Wednesday, November 18, 2009
This is the walk from the residence on the Place Lisnard to my studio. It is as narrow and even steeper than it looks. Each day, usually several times a day, I walk up or down this street wondering what is going on behind the doors. I rarely see anyone going in or out with the door open wide enough to see inside. And the doors, themselves, give very little clue. Some seem to have been there since the town was built in the 1500s. Others have a whiff of recent renovation. There is no attempt to keep to any standard or style. They’re pretty swell.
I’m feeling more and more a part of my neighborhood. I see people I have spoken to in the tabac and we nod in recognition. The other day I was at the Huit à Huit, a small grocery store nearby that advertises its hours of operation, eight to eight, in its name. I was ten cents short of having exact change and the young man who is always at the cashier’s counter said I could give it to him the next time I was in. It was a small thing that made me feel not like a stranger or a tourist, but like a neighbor. I smiled all the way home.
The studio feels more familiar, too. Today was a good day. I don’t know why that happens, why some days it works and some days it doesn’t. Part of it is having begun. No, not just begun but actually having gotten on with it. It goes back to trusting the process. Having done A tells you what B might be. And then C. And by the time you get to E or F, you’re on your way. You may get to M and not like where you are, but you know how you got there, and you can backtrack or start over or whatever it takes. But at least you are moving. That’s the trick.
All of us had a good day. Sally went off on her first solo bus excursion, seeing the sights in Antibes. Lucie spent the afternoon walking and writing and looking for the sun. Mikang took her work to the kiln room, ready for tomorrow’s firing, and must have felt great satisfaction with what she had made. And I walked to and from my studio looking at the sights on each side and below my feet all the way up and back. And in the studio, I made it to at least Q.