Final Thoughts From Paris

Tomorrow is our last day in Paris and our 16th anniversary. Yes! I am ready to move on, see our friends, experience new places. No! I tear up thinking about leaving behind this wondrous, complex city.

I sit alone in Jardin du Luxembourg on a park bench. I hear the crack of bocci balls, the coo of pigeons, the rush of joggers on the dirt path, a couple nearby just talking quietly.

Paris has invested in itself for centuries. It is a city of longevity, beauty, art, culture, commerce. The architecture, the parks, the city planning, the museums – I think to myself, we sure don’t built ’em like we used to.

The age of austerity we live in is short-sighted, funneling billions of dollars, euros and yen to the fortunate few. Ever fewer can visit and live in the places built and from collective greatness and ambition.

In America, what we eat, how we build, who we teach, where we cut are symptoms of a myopic culture that refuses to invest in ourselves as individuals and collectively as a nation. Why we do not invest – where there is no political will – to invest in infrastructure, education, science, all that which feeds a prosperous future is beyond belief and beyond reproach.

Paris is imperfect, America is still home. But still, the American political and socio-economic climate is disturbing, narrow and self-defeating.

Enough! I smile those thoughts away. The sun catches the upper branches of the trees surrounding the marble sculptures encased in pink and purple flora.

Blessed are those who can experience beauty, culture, art and nature. Blessed am I for my time in Paris. My notebook slips back in to my pack. I walk west and then north on Rue D’Assas away from the Jardin.

Comments 4

  1. The greatest thing I took away from my first visit to Paris and France was how wonderfully different things were, both the perfections and the imperfections. Neither place is a “better” place, they are just different. And wonderfully different IMO. Viva that! So glad you enjoyed your time there.

  2. Indeed, Markus. This was my second trip to Paris in the last year, and grew to really love the city with a full month to absorb it. It’s longevity provides such a striking contrast to how we approach life in America. And I so look forward to Ojai, Venice, San Francisco, Sebastopol in December…! Life is amazing when you take time to absorb, consider and appreciate all the beauty it has to offer wherever you are.

  3. So glad you are living the dream and glad you are bringing it back to Ojai. Come back, plant the trees, clear the air and add your being to a better Ojai. It aint Paris but then…Paris isn’t Ojai either. And there lies an undisputable beauty, don’t you think? Colbert hasn’t thrown in the towel and so my friend I say, “Carry on!” Have a wondrous time and kiss a Klimt for me.
    Miss you and your twinkling smile.

  4. Linda, the more magic and amazement I find in the world, the more appreciation I have for all that is Ojai. My belief that Ojai has got to be one of the best little places in the world is confirmed the longer I am away!

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