Monday, May 30, 2011

Provence - Je T'Aime

Un petit curtsy of gratitude for your patience and your gentle nudges (to those who sent email) wondering what was up with La Fourchette.  The unintended absence was due in part to an abundance of work and a curious derangement that has landed on my little French life.

I suspect that the current state of disorientation and disorganization that I'm feeling is due to one of the many manifestations that grief can take on.  My father's death did not bring up a sense of sadness - but for the passage of a life - as he had suffered for so long with Alzheimer's disease.  Relief seemed to be more in order for the release from the agony and lack of dignity that this maladie brings to its victims. 

What has descended upon me is a very intense spaciness that was quite unexpected.  My entire life feels re-arranged somehow.  These days have been spent as if I'm walking around in a familiar inner space but all of the furniture has been moved and every kitchen drawer has been switched around.

Having said that (doesn't that expression usually mean everything that has come before will now be placed in some sort of conditional context or negated altogether?),  in this process of disruption there have been a few things that have remained unchanged:  I received an extra bouquet of flowers from my favorite flower vendor at the market;  my popular poissonier tossed a few extra shrimp into my bag;  and my adorable fromager gave me a very generous discount on a recent purchase of thisses and thats - including, of course, cheese.  Such events serve to steady a wobbly soul that has experienced her share of ups and downs in the recent past. 

On such days, when I'm not swamped by countless pebble-sized-but-they-feel-like-boulders frustrations, I could give Provence affectionate bises on both cheeks...just to thank her for all the petit-rien-but-they-feel-like-diamonds gifts that fill my little French life. 

We may as well start back at it right here.


Anonymous said...

Sigh...My heart goes out to you Leslie. Hopefully, your life will slowly return to what feels comfortable to you. Sometimes, time alone in what feels like a world turning without you is what you least for now.

Does that make any sense? When you are ready we will be here...You are missed!


donna said...

I see the curtsy from here!......having gone through an intense period of grief in the last 4 years i hear what you say.....grief takes on a form all it's unexpected ways...hits you broadside sometimes.....bend with the grief as best you can....a true lesson in being a graceful willow as opposed to an italian's truly a challenge...i know

Anonymous said...

Madame LER,

With the broken English of mine, I say to you I am always glad to read (or is it see?) your posts. I sure am that your father enjoys his new life free, much more so now. Here is not the end, but often to a new beginning. As for you, I hoped that you switch to fromage and give up the cheese, it is so American. And now you are French, enjoying what the best of the life there is.

la fourchette said...

Kris, thank you m'dear. As an introvert (from a very young age - nature over nurture in this case), time alone is necessary on a regular basis, much to the chagrin of my more extroverted friends. At the moment, it far surpasses social time and that seems to be working quite well as I find my equilibrium. It is not an unpleasant kind of off-balance...but off-balance all the same. Your thoughts and generous sentiments are very much appreciated. Thank you.

donna, ahhhh sounds like you get it, too. Maybe it's the 'broadside' thing that knocked me off center. Bend is what I can do at the moment...not sure how graceful it is (although my yoga is really showing some gains) but bending into it I am. Merci for your kind pour ton email aussi.

BPF, thank you, my friend. I am totally confident that my father is in a better place...that part is really fine. It's just the re-arrangement of my place in the world...perhaps tough to convey...and perhaps you have to know the situation a bit...but there is a shift taking place that is one of those necessary things and all for the good but showing up in a fashion that looks pretty disorganized at the moment. And no, I'll always be an American...but one who really digs those stinky French cheeses to be sure. ;}

Merci à tous!

Je m'appelle Cynthia said...

Leslie, such a touching and intimate post - my deepest sympathy for your loss. I hope you receive many diamonds every day ... glittering points of light and hope to fill any empty spaces and keep you amazed.

Tamsie said...

As I too am in that spaciness...having to conduct team meetings, attend staff meetings and keep current with a business I don't even recognize some daze (intended) I hang on to the notion that the fog will lift and the sun will once again shine. xxo me

la fourchette said...

Cynthia, thank you. I seem to find diamonds daily. I'm a very lucky girl. And I also manage to stay amazed.

Tamsie, yes, I know you know...and I'm glad we talk about it. Wishing you diamonds of a Minnesota version!


BonjourRomance said...

I am sorry to hear of the loss of your Father Leslie. WIll say a pray for you that you continue to find many diamonds every day.
Take care,

Marguerite said...

Dear Leslie, Grief has many forms, stages, time frames. Take all the time you need, when ever you need, to be quiet or to reach out. Your wonderful community seems to be a balm for you. How heartwarming to be regarded with such affection.

la fourchette said...

Mimi, thank you...for the kind words and diamond prayers.

Marguerite, you are right on target with your description of grief. Unique to circumstance and soul. Thanks for the encouraging words and yes...the community in my little French life is special indeed!

Thanks to all for the kind words and the show of understanding. Really lovely. Merci.


Kitty said...

Ma chère Leslie

Gros Câlins to you, I'rm sending you loads of sunshine and hope. Keep finding those little shiny bits that sparkle so brightly, you deserve every one of them.


(Come over to mine for a giggle)

la fourchette said...

Thank you, chère Kitty. I'm headed over your way now...a tout!


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