Tuesday, October 18, 2011


It's hard to describe how I feel about this place.
I must have run through every possible emotion in the four days I spent in the city this last week.
I wish I'd written while I was still there.  As I walked through the park next to S&Co., I felt fit to burst with all the things I wanted to express.  Now, in Bordeaux, I don't feel fluent enough to write these thoughts and feelings eloquently.

This blog documents the things I live, (with a few exceptions). So why are there no pictures of Paris?

I had a hard time with this.
My relationship with Paris is hard to articulate, and borders something mad.  For some odd reason, I felt like Paris and I had some unspoken connection that transcended the need to immortalize her in snapshots.  To take a picture of Paris would be like photographing something vulnerable and naked.  These ideas don't really make a lot of sense at all.  But, in the whirlwind of the four days I spent in the city, little did. 

Paris is a chapter in my life.  
The best, best chapter there has been, and and an all too painful chapter to end.  Yet I wonder now if I've closed the doors on this place forever.
Despite the high of being back in my city, during the first three days I felt shy, like meeting a lover after two and a half silent years.  After much anxiety, I finally worked up the courage and made my way to the roots all these feelings; across the river and back to 37, rue Bucherie. 
I was nearly shaking when I walked through the doors of Shakespeare and Company.
Everything there was familiar.  The shelves of French novelists and the travel books by the door, the wishing well and steep library ladders, Colette, George's dog, and the faces.  Old faces in familiar corners, friends who did not know if I'd been gone two months or two years.  I sat in the park with Art and talked of old times; sitting by the river, talking until dawn, getting into mischief, and jumping in the Seine.  Sylvia was still running around the shop like a cyclone in an effort to get everything done in a day, and my bed upstairs next to the piano was still the best spot to sit and listen to people making music. 
Nothing in this tiny corner of the world had changed at all.
But I had.  
It was simultaneously a hard and a relieving sensation to come upon this realization.  I had never wanted to part from Paris, and in different circumstances, might  never have left.  And though it took me too long to accept that I was no longer living in this fictional world, I'm not really that tumbleweed any longer.

But who am I now, precisely?  
I'm still a girl who would prefer to live in a world of fiction, yes, but what kind of reality do I construct for myself?  I'm teetering at the edge of some new paradigm where I can no longer wait for experiences like Paris to come tumbling into my lap.  This is a time to be active, and I can do anything.
An entire world of possibility is perhaps the most intimidating things I can think of.  
How in the world will I ever alight on the right thing?
None of these ideas mean that I'll be leaving Paris behind.  If anything I'm holding onto it even more tightly, a means of anchoring myself to some identity.  I'll take it with me wherever I go, but finally,
I am free.

P.S. Though I didn't take pictures of the city, I did photograph the interiors of restaurants and the canal, evident here, here, here, here and here.