Paris. Me. Alone. Walking.
Yes, I’m in Paris for a retreat. A treat. A spiritual walkabout. A walking cure.
“If you are lucky enough to have lived in Paris as a young man, then wherever you go for the rest of your life, it stays with you, for Paris is a moveable feast.”
–Ernest Hemingway, “A Moveable Feast”
A spontaneous, unencumbered wandering through my memories of Paris as a 20-year-old girl who had the good fortune to live there.
A comfortable hotel on the Left Bank. I will walk where I please, sit in parks, ride buses with no destination, visit a small museum or church on my list, stop for a prix fixe dejeuner when I come upon the right, crowded because the food is good, resto.
Paris is part of my family narrative. My father lived in Paris as a boy. My mother wanted to go to Paris for her last trip, before she knew she was dying. My brother, too, lived in Paris.
My son, recently in Paris, told me that the hoards of tourists are so invasive, that it is impossible for Parisians to live normally, or for us to experience the city naturally. “I hate Paris, it’s just awful.”
He sighed. “But Paris is so beautiful, how can you not go?” The overwhelming, heart bursting beauty escapes no one. Even the German general who refused Hitler’s order to burn Paris.
Rest assured, I’ll be reporting on my French walkabout.
Me. A carry on. A Freitag bag. A bientot!