Change and Reminiscences

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Photo Credit: MorgueFiles
Sydney Opera House

I find that I am often late to the bar.
Too late for Mr. Linky, to late to join in the fray.

Last week I read the most wonderful of sentences,
it was a quote, by Jacqueline Kennedy.

She spoke of being odd man out wherever she went.
She was the oddball, never really accepted.

Her words thrilled me. I read them over and pondered.
She was just like me; I knew exactly how she felt.

So will you think it odd of me to share a life lived long ago?
And remember … this is Claudia’s doing.

Not to beleaguer the point but Claudia has written a marvelous poem of Paris
within which I reminisced.

I love Paris. In this lifetime I have been there twice.
But that first visit, its poignancy was just too much.

For so long I had longed to go back.
That longing coming from another lifetime lived so long ago.

I am particularly partial to the early twentieth century.
I can recall so many friends from that time. It is so real that it is like yesterday.

I have so many feelings that come to me when I think about my life during that time.
It is so real.

I wanted to sit next to Hemingway at the bar in the Ritz as we had done so long ago.
I couldn’t wait to meet up again with so many old friends. I would visit Sylvia Beach at Shakespeare and Company.

You do know don’t you that she sold nothing but books printed in English. However her great love,
Adrienne Monnier sold books printed only in French.

They were such a team. I loved visiting them.
Sylvia always invited me in for tea, this meant meeting new and exciting authors. I met Joyce. What a strange duck.

My library is currently filled with the biographies and autobiographies of those friends. I have always kept them around me.
Nathalie Clifford Barney threw the wildest of parties. Romaine in the background quiet, Gertrude and Alice the center of attention.

It bothered me, the rift between Hemingway and Gertrude for they had been such very good friends.
But here I go reminiscing again. Thinking about lives past, missing old friends.

On our first trip to Paris in ninety-four David said to me: “I expect you to remember places that you visited in the 20’s.
You know, I did not remember a thing. There was not even a sense of familiarity. It was really disappointing.

Now Claudia has reared her head again with a wonderful prompt for the New Year.
What better a prompt than change?

My change for the New Year will be to commit myself to a project.
I need to do something with my mother’s WWII scrapbooks.

I will place each photo and each piece of paper into an archival sleeve
and I will catalogue all that is contained there in.

I will not however give up poetry. It is too close to my soul.
And yes, I will write more memoire. I will write.

Though this is not a change, I will express much gratitude for the life that I live.
So saying; Happy New Year to all, Happy Changes. You will do it, I know. It will be splendid.

You will find us over at dVerse Poetry Pub in Changes and Turns

45 thoughts on “Change and Reminiscences

  1. Is this why I’ve been devouring information about Igor Stravinsky, Modigliani, Cole Porter, and all those who floated in and out of their lives? Even learning about the man who wrote Peter Pan and how it all came about. Am I too craving my place?

    I know I photographed the rich and famous in my last life – in London during the early part of the1900s. Inappropriately, I fell in love with one of the married men. I wrote him a letter confessing my love which he read mockingly and drunkenly at a party – with me there. (I wrote the story, researching dates, movement, etc. I believe it was Hemingway!) It broke my heart. Still in my 20s, I drank myself into ill health and died.

    Explains a great deal about my extreme fear of expressing my feelings to men who attract me.

    Tremendous post, Liz. You are gorgeous and show such dignity. Wow!

    • Amy, I just love this, it is a brilliant comment and just think, we may well have known each other in the early 20th Century. I mean it there is a good chance we did. This was wonderful. Happy New Year!

  2. i wish you the best in your new project…dang i think i would love to have tea with you sometime and just listen to you and hear your stories of meeting these people and of your life…perhaps that will be my new goal…figure out how to make that happen…smiles….i long to see paris and i might in this life if the chance is given…i dont know if it will…but if it does i will embrace it…smiles…happy new year friend…may it be grand….

    • Ah Brian, you are destined to go anywhere you wish. You are a shining light that can go anywhere. And we will have tea one day. Won’t that be fun. Thanks for all of your support over the last year. Happy New Year.

  3. ..indeed how fast these changes are in our lives… it was like, as if, all happened only yesterday… so fresh and real.. soon, i’ll be facing the future people the way you’ve faced yours… you are the past & me the future – fortunately met in this point of life called present… i have so many things to learn and listen from you about how’s the world back in your times the same way as i teach you the life in future in which i’m/you are living today… soon, i’ll be the past to someone and i’ll meet the future in the form another being… we are all aging.. changing… leaving… those are facts.. inevitable.. must happen… hopefully, meet each other again in the after life… thank you Liz for your friendship… for inspiring… HAPPY.. HAPPY.. HAPPY NEW YEAR to you & yours… and goodluck to your project… smiles..

  4. oh wow.. i was visiting shakespeare and company when i was in paris…but just as a visitor…got lost in the poetry section for a bit and just enjoyed the atmosphere… unfortunately i had only a few hours in paris on a business trip some weeks back but def. would love to go there again and really dive deeper into this city, the places..meet the people…sounds so interesting what you were doing when you were there, the history, the life, the city breathes….oh wow…i bet you could tell lots of wonderful stories… fantastic on that project as well….you must keep us in the loop of how’s it going…

    • Isn’t Shakespeare and Co wonderful? I am so glad that you went. Now just so you know it is not the original. I am afraid I have forgotten why it changed. Actually the owner an American may have since died. Claudia, Happy New Year.

  5. I, like Brian, would also love to spend an afternoon with you, sipping tea, absorbing your stories and feeling like I am enveloped in a cocoon of both warmth and adventure all at the same time. Happy New Year … may your upcoming year blossom and flourish beyond your wildest imagination!!! xo

    • Becca and I will say like Brian you are a shining light that makes the darkness leave. I know that you are a traveling lady … so should you ever plan to be in St Louis again, please let me know. We shall have tea. Happy New Year and may your life be blessed this year.

  6. Now that I am older, I really appreciate the stories of times before and life as it was then. I think your project is fascinating and who knows what inspiration will come for your pen. I wish you good health and cheers for the new year ~

  7. Well I, for one, am envious that you possess that ‘knowing’–in detail. There’s something about an old soul that invites others to sit in their company and just BE. Tea or not. But tea would be welcomed (I prefer coffee…..LOL…..but I’ll deal!)
    There’s something about that era that’s very warming and familiar to me. I suspect the details of then are not the issue for my presence in this lifetime. I’ve things to do here…..now….today and that’s where the energy gets to go.

    Oh, but I do, on occasion, long for the detail and knowledge. But I’m greedy like that.
    The project pulls on you–maybe for more reasons than you know, eh? I look forward to reaping the rewards as you organize……and write.
    Happy 2013–it’s bound to be an exquisite time!

    • Mel, you are wonderful. I am so very pleased to be getting to know you. You know I have long had a “weird connection to the past.” And, the thing that allows me to know if something is real, or if I had/have a connection is this queer little sensation that I get in my right hand just under my thumb on my wrist. There is a strange physical feeling of energy that passes through that area. I have never understood it, nor do I fully understand it, ah well.

      mel, I just looked at your blog attempting to find out how to get a reminder each time that you published, so that I would be privy to that knowledge … but I could not find a link … how do I do it? Happy, happy New Year to you!

      • *laughing* Heck if I know! And I read all sorts of ‘stuff’ trying to figure it out too, dangit! I don’t think it’s anything you’re doing–I don’t think I ever set up the web log with that function as an option maybe?
        I never anticipated anyone wanting to follow me. Unless, of course it was about wanting to rip off my bubble gun……and if that was the case they better run darn fast cuz they can’t have it! 😀

  8. Hi Raven, your comments remind me greatly of how much I enjoyed Hemingway’s “A Moveable Feast” in which he also mentioned Shakespeare and Company and discusses his cavorting with many of the famous of the day – Fitzgerald, Stein, etc. I always thought such a life would be great as well. I was only in Paris once….on a Bastille Day even. Long ago, but the impressions remain. Favorite scene: Montmartre.

    Best of luck on your project for 2013. The hardest thing is to begin…and I wish you a beginning!

    And, a Happy New Year to YOU, and yes…write and write.

    • Mary, “A Moveable Feast” was one of my favorite books … ever! You were surely in Paris on the right day! Yes, I too loved Montmartre. Happy New Year to You, may you be richly blessed this coming year.

  9. your life seems an interesting one…a book there I’m sure..and where was that quote of jaqueline kennedy’s …I’d drawn to finding out more? Wishing you further pleasure in your project in the new year;)

    • Jamie … You are so very dear. I often do not see a movie until it is 20 years old. But I remember this one as you mention it. I have now signed up for the DVD out one at a time thru Netflix and Midnight In Paris is the first upon the list. Thank you so much for reminding me.

  10. I breathed in every wonderful word. YES! the archiving of your mother’s material is very important. As you know, I have a pressing archiving project too that feels formidable. We can encourage each other and inquire about our progress. I look forward to more poetry and memoir from you as well. Let us begin!

  11. Happy New Year Raven, I enjoyed your poem. I visited Singapore often in my youth and returned to find it so drastically changed I didn’t recognise anything. Not even the Raffles hotel where we stopped for a Singapore sling. When I visited it in the early 70’s it was surrounded by open country…. now it’s surrounded with shopping malls 😦

    • Ah Tigerbrite … the idea of a Singapore Sling at Raffles is very alluring indeed. Indeed! Yes, we are destroying our world through capitalist cannibalism. Happy New Year to you!

  12. Synchronicity – I’ve just been reading a book abut Paris in those times. Sylvia Beach who founded Shakespeare and Co was an American and she was interned in 1941 when the Nazis came to Paris. So the shop closed, though she’d managed to hide all her books.
    She never re-opened. Her partner and lover committed suicide in 1955, and she died in 1962 back in the US I think.
    The new version of the shop was opened by an American in 1951, but not in the original place…
    I find facts fascinating…
    A Moveable Feast? Ah, it was one of the books that gave me a belief in life when I was at my lowest ebb in Hong Kong..
    A Happy New Year to you and your blogging circle

    • Valerie, I love synchronicitiy. Thank you so much for this information. It had fallen out of my head so very long ago. I don’t really know why I had such a passion for American expatriates in Paris. I truly believed that I was there at that time. You know what, I think for the first time I realize why I had such a passion and belief. Let me preface that by saying that I think always that there is a reason for everything. It was not long after this period in my life that I became interested in past lives.

      I am not sure what one calls it “the theology of reincarnation,” or something else. It was at this time that I became interested in the spirituality of all cultures. Many cultures would be more accurate. Now this is not a fair or appropriate way of speaking of something, but it is important in context. I thought that the theology of reincarnation to just be the silliest thing I had ever heard about … and those thoughts did not go away. However, as these thoughts grew, so too did the belief in reincarnation (somehow).

      I felt this way until my first trip to Paris in 1994 (went back in 99). Since I felt no connection to Paris other than romantic, I did not pursue reasoning for my passion for these writers. I did not really like much of any of their writing. It was them, not their writing. Today as I write to you I am thinking that this passion opened me to the idea of reincarnation.

      So, tell me … how did A Moveable Feast remove you from a deep funk and why were you in Hong Kong? (thanks so much)

      • I’ll start with the quick (comparatively) answer! I was in Hong Kong with my two children of five and six, my husband had pushed off back to UK with his latest girl friend, leaving me with no money, the job I had didn’t pay me enough to live on, so I had to find all sorts of extra ways to try to make money (not the oldest profession!) The husband left heaps of debts behind him. My father had just died suddenly, and my stepmother thankfully turned her back on me, and I was recovering from a long bout of hepatitis and jaundice , and no-one had mentioned that I would be depressed for at least six months. It was only having to look after the children that kept me alive. And A Moveable Feast – though I don’t like Hemingway – somehow gave me a sense that life could be worth living!
        Re-incarnation! I could write a book about that! I’ve always known I’d had past lives since I was ten, and stumbled on it in Joan Grant’s books. Since then I’ve found it very easy to slip into other lives, and without intending to, find that my clients nearly always do when I’m asking them when they first felt like this. They invariably say things like for aeons, or, thousands of years… thank heavens I’d read Edgar Caycee or I’d wonder how far back the human race goes. But in fact, people are going far far further back than Edgar Caycee’s mentions, and I have to believe them – as I have to believe myself. I feel we are clearing the blocked energies and limited beliefs of ages. Few of us were kings or important people! But many of us were slaves – often! slavery seems to have been with us in all civilisations.
        Mostly the people who come to me for healing have never heard of the word re-incarnation, but they slip so easily into their past lives, and the logic of it, and what they’re suffering today, and never even query the validity of what they’ve experienced after a session.
        I could go on forever, but I won’t. However, in several past life experiences of my own, I’ve discovered fascinating information, like what the Druids really did!
        Sounds as though you and Amy have a past life connection in Paris in those times…
        And at the end of all this I only know you as Raven… is that the name you use? So good to be in touch….

      • Oh my! This story is amazing Valerie. Amazing, the similarities in our lives. Funny, I do not like Hemingway either but did love A Moveable Feast. I think that we ought have another venue for discussion. Are you on Fb?

  13. I sympathise. I, too, find it difficult to catch the bar. It’s the time difference, of course. I have to catch it late at night and then write my offering first thing in the morning. I guess a lot of the composing is done while I sleep – and no doubt explains a lot! You at least have made a fine piece from it. Excellently done.

  14. Hi Raven…you asked a question in my blog, and the only way I can answer it is here. YES, the words at the top of my blog have been there since its beginning. And as for the subject of the ‘window’ poem….I wrote it about leaving ‘home’ after having visited my (now deceased) parents after I had moved away and lived in another city. The leaving was always hard…. Thank you for your continual support of my blog!

  15. Thanks for your comment in my blog this morning. Yes, I generally write ‘real’ (with some exceptions), and that is the kind of poetry I like to read as well. I like to read poetry that shares something about the poet…if a poem wanders around and goes nowhere or is about some mystical subject it is hard for me to attend to. LOL. Give me GROUNDED IN REALITY stuff! Yes, tears are part of life. Not always easy to shed, but part of life. I hope you can shed them now when you need to. Take care.

Your words of response are greatly appreciated.

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