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Virginia Schmidt

Bonjour de Paris!

Yes, I’m writing you from the heart of Paris, France, where I finally have arrived to explore the land of my dreams for just over a month. Not only did I cross 4,771 miles to arrive here from my hometown of Cody, but I also have traveled back in time.

“If I were you, I’d just drop the big words altogether.”

I sink lower in my chair, cheeks blossoming crimson.

Sometimes, when I step outside them for a second, I become afraid of the very things I’ve most come to take for granted; the most familiar morphs into the most alarming.

Lying on my belly across the sea of my velvet green comforter, I suddenly felt very, very lonely.

The letters of Mariah Stephen’s sign at the Women’s March sparkled and popped out from a black background in glittering gold and hot pink letters: “Being Kind is More Important than Being Right.”

Did I say that the only thing we require to be good philosophers is the faculty of wonder? If I did not, I say it now: THE ONLY THING WE REQUIRE TO BE GOOD PHILOSOPHERS IS THE FACULTY OF WONDER.”

Snow drifts and floats in airy cakes, a sunny wind picking it up from where it rests on rooftops and flowerpots.

My mother and I crunch in swift, evening walk strides down the gravely dirt road to which the swollen asphalt of Sunset Rim gives way. We set out later than we meant to. Timing is everything, and our lateness gives us this particular view of a sun setting, just now, just here, just for us.

We headed up South Fork early on a Thursday morning, Aug. 24, 2017.


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