"Droguerie... et Lumière" from the Cinéma Vérité photo archives.
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la lumière (loo-myer) noun, feminine
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Et la lumière fut...
And then there was light...
A Day in a French Life...
by Kristin Espinasse
This week marks the seventh anniversary of French Word-A-Day -- and what better way to celebrate than with a bouncy, jouncy, full-of-beans puppy king!
Smokey is back! I woke up this morning to the puppy we had lost one week ago. Back was his bark-or-bust attitude of gratitude (okay, he's got the attitude... and we've got the gratitude) which brings me to my next point: remerciements.*
Thank you for the encouraging messages, for the helpful tips and information, for your empathy and for your ever warm hearts and smarts. We are, my family and I, in awe and amazed by so much generosity of spirit. Speaking of "spirits" tchin-tchin!* and cheers to you!
Back now to today's 7-year-celebration (French Word-A-Day's birthday!):
Mille mercis* for joining me on this French word and writing journey. It began in my soul, some time ago. Effectivement* the seed of skreeb* was first sewn in a child's heart... and has, by fits and starts, continued right up to this bright, shiny, most luminous road mark: SEPT. Sept années!*
LIVE YOUR DREAM
Oh, what a voyage this has been! I'll never forget seeing those words, back in my saguaro-studded stomping grounds: the Arizona desert. I didn't know then that I was about to embark on the voyage of an expat ecrivain.*
This breakthrough happened at the car wash... (in retrospect, what better place for transformation to take place?). After my car reappeared from behind a giant, swirling, automated mop, I took the cue and headed over to the cash register, to pay for the cleaning. I was handing over my money to the cashier when, in the time it took the caissière* to search for la monnaie* I caught sight of the poster on the wall behind her. Three simple words would rewind and restart my heart.
Live Your Dream.
It was the second time I had seen this message... Live Your Dream. I remember thinking, Yes, but how? HOW?
My dream was two-fold: to live in France ... and to write in France. But back then, as a receptionist-turned-car salesman (mine were the scale-model variety, sold via mail order catalog), I could not figure out how to further my career. Therein lies the problem. Often, it is not a matter of furthering something -- not when it is foremost to end it!
We Need to End Before We Can Begin
Since moving to France, my life has been a series of endings and beginnings. I am learning to be grateful for those endings and for the trail-blazing beginnings without which we would cease to grow and become that which we were designed to be (and only God knows that mystery).
Our task today is to chance to live our dreams. If I am to be a writer then I must live the writing life....
Your turn to fill in the blanks of the following sentence:
If I am to be a(n) ______, then I must live the _____ life.
Maybe, at this point, you are doubting (as I did, back at the car wash "Yes, but how... to live that life? The answer is simple: by a bold beginning... or even a shaky first step.
Would you like to share some of your affirmations with us in the comments box? I would love to know what you dream to be!
I leave you with a photo of my dear mom, living her dream of painting. I can just hear her saying "If I am to be a painter, then I must live the painter's life!"
Tchin-tchin = cheers!; mille mercis = a thousand thanks; effectivement = actually; skreeb (French pronunciation for "scribe": writer); sept années = seven years; un écrivain = writer; la caissière = cashier; la monnaie (f) = change
Exercises in French Phonics, bestseller by Francis W. Nachtman, on French pronunciation and how to pronouce French words correctly!
Mille Bornes (Card Game).
First published in 1962, Mille Bornes (pronounced "meel born," French for "milestones") is an auto racing card game whose object, for each team of two players, is to be the first to complete a series of 1,000-mile trips.
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The Conscious Cook: Delicious Meatless Recipes That Will Change the Way You Eat
A former steak lover himself, Chef Tal struggled for years on a vegan diet that left him hungry and filled with cravings for butter and meat. By applying traditional French culinary techniques to meatless cuisine, he found that he could gratify his cravings for rich flavor and fat.
Thank you for the time you've spent reading my column. If you have learned more than a little vocabulary here and find yourself looking forward to the next story, please know that ongoing support from readers like you helps me continue doing what I love most: sharing these missives from France. Your support is vivement apprécié! Donating via PayPal is fast and easy when you use the links below. Merci infiniment! Kristi