French Country

My life in France is not what I expected.


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Jacques Report

This morning, as I was trying to decide whether to get coffee or just sleep a bit longer, Jacques was alert. Okay, when is he not alert, but this time he actually heard something, a scratching noise. Bless his brave little heart, he ran down to investigate. Five minutes of crazed barking later, I decided to go down, too. Realistically, what were my choices?

This was it, the whole thing. A loving mother rat with wings, oops, pigeon, tending her little brood. She must have figured out that she is safe behind that glass because she didn't move: not before I got there, not since. That said, I think she'll be glad we're gone.


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But is it Art?

On my first visit to Paris, I went to the zoo at the Jardin des Plantes. I couldn’t believe the whole city was as beautiful as the neighborhood I was staying in — the view from my room, a room without even a private bathroom, was of the gardens of the Prime Minister’s official residence — so I wanted to get out to a few other areas. Back then the Jardin des Plantes was considered pretty far out there. Anyway, it was January. It was cold. The animals and I were staying indoors. The chimps were bored. When I walked into their little building, they noticed. After all, I was the only person there. They ran over immediately, so excited, and spread shit all over the 5-meter-high windows, pooped in their hands, even, to provide themselves with more, um, artistic media. As I look at this wall I wonder whether I haven’t come back to where I started.
Pretty soon this wall will be covered with this paint. The furniture and silkscreen will return to their usual positions. I live in hope that it no longer looks quite so, well, poopy. The idea was to have the wall disappear behiind the clutter of stuff we have in this room. We shall see and I may update this post with an “after” photo. Meantime, I’m having a lot of fun. Making art is real work but this, this is fun. Though I am starting to wonder whether my Painter friends, Sharon and Frank, have been keeping a little secret from me: once they have worked up the general idea, I bet they’re having a lot of fun, too.


Four hours later, there it is, missed spots and all. The color is less poop, I hope, and more ’70’s almost-avocado, which makes it appropriate to the age of the building. The sofa is calling my name. Jacques’ cushions, the ones he loves to attack when dogs appear on screen, await him. And if you are wondering what the big kids do when they paint, there is one of Frank’s silkscreens. I’m tired. Time to watch Wimbledon.