Dream vs. reality

We’ve always thought it would be nice to have a little more space in Paris, and were recently swept away by a place that filled most of our conditions. We had actually started negotiations when a slight hitch brought the deal to a standstill and allowed us to reconsider; and then euphoria gave way to low grade panic! Oh, the indecision when reality starts to move in on a dream! Is pretty great good enough? Would having more space in central Paris make us feel fully alive, some day when manic walking is no longer an option? or would it be better to live farther away and find a patch of lawn to mow, and a neighbor who doesn’t mind live music at 10:01 pm?

As my friend Paula gently pointed out, these are first world problems! Still, what shape the rest of our lives might take has been much on my mind the last couple of weeks, and, of course, housing thoughts followed me into the studio.

A while ago I found a box of ancient real estate documents in a neighborhood “vide grenier”–timely raw materials for working through my housing ambivalence! They are evocative collage material, with their dates and places and old fashioned columns of handwritten figures. I like the transparency a coat of linseed oil gave the yellowing papers; and how selectively sanding back through the layers added to the feeling of time passing. So many records of transactions for the rich and successful M. Chabrier, dead for at least a hundred years…but could he take it with him?

The blank dream-canvas, where a top floor with terrace is still possible:


Fixed floor plan and monthly charges start to emerge out of the haze (What? no bathtub?!….)


Back to the drawing board–it is too early to hammer the lid shut on the rest of our lives!



4 Responses to “Dream vs. reality”

  1. Old papers seem to have a life of their own!

    • Betsy Lahaussois Says:

      Yes, Pat, and you were the one who first opened my eyes to that, years ago. I treasure my collection of your wonderful work! XXB

  2. Mimi Greer Says:

    Exciting, Betsy — will you get a new place, or did I miss something?

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