Friday, October 10, 2008

In from the cold

Free at last!

For the past few days my poor newborn blog has been incarcerated and awaiting interrogation on suspicion of spamming. Some time last night, it was released without charge. I can only imagine what the guy who reviews suspicious accounts for must have thought when he came across two short posts and a photo of Montcabrier. Like stumbling upon a little Jewish lady at Gitmo grumbling that her polyester orange tracksuit gives her the sweats.

My brief time as blogger non grata should not have felt like a big deal. A few days of silence are nothing to fly back to Washington for. But life out here, away from the daily buzz of world events, suspended in the amber of another language and culture, brings with it a sense of disconnectedness. There is no lack of news here, of course, or of concern for the outside world – Catherine the baker’s wife knows more about the US elections than does your average American “undecided” voter. But the feeling never really leaves, the feeling of remoteness.

The irony of it is that we are just as dependent as before on that big bad mechanized world we supposedly left behind. Sure we live small and local and simpler than before. I know the man who raises the cattle for our beef. I get annoyed at eating tomatoes if they haven’t been grown nearby. I’ve started thinking of Cahors (population 20,000) as a big city. But we still have television and internet (even a cell phone, tucked away in a drawer somewhere), and my relationship to these things seems ever more fragile and needy. They are all I have connecting me not just to far away family and friends, but to a culture that I have only partially have left behind. Computer glitches no longer just make me mad, they make me feel vulnerable.

So would we have embraced life in the French countryside without the internet? As I walk through the woods that stretch for miles from my front door, or when I drive up to the village and am greeted by familiar faces and a round of “bonjour,” it seems like a petty question.

But please don’t take my blog away.


J said...

Some of us needed you too. It's not petty to miss the warmth of a far away friend's cyber-embrace and a comforting literary kiss on the forehead (while still seething with jealousy over your lifestyle).

aisha said...

very emotional piece. It gave me chills.