Wednesday, May 30, 2007

la vie en rose

I'm blogging to strains of Edith Piaf singing 'la vie en rose'. I've heard this song when I was a little girl. I shall go see the movie when it comes out.
What if I do get a chance to live in France for a year? What would I do? Where would I live? Would I stay there the whole time or would I move around? 'Everyone has two homelands, their own and La France' - Thomas Jefferson.
Maybe in Provence, around Apt or Roussillon, the haute Provence, or the Luberon, would be glorious places, to follow the rhythms of the land. To observe and to write on my own observations, to draw and paint every day, to eat bread, cheese, and fruits every meal and to drink wine. It will be a good year indeed. In between, I would do a little traveling to the other areas of France, to Ceres at the time of cherries, to see lavender fields in bloom, to Paris for breakfasts, to London to visit relatives, to Josselin to see cousin, Beci's French home. (my English cousin).
'I had a small room with a paper of rosebuds, an old bed like a rowing boat, an old walnut chest of drawers, a chair and a rickety table. The sheets smell of soap and French lavenders, the curtain wave looped back at the window', Bosco.
This is really nostalgic. I try to live like this at home. I don't have much furniture - a pine dining table from Pottery Barn with 6 mismatched chairs, a cheap made in China iron bed with a used mattress given to me by my brother, an old coffee table from the thrift store and a couch (circa 1960) from a garage sale. My office is a converted garage and all these are in a little cottage that I own. (approx worth $900,000) Well, I'm hardly schlepping it. I believe in real value like real estate, stocks and bank Cd's.
'Oh these farm gardens, with their lovely big red Provencal roses and the vines and fig trees'. It is all a poem and the eternal bright sunshine too. In spite of which the foliage remains green - no cows on these little farms'. - van gogh.
I don't blame myself for this nostalgic moments. Even van gogh fell in love with Provence. Picasso moved there from Spain.
'My house here is painted the yellow colour of fresh butter on the outside with glaringly green shutters; it stands in the full sunlight in a square which has a green garden with plane trees, oleanders and acacias. And it is completely whitewashed inside and the floor is made of red bricks. And over it there is the intensely blue sky. In this I can live and breathe, meditate and paint.' van gogh.
One can hardly see the sky in Los Angeles because of the smog. Some mornings when I walk to Venice beach, I see a slightly blue sky meeting the blue Pacific ocean with the grey sand in the foreground. It is so empty that there's a certain beauty about it. On clear days I can see Santa Monica and Pacific Palisades but on days that are foggy, there are only three elements visible - the sky, the sea and the sand. When the surf is up, there's a tinge of white as the waves crash violently on the sand making a brilliant spectacle.
Make no mistake, I love California. I love the opportunities of making money here. As Peggy Noonan said in her column in WSJ (5/26/07) 'where in the world would any immigrant working hard and before long own a car, a home, a business and investments?'

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