Living Your Dreams
Sadly, in Monday’s Parler Paris Nouvellettre® there was a note of remembrance about one member of our illustrious American community. Today, there is another member for whom we mourn — Lynn Jeffress, who we lost on December 15th to a long-running battle with cancer.
I first met Lynn too many years ago to count, and had the pleasure of her regular presence at our Paris Writers Group meetings. Lynn was a friend, a colleague and an important part of the American community in Paris. She was planning on moving down to Nice where she could retire and live an easier, more relaxed life.
Lynn Jeffress grew up on the Oregon coast. A writer and teacher, she had a Ph.D. in French Language and Literature and an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Oregon where she helped write the group novel with Ken Kesey, “Caverns,” published in 1990 by Viking/Penguin Press. She has written poetry and short stories (her latest The Dali Code & Other Paris Stories). She was absolutely convinced that the e-reader will help save millions of trees. (Source: amazon.com/Lynn-Jeffress/e/)
Mary Duncan, coordinator of the Paris Writers Group, also reminded us that Lynn translated “La Traversée du Livre,” which is Jean-Jacques Pauvert’s memoir from French to English, for the new edition “Sade’s Publisher: A Memoir.”
Lynn, we miss you. Her many friends in France are organizing a memorial and a fund in her honor. Stay tuned for more information on how you can participate.
Losing so many of our friends and allies makes us appreciate our short lives even more. We are on this planet so briefly that if we blink, we might even miss the one life we have. The message I get from this is not to put off realizing your dreams because of the fears that tend to debilitate you — live in the present and give it all you got, because you won’t have it for long.
The Americans and other expats who took the leap to experience other places are a rare breed. They are a tiny fraction of the millions of our compatriots who don’t hold passports, don’t think to learn another language and don’t realize that there is as good a life (if not better) outside of their own realm. When we gather together here in Paris, in Nice or anywhere outside of the boundaries of North America, we share in this commonality. Losing someone like Lynn reminds me of the fortune to have had so much more and to have known so many people who share in such open-mindedness.
Friday I’m training down to Aix-en-Provence where I will be meeting up with American friends, Barb, Don and Tom, who share in such ideas. We will celebrate the holiday season with the kind of camaraderie we hope all Americans can have, in spite of the divisive nature of the current political climate. We hope you can and will have the same.
To all of you who read Parler Paris, may you have a peaceful and glorious Christmas or Chanukah or whatever you celebrate or not, and revel in the glory of knowing you’re alive and living your dreams.
Merry Christmas and Happy Chanukah.
A la prochaine…
(by Les Young)
P.S. (Note from Schuyler: This is the last nouvellettre before the holidays arrive in full force. All of us in the Adrian Leeds Group family wish you the best of the season, whatever your faith!)