Wednesday, January 21, 2009

A Paris Window

I took this picture as I stood on the bridge across the Seine river in Paris, France. My cousin and I maneuvered our way through the underground metro (which took us at least 30 minutes because we kept getting turned around) and made our way street level; cars, crowds and buildings far older than anything we had ever seen rose up in front of us. They were old and ornate, they bespoke of queens and kings, of revolutions and royalty. And here I was standing in history; standing on the streets of Paris!

We walked down the Champs Elysee and sat on a bench where we ate baguette sandwiches, chocolate crepes and drank Orangina. We watched the cars and the beautifully dressed people go by. I had always dreamt of such a moment, but never really thought it would become a reality, an actuality. It was beyond my dreams!
Sometimes, I am in awe of some of the things that I do. Isn't that a weird thing to say? I executed a plan which put Sonja and myself on a plane to France and surrounded us in a culture and language that was foreign on so many levels.
The reality of my life is that I sometimes bog myself down with too much thinking and sensibility. I put my mind into overdrive and can literally think myself out of things that I really want to try or what I imagine myself capable of doing. I can be so irritatingly practical at times.
I stood in front of Notre Dame! See the picture? That's me -- standing in front of Nortre Dame! How unbelievably incredible is that?! I often dreamt of what it would be like to walk the halls of the cathedral, look up at the stained glass windows or sit on the church pews and soak up the atmosphere. Now, I don't have to wonder any more. It was awesome!
Of all the photos I took while in Paris . . and trust me there are a lot of them, this next picture is my favorite. TAH-DAH!!!
A picture of our window looking out on the street below. We stayed on the 5th floor in the Hotel de Paris, which is in the 19th district. Basically, we were on the outskirts of the Paris district. We were hard pressed to find any Americans in that area. And still, we strolled the streets as if we belonged. We became prolific in saying, "Bon joure" and "merci" to everyone we met. And we even ordered croissants in French. Can you beat that?!
And every night, after our daily adventures, I would sit on the window sill and look down on the street, listening to a cacophony of Parisian sounds below: sirens that echoed in the night (we found it was a regular occurrence), and sounds of laughter and music floating up to our open window . . . I was thrilled by it all! I was in love with Paris! I love Paris!

It was exhilarating knowing that I had done something so out of the norm, and out of character! I want to carry those feelings and memories of being courageous. It's so empowering! So, I think I'll make a copy of my Paris window and carry it around with me. It'll be the reminder I need to always be courageous enough to just . . . try.


Ipo said...

That is so Awesome, Rita! I'm glad that you had this experience. You right, it is something that most of us just dream about. One day, one day, one day....and you already did! Keep courage alive and get out there for the rest of us who are mildly chained down....

Brenda said...

I'm so jealous! I wanna go to Paris! Such great architecture and history.

Kahanu said...

Rita!!!I was so excited to see your comment on my blog!!! Sorry it's taken so long to reply. I loved your post about Paris-what an adventure!!! Someday is what most of us say but you can say I did it! We hope all is well with you and we are so glad that we can keep in touch now! love ya, Brubakers