I spent the weekend before last in Paris with friends. It was beautiful and happy and a little bit magical. I love that place! But also coming back to Madrid was so welcome; the trip made me realize how much this city is starting to feel like home, however temporary, and also I so appreciate being able to communicate! Someone recently told me that not being able to speak the language of the place you’re in is like having your hands tied behind your back and I agree so completely. Language is power, having the power to communicate is something I always hope to cultivate.
All that aside, Paris is a really wondrous city and I had the best time for those few days.
My one request for our itinerary was a visit to l’Orangerie Museum–it was arguably my favorite part of the trip I took two years ago and it struck me just as hard this time. Seeing those water lilies in action is such a profound experience. They are SPECTACULAR, I tell you! There is absolutely no way to appreciate their magnitude and depth other than in person. And I’ve seen them in person twice! Lucky duck, I am.
Other notable things from Friday : being touristy @ the Louvre, pastries at Odette, boat tour on the Seine (so much fun!), and a delicious dinner involving a bottle of red wine and french onion soup, yum.
Saturday : Picnic by the Eiffel Tower! So yummy and cheap and the view wasn’t half bad 😉 On the recommendation of the lovely Alison Graham we spent the afternoon in the Jewish Quarter exploring shops and art galleries–and of course I bought a t-shirt at Cheap Monday. You can never have enough basics, is what I have to say about that. We grabbed sushi for dinner and then had THE BEST EVER crepes as a late night treat. I am not kidding when I say that they were some of the most delectable things I have ever put into my mouth. I’m developing an increasing dread that I will never again have a crepe without sighing longingly in remembrance of those. RIP, dear crepes.
Sunday : We went to the Catacombs and they were amazing. The amount of bones in that place is unbelievable, and being so far under the ground is a crazy feeling. You can’t help but think about all the rock pressing down above you and the possibility of its collapse (!!!). Overall, highly recommend. Afterward we did lots of walking, hot chocolate drinking, and macaron eating. We ended up by the Sacre Coeur and spent a long time just sitting and looking. Such an incredibly beautiful spot, and lots of good people watching. It was the perfect way to start bidding the city goodbye before our early flight the next morning.
Merci, Paris! See you soon.
Today is the last day of September. Sometimes time moves quickly and others slowly but right now it seems to make sense. Almost six weeks I’ve been here, six weeks of fresh days and new friends and quiet observations. Of travel and introspection and a lot of happiness.
I can feel the ways I’ve changed this year and it’s so much for the better. I think I am more patient and more kind. I listen more. I am able to be alone, and I like it and crave it and I value time to think. I feel I am more in the present, I can so much more easily let myself feel the good things and let the bad things wash over me like waves until they have tired themselves and I am once more at peace.
I’ve been so frustrated with myself in the past for my failure to finish projects, for not making enough art, for consuming so much more than I created. And then at the beginning of this year, I made goals and I started making them happen; I found things that I loved enough to keep up with. I made a blog–and I haven’t written daily or weekly but I do have a place in the internet with a handful of thoughts and photos and when I feel inspired I come here to create more. I have a project–and I take videos each day and if I miss one day a month it is ok, and at the end I put it all together and it makes me happy. I have a film camera–and I love taking photos and I do it, often. And I feel proud of what I make and I feel like I am finding my voice across mediums. I still soak up media, art, places; I listen to podcasts and to people speaking other languages and to friends telling me their stories, and I read lots of blogs and every modern love article and books (oh I love books!), and I look at painting and sculptures and videos and the things that I’ve made myself. And I make more things! And I think more thoughts! And every day I do the best I can to learn and communicate and to feel peace.
I cry easily. The things that move me to sadness make me happy to be feeling so deeply, so wholly; I am grateful to experience such a wealth of emotions upon reading and looking and observing, to derive such depth from people and places I do not know. To know pieces of people that I have not met. I like to internalize the external and I find such grace and humility in taking other people’s stories and weaving them into my own.
With love on a Wednesday afternoon.
Today was windy and gray and later on the rain came. I walked home through the park listening to music, soft enough to hear droplets falling between branches shading the quiet paths. The trees are turning here and seeing leaves loose and dry on the ground excites me.
I like the way this coolness feels, the air of it whipping my hair and papers, the need to turn down cuffed sleeves. I like to be in this place, the newness of it and the freedom, the lightness the future holds. The feeling of unsettlement and the act of settling. I like to walk and to wander, to run and think and make new ideas. I need to write down more ideas.
Each day is a little bit different but mostly it all just feels like now.