Sunday, August 7, 2016

Pieces of Paris (part 1)

I've been trying to figure out how to write everything down that has inspired me lately. The truth is, it's an overwhelming and extremely difficult task to have all of this material and not know where to begin the creative process. I have seen so much in these past months. In two weeks, I traveled to three different countries and saw three major foreign cities. I flew to fashion capitals and took trains to rugged villages. And ever since I have returned, people have asked me what the best part was. What was the most beautiful  place. And I have no clear answer. Every sidewalk held its own grace, every stoop had its own story. And the collection of each place was just as beautiful as the next. But I think that what makes a place beautiful is how you choose to walk around in it. Everyone sees a place differently, but to really see the beauty of a place, you have to become a part of it. You have to forget that you are only a visitor. Because when you feel like you belong there, then the whole world becomes your home. And as a traveler that is the most freeing feeling I've ever experienced. But I still didn't know how to write it all down. All of this inspiration was just coming at me, and what resulted was scribbles of lyrics and sonnets and journal entries. I don't really know what to call these pieces of writings, because they are all  really pieces of moments from all of these beautiful places. Some were written on trains between countries, some were written in a Parisian flat, and others were thought off along ocean cliffs. To begin, here are some pieces of Paris, along with a little video accompaniment.

There was one night in Paris where I could not fall asleep easily. The buildings are not very high in Paris, so the sky is always big and beautiful, spread out wide across the city like a great dream living inside a lovely mind. So I opened up the window of my room one of the days, as the night was growing darker, and I looked outside for a while at the scenes of the city. And I watched them play out like I was sitting in the Opera Garnier when I was really on the top floor of an old Paris apartment, down the street from Hemingway’s old flat. There were many voices and they were all different and beautiful, all in French and all mingling together in the air and rising up to my window. I finally fell asleep to the sound of high heels against cold cobblestone and the light steady humming of Paris rain. 

I stood on the other side of the street and tried to hide the fact that I was about to take a picture of two old French men sitting outside of a corner cafĂ©. I tried my best to make it appear as if I were taking a photo of the building itself. But the streets are sometimes very small in Paris, and the Parisians are always watching everything so carefully. It is as if they consider themselves artists of their own thoughts; all they do is observe all day because that is the best thing to do for their paintings. And it wasn’t before long that the two old men, one in scholarly glasses and a beret, rose his hands and waved across the tiny street as I took my picture. And there we were. The artists and the observer meet. The local and the tourist connect for a singular moment. And the cobblestone drew the line between life and life being lived

May 17. Paris, France. This Place is legendary. It is not only the old men who sit at the cafes and read their newspapers together, but it is the young and old who sit for hours watching, listening,   and wondering. There are no distractions. Nothing but the good old face to face and the original heart to heart. Everyone is fully immersed, fully aware, fully alive. And all of a sudden, I realized that I too had become part of the story. I was there in the legend. Paris had awakened something in me and I was too consumed by its pages that I never remember closing the book. All I know is that I am still carrying it with me, it is nestled in my hand forever, engraved in my heart. The sentences have never stopped running.

Inside Shakespeare and Company.
May 22, Paris, France. There were many great moments in Paris but the best one was when I sat down in front of the old, blue, fragile typewriter on the second floor of Shakespeare and Company and I typed my name into the air. I looked ahead out the window and the street called Rue Monge was coming alive and the Sienne was wandering lonely below the buildings. I looked out that window and I thought of all the stories in the books around me, and of all the stories outside that were being told, and of all the stories that were waiting to be told. And I sat there and knew that I would always have these stories and I would always be the person to tell them. 

Paris... is like love.
It moves you to do the craziest things,
And when you let it move you,
You feel like you’ve been alive for the first time.
But I suppose I don’t know anything about it,
Even when I’ve wandered through it thinking I do.
What do I know about love, other than the fact that it looks beautiful and it is beautiful?
Is that all there is to it?
Because that’s all there is to Paris.

It makes you want to do beautiful things.  

As I attempt to look back upon my time there it feels like I am looking back at a dream. It comes back in beautiful flashes. And all I remember are the little things. The cobblestone glittering after the rain. The booksellers with tattered, worn berets sighing over the Seine. But Paris is a collection of a million little things that sparkle and comes down gently upon all of us at some time or another. I just happen to be one of those individuals that is able to put myself in its past.



suriel1269 said...

Love this so much!

Daisy said...

Beautifully written!The pictures are amazing and aesthetic ♡

Angelica said...

thank you so much!

Angelica said...

Ahhh that means so much to me!!! Thanks sososo much!!!