This time around, our buddy Montaigne is writing on prognostications, wherein he says the same old thing that we’ve heard so many times by now that even if you could know your own future it would be better not to. I don’t know anyone nowadays who would believe anything an “oracle” told them, but nonetheless, despite our more scientific mindsets these days it is difficult to put something completely out of your head once it is put there.
I won’t say that I would want to know my future, but a couple hints wouldn’t be unwelcome. Without the hints I may not be spurred in the proper direction and instead spend my days doing something I don’t particularly like and my evening listening to music and drinking wine. I don’t mind such an evening activity, especially in the company of friends and family, but that daytime activity is still hanging over my head. What will it be? I don’t properly know. For now and for the next 6 months it will have to remain speaking English with French schoolchildren.
Since the oracle won’t tell me, and since I’ve often thought that you can’t simply force thoughts to present themselves (they just do after a while), I suppose in the meantime my thoughts will have to keep marinating.
While they’re doing that I need to find some things to do in Coulommiers. Some exercise would be nice. Every collège organizes an event every fall called le cross where all the students run a small cross country course. The kids seem to enjoy this activity, and I don’t blame them; I enjoyed it too. I participated in le cross de Madame de Lafayette. I learned that one of the EPS (PE) teachers there is the number-one ranked French roller skier. I’m still not sure whether I had ever heard of roller skiing before, but it seems like it could be fun. I’ll have to see if he and the other EPS teachers ever play pickup sports. I would like to play le hand (handball). It’s quite popular here. There’s even a handball court in the Parc des Capucins. I think I’d be good at it, and I won’t have my agility forever, so I might as well use it while I’ve got it.
Without pickup sports the only exercise I really have is running. This is fine; you don’t need anyone else to go with you, although it’s nicer when someone does. But with so much solitary time here in France, I honestly don’t need a solitary sport on top of that. So my rather unambitious plan for my return to school on November 3rd (I’m on vacation until then), is to ask Igor (France’s number one roller skier) if he ever plays pickup sports, and thereby earn his friendship, and a way to be social, and to get exercise, all at the same time.
Today on my run I found some woods that I had seen on google maps. As I was running through them I heard CRACK! CRACK! More hunters! This wasn’t the first time that I had barely been outside of Coulommiers when I encountered hunters. I decided that I shouldn’t keep running towards the rifle reports, not wanting to become what was hunted. Instead, I outflanked the hunters and wound up running on a path of endless, cultivated fields. It’s really quite impressive to be in the middle of farmland. Before Coulommiers I never had been so close to farms. It makes you feel closer to the earth—to its vital essence.
But I don’t think I want to be a farmer.