Why this blog?

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Friday, May 7, 2010

Why Paris?

"What does Paris mean to you? Why did you come here?" Lisa asks over a glass of St. Emilion. We are sitting indoors at "Au Sauvignon" my favorite wine bar on the rue des Saints-Pères in Paris.

I struggle for words to describe what Paris means to me. How can I compress a love affair of 40 years into a few meaningful sentences? But she presses on and I try to respond to her question: Paris is about Romance.

Romance? What exactly does romance mean to you? she asks.

Uh, Paris is a place where people can kiss openly in the streets, I stutter, you know, those photos of people kissing? . . . My mind flies to those black and white photos by Robert Doisneau

But this isn't really what Paris means to me. My story is much more complex, much more personal. I begin to explain to Lisa what THIS wine bar means to me: I can see the rue du Four from where I am sitting. I can see the hotel where Charlie was staying in 1972, I can remember the day when Inge dropped me off in front of his hotel, telling me that she knew that Charlie and I would get back together sooner or later, so it might as well be sooner . . .

But wait, the story starts a few years earlier; with our marriage in 1968, our divorce in June 1972, my graduation from college in August 1972 and the adventure planned with my best friend Inge as we purchased one way tickets from Denver to Paris, departing on September 1st, 1972. The surprise is that Charlie also purchased a one way ticket on the same plane - quitting his job and selling everything and following me to Paris.

Inge and I left Paris shortly after arriving here. We went to Germany to pick up a Volkswagen beetle that her sister had left behind in Freiburg. Charlie stayed behind in Paris. He didn't speak French and he didn't know a soul. The story of our personal romance in Paris continues from there and includes many many chapters. I'll be exploring some of those stories in these pages . . .

And so Paris is full of romance and full of memories. I'm here trying to sort them out, to understand them, to get over them, and to start anew.

I walked Lisa back to her hotel and as I walked past the Champs de Mars towards the metro Motte Piquet, old memories swirling through my mind; I happened to look up and I saw:

1 comment:

  1. Perhaps your attraction here is connected to your past lives. A Parisian souls, for sure.
    What a visually STUNNING blog. I like just being on the page!
    Cindy Morris