May 10, 2008


My sister-in-law Marie (above with her son Jules) has been a cherished friend in Paris. I wrote about her early on, but I haven't chronicled the importance of her amity to me. I often ride my bike from our apartment in the 9th arrondissement (in the north central part of the city) to her apartment south of Paris in Montrouge (just outside the city boundaries). It is a 40-minute ride; flying by striking monuments: Opera Garnier, through the courtyard of the Louvre, over the Pont du Carrousel (a bridge across the Seine) and then through Paris' picturesque 6th arrondissement on Blvd. Raspail southward. When I climb the three flights of stairs to her apartment, she is there waiting for me, door open, smiling with Jules and Louise. She makes me a big bowl of tea in the afternoon (french women mainly drink their afternoon tea from bowls) and we sit and confer with and digest each other and our lives expansively. Her regard is intense; she listens closely - even when I can't produce the words to say what I mean. We know each other intimately, despite where I sit looking at her and where she starts from – and all the levels therein.

Then there is my lovely father-in-law, to whom Xavier finally bestowed the highly anticipated gift this weekend (for his 60th birthday). He is shown here blowing bubbles, because he is lovely in that sense - totally unassuming and extremely charming, as you can see. He was knocked mute when Xavier gave him the keys to the car. A grand, very rare moment between father and son.

And then we have our petite americaine, Marguerite, in her Yankees baseball cap. Xavier is a lot of things - whatever is good or bad in a person - speed it up by 200% and you've got him. But he is heavenly as a dad. As the french would say, a fond (100%). Wholly. He is a pretty nice guy to me also.


Julie said...

I like these portraits and characterizations. I am impressed with how your pictures almost do justice to your words.

Natalie Bruzon said...

I just love this blog so much and share it with all my France-loving friends! I just discovered this a few weeks ago so I'm going back and reading all the old posts... <3

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