A whole lot of different ways to think about France, and specifically Paris, have been jumping out at me lately. They are mainly coming from books, but of course, they are also coming from the on-line world too. Quotes. Comments. Questions. And I feel like I really need to dig deeper into some of them.
“Paris at dawn is one of those rare cities where you get the impression that something worthwhile could actually happen to you.” Pierre Assouline, The Light of Paris, 2006.
The above quote grabbed my attention as I turned through the pages of a gorgeous gift that came my way last week. Jean-Michel Berts’ photographs are spectacular, but it was the quote that got me thinking.
I’ve been coached, for a long time now, to always ask the same question whenever I come across something new.
Is that true?
Well, let’s see.
Paris at dawn is truly stunning. I initially experienced it on the very first morning I ever spent in Paris. I’ll admit that it was probably jet lag that saw me, perched at a Parisian window, wrapped in a blanket, patiently waiting for the morning light to touch the city. Of course, it could also have been excitement – I’d been waiting to wake up in Paris for as long as I could remember.
Watching as the darkness faded to shadows and the various shades of grey, sand and stone came into view, I felt like I was in the most amazing place in the world.
Every time we have visited since, I’ve made a point of experiencing Paris at dawn and I can report that is special regardless of the season.
Does it give me the impression that something worthwhile could happen to me? That’s a bit trickier.
For me, it is probably closer to the truth to suggest that Paris at dawn gives me the impression that something worthwhile is happening to me.
I don’t think you can spend time in a place so full of history and beauty and not be changed in some little way, especially when that place is bathed in the first light of day. For me, I feel calmer and more relaxed but at the same time, more creative, more inquisitive and more attentive. Everything just shifts a little, and I feel like I learn something about myself.
So, back then to the ‘truth’ of the quote…with all that in mind, I can only conclude that I couldn’t agree with Pierre Assouline more.
Until next time – au revoir.