Paris and Other Destinations

Over a week since my last blog. So much living going on. And in between, the pondering. Pondering the possibility of Paris. It would be my seventh trip to the city of light, but I find that Paris has become an automatic destination. Just the name of that magical place can trigger an immediate and intimate awareness of myself on those streets, in those parks, on a bridge looking out on the Seine. Where else would I go? So the pondering, and in years past, the eventual acting to make it possible. Booking the tickets… Finding the right hotel… (Each time I have gone to a different hotel for a moderate shift in perspective.)

It has been just over a year since my last trip to Paris. It is natural to have those stirrings again – to feel that delicate and persistant pull. But how much of this has become habitual, based upon that long ago initial journey when a brief romance with a reverent and debonair Frenchman set the tone for subsequent journies to the city, though from then on my experiences were those of a solitary romantic, and at times were tinged by a loneliness not admitted to others. Even so, It was always worthwhile: the going and the being. I have seemed to have an ongoing love affair with the city, and our relationship has moved between rapturous and harmonious exchanges to those awful periods when no amount of love or longing could bridge the gap between Paris and me.

Just before my last journey to Paris in June of 2009 I completed a novel in which I called upon all my knowlege of the city and my experiences there over several years. Paris is the setting for three quarters of the book. A trauma suffered by the young heroine leads to a year in Paris – Paris at its most magical, romantic, and welcoming. Granted a year in the city, Lily, who is a gifted dancer, finds healing and fulfillment, and in the writing of the novel, Leif probably found the same and – by so doing – let go of Paris as her major destination. That last journey seemed almost redundant. There… I admit it. The love affair may have run its course. No wonder I found myself reluctant to book those tickets.

But I have booked tickets to New York City. I shall go for the Walter Anderson Legacy Exhibit at the Luise Ross Gallery – opening in September. I shall see my drawings hanging along with my father’s paintings, my sister’s paintings, and the paintings and drawings of my niece and nephew. My soul has no great investment in this journey, but some journies take a while to reveal there larger reasons. And all destinations prepare the way for other destinations.

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3 Responses to “Paris and Other Destinations”

  1. Kendall Says:

    All destinations prepare the way for other destinations. Yep. I feel wonderfully privileged to be privy to your musings, your reflections, your journey toward this journey–or your journey away from this journey. Either way, it’s a dance.

  2. leiflife Says:

    Thank you, dear friend. My musings… Truly, the musings of the curious and questioning mind are ever changing. Funny, since my recent “letting go” of Paris, Paris looks pretty good. Even so, there is a shift. It seems less of a compulsion and more of a familiar and beloved place to ponder.
    This journey called life is bigger than Paris or any other destination one might think of – or dance toward.

  3. Brian Says:

    Leif, when are you going to be in NYC? I have a meeting to schedule in September with some leeway, so I might be able to make that and a visit to the exhibit coincide. Please let me know via my email: brian.simonetti@gmail.com Be well.

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