As the French would say “c’est la course.” (It’s busy. Or literally, it’s a race.) The past two weeks have been a blur of quizzes, homework and fly by the seat of my pants lesson plans. Despite my recent lack of communication, I have been mentally logging all the every-day beauty I saw, storing away the moments for the post percolating in my head. Hence the “ahhhh” title. The time to write has come.
Some days off campus last weekend included a chunk of me-time. In a perfect world, it should have been devoted to schoolwork; however, I am incapable of producing anything of note when exhausted. So rather than typing out work destined to be re-done, I did what I do any time a spare moment presents itself: pop in Amelie. I know this movie as well as I knew Mary Poppins as a five year old, yet still, each time I am glued to the screen, faithfully waiting to see if Amelie will find the courage this time to talk to Nino. Or if l’Homme de verre will leave his apartment. Or if the illusive Bredoteau will discover his treasure. Thank you, Jean Pierre Jeunet, for providing this homage to artsdevivre in its purest form.
In case anyone is unfamiliar with this cult film, Amelie is about a lonely young woman who finds herself performing, for wont of a better expression, random acts of (anonymous) kindness and senseless beauty. She returns a middle-aged man his childhood treasure box. She guides a blind man through the winding streets of Montmartre. She creates love letters for a devastated widow. Of course, the caveat is that Amelie finds herself incapable of creating this beauty in her own life, in spite a love from afar type situation. If you have yet to experience this on-screen whimsy and beauty (produced in 2001), please please please do so immediately. You will not regret it.
“En revanche, elle cultive un goût particulier pour les tous petits plaisirs. Plonger la main au plus profond d’un sac de grains. Briser la croûte des crèmes brûlées avec la pointe de la petite cuillère. Et faire des ricochets. Sur le Canal saint martin.”
The above quote is a description of the every-day pleasures Amelie enjoys: plunging her hand into a sack of grains, cracking crème brûlée with the tip of her spoon, skipping rocks on Paris’s Canal St. Martin. Following is a list of the “tous petits plaisirs” (small pleasures) I have been mentally cataloging the past couple weeks:
-My campus as I walk to my classroom every morning. I love the mist lifting off the green hills, the dew on the grass and the quiet before the storm of the day.
-Laughing to the point of tears with friends over old memories. Social time (like everything else) means so much more when it is not taken for granted. Two weekends out of three on duty means I am no longer guilty of this!
-Cell phone reception. You don’t have to read but so many posts on here to know exactly what I am talking about.
-A beautiful, old forest-green El camino complete with creamy-white top cruising down interstate 95. For just that second, I was fooled into believing I lived in 1969 rather than 2009.
-Unexpected gastronomic surprises, like homemade tapioca pudding with a layer of cinnamon sprinkled on top.
-Blaring the music to full volume, putting down the windows and doing my best Zooey Deschanel/Mick Jagger/Fleet Foxes/Carla Bruni impression. So liberating.
And guess what? That picture of the beautiful field of white and pink flowers finally came through from my phone to my email. Behold:
Please do not hold my lack of photographic prowess against me. Humor me and try to look closely enough to spy the little pink guys peeping up among the white ones. So there you have it. Despite almost three weeks of back-to-school mayhem, I was still surrounded by beauty every day. Pas mal pour un début.