Hey y’all, hope you had a wonderful weekend. It’s been quite an eventful few days for me, here in Paris. I guess I should have expected the unexpected from this city. On all sides.
>>Wandering the Jewish quarter, mouth full of falafel, and running into two college friends who, by pure coincidence, happen to be in town for three weeks, studying Yiddish.
>>Cringing at the colonialist overtones of a tiny upstairs Tea Museum.
>>Befriending a group of 1930’s-style jazz street musicians on Saturday night, and trying my hand at their washtub bass.
>>Getting some difficult news from a lover back in the States.
>>As a result, insisting on getting a phone number from Hicham, the beautiful, kind-eyed Moroccan man I meet the next day on a bridge over the Seine, and with whom I spend a couple of hours, talking in French, browsing a bookstore, and sitting in a small park. Insisting on getting his number because, in my forlornness, I can already tell that I’ll want to cancel our plans for the following day, so I’ll need a way to reach him and keep him from waiting for me at 2pm at Bastille.
>>And, after parting ways with Hicham, bawling my brains out watching The Reader in English with French subtitles. Seriously, by the end of the movie my whole clavicle was caked in salt and my eyes looked like two cherry tomatoes.
But even the sorrow has its upside. After all, Paris is a strong contender for Funniest Place To Be Heartbroken. When the view from my heavy, bleary eyes consists entirely of elegant balconies, kissing couples, and a view of La Tour Eiffel in the distance, it’s hard not to smile at the sheer cliché.
Later on this week I’ll write a bit more about this whole heartbreak thing — not for purposes of venting or divulging but because I think it’s a great chance to reflect on the meaning of sorrow in the pursuit of happiness. And observing my own reaction to the situation has been downright fascinating — an extraordinary reminder of just how much I’ve learned and grown over the last six months.
For now, though, indulge me. I am about to go crazy on lotus pictures. From a beautiful Sunday afternoon at the Paris Jazz Festival, in the stunning Parc Des Fleurs. By the time I left I wasn’t walking, but dancing — all the way back to the Metro. Wouldn’t you?
My heart goes out to you in your sorrow, in whatever form that is taking. If it’s any consolation, I understand the fine balance between sorrow and strength–both of which you might be feeling in spades. The film The Reader can be quite a cathartic way to cope with grief; or at the very least, its moving plot line is enough catharsis for anyone.
Thinking of you…
You ain’t kidding. It’s like the director was saying, “Dear Viewers, by artfully combining a Holocaust drama with a tragic queer love story, we will attempt to see just how sad we can make you without forcing you to actually leave the theater.”
I’d be interested to hear more of your thoughts on the movie, and what makes it so powerful…I know you’ve got all that cinematic knowledge.
Thank you for the good thoughts, too. The sorrow will pass. It’s kind of crazy (in a good sense) to watch a dramatic film and then see your own life situation as just another scene in the unfolding drama of your days on earth. Might be a sad scene, might be a joyful scene or a funny scene — but each scene is beautiful in its own way, and the story keeps on going. Reminds me of this passage from The Prophet:
Sending you hugs across the ocean.