On a Gorgeous California Day

It has been a strange, heartbreaking week in America. The violence in Boston has affected all of us.

We are – I am – seeking answers to rationalize what had happened. In fact no immediate, logical reasons behind so much hatred and brutality will magically appear.

So early morning, on a gorgeous California day, instead of reading another online article or watching another video, I took my lovely, light MacBook Air outside, planning to finish the power-point presentation I want to use for an upcoming book event at a public library.

But instead – aren’t our brains disobedient sometimes? – I clicked open another Microsoft Word document.

Several years ago I wrote a manuscript about my journey from France to the U.S.A. I had no submission plans in mind and called it my quiet project. But a new writer friend – it’s important to find new eyes to read our prose – has relentlessly pushed me to revise my early drafts. So the project ceased to be so quiet.

Thanks to her interest and encouragement, I have, over the last four months, revisited these pages. On  Wednesday night, three drafts later, I had a revised version in my hands – figuratively – and I typed – figuratively again – the magic words: The End.

I had planned to let the manuscript rest for a couple of weeks before reading it and deciding if yes or no it was ready for submission.

The two men behind the Boston bombing are also foreign-born and lived in Massachusetts, which has been my home for five years, so, of course, I had to return to that particular manuscript.

Instead of organizing my slides and polishing my power-point presentation, I read my 250 pages, wondering if my words could interest anyone, if they were conceited, if I was too young for a memoir, if I was infatuated with my little life, if…

But I also thought that making a life from scratch, away from one’s homeland, is both exciting and scary – not unlike any artistic creation, really.

And I thought that for a few unjustified failed assimilation stories, many, many more are successful, and that maybe the reason why my friend insisted for me to complete and revise my story was to tell of the possibility to belong, regardless of your circumstances and your challenges.

So this is how and why, with a bluish veil over Yosemite Park, a gentle breeze blowing through the lavender in full bloom, and a myriad of birds trumpeting their joy to be alive and part of a wonderful world, I have decided to move on with this quiet project of mine.

To be continued.

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