In the movie Citizen Kane, “Rosebud” is the final word that Charles Foster Kane utters upon his deathbed. It sets off a flurry of investigation to identify exactly what he meant. Rosebud, it turns out, is a cheap sled. Yet it harkens to a time in Kane’s life of simplicity, comfort and love.
Of late, I’ve launched my own investigative flurry. Ensconced in my tiny home, Covid has given me the luxury of expansive time and near limitless thought. It’s illuminated what’s important in my life. In short, it’s helped me to define my Rosebud.
I’ve affirmed those things which make me the happiest: reading, cooking, walking. My life plan may be all over the place, but I’ve consistently loved this short list of simple things.
And I’ve contemplated the most meaningful bits that Covid has cleaved from my life, the most glaring of which is Paris. (Had I made Citizen Kane, the final scene would have been the Eiffel Tower burning.)
My Paris fetish aside, the last year has clarified that Charlottesville will remain our base indefinitely. It’s a city that suits me, a pedestrian downtown with five independent bookstores. A food lovers’ paradise with—thanks to Thomas Jefferson—a decidedly French flair as evidenced by a handful of very good French restaurants and a bevy of vineyards.
And of course, there’s Jack. Proximity to our nuclear family and a small cluster of friends has taken on an outsized importance.
Yet still, the fetish abides.
In a moment of holy-cow-we’ve-got-a-vaccine euphoria, I bought two one-way tickets to Paris for July 15th. I should have seen that plot twist coming. No matter how many times I rewrite the script, eventually it’s me. On a plane. Headed to Paris. While Covid may delay the trip, I believe in happy endings. I have faith it will happen this year.
I bought one-way tickets because I have no idea how long we’ll want to stay. A week? A month? Ninety days? It won’t go beyond that. My itch to leave is as predictable as my urge to go. When it comes, I’ll react. No matter how many times I rewrite this script, it ends the same way. Me. On a plane. Returning home.
Coming out of Covid, I’m trying to keep my focus on those things that really matter to me. I considered shuttering this blah blah blog and starting a new one. About food. Food in France. Walking to food in France. Hiking the Champagne region (which I did last February). Hiking Burgundy (which I’ve pencilled in for this fall). Exploring the salt operations on the coast (for now, a budding obsession).
And yes. We’ll always have Paris.
Instead, I’ve decided to reorient this blog. If those things don’t interest you, I understand. I won’t take it personally if you decide not to follow along. (Unless you sprung from my loins or have seen my loins. In which case, have a seat. You’re going nowhere.)
My intent for this blog was never to influence people to do what I do. At the end of the day, each of us is the author of our own story. We each need to find our Rosebud.