When David and I met and fell in love in Paris in the spring of 1996, we were both in our fifties, established professionals, and parents. He was a divorced American attorney living on a converted barge moored in the center of Paris. I was a clinical and research psychologist working from my home in Westport, Connecticut. Both of us had signed off on loving again. My book chronicles the transatlantic courtship that transformed our internal and external lives as we confronted challenges of kids, careers and cultures and began creating a life together.
The memoir describes our synchronistic first encounter and follows us over twenty-three subsequent transatlantic crossings within twenty-two months as we overcome emotional, social, and financial obstacles to being together. Along the way, David the loner, living amid the beauty, freedom and pleasures of Paris, brings me, responsible and overcommitted, back to my core as a woman, while I help him reclaim human connections that tie him to a larger world. We wrestle internal demons (mostly mine) and external threats (mostly friends, family and different perspectives). Rich anecdotes drawn from our moments together bring to life adventures in our separate worlds: mine in Westport and New Haven, Connecticut; Mid-Coast Maine; and Manhattan; at professional meetings held in Banff, Toronto, Washington, Philadelphia and Chicago; and David’s life in Paris, on the Normandy coast, and at weekends with the Harvard Law School Association of Europe in Turin and in Burgundy. Thanks to David’s instinct to save the original documents, the times of frequent but necessary separation are captured in our fanciful and reflective two year fax correspondence, where we both come alive through our own individual voices – flirting, musing, laughing, arguing and whining. We inevitably move more deeply into the shared reality that confronts us both with parts of ourselves that we had long ago buried and that yearned for compassion and psychic space. As our respective needs emerge, we navigate the clutter on our paths and find a way to bridge the geographic distance.