I am no longer at the Council on Foreign Relations at Sixty-eighth and Park but sitting across from John at breakfast in the dining room of the Bristol in Paris in November 2003. We are each reading the International Herald Tribune, hotel copies, with little stapled cards showing the weather for the day. The cards for each of those November mornings in Paris showed an umbrella icon. We walked in the rain at the Jardin du Luxembourg. We escaped from the rain into St. Sulpice. There was a mass in progress. John took communion. We caught cold in the rain at the Jardin de Ranelagh. On the flight back to New York John’s muffler and my jersey smelled of wet wool. On takeoff he held my hand until the plane began leveling.
He always did.
Where did that go?
–Joan Didion, The Year of Magical Thinking; I had to take a breather after reading that one, and I’ve thought of that passage every single time I’ve traveled by plane since then.