Me, My Heart, and I

by Melinda Gallo

Monday, November 26, 2012

After my brief stay in Florence at the beginning of the month, Iím now back for two weeks. While I was in Paris the last couple of weeks, I felt a bit unsettled. I didnít do anything special for my eight-year anniversary of when I moved back to Florence. I also didnít do celebrate Thanksgiving although my beau treated me to foie gras for dinner. It wasnít until I was in Paris that I realized just how much my life has changed this year. Itís almost as if the basket containing everything in my life was emptied and left for me to sort out. Iím still letting things exit my life and allowing new things to arrive. And even though everything is amazingly wonderful, I feel a sense of loss. Itís as if nothing yet has settled and Iím unable to move forward.

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Tuesday, October 30, 2012

I have been in California for the last two weeks. I came here for a conference that my company organized and am now just enjoying my time before heading back to Paris. I love coming to California because I get to spend time with my family and friends. One of the most special gifts is when I get to reconnect with friends that I havenít seen in years. Itís interesting to see how our paths went off in different directions and then cross again years later.

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Monday, October 15, 2012

One of the biggest changes for me when I am in Paris is my daily routine. My work life in Florence is flexible; however, in Paris, I have to follow my officeís work hours. I arrive around 9 am, work a few hours, take a lunch break with my colleagues, and work until 6 or 7 pm. My mornings in Paris are timed almost to the minute so that I can keep my usual routine of writing every morning and running three or four times a week and still managing to get to work on time by taking the mťtro to where my office is located.

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Monday, October 1, 2012

One of the things I noticed after one day in Matera was the lack of color and sounds. I had been in Paris for two weeks and then Florence for a couple of days before arriving. In both places, I was inundated with colors and sounds. It was interesting to be in a place that was rather monotonous because I was able to see the beauty in textures, shadows, and the nature surrounding the city. As for sounds, it is now almost shocking now to be back in Florence where sounds encircle me: scooters, buses, and cars pass along the lungarno (street along the Arno river), people talk and laugh in the streets, and the campane (church bells) ring every hour and half hour.

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Monday, September 24, 2012

Saturday morning I woke up and saw the light blue sky outside. I was suddenly filled with high hopes about what I could do. On the one hand, I wanted to stay at home and write, but on the other hand, I wanted to scour the city for more things to experience. After writing a little bit, I decided to go out and enjoy the day. I began to imagine my possibilities: I initially thought about taking the metro to the Opťra, then I thought maybe I could go to Jardin de Luxembourg or even some other area of Paris that I could discover. By 10am, I decided instead to get breakfast before making a final decision.

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Monday, September 17, 2012

My time in Paris is intense. A week goes by rather quickly and at the end of it I am surprised. Itís almost as if Iím in a vacuum: work pulls me in on Monday morning and spits me back out on Friday night. My life is completely different in Paris than when Iím in Florence. In Paris, I wake up early so that I can write and go running before my workday begins. In Florence, I rarely set my alarm and let myself wake up naturally. Even though I still write and go for a run most mornings when Iím in Florence, my time is not as condensed as it is in Paris.

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Sunday, September 9, 2012

I am enjoying my time sitting in cafťs and writing this weekend. Part of my separateness from others is not by choice and part of it is. I could easily fill my day seeing other people, but I prefer to be alone. Before arriving in Paris, I contemplated staying in Florence this weekend instead, but I knew that it would be better for me to spend some time alone in Paris. I thought it would be good for me to focus on my writing projects. I felt a need to drop down inside of me, listen to my inner voice, and simply write.

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Saturday, September 8, 2012

This morning I woke up early to enjoy the beginning of my day on the Ile Saint-Louis. Even though the sun was still not up, I was eager to get ready. I smiled when I heard the street cleaners sweeping the streets and sidewalks and the garbage men picking up the trash in the narrow street below my window. I felt comforted by the noise because it reminded me of Florence. Normally, I find Paris rather quiet in the mornings.

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