Friday, October 29, 2010

La Vie En Rose

While swimming around the internet tonight I came upon the Edith Piaf classic, La Vie En Rose. I know it's overplayed and overdone, but there's something about it that makes a heart shudder a little, and I get lost in a daydream of what I want Paris to be. It makes me homesick for a place that doesn't exist. There are other songs that have this effect (actually,just one other), but this one especially takes me somewhere. It got me thinking about the little trip I took to Europe last October--a week in Florence and three days in Paris. I'd dreamt of Paris for years, how I'd live there one day and that it would be my dream city.  It was lovely--eating lunch outside of Cafe de Flore, the famous existentialist hangout, meandering the busy streets and stumbling into beautiful cathedrals. However, as Paul Theroux said in The Washington Post(1941)--

Which is absolutely true. Looking back on Paris, the light was this bluish-gray tint, almost like rain was coming even when it wasn't, and it was quiet, even with people moving everywhere. The truth of the matter is, it was cold and lonely as I stayed in a dingy hostel and peed into a hole in the floor. I spent a good part of my first day there lost and crying and confused. A year's time is long enough to forget the sordid details and remember just the beauty.
Things don't usually look the way you pictured them, and life certainly doesn't go the way you planned. But I'm starting to find that that's ok. 

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