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Writing from the Heart…in the Heart of France
with Janet Hulstrand and the Essoyes School
How would you like to…
Enjoy fine French cuisine, and our local, artisanale champagnes... Relax into peaceful, quiet village life, a world apart... Work on your writing (or begin to write for the first time) with others in a nonjudgmental, supportive, small-group workshop... Explore a beautiful and relatively undiscovered part of France, just two and a half hours away from Paris...
2017 is the Year of Renoir in Essoyes...a great time to visit! Full details and registration information for the latest workshop on our Writing from the Heart page.
By now you've seen the statistics from around the world on how many people marched in unison to support the Women's March on Washington. You don't need me to reiterate the overwhelming success of the movement, not just in DC, not just in the US, but all over the world, including Paris -- as the New York Times reported that "Crowd Scientists Say Women's March in Washington Had Three Times as Many People as Trump's Inauguration!"
If you participated in any one of the marches, then I'll bet you marched proudly, happily and ended it with the same "high" I had -- the sheer exhilaration of being a part of something very important and the good feeling that perhaps our actions will make a difference. The day before I was told by many that they either buried their heads in the sand and refused to watch the inaugural ceremonies, or watched with curiosity, frustration and anger. But, that didn't stop them from coming out to the streets on Saturday to protest -- an estimated 10,000 strong in Paris alone.
This certainly wasn't the first Women's March in France. On October 5, 1789, known as "The October March" or "The March on Versailles," the anger and frustration provoked by the scarcity of bread, and led by the women of the markets of Paris seeking liberal political reforms and a constitutional monarchy for France was part of the onset of the French Revolution. It readily grew to a mob of thousands who ransacked the armory and marched all the way to the Palace of Versailles, compelling Louis XVI, his family and his assembly, to return to Paris with them. By sheer coincidence over the weekend, I re-watched (for the umpteenth time) with a friend who hadn't ever seen it, Sofia Coppola's 2006 film "Marie Antoinette." It seemed quite apropos and if you recall, this is the film's last scene -- when the mob storms Versailles and the royal family all take their leave by carriage for the last time never to set foot again in Versailles and later to lose their heads and their lives.
In preparation for the march, Patty Sadauskas, of Paris on a Dime, reconstructed a big wooly scarf into four "Pussy Hats" for our little group of women to wear -- a term that CNN refused to "utter," calling them "Pink Hats" instead of using the rude word famously uttered by the new President. While we were waiting for the crowd to start off down the street, standing behind the Democrats Abroad group,I was interviewed by French media twice while holding my sign, "I'm a Nasty Woman." They curiously asked what was the significance was of the pointed/eared hat and the reason for "nasty."
Home-made signs and Pussy Hats were "de rigueur." Some of the signs were downright hilarious. My favorite was "We Shall Overcomb!" There were an awful lot of "Nasty Women" out there and all sorts of personal expression. At the end of the march, Patty Sadauskas gave her sign to a little girl marching with her mother. Patty later posted on Facebook: "Near the end of the Women's March on Paris, I noticed a little girl in front of me eyeing my "I'm A Nasty Woman" sign. So, I motioned offering it to her, but she was shy and turned away. A few minutes later she turned around and was eyeing my sign again. This time, I handed it to her and her eyes lit up. She held the sign proudly and showed it to her mother. Then, someone posted on Facebook a photo of 'my' little girl and her sister holding my sign. This, brings me hope and brings tears of joy to my eyes. Unlike the tears I shed during the inauguration. Thank you Laura Rose Ana-is for posting this photo."
Word out there is that there were more than 600 marches in 57 Countries with 2.5 million marchers and still counting! Yet, Mr. Trump ordered the Interior Department "to shut down its official Twitter accounts ”indefinitely” after a National Park Service employee shared two tweets that noted President Trump's relatively small inaugural crowds compared to the numbers former president Barack Obama drew in 2009." In addition, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer openly claimed that media reporting of the size of the crowd at President Trump's inauguration was "deliberately false reporting" even though there is overwhelming evidence to the contrary, such as "Washington's transit authority, Metro ridership during Friday's inauguration was the lowest since at least 2005," The Washington Post reported. "By 11 a.m. Eastern, approximately 193,000 trips had been taken on the Metro, compared to 513,000 trips at the comparable time in 2009." In addition, photos prove the truth!
My daughter, Erica Simone, drove from New York with friends to attend the March in Washington D.C. She subsequently reported on it in words and photos in the Huffington Post. Young and angry, she wrote, "So, when will we finally get it? When will we finally come together as one and see beyond our borders of flesh, and rather as collective, connected vibrating atoms in a Universe in which there is no such thing as empty space, no such thing as a division between you and I? When will we finally understand that love is the answer? Not fear, not money, not power."
Her words transport me back to the 1960s when we, those of us in our 60's now, were on the streets campaigning for "Make Love, Not War." And she's right. When will we finally get it? Are we really that bullheaded that we can't see the truth that's right in front of us...like the photos that clearly illustrate the sheer numbers that don't support this new administration, but are lied about?
P.S. I'll be in Los Angeles next month and offering personal two-hour consultations between February 20th and 24th. The cost is $330, but the fee applies toward our search services, so not a penny is lost! If you are thinking of making an investment in France, you are sure to find the time with me very valuable. To schedule your meeting with me, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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