Why did it take me so long?
We got back from Paris in early January. I've updated everything else I've done this year that is album worthy.
What was it about Paris?
Sure I had several thousand photos to go through, culling out the 500 best options. Too many, perhaps. But I loved each quartier we visited, each moment we (husband and two 20-something daughters) shared. I wanted to preserve all of them and that takes time.
I did manage to post a few shots online throughout the year. But I was afraid to 'go there', afraid to face the idea that I might never return to this amazing city, that I was actually saying good-bye to a piece of myself.
As I slipped the pictures into the plastic sleeves, I was filled with such deep, bittersweet longing. I've spent much of my life, since 4th grade when I first started learning French and dreaming of a European adventure, preparing for what would eventually be this trip. I realized when I came home that I had come to the end of my recent dip back into studying the language. I could let it go. If I never went back, why continue the news in French?
I'd minored in art history in college, immersing myself in European, mostly French, artists. I had read many books over the last 7 years about Paris, France, the French. Last fall, I read a book about Sylvia Beach and her Shakespeare & Co bookstore and one about the building of Notre Dame cathedral. Books on French food, French style and memoirs by both men and women who'd lived all over France.
I had been to Paris in 2005 for 3 days and didn't much like it. Too many snooty waiters. But this time it took. I have Paris in the brain. Neurons that swoon over black and white photos of the steps of Montmartre.
I walk those gray streets even now as some gardener's lawn mower blares outside my window and the temperature will soar into the 90's this afternoon and the sun will bounce off the chrome bumper like a laser shooting from the car in front of me.
I now realize it's chronic, this illness. There's no cure for me. The only hope for remission is another visit. Thankfully I still have all those language sites bookmarked.