Happy Thanksgiving from Paris

Pavillon des Canaux, Paris 19…dsc03044

There is much to be thankful for:

Gratitude to Mother Earth, sailing through night and day–
and to her soil: rich, rare and sweet
in our minds so be it.
Gratitude to Plants, the sun-facing light-changing leaf
and fine root hairs: standing still through wind 
and rain; their dance is in the flowing spiral grain
in our minds so be it.
Gratitude to Air, bearing the soaring Swift and the silent
Owl at dawn. Breath of our song
clear spirit breeze
in our minds so be it.
Gratitude to Wild Beings, our brothers, teaching secrets,
freedoms and ways; who share with us their milk;
self- complete, brave, and aware
in our minds so be it.
Gratitude to Water: clouds, lakes, rivers, glaciers;
holding or releasing; streaming through all
all bodies salty seas
in our minds so be it.
Gratitude to the Sun: blinding pulsing light through 
trunks of trees, through mists, warming caves where
bears and snakes sleep–he who wakes us–
in our minds so be it.
Gratitude to the Great Sky
who holds billions of stars–and goes yet beyond that–
beyond all powers, and thoughts
and yet is within us–
Grandfather Space
The Mind is his Wife.
so be it.
(after a Mohawk prayer)
– by Gary Snyder

Voices in the Street


Americans, French and other nationalities took to the streets near the Eiffel Tower yesterday, believing there has to be a more enlightened  way….”The committee organizing Paris Against Trump is a diverse coalition of U.S., French and international citizens including artists, writers, teachers, students, journalists, business professionals and activists.”

Photo by me, sign by Shannon Cain 🙂

to be continued xxxxx Aliss

Seize the Joy


Taking a moment to immerse myself in Joy… Time to “store” up light for 2017, we’ll need it!

This is the Galeries Lafayette Haussmann Christmas tree. Go to the second floor for more information about uploading a magic app, or use the tablets on site to view the world in a holiday glow (no spoilers!) More coming xxxxxx Aliss

Veterans’ Day


Very moved by our family’s visit to this WWI memorial for thousands of US Marines KIA in 1918, helping protect Paris and end the war, 2289 graves, 33 stars of David, Aisne-Marne American Cemetery and Memorial, Belleau, France, one of many many many…….Thank you to all our veterans, and my dad in Arlington…  to be continued…. xxxxx Aliss

I won’t stop believing (November 9th)


Since I saw the swan on Friday, trying to find words for how I feel.
It’s been quite a year, many challenges in my life and around me, too many to count: terrorism, violent demonstrations, floods, refugee crisis, family issues, and now the US presidential election… Trying to stay up to date, reeling from toxic news overdose, head down, walking in cold rain, not looking for a sign, I lifted my eyes at the right moment and there it was, a white swan, first in almost a year,* pure beauty and grace, life, resilience. Took my breath away, filled me with joy. The only way I can describe my feeling is “something happening in the Force”… but not a “disturbance”… so what is the opposite of disturbance? Smoothing of the force? Harmony in the force? Light in the force?
That day, someone added me to a private FB group called Pantsuit Nation, carrying positive information about the election that ballooned from a few people lightening up with pantsuits, to three million in a matter of days, a community of thought, a fabric of kindred spirits, shining like beads of light woven together in space.
Suddenly there was a refuge to share our stories, dreams, courage, determination, love, inspirations, tolerance. Millions people opening up, laughing and crying together, trading experiences and pictures. An antidote to the poisonous headlines.
There are millions of good people out there with energy for the future.
The days are darker as we move towards the winter solstice and the rebirth of Light. I won’t stop believing.
dsc03043Since Paris implemented a Biodiversity  Program several years ago, stopped using pesticides, and began creating Green and Blue corridors for wildlife, a pair of swans settled on the canal and raised 6 cygnets every year. Last January we found one of the adults sick or wounded on an embankment and it was taken to the vet school for treatment. Never heard anything more about it but the flock disappeared completely. Until Friday…