Paris is one of the few places on Earth outside of Canada where I kind of feel at home when I visit. I think this is my fifth time in Paris and I’m sensing a pattern that actually makes a lot of sense: the more time you spend somewhere, the more comfortable you become there! Who would’ve guessed?
I’ll always remember Paris (along with Florence) as being the catalyst that propelled me into artistic life. I loved writing, but when I visited Paris for the first time at 18, I had absolutely no interest in the visual arts. That all changed abruptly, with dizzying force. I can’t pinpoint a specific painting or sculpture that changed my life. It was as if being surrounded by so much beauty made me realize for the first time what we, people, are capable of.
It’s not that I’m some kind of expert at, well, anything, but Paris really opened my mind to fearlessly embracing art. You don’t have to understand it or intellectualize it. All I know is what I like and how it makes me feel. I think that’s enough, for me at least. I gained some sort of understanding about creation. The knowledge that creating something, however small or amateurish, is in itself a monumental feat. The thing that makes our souls unique from all other living beings.
Paris, to me, means a lot of things. Romance, not between two people, but the romance of living, being alive. The brightness of being, the depth of self-discovery, an assault on every sense, the endless joy and profound solitude of love.
This is my Paris. A place where beauty, ephemeral in nature, can rest for just a moment, just long enough for us to drink in its essence, feed our spirits and fuel our lives. A place of intense longing. Being kissed by a poignant melody, under dancing moonlight, as you walk hand-in-hand with ghosts of the past through a valley of endless possibility. A prism of tender imagination. A vessel of lovely daydreams.