass on the torch. Both ideas and resources flowed effortlessly between us. I thank God that I was in the right place at the right time to receive it.

Finally, Exhibit C. The forest on a sunny Saturday afternoon. Specifically, La Foret de Fontainebleau, about 40 minutes out of Paris by train. Being Minnesotans, we've been hankering after some woodlands since we moved to cosmopolitan Paris. We had heard rumours about 50,000-some acres of largely protected forest, a former hunting ground of many a French monarch. This area is perhaps known to some of you because of its famous chateau, holiday hideaway of kings throughout France's history. However, we chose to while away our daylight hours hiking around in the sunshine, rather than staring dumbfounded at Napoleon's former tapestries and dining sets. This turned out to be a wise decision, as the most spectacular surprise awaited us. The autumn colors were just reaching their full bloom.
After 'splorin' around to our heart's content (till it was dark, more or less), we wended our cold and weary selves to a pizza place in the center of Fontainebleau and mowed down on delicious, hot Italian food. Needless to say, the train ride home was a bit of a warm, sleepy blur. But thanks to Paris' efficient transport system (oh why can't they apply this level of ingenuity to their governmental paperwork....?), we were soon horizontal and cozy in our beds back in the 13th arrondissement of dear Paris.

1 comment:

Joyfulartist said...

Fall has also come to Florida if you can believe it. The air is cool and crisp, only in the mid 60's F with a brisk north wind. A true Floridian will be wearing a parka in the 40 degree mornings. We actually have trees that shed all their leaves.
The small tomato plants in the landscaping mean that I am in denial about any kind of frosty weather around here even though it has happened.
I love your pictures and your tales of Paris life. I hope you can take many hikes in the forrest, it sounds great.
Karl will have to keep the decibels down so that you don't get evicted. on!