(Originally posted February 21, 2013)
So let’s talk a bit about how fate entered my life and sent me to Paris right into the arms of the muse.
I was an instructor of Spanish at New York State University in Plattsburg, New York. The climate in that city near the Canadian border and city of Montreal was mostly cold and during the winter—snowy, frigid and dreary. What was a person who grew up in Mississippi doing in such weather conditions? I asked myself that question practically every day I lived in Plattsburg.
In order to get away from all that winter, I worked my way into heading a group of our students studying at the University of Guadalajara in Mexico. The weather there was beautiful, warm and inviting. When the group disbanded after their semester of study, I was slated to return to my igloo in Plattsburg. I simply couldn’t My partner at the time was a young man who was a teacher of French and a lover of anything French. He suggested we go to Paris instead. At his urging, I asked for a semester’s sabbatical, which I got, and off we went to Paris for six weeks. (That was the maximum we could stay under the conditions of our cheap Icelandic Airlines tickets.) See, I had no planned rendezvous with my muse there. I was simply letting fate have her way with me via my partner’s influence.
The six weeks flew by because we were like tourists on an extended stay. We were loving every minute of it. My partner did not want to return to the USA, mainly because he had found a job teaching English as a second language at a private language school. I felt obliged to return and had decided I would with or without him. However, a few days before my departure, I was offered a job as an English teacher. What to do? With my friend urging me to stay and my aversion to snow and dreary weather conditions, I chose to remain in Paris.
We had jobs that would at least cover our livelihoods but little else. Even so, what future was there for me in Paris? What could I do that would match that good post-office pension my mother had in mind? I hadn’t a clue and would just have to let fate make those decisions for me.
In the next blog, you’ll see how fate lets the muse enter my life unannounced.