Clouds so swift
Rain won't lift
Gate won't close cause the railing's froze
Get your mind off wintertime
You ain't going nowhere
In France they kiss on Main Street
Amour, mama, not cheap display
I had plans, big plans, for 2007 fall and winter travel that had to be canceled when I lost my job -- Paris for my birthday and St. Thomas for New Year's Day, where my dear friend Angela is marrying her handsome international beau Andre. While I have nothing to complain about, I found myself looking out at the icy, colorless Colorado landscape yesterday struggling to accept that my beautiful plans had been foiled.
Better luck next year. For now, I take refuge in the magic carpet ride of the Internet, where I can find textile eye candy from all over the world. One of my favorite sites to visit is My Marrakesh, where Maryam, a human rights and democracy specialist, writer, and editor, captures the amazing beauty and character of North Africa. This post about her visit to Bamako is rich with photographs of beautiful textiles and beads in the marketplace. Her site also gave me an idea for Angela and Andre's wedding gift -- I'll be ordering fabric this week and I'm very excited about it.
Along with Morocco, I have yet to visit Paris -- I don't exactly know how that has happened, but there you have it. When I get there, I will most certainly visit the famous flea markets for vintage textiles. Rosanne Cash, one of my favorite singers and maybe an even better writer than singer, writes so beautifully about visiting Paris. And Croque-Choux is a great blog by an American living in Paris who sews and crafts beautiful things.
Whenever I think of Paris, I think of a revelatory moment I had a few years back when I went with a friend on his mission to one of those container and organization stores. While he shopped, I wandered through this enormous box store full of shiny plastic organizing tools, closet systems surely designed by NASA engineers, endless bright neatness without a shadow or a speck of dust. I was miserable, jumping out of my skin, and couldn't figure out why.
Then I wandered across the street to a store that was designed to echo a French flea market -- filled with fabrics, funky vintage objects, nooks and crannies, color, shades of light and dark, things that evoked mystery and beauty. I was instantly a thousand times happier. Both stores appear to be gone now, so I can't link to them. But the lesson was loud and clear. I appreciate order, really I do -- but order without soul is just, well, incredibly restrictive.
So for 2008, wherever you find yourself, may your life be just organized enough to make plenty of room for creative, soulful sensuality. And may you get wherever you need to be, easily and gracefully. That's what I'm aiming for.