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Monday, August 8, 2005

Forward my calls to the Musee d'Orsay.

I haven't taken two weeks of vacation in five years, so when Mrs Philocrites and I boarded a British Airways 747 fourteen days ago, I not only felt like a country mouse headed for the big city — Paris! — but also like an addict going cold turkey: no work, no phone, no Internet, no news. The transition came more easily than I expected. After all, every Internet cafe in the Latin Quarter seemed to close when August came around, and so did the local newspaper stand. The French are serious about their vacations, and — why buck the stereotype? — being a blue-state French fry-eater, I like the idea of extended vacations for everyone. I also liked French highway signs, rest stops, little green sanitation trucks, and several other features of their bloated state. More about that later.

I'll be writing about several parts of our European trip over the next few days, and I may post some of that writing here — as well as a picture or two, having joined the ranks of digital shutterbugs — but please don't expect a flood of posts from me. The next two weeks at work promise to occupy more than my full attention. Although I won't be absent the way I've been for the last two weeks, I've decided that Philocrites is still enjoying something like an interruptible sabbatical.

And let's hear it for guest-bloggers Thom and Jason! It was great to come home and read through their engaging posts yesterday. I'll have some things to add to the discussion about Emergent and Singing the Journey from my experience at Taize, the ecumenical Christian community where Mrs Philocrites and I joined 4,000+ young people from all over Europe, Africa, and the Americas for several days of prayer, singing, and small-group discussion. I may never get around to blogging about the Louvre, but you will be hearing about Taize.

It's good to be home, but I seriously considered trying to move in to the Art Nouveau furniture exhibit at the Musee d'Orsay, following the example of the two kids who moved in to the Met in From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs Basil E. Frankweiler. Never having been much of a traveler, I feel incredibly lucky to have taken this trip: The contexts for so many parts of my life have been stretched and, I hope, changed.

Have you ever taken a life-changing trip? I'd love to hear about it in the comments.

Copyright © 2005 by Philocrites | Posted 8 August 2005 at 8:05 AM

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August 11, 2005 04:19 PM | Permalink for this comment

Wow, I'm glad I flew home on British Airways on Saturday rather than today: "British Airways Cancels Heathrow Flights" (AP, 8.11.05, reg req'd). The dinner on our flight from Boston to London was especially good, and Mrs P and I couldn't believe the beverages were free. We didn't realize there was a dinner on the flight back, though, and so ate in the Heathrow terminal before getting on our flight home. A good thing, too: The lasagna wasn't that good. Hope everyone gets home soon!

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