Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Elements of Ahhh

Composition :
the act of combining parts or elements to form a whole.

Since I am the créatrice of this Composition that is me,
I prefer to have my whole come from elements of Ahhh.

Photos from the Book, International Floral Art by Jaak Van Damme

Like a floral designer creating a composition, she chooses
her flowers.
Picking them up, one by one, she twirls the
stem between her fingers while raising it to the
light, her eyes dance across the petals, with an
occasional tilt of the head.
Whether or not the flower is chosen, rests with the
créatrice. If it has pleasured her senses, a smile will
usually follow. If she smiles, becomes
conscious of the fact she breathed in, and feels that
ahhh, the flower gets added to the composition.

Those ahhh moments are why I started blogging.
You see, sometimes, for me, there is a danger of
those moments getting shoved to the
back of my memory and I prefer them to stay
front and center.
Traveling to France is like a sensory overload
to me. I need a place for my ahhh's, other
than "dans ma tete".
I never thought when I started blogging about
my ahhh's, that other people would start
reading. I'm glad you are here! I hope that
sharing my ahhh's has given you a few too!

Seems like the perfect moment to share with you
another Ahhh moment from France.

About eight years ago, I was in the village of Billom in
the Auvergne region of France. Not a lot of Americans
seen here, it is pretty deep in the countryside.

I was at an auberge having lunch, seated next to an
elderly French gentleman and his wife.
The only French words in my vocabulary then
were Bonjour and Merci. You can imagine my
discomfort when the Frenchman tries to
politely engage in conversation. Despite my
inadequacies, I attempted to start rolling r's and
singing liaisons, only to his dismay.
(you know, Mark Twain once said France was a wonderful country,
only problem was they sometimes didn't understand French).
After a few exchanges, the Frenchman gets
this blank look on his face and starts waving
his arms to summon the waitress.
A big commotion then followed. ..
Oh my, I thought, I have humiliated myself
and in my ignorance said something dreadful,
not understanding why the waitress was
approaching all the other tables, and all eyes
were on me!
A few minutes later, another patron,
seated in the back of the auberge approaches
my table. I was squirming in my seat.
He introduces himself and speaks English.
Whew, little relief, at least now I would
know what it was I said that created the tizzy.
The English speaking Frenchman proceeded
to tell me that the elderly man and his wife
would like to buy my lunch, as a token of
appreciation, because I was American!
(Huh???, they already knew I was American because
of the Keds, now they knew I was Southern).
Oui, Oui, Oui, the English speaking Frenchman
says, he wants to say Thank You to the Americans.
He traveled to America in 1951 and
said he was treated with such kindness that
he wanted to give something back.
Such a fond memory, he said.
Little did he know, he was creating one of mine.

Like the floral designer picking the flowers
for her composition, a smile came to my face,
I became aware of that breath, and there was
an Ahhh in the pit of my stomach.
I want these little elements to be a part of,
my composition, and to share them with you.
It is important to me to keep them front
and center.

That my friends, is the France I know and love.
Along with her beautiful antiques, she
possesses some of the world's most beautiful people.
So many Elements of Ahhh has she!!!

Hope your day is filled with Ahhh's!

Bisou mon ami's and Thank You for sharing in my Ahhh's


Mélanie said...

Thank you for sharing your love of France !!!

Devonia said...

Breathtaking! Congrats on your 100th post, Shawn and thank you a hundred times & more for taking us to France with you. Devonia

LiLi M. said...

Bonjour copine,

Thank you for 100 posts, the flowers and for giving me inspiration for my next bad hairday, that is if I can find enough Tillandsia at the time.

Keep those inspiring posts coming!
bisous et bonne fête, LiLi

Debbie said...

Congratulations on your 100th post. I must say thank you SOOOOO much for sharing with us. I look forward to each new post. I get to visit places I have never gone, but dream about. I love your blog.
Debbie from

Brook said...

Thank you for sharing interesting stories about the French. Your blog is always lovely and inspiring!


Vicki said...

Merci Shawn for sharing your love of France with us....I look forward to each and every post as I dream of France everyday!!! Looking forward to another 100!!!!

Kathleen Ellis said...

Aaaaaaahhhhhhh.....aaahhhh...sooo very very lovely...aaahhhhh!

I've only just discovered you and your blog....thank you to Devonia, and yet I feel as though I'm visiting an old friend! a kindred spirit!
Aaaahhhhh! such a beautiful place!


Lovely Shawn. You have provided us with so much through your vision and words. Merci and congratulations.
Lisa & Alfie

mystikal said...

Félicitations !

I look forward to reading about your love of France . I someday hope to write of my travel and love of France.
Merci mon amie,


Anonymous said...

Aaaah what a beautiful post! Reading your blog fills my days with countless Ahhh's! Thank you!
Congratulations on your 100th post, let there be many more to Ahhhh over ;-)!!!

charmaine said...

Thank you for sharing that lovely story.Your blog is like a good book,i look for to seeing what you will post next. Congratulations on your 100th post.I will one day visit Paris, but until then your blog truly takes me there.

Thank you

Cote de Texas said...

Sooooo beautiful - Happy Birthday my friend!!! and many many more blogs to you!!!!

love your music box - such pretty music, just like the pictures.

Robin said...

Congratulations on your 100th post, and thanks for adding me to your blogroll - I've been getting quite a bit of traffic from you lately!

I love that first photo, it's like a modern day flower fairy all grown up!

Debby said...

Congratulations and thank you Shawn for sharing all that you do. Your photo's and words are such an inspiration!
I'm looking forward to the next 100posts and beyond!
Sending you a big hug!


Villa Anna said...

Shawn, every time I visit your blog I have an Ahhh moment. I adore it, it inspires me constantly - YOU inspire me constantly.

Happy 100th post! I can't wait for the next 100.

Anna :)

TheParisApartment said...

ahhhh! What's not to love? Congrats on your 100th post! Looks like we all love France thru your eyes. I hope we're there one day together!!

Kathy said...

Oh such beauty you provide! Congrats!

Joy Zaczyk said...

What a wonderful story. Countries make dislike each other at times but the individual people in them show their true character...