Sunday @ 5:02 am, Valros.

A little breakthrough yesterday. A way to move forward for now. A list of new lists to make, new paths to wander down. To have a little open-ended time, when I am not propelled from one deadline to the next. It almost makes me question: Was I even ever writing before?

Wrote for a while in the morning yesterday — three-hour chunks are the sweet spot, I think. Note to self: When you return home, give yourself one three-hour stretch of time at least once a week.  Made a pass through my neglected inbox. Wandered through the crowded, loud Pézenas Market for a bit, ended with croissants and ginger lemonade and made it back to the car just before the downpour. The rain here comes in short bursts. 

Made soup for lunch — mushrooms, zucchini, broccoli, tomatoes — tossed in a few fresh tortellini from the market. Spent the afternoon on the roof deck, taking notes, dozing. I want to remember the way the days feel here. Their softness. 

Found All The Light We Cannot See here in the house. Didn’t expect to be immediately drawn in, but I was. This opening page:


At dusk they pour from the sky. They blow across the ramparts, turn cartwheels over rooftops, flutter into the ravines between houses. Entire streets swirl with them, flashing white against the cobbles. Urgent message to the inhabitants of this town, they say, Depart immediately to open country.

The tide climbs. The moon hangs small and yellow and gibbous. On the rooftops of beachfront hotels to the east, and in the gardens behind them, a half-dozen American artillery units drop incendiary rounds into the mouths of mortars.

After dinner (roasted potatoes, leftover soup, toasted baguette, gouda), a walk in the village. Ice cream and card games before bed. I try to read a bit more, but sleepiness overtakes me. 

I keep asking myself: Is it possible to feel so unencumbered? So much like, we could stay here, and not return. Why does this country, so far from anywhere I’ve ever called home, feel so much like home to me?