So, where to begin? I suppose my name is a good start.
Named after Grace Kelly, I’ve been roaming this world I know for twenty some years now. Whether it be through busy skyscraper-lined streets, lovely cobble-stoned historic districts, or black & white pages of books, roaming is what I purely do best. La Douce Flâneuse – I can surely call it an alias, or perhaps a pseudonym, but both would just imply it to be merely a pen name. It’s much more than a moniker because it is who I exactly am, every fiber of my being.
Flâneuse is simply the feminine form of un flâneur, which is derived from the French verb “to stroll” – flâner. Made prominent by the French poet Charles Baudelaire back in the nineteenth century, le flâneur is one who literally strolls about. Much more substantial, he spectates, ponders, understands, & participates in all that surrounds him while he saunters along city paths. As a detached observer in the streets, un flâneur becomes the city emblem of experiences & knowledge that particularly surround literature, art, politics, & the like. I am this detached observer of all things, always with wide eyes looking all about. From the droplets of rain to people crossing streets, I see life – I want to experience all of it.
I realize that it may appear to many that aimlessly strolling deems no purpose, that one who just saunters about has no purpose. Being this saunterer does have an association with lazy idleness & I admit that the lazy lounger is in me. However, I find nothing wrong with this. Studded with my mindful curiosity, my lounging & sauntering has revealed to me much purpose. I explore, I stumble, I wander – there is no better way for me to go through & experience life. I explore, I stumble, I wander – every day onto roads that make my life so much more purposeful than the next. I explore, I stumble, I wander…
Also, this laziness is entangled with the act of wasting time. I just have to say that I believe in no such concept of “wasting time.” How can you have wasted time when that wasted time brought you joy & wisdom? When that wasted time had a ticking hand in making who you are at this very moment? I believe in no such thing.
I’ll end with this because I don’t want to ramble on too much – I’ve added douce, meaning sweet, because this seems to be a prominent descriptor that people use in illustrating me. This to me is both a gift & curse, as it allows me to love so much yet so much to a fault. I only hope one day there will be someone or many who nurtures this, rather than abuse it. While I don’t quite fluently speak French, the French term is ever more appropriate in encompassing who I am as it is this beautiful & romantic language of literature & poetry. Writing, reading, being absolutely enveloped in words is how I perceive & enjoy life. Not only this, it’s popularly known as the “language of love,” which I don’t think always connotes romantic love. While I am hugely a hopeless romantic, I have this general, ramose, sometimes very naive love for everything.
Grace, La Douce Flâneuse