Medieval History


Wo-ha - I'm in Montréal.  There's a 16th-century Conference, which is later than I'm used to, but my gal died in 1531, so fair game, yes?  Everything is suspended and strange - and thus wonderful.  Lots and lots of work that needs to be done haunts me, I miss Mister M. and the kids, and I wish that (arhum) my paper were done, but all in good times, these things will fall into place. Tomorrow morning, there are two great sessions at 8:30 a.m. (my gal) and 10:30 a.m. (Orientalism), and then lunch with a dear friend at what looks to be a fantastic place, and then all afternoon and evening to think and write. Plus, they have really big plush robes in this hotel. Plus, my window looks out over what has to be the biggest church ever. It makes the Madeleine in Paris look like a camper ; Brunelleschi's dome look like a thimble! And the name: Basilique Cathédrale Marie Reine du Monde de Montréal, which when said "Mary Queen of the World Cathedral Basilica" is just as grand!  So, really, I have inspiration (and terry cloth) galore here.

I think that I like Canada, I really do.  It's very disconcerting, though: hearing French, and people being really (really really) nice to you, all at the same time.  True reaction: when I got off the plane and heard my first official French over the loud-speaker, I immediately panicked that I hadn't called the hotel to let them know I would be there after 9 p.m. - immediately; hadn't thought about the possibility of them canceling the room until that very moment. Official France always makes me feel small; intimate France (our friends) make me feel like all thoughts and feelings are possible.  Dichotomy.  Now I have to think complicated thoughts about France, as this strike over the possibility of bumping the retirement age up two years gears up.  Part of me admires the absolute conviction that the government is lying about the math, the absolute conviction that there is enough to go around, we just have to keep redistributing the wealth; part of me just wants them to just stop already and let our dear friend make his way home to his kids in the States (and everyone else actually live their lives).  Strikes have always seemed like a big collective holding one's breath - I've come to trust that France won't pass out, but I still worry!  Ok, to bed in my big comfy hotel bed - who knows what thoughts await tomorrow?

- Return To Paris
Walked another series of familiar walks today - wanted to see moss and rivulets and trees and watch the kids remember, too. They've developed our favorite park quite a bit: the pétanque rectangle where the kids used to play Charging Knights now has...

- Into The Woods
Girl Scout CampThere has been no way (good, bad, helpful, articulate, cathartic or otherwise) to write about the loss of a family friend and the process of putting my father into hospice.  I still don't have a way, but to not write leaves things...

- Protest!
In the Middle Ages, when you were mad at God (which happened), you would take your frustration out on His representatives, the saints.  There is an entire set of stories involving the Humiliations of the Saints: statues overturned, rituals denied,...

- Wind Of Greed
In what must be a rare moment of self-allegory, Miss E had just declared herself the "Wind of Greed" when I took this picture.  I had thought to take a snapshot of her and her dad, and she totally took over the idea to declare: "I am the Wind of...

- The France Life Museum
We've been away for seven months, and thus far, I've found no pithy way to describe it all and my dear, patient friends have listened to tales randomly chosen by nostalgia and desire.  Miss I has found a way, though - she has created a museum...

Medieval History