18 days to go

Hey there,

It’s hard to believe that we are in August already. It’s hard to believe that my dreams and goals since 2010 of being a “true Parisian” are less than a month away from coming true. It’s truly flying towards me and yet it hardly seems real. All those years of stocking up on Paris literature, of sitting, waiting, wishing that I could call Paris home, are mere moments from happening. I’m not going there to vacation, this time. I’m going there to live. I’m going there to follow my heart, my soul-calling, and we will see where life takes me from there. One day at a time!

It’s also hard to believe that the house I called home for five years, the first home I bought on my own, is just ten days away from closing and belonging to a new couple. I don’t feel attachments to places (other than Paris, obviously) so I’m ready to let this one go. It’s time to close that chapter. And I am so done with packing; I didn’t realize how much stuff I’ve amassed over the years.

In spirituality news: I had a really interesting situation the other day. I was using voice-to-text to type a message to a friend and I said a paragraph of information. None of what I said popped up on the screen, only the word ‘ROCAMADOUR’ appeared. I sent this to my friend saying, “Look what voice-to-text writes instead of the actual sentences I spoke to you. What the hell is a rocamadour, anyway!?” So, I googled it. And this is what came up: “Rocamadour is a small clifftop village in south-central France. ” 

Okay, okay, whoa, whoa, whoa — what?! Now, if you know me well enough, you know that, as I’ve mentioned before, I’m a huge hippie who is highly intuitive and is in-tune to my Spirit Guides and angels (you don’t have to believe in it, it’s real, dudes). Sometimes, they find interesting ways of communicating to me, and I 100% believe this is one of those moments. This is not a word I had ever heard before, not a place that I ever knew about, and not a word I would have spoken. Yet, here it was, appearing on my screen, and in France, where I am headed, no less!

Apart from being one of the top destinations in France for religious pilgrimages, it’s also said that, “Amongst all the villages to visit in the Dordogne Valley, Rocamadour is said to be a place where miracles happen…” Now, Rocamadour is a direct train ride from Paris and at nearly 6hours in length and only 20Euros, it would have to be a weekend trip for me, but again, I don’t take signs lightly and I am already with the intent of heading over there.

Now, the thing about me is that my Guides often use pressure on certain parts of my body (chakra locations, usually) as a way to communicate to me. As I write this post, my guides are putting immense pressure on my third eye chakra (the pressure is so intense, it’s like a migraine without the pain). The pressure got extensive as I read this information about the location: “Rocamadour has attracted visitors for its setting in a gorge above a tributary of the River Dordogne, and especially for its historical monuments and its sanctuary of the Blessed Virgin Mary, which for centuries has attracted pilgrims from many countries, among them kings, bishops, and nobles.” — Last time I went to see my medium, she accessed some past life information for me and said I was a writer for kings, bishops, and nobles in France.

The thought of going to this location and perhaps finding that it resonates with me is overwhelmingly exciting. And of course, being able to see the sanctuary of the Blessed Virgin Mary is also a gift. This town also houses a, “small twelfth-century church of Saint-Michel” – my homeboy, Archangel Michael!!

Anyway, as the countdown to home closure is on, I’ve also made a schedule for finishing up every room in the house. Today, it begins with the two bedrooms upstairs being completed. Let me tell you, the next ten days are going to be crazy. I better get to it!

I hope to be writing in here more in the near future, so stay tuned. (How do you like the website changes, by the by? Let me know in the comments!)

xo
C

 

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Short Story #1 – The Tower & What Followed

Lightning.

Desolation.

Fire.

Foundations crumbling.

The Tower.

 

It all began when I flipped that damn card. How obvious. Did I expect any other? But I would continue to deny it. And that’s the day he began to grow on me.

 

I woke up that morning and he was on my shoulder, my left side, only at this point he wasn’t a he yet. He was a thing. And he was curious. And ugly. And about the size of a grapefruit but shaped like a camel. And he was black and grey. His colour projecting a small cloud over me. And he seemed to be seamless with my skin and yet he was entirely separate. He was horrifying.

 

He was silent. But he made his presence known. And I hated him. And I couldn’t shake him off of me. I tried to hide him under baggy sweaters but in mere moments, it was as if the fabric dissolved and he was sitting there for all to see. I panicked at first, tearing off my clothes only to discover they were unscathed. And then I tried layers but the same thing happened. Everyone would see him. There was nothing I could do.

 

Only people didn’t seem to acknowledge him. He was there in plain sight for all to judge and yet, despite scanning pupils that seemed to imply glances of discomfort, no one said a word. Despite my attempts to hide him, I wanted people to call him out so I knew I wasn’t crazy. But no one said a word.

 

Until one day, he did.

 

Who are you?

 

Said to me in the depths of night, as if I was the intruder in his life and he wasn’t the foreigner in mine. Disgusted, irritated, angry, and in shock, I shouted back at him. You are not welcome! You know me, you chose me, and you do not belong here! He shook on me and I got an inkling that he was laughing. As he shuddered, he grew in size, covering both my shoulders now. He spoke: You have chosen me. His weight increased. He was now not only an eyesore but a heavy load to bear. I crumpled a little under his weight before holding myself high, again. His colour intensified and the cloud over me grew larger.

 

I went back to sleep and prayed that in the morning that he would be gone.

 

But I awoke and he was there. Inflated, his colour and subsequent shadow deepened further, and his weight even worse to carry. Getting out of bed was difficult for me, so I lay there for an hour or so and contemplated how to escape my day, instead. There’s no point moping and playing the victim. You chose me. I huffed at the audacity of his comments and rolled myself out of bed.

 

I carried him throughout the day and the weight of him gave me severe anxiety.  It was difficult to breathe. It was difficult to eat. It was difficult to engage in conversation without giving hints at his existence and people shrugging off the topic from their own desire to avoid discomfort. He stayed with me and he plagued me. And as he ate away at me, I could no longer deny that I did choose him.

 

But eliminating him would isolate me. Eliminating him would have me feeling alone. Cutting myself free of his existence would mean I’d have to start over, I’d have to remember life before he began to grow on me. And in some strange way, I felt etherically attached to him. And even though I knew what to do, I still chose him. I still carried his weight. I still allowed his monstrous appearance to be a part of me and my life. I still allowed him to give me the endless discomfort that his mere existence plagued me with. He was winning. I let him live on me even longer.

 

But how could he win when I was the one to flip that card? I asked the question: does that not make me the seer? Does that not make me the wiser one in this non-consensual relationship? You see but you deny. You know but you ignore. You cast your die then expect a different roll.

 

Riddles. Now he plagues me with riddles. Games that I simply have no time for. Dramatics that take up moments of my life that should be spent dreaming, loving carelessly, relishing in happiness. And yet I am spending each waking moment with him, instead. Why?

 

So I tried to get him to go.

 

My first attempt was for me to leave:

I need to leave.
Why?
Because I said so.
You don’t mean it. You are nothing without me.
I am nothing without you.
So you will stay.

I will stay.

 

My second attempt I told him to leave:
This is not what I signed up for. This is the end.
Is it?
Yes.
You don’t sound convinced.
Yes, I am. Goodbye. Get out of here.
Okay. I’m going to hurt myself, though. It will hurt you, as well.
I can’t handle that. I’m here for you. What is it?
So I will stay?
You can stay.

 

My third attempt required a larger divide:
Enough is enough. Manipulation will not have me this time.
You don’t mean that.
I do
You don’t.
I do.
Walk with me.
You are not welcome to be a part of me, anymore.
I can convince you otherwise.
This is the end.
Can I stay?
This is the end.
This is the end?
This is the end. Goodbye.

 

And he was gone. Just like that, he was gone. The shadow he covered me with, the strength it took to get out of bed when he was weighing me down, the discomfort I felt with his existence around others, the way he seemed to permeate every moment, every piece of my life, gone. He was gone.

 

And I didn’t feel alone. And I didn’t feel isolated. And I didn’t feel as though I was starting over; I felt like I was picking up where I left off before he appeared. And I felt free. And even though I would never be able to forget his existence, I was okay with that. It was a reminder to me, an education in making sure he did not appear again, not as he once did.

 

I should have known better are words not worth lamenting. I carried him longer than I should have, I know this, and I learned. I grew. And my confidence in my intuition did, as well.

 

Always trust The Tower.

Afterall, I did ask the question and I did flip the card.

Goodbye Hamilton, Bonjour Paris

Hello there,

Well, a lot has happened this week. And with a lot happening, a lot of chaos and stress usually follows but I’ll save those woes for another post. Let me get you into the loop:

I signed the papers to put my house on the market. My house should be on the market by April 6th. My very first home is going up for my very first sale. Five years have flown by (and a lot of crap has piled up) and now it’s time to let go. I don’t have a large attachment to this house so I’m happy for whatever family starts their own memories within it’s walls.

I also got approved for an apartment, signed my lease papers, and now have a home for 3.5 months for me and Amelia come August 24th. Yes – I have an apartment. Yes – I will be LIVING in Paris. Dreams that I spoke about when I first wrote this blog are becoming a REALITY. I AM GOING TO BE A PARISIAN. A REAL PARISIENNE.

This is insane. It hardly seems real and then I get overwhelmed when it suddenly hits and I FEEL IT. I feel it. I truly feel the reality of it all.

I just can’t believe it. But I can! This is insane. Excuse me, I’m having difficulty processing this as I write this post.

Look at it! My own apartment! IN PARIS! AN APARTMENT. IN. PARIS. I have a lovely little grocery store down the street! Look at my neighbourhood (Marais)! Look at what I will call home for 3.5 months! Maybe more! Who knows! This is so thrilling!

If this is how I’m feeling when it hasn’t hit me yet, how will I be feeling when it does??!

xo

C

One Year – A Reflection

It’s been a year without you.

It doesn’t seem real. When you’re busy, the time flies. When you’re busy, the mind wanders. When you’re busy, in a blink, it’s been 365 days since you left this earth.

A lot has changed since you’ve been gone. I won’t go on about it because I know you’ve seen it all. I know this. I believe it with every fiber of my being.

I went to a medium and you were there.
You told me: stop crying over me, I’m happy, be happy, I need you to be happy. I listened (thank you).
You told me: you were dancing again, and I should dance too. I listened (thank you).
You told me: stop kissing your ring at 4pm every day, live, it’s okay to live. I listened (thank you).
You told me: I’m proud of you, congratulations, you’re so strong, so bold, so wonderful. I listened (thank you).
You told me: holding onto grief doesn’t allow anyone to move forward, so it’s time to smile. I listened (thank you).
You told me: love lives on, and you’re constantly present, giving your love to me, so I just need to stop and feel it when I’m feeling lonely. I listened (thank you).
You told me: you love these moments we spend together, but I don’t need to go to a medium to experience it, I just need to feel it in my heart and our moment is shared. I listened (thank you).

I’m so much better than I was a year ago. Yes, I’d be so much better if I got to spend another Christmas with you, if I got to hear another, “Happy Birthday” from you, if I got to see you even one more time (even once!). But I have come to terms with your passing, and I owe that to you. I owe that to your love. Because your love continues to live on: in me, in my father, in my mother, in my brother, in my extended family, in my partner, in my friends. Your love is everywhere. You are all around.

I see a moth or butterfly and think it’s you saying, “Hello”. I hear a bird’s call and feel it’s you saying, “Hello”. I have a stranger smile at me, and I feel it’s you saying, “Hello”. I see the sun shine through the clouds and feel it’s you saying, “Hello”. You are everywhere, you are all around me, and so much reminds me of you. You are alive, in a new way.

I don’t get sad when I think about you anymore. But my heart swells and I feel your love fill me up. I am so thankful I got to know you, to love you, to learn from you, I’m so thankful to be your grand-daughter.

I can’t believe it’s been a year. But thank you for always being here, in your new way.

I love you, Nonna Nives.

Book Review #9 – Caraval by Stephanie Garber

Hey there,

First and foremost: apologies for the silence on here. I always believe that if you don’t have anything of value to say, don’t bother blogging about it. Ernest Hemingway (the man, the legend, my love) was quoted as saying, “Write what you would want to read,” (or something along those lines), and if a blog post doesn’t interest me enough to read it the whole way through, than I won’t even bother posting it.

Enough with the blabber – on to the book review!

I received an ARC (Advanced Readers Copy) of the book CARAVAL by Stephanie Garber in exchange for an honest review. If you know me at all, you know that providing me with an ARC does not guarantee you a positive review; if I need to be mean about how crud the book is, than I will be.  That being said: this book wasn’t crud at ALL! This book was AWESOME!

I won’t quote the whole Goodreads plot synopsis, but I’ll give you a taste: “Welcome, welcome to Caraval―Stephanie Garber’s sweeping tale of two sisters who escape their ruthless father when they enter the dangerous intrigue of a legendary game.”

First and foremost, this being an ARC, there were numerous editing or spelling issues that I discovered while reading, but because the plot is such an interesting one, it never threw me off of my reading pace. I was too immersed to be distracted by the errors.

This book kept me reading. Each chapter ended in a way that excited me and had me wanting more. Even J overheard a handful of gasps as I read along. Any book that can make my jaw drop or make me GOL (Gasp Out Loud) is definitely on the right track to being a winner, winner chicken dinner. But it’s also a pretty dark book – I wouldn’t recommend it to young teens – and it’s hard not to get a gasp out of a reader when the action happening is so brutal.

The plot and environment description allowed for perfect visualization of the novel. I imagined myself IN Caraval with the characters. There were a few moments of gratuitous and silly description thrown in, here and there (some made me LOL), but otherwise, colours, costume, and buildings all seemed to come out of the page as I read.

The characters were … interesting… That’s the only word I can use. I usually really hated them and yet still cared that nothing horrible would happen to them. Perhaps that is a negative to the novel. I found the characters to be very foolish, annoying at times, irritating, childish. I suppose that was the feel meant to be evoked while they were in the “game” of Caraval, but it still irked me when reading. I just wanted to reach in and shake the characters silly, like, “Get some sense, stupid!”

These foolish personality traits also caused me to kind of hate the ending. It was almost as if the author, having made these characters so stupid throughout, didn’t quite know how to end it in a way that made a lot of sense, and so she amplified the stupidity and insanity by one hundred. The end was just one big mess, then one big fixed mess, then mystery and intrigue to lead into the next book (which, despite these negatives, I will totally read).

I would definitely  recommend this book to readers who enjoy circus-stories, magic-filled stories, books with wonder, mystery and intrigue, fantasy, and for people who are looking for an easy read to get you excited and out of a slump.

Rating: 4/5
Pros: exciting plot, great description and environment, easy read, lots of action
Cons: stupid characters, mediocre ending, some editing errors and gratuitous description