Liam and I have had a tough week. We've gathered our past successes and placed them in a tea cup and then tried to brew them again and again to remind ourselves we will make our new lives here, wondering what will become of our music and writing careers, respectively. It's a lot of pressure we've put on this dear city.
Then tonight, we're at a show of Alela Diana, whom I first saw at Mama Buzz when Liam was doing his Ace of Spades recording series. This was no room of gentrification at formica tables, this was a venue (well, still a tad bit of gentrification) huge and smoky, Liam and I in front with 4 videographers plus 4 photographers in front of us snapping pictures of the gal while their elbows go straight to our faces. Then there's Liam, with the intro from Alela, giving his demo to the guy that works for the label who heard his myspace and liked it and regardless where this leads, I think - this is good. After a week of questions and doubts swelling and receding, it's nice to get some concrete validation. Paris is big. Indie music world is small. We're glad we moved to Paris and not the Cote d'Azure where Liam couldn't find music. We're glad to have done the work we did in Oakland. Now I say we but really it's for Liam, and really, my 10 rejection letters, 8 with notes, are sitting in my brain brewing some confidence in my own mind again.
I have two of the letters on the fridge to remind me that someone read my poems, someone that didn't have to like them, and each morning when I have my tea, I remind myself. Above you can see my new tea shelf, replete with leftover Throat Coat and Ginger tea that came in the suitcase alongside a misty green from Teance and our favorite, Korean barley corn tea. Yesterday, I went to both Mariage Freres and Les Palais des Thes where I indulged first in Indian teas (a crisp clean Assam recommended by new friends and a chai that I was yearning for) and then Chinese (a light, non-astringent green and a lovely basement-y, comfort me with your must pu-erh). I have writerly visions of upping my caffeine intake with the black teas and sipping away each November morning when Liam starts his new job and I sit back to relax and do some writing.
This week though, our favorite has been Korean barley, which I lovingly re-named "colonel comfort nut" (kernel comfort nut) when Liam asked for tea and as it brewed he said, 'what's that Oakland smell?" and thus, our comfort nut tea was reborn.