Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Fade Out

"... [A]fter a while, my brain seemed clearer. I was writing a lot more... ideas I had never thought of before....it took me a while to figure out why it felt, you know, so different. And then, one day, …, I realized that I had spent the last two weeks away from most of my habits. TV was in a language I didn't understand... So, all I've been doing was... walk around, think, and write. My brain felt like it was at rest, free from the consuming frenzy. And I have to say, it was almost like a natural high. I felt so peaceful inside, no... strange urge to be somewhere else, to shop... Maybe it could have seemed like boredom at first, but it quickly became very, very soulful. It's interesting, you know?"

That was Céline, telling Jesse about a visit to Warsaw when she was a teenager, in that sequel that made us all swoon, Before Sunset. I don’t generally like using movie quotes when I write, but this particular passage was irresistible. Céline describes almost perfectly my experience after having just moved to France.

It was a strangely beautiful time. Without the distraction of all things familiar, I was able to step back, to cast a critical eye on all my so-called accomplishments and also to take a deep breath to face all that I had failed to do. I recognized clearly who I had permitted myself to be. After the not-always-pleasant self-examination, I received my gift: The radical change of address was the perfect opportunity to reshape my life into what I wanted it to be--creative and healthy, full of integrity and empty of bullshit.

Now I have a barrage of new habits to replace all the old abandoned ones, and although sometimes I do miss the quiet period, I also know that my mercurial nature can only take so much soulful peacefulness!

The point of this blog entry being: Provenciana, the blog, was meant to be fuelled by the energies of a Manila girl experiencing adjustment difficulties after moving to provincial France. When Provenciana, the person, has no more real adjustment difficulties, the blog becomes moot, doesn't it.

This is not yet a goodbye, but soon, I think…


ipsy said...

ay. ang lungkot naman :-( wag maguumpisa ako ng petition.

Laurel said...

i hope not...

katrina said...

That may have been your original intention for this blog, but everything evolves. It doesn't have to only be about adjusting to Provence life; it could be about anything you feel like writing about. Besides, do you really believe that you will ever truly BE a native? I think that you could never run out of stories about your life as an expatriate. And you would not run out of readers, either. :-)

This post of yours makes me want to discuss several issues with you about life overhauls, etc. So many questions to ask you that I've been struggling with myself. E-mail is such a long, slow way to converse, though. Can't wait for you to visit so we can have a LOOOONG chat!

The Disparate Housewife said...

Noo! Svp Apol, think about it, Kat is right. But I only plead for selfish reasons. If Provenciana the blog's down to its last beans, then shit, I'm so happy for you. : )

Anonymous said...

Hi, Apol! I may be a total stranger to you but oblivious to your knowledge, I have been reading your blog for months now. I even have your links in mine. My friend had you tagged in his' and I happen to clicked it once.
While I am happy that you have adjusted to your life in France, I, just like your friends would be sad so see your blog disappear.
I find your site, educational, free from the colloquials that are now abound online; it feels like having a free subscription to a rural French magazine.
In case you would like to know more of me, see


decorator said...


of course lungkot kung mawawala si provenciana... as in...LUNGKOT!

then again, that's good news... lech! parang nung nag-resign ka nito... well... OA naman yun... pero parang ganun... masaya ako para sayo pero at the same time nalungkot sa sitwasyon.

tommpouce said...

The difficulty of maintaining a blog when things seem to have "settled down" to a routine...
I'd be sad to see it go, every entry seems like a new facet, a different aspect of an enriching existence, yours.
But hey, I may say au revoir, but I won't say adieu. I have too much to read and learn from you.

ecstatic spastic said...

Apol! I understand what you mean. Although moving to America wasn't about a real shift in language (more like a shift in perspective), for me having an online presence was what I needed to validate my existence. Maybe it was because I needed to remind myself -- and new friends I met -- that I was somebody, I did this or that in Manila. One day I woke up and realized I had turned into a totally different person, that I didn't really relate to the person who had written all those previous things down, and nor did I care to have other people discover "me," a person apart from the one they had just shaken hands with. So I deleted the blog.

mcsister said...

I think you'll know when :) Somehow, your new stories will find another outlet anyway...

Arashi-KIshu said...

Ay kalungkot naman, pero ok lang kung gusto mo. I originally intended my blog to be this Manila-girl-about-town sex in the city and all that. I have since changed and I hardly recognize the girl that started writing three years ago.

Balik ka when you have found your new reason for being. Tapos ipaalam mo sa akin.

apol said...

KATRINA, yes, we will find time to talk when I finally finally take the Manila vacation I've been threatening forever to take :)

IPSY, LAUREL, IANNE, TESS, TOMMP, KATHY (I misspelled it before! Sorry!), not to worry. I like blogging, but I just feel I have to stop soon with the very personal entries I make for Provenciana. Other stuff, yes, but it will cease to be about me me me my thoughts and back to me again :)

GWYN, over! :) See you soon. Excited na ako. Barcelona, here come the vaklahs!!!

LILLE, not exactly like that. Am still the same person who started blogging September of 2005. And I didn't start it to remind anybody of who I was. I don't tell my friends over here about the blog actually; it would make me too self-conscious. It was more that I needed a repository for all these new experiences and feelings I was going through, I suppose. And now that I've gotten used to all that was new, I feel I have to shut up already!

Yeah, MAYS, I'll do a how-to-do-Pinoy-cooking-in-France blog, kaya? :) Or a how-to-make-
European-husbands-not-talk-too-much blog.

mcsister said...

I like the cooking and the planting tips.

My sister in Holland will want that second bit... hahah! Her hubby would discuss politics until 1 in the morning... in bed!

Gina said...

Take a blog "sabbatical" if you must. Afterwards, you should continue blogging for our sakes =P
It doesn't always have to be about you,does it? ( intended as a joke)
Of course, it should be about YOU!!!!!!!!
I mean, this blog is more than your adjustment difficulties. It has always been more than that.
Bottomlime, it would be sad to see somebody who could write so wittily and who could make a lot of readers laugh , go.
Apol, don't go. (background music: pls. don't go, don't gooooo, I'm begging you to stay..)

apol said...

Hey, GINA! Thanks for the encouraging words. I know! I am SO self-indulgent when I'm doing this blog: cannot be anything but me. But I do better in this blog than with traditional notebook-and-pen journals. Now I get positively intellectually and emotionally excessive in those!