If you’re unhappy, sad, depressed…. come to Paris right now. Don’t bother with a suitcase – just jump on a plane, there are espadrilles, light blazers, scarves, everything you need is here. The play of sunlight on stone, golden greenness of new leaves, flowers blooming everywhere, unexpected gardens around the corner, people looking gorgeous sitting in cafes or looking gorgeous walking around eating ice cream is everything you need. And probably, someone will be playing clarinet a few doors down in your apartment building. Get ready. You’re not going to believe how the beauty will entrance you on a late Saturday afternoon, as you walk home in the early evening light, the medieval church spires glowing in front of you.
You’ll walk down rue du cherche-midi and see the stone buildings, variations on white… sand, cream, ivory, oat, like the colors of fields of grain in the sun… nature waving at the gods in the blue heavens and suddenly, you will crave good music, great literature, fine wine, good conversation and the bliss of creative accomplishment.
And it might sound ridiculous, but you’ll be pierced by love and joy passing the shops in the 7th arrondissement near the Eiffel tower after you drop off your teenager at her creative writing group, seeing the displays of black and white postcards of Paris on whirly stands, the variations of Paris – Hemingway’s Chanel’s, Piaf’s, Monet’s.
Because you’re making it yours too.
It’s walking swiftly through the Louvre taking your youngest to the Mona Lisa, amused by the tourists facing away, taking selfies with the painting, no one looking at it. It’s walking out of the Louvre that same day, passing the dog sitter with 20 disparate dogs running around the Tuileries.
It’s sitting at the nearest cafe waiting two hours for your daughter in ballet class, the lady next to you keyed up and needing an ear, learning in 15 minutes more than you might have ever learned about your closest friend in college.
It’s two seconds in on the metro, doors close, person in front of you, next stop, whole new crowd, eye contact with man in business suit, you both see the lady and man adjusting to the other on the small folding seats as she folds it down to sit, two second moment articulating human behavior. Smiles.
Put it this way: it’s as if Wes Anderson called up Cezanne and he agreed to do the staging and Picasso was there to shake things up, while Bonnard was in the background simply ignoring them all and getting right down to the work of painting the backdrops, while the children next door helped him and Wes, of course, Wes directed this movie while you had your head down trying to keep up with him while Miles jammed in the background. But he didn’t mind and while you wrote, Gabriel Garcia Marquez sat next to you at the cafe, saying, “You know, you’re not going to believe this, but… I’m kinda in love with…”
Paris…. It’s not easy, but if you can do it, it can be the most beautiful thing in the world.