Saturday, May 10, 2014

Reentry after our Plan B visit to the states...

I see that life is experience.  One after another.  How we judge those experiences is the means we humans use to say something is "good" or "bad".  Without that filter of judgement, things simply are as they are.

Returning to the US to clear out our storage unit was at times emotionally difficult.  We were constantly reminded that our life there had been good.  Our American friends are kind, warm people, open-hearted people.  The trappings of Middle Class Success were lovely and felt good. 

When we rolled out one of the carpets I'd purchased on a business trip to India, our hearts caught in our throats.  When our friends, Ralph and Carol, rolled up with a van to help us move household items to new homes, it was difficult to not be overwhelmed with feelings of gratefulness.

So many things were taking place all at the same time that Jude misplaced her drivers license.  There were so many distractions.  We called around to see if someone found it.  No one had.  Add to this that big life events that were taking place all around us in the forms of death and illness.  At times I thought "this is too much to deal with all at once." 

We'd collapse into bed every night and straight into Morpheus' arms.

I think we did well to finish as much as we did in the short time we had.  The only things left to deal with are some of my photographic negatives and prints.  These my father kindly offered to store for me until I decide what to do with them.  Fortunately there isn't much to face.  I pruned my old materials very heavily before sending what was left off to my father.

Our return flights went well.  We were exhausted but only a little blurry-eyed when we landed in France.

Just as when we moved here, we hauled five large suitcases, one small suitcase, and three over the shoulder carry-ons.  Our lives have slimmed to that.  Not much when we think about all the years, all the work, all the corporate life spent on the job, and all the things we'd acquired.

The whole time I'd not thought a lot about Paris.  It's strange, actually.  Being back in Portland felt to me like living inside a very long, realistic dream.  The experience was a little hazy around the edges.  Memories of what was where and who did what, where, and why returned naturally.  The warmth and comfort of the familiar rounded out the dream-like state.

The taxi stand at Charles de Gaul is quick and efficient.  We soon had a vehicle large enough to hold our baggage.  Giving the driver our address in a language we'd not spoken in three weeks was "interesting" to hear the sound of.  Off we went.

I knew what we were facing shortly after our return and felt the Fun Was Not Yet Over.  We had translated documents to retrieve.  We had an appointment to face the Prefecture de Police in an effort to renew our visas.  We hoped l'Assurance Maladie (the French healthcare group called CMU) had replied to our request to pay the French State for health insurance.  We knew that CMU would be asking for more information.  All these things in a language we have yet to "master."  I felt it would take a Sharp Mind to Detail to successfully complete these tasks.

More duty and action awaited us.

Our taxi sped toward le peripherique, the ring road that holds Paris to it's ancient boundaries.  We entered through la porte de la chapelle and followed le peripherique toward the 15eme arrondisement.
On the other side of la porte lay one of the many symbols of Paris.  Seeing it I instantly felt, remembered, and knew why we moved to France. Sitting high on a hill, Sacre Coeur pierced the sky.

It was good to be home.

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