Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Sitting in seven




So I have been living in this space for seven years now. Some of you have been too. Seven years. It's a long span of time but of course it has passed so quickly, the beauty and the jagged all together. My heart is full.

Granted, you might be thinking, "Heather, you are baaaarely keeping this thing going." Et vous avez raison. I am not going to dwell on why, we have already crossed that Bridge of Sighs plenty of times together. But even when I am not actually offering up to you my words and photographs - Look! Look! Look! - I am with you still.

So, it is with that trust, strong like a golden wire, that I have a question for you.

Yesterday, I took the train to Arles to see some art. I miss my little town. So I sat on the banks of the Rhone and felt the 2500 years of history flow through me as the sun caressed my cheek. I climbed the worn stone staircases of what is now the Musee Reattu just as the Knights of Malta did and smiled as the floors creaked reassuringly under my feet. 

And I felt at home.

But then I started to do "the rounds," to visit those that I knew before. Every person to a one handled me so delicately, largely with well-intentioned pity. "How are you, Heather? Really? Comment ça va?" All with the same head tilt of concern. I felt so uncomfortable that I could not tell them that actually, I have a job now and my own apartment or that I am starting to make new friends in a different town. That pity hung heavy between us like a veil.

Because, we are not broken. And as beaten as I have felt during this past year, I was always and am still breathing, grateful. The Beauty of this Life is undeniable.

I am not the person I once was. But none of us are.

So I think that it is time to ask the question that has been brewing in me since the very beginning of January, maybe earlier.

If I am not "Lost" and definitely not "Lost in Arles" then who can I be? Because I don't feel Lost anymore. Struggling yes, often even, but not Lost. Everything, everything was and is completely meant to be.

This means that I no longer feel that the title of this blog fits. It is a hollow definition that is one of my last links to the past, but one that is starting to feel more and more like a chain holding me back from where I want to go.

As I am uncertain as to what that might be, I am turning to you. Community is always what I have celebrated on these anniversaries.

I am officially opening up the Suggestion Box for what new title this space may wear. Please feel free to leave a comment below or to email me at robinsonheather (at) yahoo.com if you prefer.




With much Love and Gratitude to you all,
Heather







48 comments:

  1. How about the title of your previous post? Waltzing Solo? I thought that a beautiful header for that post and it does seem to suit you now. You are waltzing, don't we all from time to time, and you are solo, aren't we all from time to time, even if we are with. Just a thought.

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  2. I think of you as a seeker. A seeker of beauty, of truth, of connections, of the unknown.
    La chercheuse? It has a kind of academic sense in French which is not out of place.
    Something about finding yourself in France? As with "Mastering the Art of French Cooking," use of the continuous participle gives that always-a-work-in-progress vibe.

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  3. I do not have a suggestion, I just stopped by to say hello! But I love both suggestions above!

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  4. Hmmm - I really have my thinking cap on for this one! How about Found in France? Also: Lost and Found? I like this one as it speaks to the ups and downs of like, the impermanence, and also it doesn't pin you down to a location (should you ever want to change locations!). Plus it can apply to learning and losing - all that is a part of life. I would also suggest looking back through all your (bajillion?) post titles! Just on the right side of the screen as I'm typing this I see "Unfolding the Bloom" - wowza; great one!! Also, you have so many favorite authors and influences - I wonder if you can find the title in something/someone that inspires you? (from a favorite book, author, piece of writing). At first I didn't want the name to change, but now I'm a little interested in this and see how the old title might feel constricting and like it doesn't fit! I'll keep my thinking cap on...!

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    1. Lost and Found was my first thought, too!

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  5. I too have been thinking about the title of your blog for some time! Time for a change, to go with all of your other changes. The most obvious one is "Not lost in Arles" but that doesn't say it all. It does however make you still easy to find, for your many fans and followers. Or Found in Arles even, as it is by and through Arles that you have found the new you. No matter what you name it, just make sure to keep doing it. Being Lost is no longer right for you, having found so much over the last year or so. Bravo.
    bonnie

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  6. I have been following your blog for years but don't do a lot of commenting. Your struggle was so heartfelt and real. I am relieved to see you taking strides. It takes time to heal and reflect and reinvent oneself.

    Changing titles is needed. You're not the same and you don't live in Arles and as you found out, it's hard to go back. Face forward, move ahead. You've made great strides. How about Strides in France. Or Strides Abroad. or just Strides. It's all about moving forward. But not away from. Just forward. Best of luck, write when you can, I love reading your posts.

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  7. I like as your blog title - "Blooms across the purple heather,"

    from the Scottish folk song Wild Mountain Thyme."

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  8. I like the idea of using your beautiful name in a new blog title....something like Heather in Provence (in contrast to the usual lavender) but I'm guessing you won't want to use your name, and, anyway, I guess there are a hundred other blogs called Somebody in Provence.

    I'll think on it. I will write soon. My sincere apologies for having not done so for a while. Love to you, dear Heather.

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    1. Hi Katherine!
      well, there’s Hudson in Provence… which Heather knows well about.

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  9. SO many wonderful suggestions here Heather...I will be thinking on this one. For now ‘Walk with me...’ and you can fill in the latter part. I like the idea of looking to your past blog post titles...play the word game, try a bit of free writing. Will come back with more. Big wave from Sydney! xx

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  10. Heather Robinson Photography, so that your work can be found.
    photographie d’histoire
    la conteur visuel

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  11. Oh, Dear Old Heather.......you're not supposed to write things and make the boys cry at 5:16 in the afternoon, way over herein North Carolina, but your heart-strikingly/obviously sincere posting just did so.

    I, as you know, have also finally "come through" (or at least I thought, until last week, that I had "come through")a divorce and all the cataclysmic upheavals that attended it........and now I find that my jumping-off spot is likely to be merely the first jumping-off spot. It's terribly difficult to digest, so to speak......and there are plenty of nights in the past week when I get in the bed with the dogs, let them curl up around me me, and think "Oh God...just when I thought we were finally safe and sound...."....and I'm glad that they don't understand English/talking.

    It just doesn't end, does it?

    That said? you post was very helpful to me just now. Here's my gift to you......take a title that I stole (years ago, for my second gallery show) from Muriel Spark (one of my favorite novelists). She stole it from elsewhere (it happens to be criminal offense in England).

    Call your blog "Loitering With Intent: Pictures from One Woman's Expatriate Life".

    your photographs are as fine and evocative as your writings. you create a complete picture for your readers. I know that you often feel "lost".....but I've rarely read someone's writings and thought "Oh....she's definitely going somewhere....she's just not there yet....".

    I do wish you were simply simply at my kitchen table tonight, so that we could toss around ideas.......I'd ask you to play around with the words "wonder" and "wander".

    That said (and you know how fond I am of you and your work)?....you could always try "FREE Hot Sexy NOW FOR YOU TONIGHT! ASIAN TWINS Teenage Boy Girls BOY GIRL Love Sexy TWIN-GIRLS Action NAKED S&M HILARY CLINTON lesbian-three-way HOT action Breasts Penis Enhancement Gay Man MASSIVE enlargement Juicy sex GAY thrills NOT AVAILABLE IN STORES plus FREE SEXY TIME VIDEOS FREE FREE FREE CREDIT CARDS ACCEPTED AND PAYPAL!!!!"

    I promise you....it'll get you lots of hits, if nothing else (beyond, perhaps, a visit from Interpol...particularly if you add a paypal button/icon).

    Otherwise, I'd go for "Loitering With Intent".....and I mean that as a gift to you....and you know how deeply I admire your work.

    sincerely,

    David Terry
    Hillsborough, NC

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  12. Regarding "I have a job now:" has the contract been extended or has it turned into employment?

    Regarding the title of this blog: I've always wondered what "Lost in France" meant. While I like all of the above suggestions for a new title, how about, in line with Taste of France and Robin, "Found in France" or "Exploring in France?"

    With continuing happiness for you and inspiration by you, Leslie

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  13. I agree; time for a change of title. I really liked several of the suggestions made and others not - nothing too literal or limiting. But do I have the perfect one? Not so wise. Suspect you'll think of several, try them in different fonts and such and then one morning at 3:00 am, voila, it will come to you. bonne chance.

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  14. I too will be thinking about this. I actually see you as an explorer, a visual wordsmith, and one that might just end up in Venezia for an extended stay, life, and maybe back to Provence, or maybe Malta, or Greece, etc - so, for that reason, I might want something which limits you only to France. Although we all love France, we love you, your writing and your photography - we will follow you anywhere! Just flashed on part of an old song ...”Let me take you there!”

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  15. Hmmm...I'm going to ponder this a little. Like Judi of Little House, I don't think you should limit your location, and your words and photographs are what brought me back, even if I originally found you because of France. Maybe just your name? Or the title of one of your posts? "It's always the beginning somewhere" is sitting at eye level as I write this....that seems appropriate. I'll be thinking, and cheering you on!

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  16. At first, and before I read the comments, I thought "Found in France" but I agree that you might not wish
    to limit yourself to France. You could go "Sogno di Venezia –– I Dream of Venice". Glad to hear that things are better.

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  17. Yes, a new title is called for here!
    We all need to stay a little lost, a little wild, to stay brave and committed to our real journeys, our authentic life experience. Finding oneself should be an interlude between adventures, so you don't need to counterbalance the 'lost' or replace Arles - this is my opinion of course, there's always different ways to think of things.
    I don't have a new title for you - just think you should go somewhere that calls you and dream, I think that's where the new title will be.
    And Ughhhh to pity!!
    Although it helps to define what you've moved on from, like stepping out of a crusty old chrysalis, and the best thing about being human is that we get more than one chrysalis moment in our lives. xxx

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  18. Well. My first thought was Lost and Found like your sister suggested. But then I wondered why it wouldn’t just be your name? Your name will never limit you and it’s the common thread we have among our different lives! Though expanding on David’s idea, Heather Robinson Gay Twinks Live might be great for SEO or whatever that term is. Hahaha

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  19. Not lost, but are you found? Is one ever found? I see that you have found direction or are at the very least seeking direction. You certainly always find beauty through your lens. I hope these observations help.

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  20. I had a couple of thoughts this morning while in my yoga class .... I think you want to keep the connection to France and are on a journey that continues to hold your readers' interests. "French Journey" is the idea, but perhaps there's a pithier, more creative way to say it. I'm excited to learn what your new title will be.

    And these photos..... again, looking for some brilliant new artwork for my new house!

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  21. That's a tough one. I wouldn't know what to suggest, except something rather mundane like Postcards from Provence. Hope France is treating you kindly. Have been having some blog issues myself - but more about that some other time.

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  22. Thats a tough question...
    i like the idea of "blooming anew...in Provence" but it needs to come from your heart and feel "right"
    Good luck!

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  23. Keep your present name....I am afraid I will lose you! We are all lost at times, I like the progress that you are showing and the chance we all have to grow and change.

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  24. Sounds like you've been both 'lost' and 'found' in Arles. . .why not just add that to the title? I am thinking in terms of search engines now, and you might not want to go cold turkey with a whole new title as some readers may be looking for you and only remember the 'lost' part.

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  25. Dearest Heather, I agree that a new name is in order. Excellent swordsmith that you are, I am certain that you will find the ideal name for here & now. Thank you for shining your light.

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  26. Open to Beauty... Unfolding Life... You are such a glorious writer (thank you!) that you could almost take a portion of any of your sentences in recent postings. Whatever you chose, I'll continue to read and ponder. Thank you so much for that.

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  27. As I read and reread this beautiful post ... comme toujours ... Your words stayed with me "Because, we are not broken." And you, it is so obvious, are unbroken. <3

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  28. I have no suggestion regarding the name. However, I do think the time right to salute your courage, your tenacity, resilience, and wonderful creative spirit. The most difficult light to shine is that which dwells within us. Sharing our personal illuminations through written word is among the most courageous acts one can perform. I salute you for baring yourself, giving yourself, opening your personal space to others. Whatever moniker your decide upon, that bravely shined light will illuminate the path for like minded souls to your page. Bravo !

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  29. Some time ago you posted the audio of yourself reciting a poem. I was amazed and have never forgotten the strength in your spoken voice. As opposed to the sensitivity of voice I hear in your writing. Perhaps you might reflect on this strength of voice when considering a new name for the blog. Because to me you have never been lost at all. Continuing to send you love,

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  30. How about "My Road to There" or Heather's Road to There".

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  31. Stumbled onto your blog not long ago and read your past posts. Your heart will tell you your new name but suggestions: "My French Chapter" or "Blooming in France"...

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  32. Hmmm, thought I'd posted a comment but likely did my usual thing of forgetting to Send. Then David Terry's comment totally cracked me up. SEO terms, indeed.
    Something like Found in Arles, or even Found in France. That could cover a lot of bases.
    Whatever it is, you're doing it right, however messy and untidy it may look. You are shining through, strong and complete.

    and p.s. I haven't forgotten that you discovered that wonderful espadrille shop in Arles (?) and that we should go there one day. Saving my pennies.

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  33. Resounding YES to a name change! Finding Heather has a nice ring and could follow you anywhere!
    Mwahs, T xx

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  34. MasteringHeather, HeathersBreadth or heatherPutsOnHerBigGirlPanties--ok...maybe that one is too risky

    We are all on this messy journey of life, seeking connections.
    You have the ability to put into words and pictures feelings that reach our souls-a treasured talent.

    Change the name-nothing ever stands still....and we only catch up with ourselves in fleeting moments.
    Stay our fleeting moment.
    Lora

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  35. How about Lost and Found in Translation.
    Have been following your Blog for a couple of years, Heather. Like you, I arrived in France as a young adult from Canada and have been here for 47 years- 40 in Provence. Things do tend to turn out. There is such a need for your type of creativity here in France.
    wishing you all the best.
    lynn in gordes

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  36. The tranquility of a new found place and starting a new phase in life are wonderful and should warm a heart.

    I have really no suggestion for a title but: After Seven or After Seven, etc…

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  37. The tranquility of a new found place and starting a new phase in life are wonderful and should warm a heart.

    I have really no suggestion for a title but: After Seven or After Seven, etc…

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  38. Arles is a beautiful sweet place, and part of your history, but I personally don't think you need it anymore.
    Here I Am France.....sounds good to me.

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  39. rêvasser en Arles, daydreaming in provence, finding tranquility in Arles.....you get the idea....finding peace

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  40. You are crossing another bridge. I don't know... your photographs are captivating, but I really enjoy your writing the most. I was thinking about objet d'art and objet trouvé when I read your post and the other comments, but I can't come up with a catchy new name. Heather, lost and found in Provence.... Looking forward to finding out where you take this next.

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