Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Mountain: Envoi

There was one more thing I wanted to add yesterday, but for some reason, once I put up that last picture, I couldn't type any more copy underneath it.

One of the glories of this place is the American Library of Montpellier. In some ways, it's like a library: it has the entire Library of America series, which means I get to read all those old Philip Roth books. In other ways, it's like a jumble sale, with a very weird selection of titles, 99% of which are either donated or cast off from the American Library of Paris.

Anyway, recently, I found a nice biography of the Dutch-American painter Willem de Kooning, and I took it home. Not that I'm such a de Kooning fan, but I'm very interested in the milieu he inhabited, and the only other member of it I'd read about was Jackson Pollock, whose story was pretty predictable.

Each of the chapters was introduced with a de Kooning quote, including a nice one about there being no harm in re-inventing the harpsichord. But the one that grabbed me, the one that I wanted to turn into a t-shirt, was this one:


And that, if anything, is the ending of yesterday's post. Moving down here, I've had a resurgence of energy. As someone else who recently moved to France said, "I don't know why, but I wake up happy." When I work, the work I do is very good, if I may say so myself. I'm actually proud of a lot of the stuff I've done, even if that hasn't been reflected in what I've gotten paid.

I'm not poor. I'm surrounded by riches. I'm just short on funds. When that ends, I can hardly imagine what will be possible.


  1. Check around the library for:

    Joseph Roth's 2 books:

    "Report from a Parisian Paridise"


    "What I Saw: Report from Berlin"

    I'm sure they will appeal your worldview

  2. Philip, not Joseph. I had enough of Joseph in Berlin, thanks.

  3. What we used to say (back in the day) is that poor is a state of mind, and broke is a state of wallet. This goes far in explaining how poor people who win the lottery end up poor again, and how broke people can end up living quite fabulous lives . . . and yeah I belong to that second group. Granted, my idea of fabulous doesn't extend much beyond good food, good friends, and good music . . . oh and that city you hate. In any case, it's really nice to read this post after yesterday's post.

  4. I left a job that was killing me at the end of May, moved out of my apartment into a room in someone else's house and have been scraping it together, but I've never been happier. Funny how things work out.


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