The right-brain side of Paris
The plane leaves for Paris in 17 days, whether I’m on it or not. I keep adding to my to-do list to the point where it’s shutting me down, keeping me up at night. I can hardly accomplish one task before adding three more.
History, for instance. That strong voice of insecurity in my head keeps telling me I must take a crash course on French history before I embark on my 30-day walk. After all, history is the very core of every aspect of this grand city. But I’ve always hated history. The Louis XXXs and Napoleon – oh, I memorized who they were, but they stayed in my head just long enough to get a passing grade on an exam.
I’ve never been a reader, either, so you can imagine why I’ve avoided Victor Hugo and his miserable book. But that voice, the one that worries about my image, keeps telling me I must be up on a few of the newest titles when I visit that famous bookstore, Shakespeare And Company.
And art history? Those classes were some of T-H-E most boring I took while in college and I was forced to take a passel of them. You see, modern art is much more to my liking. Like graffiti – it has so much more life and energy, much better colors than a nude or some stone sculpture from the Renaissance. Don't you agree?
So this morning, as I sat in my bubble bath, trying to calmly de-hype, de-clutter and focus, I realized that it’s ok not to know the history of Paris nor all the art periods. I don’t have to include that in my blog posts – there are plenty of books written about all that.
One of the nice things about being almost 60 is that you become so much more comfortable in your own skin, so much more appreciate of the talents that define you. Yeah, I get a pit in my stomach when my friends talk about their book clubs, or they quote history as a basis of today’s politics, but does it drive me to run buy the latest bestsellers?
No, I'd rather have breakfast with a famous graffiti photographer or interview a French mom about the schools in her country. I'd prefer to study the ligatures on the headstones in the Père Lachaise Cemetery, or walk the streets of Isle Saint Louis and take photos of the beautiful handmade shutters and door knockers.
So, girls and boys, I’m marking Louis and that Napoleon guy off my list. Come hell or high water, I will be on that plane!