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Wednesday, 2 February 2011

Paean a Paris...

When I'm not in Paris, I have an odd lump in my throat that reminds me of her beauty and life-spirit... That which goes on when I am not there.

Paris is my spiritual home. What do I mean by 'spiritual home,' you ask?

We've explored Paris together, my husband and I. We've grown into adults under the stars there, dreaming and sleeping in various locations, over the years. Neuilly, Bercy, Porte d'Orleans. La Porte Doree, the Rive Gauche, le Marais...

I've been on, or in, a submarine in Paris. We've sailed the Bateaux Mouches many a time. I've climbed le Tour Eiffel, even the steep stairs that wind inside Sacre Coeur, or we crush on to the packed Funicular there.

Every time we visit, we take the lift all the way to the top of le Tour Montparnasse. And Paris winds catch my skirt tails, caressing my cheeks, and I peer down upon the vast cemetery there, like a small town of tiny grey houses, where Simone de Beauvoir and Serge Gainsbourg rest in peace...

We've trodden the cobbled streets of Montmartre and rue Mouffetard. We've quaffed rose wine in Belleville and visited Oscar Wilde's and Sarah Bernhardt's monuments at Pere Lachaise. We've partaken of moules, frites, pancakes and gloriously cheesey omelettes at The Old Navy, where the quotidian clientele shifts at night to the gloriously colourful drag scene. We've experienced belle epoque glamour at restos in Odeon, and Grizz sat cross-legged aged 10 in front of our table at a cafe on the Boul' St. Michel, watching entranced as a skilled fire-eater set fire to his dreadlocks...

I've spent many happy hours as a single girl in the company of Rodin, Camille Claudel, Monet, Manet and Whistler. I choose to doff my cap to the tiny Albrecht Duerer in the Louvre, and I think, 'In another life, I might have stolen him from his beloved Agnes'. Eschewing la Joconde, we languish instead at the foot of the glass pyramid and watch the crowds that pass... One scorching hot summer, we joined les Parisiens, who cast off their usual steely fashion reserve, to dip their caps and douse their feet in the cool fountains near l'Opera.

I live, and raised my family in England. Germany has a piece of my wild heart.

Paris takes hold of my soul...



5 comments:

slommler said...

I have yet to have the pleasure of visiting Paris! I long to go...and you make that longing grow!! Sigh!
Hugs
SueAnn

rallentanda said...

Beautifully written. Your love of Paris sings through your writing.It is the most wonderful city and unlike most tourists i have always found the French to be the most generous hospitable and friendly people. How lucky you are to live so close.

libby said...

Oh I so want to go now........

Dragonfly Dreams said...

Paris sounds delicious (in all the varying ways delicious can be construed)...I do understand about the draw to a country not of your own. Mine is Scotland and I would be there in a heartbeat if I could! Thank you so much for sharing your Paris with us!

gpc said...

I have never been, but you make me want it even more!

Something I wrote earlier...

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