But I still love Paris. The romance of the city goes beyond fucking someone you are so connected to, you feel transported when you physically join together. It's more than just sex. It's doing things you never thought possible. It's being yourself, and liking who you are. It's wanting to experiment. Wanting to let go. You're no longer afraid. You feel whole. Complete. And, you never want any of it to stop.
Paris is a place that let's you begin again. You can recreate yourself in Paris. You'll be inspired. The food, the art, the culture, the view...whatever ails you, Paris is the cure. There aren't many cities that are like that. Empowering. Like love itself. When you meet the love of your life, you feel invincible. You want to be better than you are. Paris changes your life in much the same way.
Think of what Paris did for writers like Hemingway, Fitzgerald, Joyce, Barnes, Sinclair, Norris, Pound, Nin...and, artists like Picasso, Modigliani, Duchamp, Braque, Stravinski, and so many, many others. It was also the setting of some of the most important philosophical ideas to date, like existentialism and postmodernism. Jean Baudrillard, the man who foretold the evolution of parody in pop culture, and the disconnects in "real" life thanks to the prevalence of "virtual" reality, lived and died in Paris. He even attended Universite de Paris. Intellectuals, creatives and artists of all types, including the infamous Josephine Baker, got their start in Paris. Baker was the first African-American woman to star in a major motion picture. She was the first woman to do many things, including impressing Ernest Hemingway. Baker helped the resistance in France during World War II. She also helped with the Civil Rights movement in the States. But she called Paris home, though she was originally from St. Louis, Missouri. Her greatness came from Paris. Paris allowed Baker, as well as countless others, to bloom and grow in ways no other city could.
That is why I love Paris....
Americans complain about French politics, but love French foods. But it was French politics (and politicians) that helped the United States become a country in the first place, n'est pas??? Mais bien sur!
French is one of the languages in which I am fluent. I had this wonderful French teacher named Mademoiselle Hickey. She was like Kate Hepburn, tall, red haired, and fierce. She loved Paris. She had lived there before returning to the States and becoming my teacher for one glorious year; I learned more from Mme Hickey in that one year than I did from dozens of teachers over the course of twelve. Paris hung on her like a stunning Chanel jacket and pearls. She could not take it off if she tried. And, she never tried.
I once warned a person I will love forever and always, we can never go backwards. Paris is a city that embraces her past, cherishes her culture and traditions, yet never looks back. She continues to grow and evolve and create. You can leave Paris far behind you, but she will never leave you. You are marked forever. Everything else dulls in comparison. And, you will compare others to her. You can't help it. Paris is a part of you. Even if you never go back to her again, you'll never be able to forget her. Paris is not so much a place as it is a person. Living and breathing. Paris has changed the world. More than once.
I hope the city does the same for me one day, too....