• James Eric Fristad

Une fois encore

Updated: Apr 30

Put a hyphen (as divider) between those French words, and you have my new website's Domain Name.

So www.une-fois-encore.com is now the place. For awhile the previous name links to it, too.

Most of the accustomed suspects have hung around. Hung around, not hanged. Or, well, most all but with accompanying tweaks and nudges and heavy rescheduling from me, as you might expect for a whole different year. Which means that theyregoingagain dot com is moribund (after the grand planned journey sorta dissolved). The bottom line is that everything henceforth is now under that new internet address.

And yes, somehow I have mustered the resolve to try again. I am not sure why I am taking another gallop at that stickery (think steeplechase) hedge, but maybe such underlying motives will become clearer when emotions and realities sort themselves out as I tease thoughts to un-jumble them, as it were left handed—using some crochet hook I just found in the grass. Two metaphor-clarifying things: 1) such limited coordination as I possess has only ever happened right-handed; and 2) I have nary a clue how those wondrous and cozy little table-top cloth artifacts can possibly emerge from anybody industriously organizing string using those little plastic or metal implements. Hooks they're called, really?

It's Wisteria (which you instantly know in the photo) on a fence next to that streamlet of the Sorgue River that flows in a narrow channel through Avignon, next to the Street of the Dyers.... About 200 years ago, these waters turned freshly made mill-wheels, to drive weaving machinery in adjacent stone buildings. Industrialized Provence, I guess, whose mill wheels have pretty much expired through the wear and tear of unyielding time. The point of this descriptive caption to yon photo? Avignon is back on the itinerary. Because.

Well, because it couldn't be separate time in both Arles and Avignon in this new, shorter version of things. And yet each town has desirable elements that the other lacks. Since I would hate to overlook/omit/ignore any of that collective stash of attributes, what to do? Then it occurred to me, they're only about 20 miles apart, with hourly rail departures to make day trips. [Or maybe I could rent a paddle-board and float along the Rhone from one to the other. A nice image, except I have vivid memories of a wrecked, mostly-sunken tour boat being salvaged along that river's banks, right near where my preposterous journey would end. So, no. Maybe an e-bike, though.

... I like the idea. Have never ridden one but I understand it is just an ordinary bicycle whose pedals get some electrical assist—at least while the batteries last. It presents some fun images along with, of course, several downsides. Like what to do with it and the obligatory helmet when I've finally got there; and I would desperately like to have only my camera bag to keep in tow.] But back to the Arles-Avignon choice—

It isn't my practice or rather (Michele has discovered the nice more or less equivalent, expressive word-) metier to write lists with pluses and minuses, when having to make such choices. No, it's more an instinctive thing when deciding where to spend several days abroad, trying to employ my newly-discovered realm of emotions.

It isn't meant to be a check-off-items sort of trip adventure. I mean, doesn't that sort of "bucket list" mind-set completely mangle the magic of what Christopher Robin and Pooh and friends called an EXPOTITION? I have used the food metaphor before, when trying to describe the difference in vacation approaches, as I see them: do you really experience tapas by simply licking them, then sashaying off to the next cruise-port to sniff & slurp several wines, then on an inflexible but mighty efficient schedule hurrying to the next place, to look at a display of cut glass bottles in a sweet-smelling room so you can say you visited a parfumerie someplace? Many. Folks. Do. Both modes of experience result in memories; but I guess I want more of my remembered impressions to be heaped and jumbled on top of one another, like an archaeological tel.

To enjoy digging through as years pass.

Hence, also in this vein, Eric's home movies. Ahem.

So the idea here is to really chew, taste, think about each bite of this unique cuisine, and anticipate some new mouthful maybe with some of that mystery sauce sitting on the table, there, to see what happens. And then to decide what dessert I really crave. And wonder, is it too late in the day for me to have an espresso with that? Having also savored that bouche-du-Rhone red, as wine connoisseurs (not myself) know how to do; to analyze what it's doing to the roof of my mouth, how it makes my teeth feel, where it takes my heart for those fleeting minutes? To really drift away in the scent of that fragrance on the neck of my loved one, with all the pleasant eros that such aroma implies? It is not gonna happen, for me, on the bus to my next hurried appointment at some other place.

Yes, of course to each his own. But this is me.

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une fois encore