Quatre Vingt Quatre

This is a collection of eighty-four photographs I took during a period of eighty-four days in France during the summer of 2019. Each photograph is accompanied by a sentence – in French and in English – as I try to make sense of one of the better decisions I’ve made.

That decision, to spend 12 weeks in France, would mean time away from television, from Los Angeles, from English, from dinner parties, from all the little things we cobble together and call our lives. These three months, then, were loose, improvised, and unexpected. But there was never any reason not to leave those things behind, I realized. So why not go, why not live, why not jump? As Bradbury said better than I ever could, “You’re going to miss life.  You’ve got to jump off the cliff all the time and build your wings on the way down.”

I knew loosely that I wanted to work on a vineyard, and that I would end up in Paris by the mid-point of the summer. That I didn’t make it to Paris till the end, that goats and goat cheese became a not-insignificant part of the trip, that loneliness and joy and confidence and insecurity were as much overarching themes as daily occurrences, were all, to steal from Bourdain, those parts unknown that became essential to what this trip would become.

– alex

You can read Quatre Vingt Quatre, and download it, here.