life lately: cruel January

January is the cruelest month. In every place I’ve ever lived, even the South of France, it is bleak. It is the color gray. It is lassitude and chapped hands, seasonal depression and teeth-chattering chill. I wish we could skip it altogether. In France we are currently under a strict 6 pm curfew. This would feel utterly strange if there was anywhere to go, anything … Continue reading life lately: cruel January

balcony, equality, fraternity

In France, we’ve been observing le confinement for over five weeks. The first few days felt pre-apocalyptic in their uncertainty, with raided stores and raging rumors. We added a few bags of potatoes and the ubiquitous dried beans to our already well-stocked pantry. Uneasy, we wondered if we needed more–crates of bottled water, a tank full of gas.  The whiff of survivalism seems silly now. Those … Continue reading balcony, equality, fraternity

the last garden in france

Today’s post is a little different. I’m sharing the essay I wrote for a World Nomads travel writing contest (effectively the contest of my dreams). The prize includes a fully-funded trip to Argentina and a workshop with NYT contributor Tim Neville. I wrote on the theme “Making a local connection.” I never imagined gardening could produce such passion, fervor, and urgency. Then I moved to … Continue reading the last garden in france

stranger things: the hitchhiker’s guide to the auvergne

“The fact that we call them and know them only by first name, points to the strange intimacy of road tripping with strangers.

Do you sit in the front or the back? Should you sleep or maintain polite conversation? How likely is it that you and your conducteur will be belting out show tunes and exchanging emails by the end of the ride?” Continue reading stranger things: the hitchhiker’s guide to the auvergne