Day in Paris #3:
Today you woke up later then expected...perhaps it was because the rain drops softly thumped on the window pane lulling you to a dreamy haze...the sky is overcast but it is warm and breezy.
You grab a cup of coffee and head for a walk along the Seine. To some this is probably just a river. It can be a bit stagnant and sometimes murky. There are no sunbathers or row boats filled with Wasp-y graduates in their pastel polos. An occasional riverboat slowly waddles by carrying along tourists taking pictures of every foot.
It is just a river you say. But you keep walking...each of the 37 bridges along the Seine are different..interesting...unique in their construction and appeal.
The Invalides bridge is spectacular.
You walk along the river past Notre Dame and cannot help but marvel at how beautiful "goth" can be. Pont Neuf peaks your curiosity..in the distance you get a peak of La Tour Eiffel.
You browse the books and art from centuries past that is sold by the bank on Sundays. Here perfectly preserved 18th century anatomy pages neighbor Marilyn Monroe kitchen magnets and post cards from the 20's. The banks are filled with people...couples in love, couple in rage, families.. and loners like you.
You don't notice but as you walk and stare at the water memories flood your consciousness. You feel fleeting sadness and happiness, nostalgic for a time that seems perfect through the looking glass of time. You feel calm and strangely happy.
This is the Paris not everyone will see. This Paris does not intimidate you with it's cornucopia of lights and sounds...it is softer. Unobtrusive in it's elegance. Confident in it's timeless perfection.
This water has flown through these walls for centuries. It has seen flourishing kingdoms and gruesome revolutions...it has been saturated with blood and memories and managed to absorb them seamlessly beneath its weight. It is magnetic.
Strangely, you feel inspired to write something...anything...to capture this mood because you know that as soon as you walk away the hectic world will engulf you again and this brief glimpse into your own self will fade under the mandane tasks of the everyday.
You take a picture hoping that looking at it will remind you what you felt that day. How you were just walking along a river in this beautiful city enjoying a simple lazy morning...