Me, My Heart, and I

by Melinda Gallo

Friday, May 3, 2013

This evening as my plane flew over Tuscany with its plots of land divided into puzzle pieces of varying shades of green, I already felt the effect my beloved city has on me. I could almost smell the lush and fertile countryside surrounding Florence with its grass and cypress trees. After the hilly valley was a sea of light-colored buildings with terracotta rooftops. The sky was a little hazy, but the Duomo stood out and dominated the city.

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Wednesday, May 1, 2013

To celebrate the FÍte du Travail (Labor Day) in France, I went to the Bastille. Not to protest like thousands of people, but to visit the annual Grand Marchť díArt Contemporain (Contemporary Art Fair). Last Saturday when my beau and I were walking through the Bastille metro station, we saw the poster advertising it. Unfortunately, my beau couldnít join me on my trip to Paris, but I didnít want to miss taking advantage of my day off from work to peruse the artwork at the marchť.

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Thursday, April 25, 2013

The best part about where I live on the outskirts of Paris is that thereís a park along the Seine where I can run. This past winter, it was too dark for me to go running in the morning so I rarely went. I definitely felt the effect of not having my running schedule: not only did I feel lethargic, but also less inspired to write. It was almost as if my writing wasnít flowing unless my body was moving. For the past few months, I barely running once a week, but now Iím going a few times a week like I used to. I definitely feel like a new person now that Iím back to running again.

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Sunday, April 21, 2013

After lunch today, my beau and I headed to Paris. Normally we wouldíve taken the metro, but instead we drove into town. It was a perfect day to stroll the city streets and enjoy the afternoon. We drove along the quai (quay) where I used to run on the weekends. I looked out of the car window and could almost remember what it was like running on that same sidewalk. We drown toward Notre Dame, which is where I used to go to on my runs and then turn back around to return to the Eiffel Tower.

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Saturday, April 20, 2013

Today I went to see Joyce Maynard speak at the Mots en Marge bookshop in La Garenne-Colombes, which is outside of Paris and close to where I live. I later learned that she is a friend of the owner of the bookshop, a lovely French woman who is passionate about books. Itís a joy to see her eyes light up every time she held a book in her hands and talked about it.

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Wednesday, April 17, 2013

After a few days in Florence and one workday in Paris, my beau and I headed to London on Friday for a three-day weekend. I hadnít been to London for a real visit in at least nine years and was looking forward to it. In 1995, I lived in Surrey, to the west of London, for almost two years. I moved there after leaving Paris and right before I moved to Florence.

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Thursday, April 11, 2013

This morning I woke up a half hour early and instead of being frustrated at not being able to sleep more, I was excited at the thought of being able to visit Florence a bit more before taking off. At 7 am after the street cleaners had come and gone, I walked to the Ponte alle Grazie and was happy to see the sun peeking above the buildings along the Arno. I took a few pictures not just to post on Instagram, but also for me to savor.

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Tuesday, April 9, 2013

No matter the weather in Florence, I enjoy my beloved city. This spring, the weather seems to be a bit unpredictable. In just a few days, weíve experienced mild temperatures under the bright sun as well as dark clouds spurting out torrential rain, and often in the same day. The changes in the weather have an effect on how the city appears and feels. I enjoy my beloved city regardless of what is going on around it, but I appreciate different aspects depending on the weather.

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Monday, April 8, 2013

Life, of course, is precious. Striving to make each moment count is a daily goal of mine. When Iím in Florence, however, I try to optimize my time even more because nowadays I am here for such a short amount of time. I could spend more time in Florence, but I enjoy my time in France especially with my beau. I aim to use my time wisely when Iím home in Florence and I try not to waste it doing anything I donít feel like doing. I have become quite Florentine in that if something that non mi va (Iím not keen on), I donít push myself to do it.

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