Gilly is here

Posted on 12 August 2007

and it’s early Sunday morning. She sleeps upstairs. Bedding sleeps down. The village fete is happening and the band – Rock & Roll last night – plays until around five in the morning for five days straight. As Bedding lives on the Esplanade, directly above the music, she comes to our house late evening to sleep each night. As well as the music, there’s a mini-carnival with several kiddie rides and a play-the-ducks for a prize and several other slightly more sophisticated games where it’s easy to lose some euros though Gill and I have little interest in these. Last night, we checked out the music and as we were not overwhelmed came home for an early night. When she wakes, we will go to St. Antonin for Sunday market.

Gillian 's First Year in France

Time moves quickly. Gill arrived Thursday evening. We drive home from the airport and she tells me that some of the happiest moments in her life were spent in Castelnau. We have been coming to the village for seventeen years. This picture was taken our first year here when the villagers called her a “mignon” meaning adorable. (She was/is.) Many still recognize her and yell out “bonjour Gigi” when they spot her. My daughter makes me smile. We live easily together no matter where. It’s easy to love someone who loves you.

Yesterday, Gill walked down to the lake, while I wrote. I have moved on from “A Dutiful Daughter” to “Tete-a-Tete: The Tumultuous Lives & Loves of Simone de Beauvoir & Jean-Paul Sartre.” I like the biographer’s – Hazel Rowley – style. She intersperses story with quotes. She too was greatly influenced by Beauvoir. She clarifies the Sartre/Beauvoir relationship, taking it from an ideal realm to a less-than-ideal one that weighed them both down, depressing one or the other – sometimes at the same time, sometimes at different times. From Beauvoir’s memoirs, Rowley tells the underlying existential philosopy of Beauvoir’s life and “marriage” to Sartre: We cannot expect another person to save us. “As individuals we are free, and we act in ‘bad faith’ when we try to avoid our feedom. It is not easy, freedom. It brings with it the anguish of choice. It comes with the burden of responsibility.”

I am struggling with this novel of mine. But I am determined to write it. I remind myself over and over that what I am doing is still a draft and I can take any liberty I want – and I am. I have also slowed down a bit in an attempt not to be a lazy writer or a glib one. Beauvoir keeps me on track.

On Monday, I will receive the quote for the work that we want done on the house. Finally. And then there will be other choices to be made.


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