slow, awaiting momentum

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Waking up at 10am most mornings and just trying to soak up every bit of that luxury. And for the past two days or so, the wind is whooshing outside the black-out shutters, making it even sound cold out there. Which, it actually is, by Toulouse standards. When I finally roll out of bed to crank up the volet – definitely not missing the shutters from my flat in Lyon where you have to open the window to open and close the shutters — its pure grey outdoors and there is a tiny carpet of snow accumulated on the tiles of the balcony, with small snowflakes floating around lost on big gusts of wind. And here I think I realize that, yes, I do miss snowy midwestern winters. But as I was explaining it to Edd recently, I truly believe that those who sigh and love snowy days were marked early by fantastic snow-day experiences, no school, playing in the snow and sledding down great hills with a hundred other kids until you can’t feel your thighs anymore and your mittens are soaking wet. Gaspard was singing Christmas carols in his bathtub last night while forming snow-things from the bubbles. He doesn’t even know the half of it!

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But really, the snowfall here is pretty pathetic. By 11am it’s all blown away and even before that any photo you take of the snow requires a macro setting on your camera. Like this photo of St. Aubin, it’s snowing hard and you can’t even see it! Pfff!!

Since I last wrote for you all here, things feel so slow. Slow but comfy and nice though. Slow like a cute sloth video on YouTube that gets you clicking on all the other baby sloth videos after it and then you’ve wasted an hour in no time. I do believe I jinxed myself with that last post though. After turning in my first dossier and getting the extension for my second, I just let go and slid into that new year “blah” feeling. Not depressed, but not inspired. And sort of overjoyed that I brought those sweatpants back from my stash of belongings in the US. Tried to start running again and only clocked about seven miles for 2012. Progress on the extended paper is slow going. Classes are fine, but I feel a bit underwhelmed by their content in general, and find myself wondering about how a museum studies or art education program would have been in the US or simply just listing ways this class could reform itself to be better.

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The best things in life during the annual new year slump are so small but so lovely and edible most of the time. Snuggling on the big couch here with my chéri and cruising pinterest for much too long. Catching up with NPR and all my podcasts. Staying up until all hours reading a good book for the first time in eons. Consuming tons of delicious loose-leaf teas; turned on to the tea-pot usage again by my mom while we were in the US, I have gotten out our Bodum press pot and go through a pot a day. (Dreaming of a pretty new one like this one though not until something tragic happens to the Bodum, of course.) That new PJ Harvey album seems to be the perfect bookend to my anglophile period-piece TV series phase I went through in Lyon. The discovery of Pomponnettes at a bakery here in Toulouse also shook my slow-moving earth. A super airy light brioche that looks like a hamburger bun topped with giant sugar crystals and flew down from heaven on wings. Cooking up some delicious things in the little green pea podded kitchen: aligot, roasted every-vegetable with loads of cumin and lemon, an expensive but organic chicken roasted Zuni-style, and of course many a bowl of warm creamy porridge every morning topped with pecans and maple syrup (that giant bottle from Costco may run out sooner than planned…)

So funny how motivating the atmosphere of new year’s is in the first two weeks or so (resolutions, healthy things all around, two-week cleanses) and then it all just flops into the doldrums of winter and the return of reality. My return to the masters program reveals that it is not so inspiring as real work in my field is but I just need to finish. Beginning with this dossier whose open-ended extension I’m abusing a bit, maybe. It will get done, but just feeling sluggish. And then, I know that once I get into it, the to-do list will get longer and longer. Thesis research and writing will commence and life will slip quickly from February to June in no time. Hoping to squeeze a trip to Prague and Austria in there somewhere and have already gotten a new procrastination project lined-up for when thesis writing is just too much: researching a trip up and down the west-coast…

OK momentum, do your thang…

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3 thoughts on “slow, awaiting momentum

  1. Kelli says:

    I totally know what you mean about the “uninspired” January doldrums. And tea is massively being consumed here in MN too. (I got a cute green teapot for x-mas!) Books are the thing keeping me energized (I devoured “Freedom” and quickly bought more Franzen.) My current gem-of-a-read is “1Q84″–highly recommend!!

    Miss you!!! Xx x

    • Ah! I totally went to the library here and got more Frazen too, but they don’t have the CORRECTIONS in English (whyyyy???) and I’m in the middle of “Just Kids” by Patti Smith. I’ve heard great things about 1Q84 – but I think I’m waiting for the paperback.. miss you too! Bisous!

  2. Thanks for writing – I always love to read it!

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