Wednesday, April 02, 2008


I have been roaming around Lyon a bit these last few days, looking for springish inspiration, my head full of images, things I am trying to fuse together into I am not sure what yet—a collage, a Basic French project, a good deed—don't know yet. I have this impression that every Spring about this time I find myself roaming around in this same way. When I lived in Philadelphia and New York in my 20s and 30s, I would roam through book stores and second-hand stores collecting images of typography, colors, people, things that somehow touched me and were permitted space in my image bank. Usually I would make something by hand—a card, a love letter, coalescing (now spontaneous tears, where do those come from?) these disparate visual things, words heard, glances stolen into something, something I could touch or could touch someone.

After moving to the country in my 30s, when time was scarce and little people were my primary focus, I would steal away and roam through antique stores, junk stores (my all-time favorite being Hoffman's barn in Red Hook.) I was distracted, spacing out in my own world, my private Idaho. I think I was hard to live with at these times, I needed so desperately to be mentally alone, to disconnect.

Spring roaming took me on back country roads, collecting colors of white red barns against bright blue skies, monochrome landscapes, images of things decomposing from Winter's snow cover, images of small, delicate flowers erupting with life's vitality from that same ground. At these times, I found myself paying the toll for the car behind me on the Rhinebeck/Kingston Bridge, feeling rich with Spring, fecund.

So I find myself, now in France, roaming, first with intention, now abstractly lost. I have found a new typeface that I love (thanks Ka, awesome designer and web guru :) and I have found that I like the colors yellow and orange (when I thought I never would) and not red (still.) I have found that stripes are "tendances" as always and that Habitat at Place de la Republique never lets me down. I am inspired by t-shirts (girl at my gym wearing simple black one with large, ornate wing etchings silkscreened in gold, nice—wings of desire?

I was really inspired by a table display at Coté Maison of not celadon green, but more grassy celadon and dove grey hand-made faience pottery with olive nid d'abeille dishtowels and multistripe (again) napkins. Desire a powder pink linen tablecloth...gotta love the French! I was inspired by colored toilet paper (lime, orange, cyan, black??) coming soon to BF, and colored paper towels that could very well replace napkins chez nous this summer.

Electronic music, if you can believe it, has been fitting into this mix, even Daft Punk I have been dancing around to...the Psychedelic Furs (love love love, you can't give it away,) Vincent Delerme, Bierut, the Perishers, the Eels. Usually at this time, I like things that make me feel extremely—either extremely ridiculously happy or deeply profoundly to the core sad, all in the same day. I like these emotional extremes. They are like Spring cleaning, things piled up in the closet that must be considered, viewed and then stored away with intention or tossed out.

Tonight, I woke from a deep sleep, lay there thinking about all that I could do if I got up, bills to pay, webedits, laundry. I kept thinking about wanting to do something, a project outside myself, like creating an inspirational venue for young girls, designing empowering t-shirts and donating the proceeds to a non-profit. I feel like I want to bloom, I am spilling forth with images and inspiration. I got up to (au moins) make the list of what I need to do today, and here I am, toile notebook in hand, trying to make something physical, something that counts (lasts, endures.) How much can I give back today, I wonder? And what would a French person think if I paid their toll?

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