A river runs through me

Once upon a time, August 2010 to be fairly precise, I started a blog. I named it “The Daily {French-Italian} Cure.” The French-Italian part was stuck in there because I didn’t want this to be a generic archive of  things I like. I specifically wanted to collect those things about France and Italy that have, in a very substantial way, “cured” me of some restless desire I had as a young woman to have “more.” And by “more,” I don’t mean more in a material sense. I mean more life, more experience, more depth, more…more of that undefinable stuff that makes you feel connected to your own passage, the Earth, all of it.


I often felt in the U.S. that I was part of a swiftly moving river of useless change. Change for the sake of change. New-is-better-than-old kind of change. I think, I hope, that the trend itself (which I experienced acutely in Atlanta, Georgia in the mid 80’s) is changing. Maybe it was the media (maybe it was Fox News!) but I felt like American culture was conditioning me to live in a state of anxiety, expecting the worse. Simultaneously, I felt, for lack of better words, “That there had to be more.”


It’s easy—far too easy—to blame things on cultures and countries, without realizing that what ails you is inside yourself, perhaps buried in your own past, genetic makeup or lack of maturity. As the cliché accurately reports, “Wherever you go, there you are.” So it’s impossible to say whether Europe made me literally feel better, or if I, when I came here, changed in fundamental ways, thereby making myself feel better.  Ah, the things we will never know.


But it’s nice to think that I found a home here. And that it did, in some way, speak to my soul in a language my soul could better understand. For whatever reason, I feel part of some great flowing energy. More than ever before.

When I started this blog, I remember being in a heightened state of gratitude about all that surrounded me here in Burgundy. It is, for me, one of the most beautiful corners of the earth. It makes my heart ache.


A river runs right by our little town. It is called, appropriately enough, La Cure. The Cure. It rises in the Morvan and merges into the Yonne. I have no idea what the origin of its name is—if, in fact, it was considered a cure of some sort—but our pilgrimages here, every year, are definitely therapeutic. We cross the river and enter into another state of mind. We watch the little river flow by, and let ourselves flow away with it. Rivers don’t wait for you to find your meditative state; they take you to it without hesitation.

Hence “The Daily Cure.” Not a grand promise that I can cure you of anything at all. But an attempt to feel the river’s flow even when it’s not running at our feet. I don’t always succeed, and recently I’ve not even been able to carve out the time to write, but I wanted you to know the reason behind the name. The reason this experiment exists.  I can’t take the beautiful Cure back to Milan with me, but I try. The river keeps flowing…



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21 Responses to A river runs through me

  1. Gerlinde says:

    Your post touched my heart and my soul. I’m happy that you found what you were looking for. After many years of moving from Europe to the U.S. I know my heart is in Santa Cruz with my husband but being here in Germany and listening to the sounds of my German family I feel the attachment of my roots and emotions right here.

  2. Thanks Gerlinde. Home is in all kinds of places, isn’t it? When I go home to the US now — even back to Atlanta — I feel wonderfully at home. More than I used to. I’m not sure why that is…

  3. Joan says:

    Flow River Flow…through us all.
    Beautiful Prose wise one.

  4. cecilia says:

    To answer your first question, no, here in the states nothing has changed in relation to a media and emotional environment that the other guy is out to get you so you had better get him first! One reason why i do not have TV or a radio here. Anyway the river Cure.. thank you so much for explaining the name of your blog, it is a wonderful calm delightful space this blog space of yours. I often feel the river gently but inexorably rolling through your words.. wonderful post.. take care darling girl!.. c

  5. Debra Kolkka says:

    I love the river that flows below our house in Bagni di Lucca, I could watch it for hours, and sometimes I do. I think I am attracted to water. I grew up beside the beach and love the ocean. Our stone house in the mountains has its own spring and we have a little frog fountain to bring the water to our garden. There is definitely something about flowing water that is appealing.

    • Your river is SO beautiful. I always think about what it must be like to live perched right on top of it with the geraniums and the mountains and the changeable sky overhead. Your life is so beautiful, Deb. But you don’t need anyone to tell you that…

  6. dayphoto says:

    What a beautiful post! Is so remember those questing feelings. I struggled so in my twenties and thirties…my forties and fifties brought peace of sort. Now I understand the need to quest…we are searching to put all the flowers, the stars and the sunrises and sunsets in our souls back together, bringing the puzzle into a completeness. Now in my middle 60’s I am able to see the puzzle picture, the middle is still a little incomplete, but I’m getting there.

    Lovely post, My Friend.


    • These comments about age are so helpful! I am beginning to see life in big swinging arcs…that bind the generations together (i.e. choices my mother made or things she loved being played out in my life)…every decade is a surprise. So much more full of life and possibility than I imagined. I can’t see quite as much of the puzzle as you (love that metaphor), but things are starting to make a sense…and I love that! Thanks Linda. Love you.

  7. Jackie says:

    So lovely and true. Caught here in the USA which is only getting worse in terms of the issues you talk about. I’ve caught myself, but am taking this year to unload so many material things, sell, and refind myself. Love you!

    • Good for you ! Unloading material things is one of my great joys. I love that feeling, literally, of lightness! Where would you live if not there?

      • Jackie says:

        Have been researching rentals in Iceland. I spent a month there last summer and met many relatives, so they would make us feel right at home. Three months there followed by another 4 or 5 with my husband’s family in southern France. Then, we’ll see. Probably keep a small place in Oregon, since my son lives here. Shooting lots of photography over the past 6 years, and will continue it abroad. Love to you and your family!

  8. I’ve always wanted to go to Iceland. Always. It seems like one of the earth’s special places to me. I’d forgotten that your husband was French. Do you speak French? You do don’t you? (if memory serves, which often it does NOT). I love France…it’s always reminded me in very weird ways of Oregon, so being able to be here off and on throughout the year has offset how much I miss Oregon. Lots of love Jackie! So so good to hear from you. x

  9. I speak HORRIBLE French. I try and I manage but it’s very hard for me. I think Italian knocked it out of my head. Please do contact me. I’d love to see you.

  10. tim hanrahan says:

    a joy to read and consider. thanks charlotte.

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