The weekend! The weekend. It began in the Alps (or, the pre-Alps, I think) (I think an excellent weekend should try to begin there) in Chartreuse, where I went snowshoeing for the first time. Merci les Forges! We were around 30, I think, and spent three hours traipsing around the mountains. Snowshoeing is a soft rhythmic powdery thing and it felt like waking up after and wrapping a blanket tightly around you, feeling snug- though perhaps that’s my three pairs of socks talking.
Spending more time alone than I’ve spent in longer than I can remember, I’ve gotten used to different sorts of silence, whether it’s mental or physical: external, internal. There in the mountains I found that perfect kind of serenity that I missed and forgot about missing so much- where things are snow-muffled and white and dangerous and quiet and I’m falling into a rhythm of swish-swishing that came after I overcame a few seconds of awkward snowshoe-fumbling.
It felt nice to breathe in something other than city air again. In the midst of the new-home excitement, I forgot to expect missing big snow and tall mountains.
And of course, I was lucky enough to try two new things: one called une tartiflette,
and then le boudin (noir). I wasn’t allowed to know what was in the boudin before I tried it, and I was therefore unsurprised to learn that it’s mostly blood, cream, and intestine. Vegetarianism was never anything I truly identified with, after all.
I’m grateful to have people so close by who are so kind to take me on adventures like these. Though the longer I’m here, the more I wish that I hadn’t had any expectations about coming to a new place and learning- or continuing to learn – a language. What a process! For me, it has not happened just naturally. I think it would be possible to simply understand a language like that, to reach a point where you comprehend most things and are quick with a grammatically correct response- but is that really knowing a language? I am not thrilled with passive learning and now that I’ve gotten my bearings, I’m taking myself back to school although without obligatory homework here I certainly don’t have to. I have re-discovered how much I love language: writing, grammar, semantics, phonetics – and now I am living somewhere where I have the choice to delve into these things. Yes, I could continue on without truly understanding, by listening and repeating alone. But I’m choosing to work for this language because I love it and it would be a horrible miss not to do so. It sounds dramatic! But it’s a revelation, and that’s a dramatic concept to begin with.
it is of course worth mentioning that the propensity for trying new food runs in the family. Thank you for eating that gluten-free pizza, kiddos.