The best surrender

I (triumphantly) snuck in some writing tonight because I realized that strictly speaking I didn’t have to do my assigned reading because class was a general assembly lecture. It felt naughty. It felt good. Writing soothes a part of my soul that nothing else can get to. Also, it felt really good to give up on something mandated and grab something else more important (and alluring) to me.

I watched the Steve Jobs Stanford Commencement speech last night, as a memorial, and he discussed his philosophy of looking in the mirror each morning and trying to assess the day in the lens of “what if this were my last day?” If this were my last day, I would definitely want to spend part of it writing. I’m going to have to get more creative about finding time.

Also, it felt great to try to tackle some pointed feedback I had gotten about going with more emotion in my writing, and trying to cover less ground. I was scared, but I opened up my document, printed it, edited, and I started expanding my favorite sections. My rewrite process felt good. I felt focused and lucid, I could clearly see and cut the fat. And I’m proud of the final product. My piece about Frenchness is finally starting to work. Huzzah.

Frenchness without a plane

I was looking over a bistrot menu and it was in french, and it was full of french menu items. I wasn’t in France. I was in Quebec, where they have genteel, continental ways.

The citizens are slightly more stylish than those of the average american city. Everyone is riding bikes.

I really like it here. (It’s easy to like in September.) It reminds me a bit of France, although it’s clearly not France. ┬áIt’s got enough french elements to provoke a sense of homeyness.

And as I sat at the restaurant, I realized that I had managed to commune with aspects of french culture without taking a plane.

What a treat.

It reminds me that when I was a little girl and found out about Quebec, it seemed like the perfect solution to my cultural quandaries. I was convinced at the age of 8 that I would end up marrying a french-canadian.