I’ll write in French when I’m nostalgic for France (Oh, wait, already there now)

This was the first Denis Roche photograph that caught my eye at the Pavillon Populaire au Montpellier. I sent it to a friend, who responded with, “I can’t even see her,” and perhaps that is what I first noticed.  I’m trying to figure out how we disappear, where we begin to fade into the background or just fade completely out of the picture. I’m trying to figure out if I will start disappearing from here. The past week I’ve spent most of my time reflecting and writing about El Camino, which I was revived into thinking about after my discussion with Brahim about it. he taught me a new word that I fell in love with: “décroissement,” a) the waning of the moon or b) the ralentissement (slowing down) of pace of life.

I’ve been taking photos of distances lately, far off things like:

I wonder what it is about diminishing perspective that is so fascinating. As I described about what I thought of walking, “I register it in terms of perpetually diminishing distance, the way a harmonic series as n approaches infinity goes towards, but never reaches, zero.” For the past few weeks already, every so often the phrase “I can’t believe we’re leaving so soon” comes up in conversation like a sentence filler or a pause in thought. I still cannot believe we are leaving so soon, because until we do, I’m not sure I will believe it. To me, we we will always be walking down the hallway of a harmonic series.

I am sitting next to my host sister in the living room, and it is a strange feeling, to be next to someone who will sleep in the same apartment as me tonight, but who will leave early in the morning before I wake up for her Christmas break. When I wake up, she will be gone, and unless I return, or she decides to miraculously visit Hong Kong or America, there is a very small chance I will ever see her again. It is strange to say goodbye to someone before they leave. I am determined to come back to France, to go to Montpellier next summer because I would really love to be in France again, and because I’m kicking myself for not having chosen to stay longer when I still could. But I wonder how much of that is because I really don’t want to say goodbye, because saying “I’ll be right back,” is easier than saying “I might never come back,” even if deep down, I know that I might not be back for sure.

It is wonderful sitting here, looking at this, knowing home is right here, where I am. I’m hoping it will stay, this time.

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