Le piece de resistance for today: PARIS…
Like many of the topics we’ve covered so far, Paris was going to come up eventually… as Nietzsche so rightly said:
“As an artist, a man has no home in Europe save in Paris”
Though personally, I think it’s not only Europe, but the World. I think all artists, no matter their chosen field… be it sculpting, painting or writing… has the one dream where they are “World famous in Paris”. Paris, it seems, adds credibility to an artist… ‘Yes, I painted this sitting in my room in Auckland’ doesn’t have quite the same ring to it as, ‘I breathed this painting to life, seated in my study, overlooking the Seine, the Eiffel tower silhouetted by the red, waning sun’ does it? (Ok, yes, I may have romanticized that second one a little).
Paris, is the city of many things… the city of Culture, the city of Lights, the city of Fashion, the city of Art, the city of Romance… but most importantly, the city of Love. I think this final one, the city of Love, speaks out above all the others… because it’s not just talking about falling in Love with another… but I think, is about every aspect of the word. In Paris, you fall in Love with everything, all of the above mentioned and more… You fall in Love with the Lights, and the Fashion, and the Art, and the People, and the Romance… You fall in Love with the city itself. You may even fall in Love, with yourself.
I don’t mean that in an up-yourself kind of way, but in a soul-healing, confidence-building, I-know-who-I-am kind of way. Again, I include a quote here, this time by Allen Ginsberg:
“You can’t escape the past in Paris, and yet what’s so wonderful about it is that the past and present intermingle so intangibly that it doesn’t seem to burden”
In Paris, the failures and mistakes of your past… the ones that you may find yourself running from… find themselves lightened, eased, softened. The city itself seems to echo this, the beautiful, classical architecture merging with the new and modern. So entwined together that you barely notice the vast contrasts, and both somehow seem relevant and linked. Look at the Arc de Triomphe, for example, and a couple of kilometers down the road, to La Grande Arche. Two structures of similar shape, divided by both time and style… and yet, they both seem to fit together, as though they came from the same shoe box. Perhaps, again, it’s just me?
To borrow a few more words (this time with my own little spin), England is my country, but Paris is my hometown. Paris is where my heart lies, and my soul longs to return. Talk about rose colored glasses? Who knows what awaits us in the cities of our dreams? For me, I believe I shall find myself, and with that, begin to discover more about life… the life I long to live that is… and to do that, first I have to get back to Paris.
Paris, je t’aime.