Lost & Found in Paris

Disclaimer: This is a random and rambling post, a head emptying exercise so please don’t expect it to make any sense!

I can’t remember the words that just came to me, because mainly they didn’t make sense to my monkey head. They are spluttering and confusing but my mind is trying to communicate things that aren’t thought about they are felt and that’s the main difference really.

“Do you think it’s a good idea to see a psychotherapist right now at this time; it’s maybe not a good idea to delve too deeply into the past?”

Watching a Woody Allen movie I remember being lost in Paris of wandering and wandering confused and strangely depressed but, alone but also found or finding myself and enjoying the misery as I was discovering my actual self. I am romantic and nostalgic and a writer and artist of people they are the same thing to me we see people, we see life and we think deeply with sensitive emotions and profound love. For me trying to escape my everyday reality is cathartic and necessary.

Kissing under street lamps a swarthy movie producer millionaire character straight from one of his blockbusters. Expensive travel candles, heart-crashing passion, spontaneous trips, walking limbs entangled around Venice all night long. Feeling complete and broken all at once, the lion and the lamb hand in hand. To then be hurled back to real life, vulnerable, naked and ill prepared to be faced with the mundaneness of a mere grey existence of cold, harsh concrete. Is that existentialism? I don’t know, I never knew what that word meant, not even when Lauren slipped it out in Mrs Morrell art lesson when we were twelve years old. I remember thinking it was a big word and I didn’t know what it meant but I wanted to and nodded in agreement pretending that I did.

My reality is a swollen belly, I was never allowed to say belly it was a vulgar word “I don’t like the word belly it sounds awful, say tummy instead it sounds nicer”. Really? It’s a word with the same meaning it even ends with the same letter ‘y’ and has the same amount of letters how can one word be so repulsive or rude and the other be ok, less confronting? I guess that’s the power of language of connecting consonants and communicating subtleties.

I can’t believe my muse is someone of the past; Woody Allen. His movies provoke my creativity my thoughts and my artistic longings emerge from a very slippery, suppressed cocoon. The same feelings came when I watched Vicky Cristina Barcelona, I felt I connected to the creative spirits of the artist, the poet, the European thinker.

I was sat with the artist , the master and his contemporaries in ‘his house’ the time capsule cafe of artistic wonder. His house being Paris’ famous artistic café haunt in the 6th. The half understood conversations in broken French, the rest non-verbal whilst the vin rouge flowed as we discussed art, sex, love, family, history , Paris and the wonder of the whole fucking world, no universe. The dizzying nostalgia of belonging to people who you don’t really know, they understand it all, they encourage free thought and challenge you deeply to go deeper and deeper, sometimes in to the depths of your own human soul, to dark and dangerous places. To question what it is like to really be you, living in your vacuous shell like body an empty chrysalis ripe for transformation.

I write to be understood, not to form sensible words that make sense, they might be clever combinations sometimes, occasionally atmospheric but ultimately hollow and void because they are thought out and considered. For example this bullshit I’m writing now is free flowing like an Amazon River, gushing and powerful over the precipice of self-knowledge and understanding. There’s no controlling the deluge, no edit button, no pause, no stemming the tidal wave of words. No doubt after the storm is over and the calm is restored I’ll feel naked and ashamed of my wild abandon and read and critique my words with a fresh, rational, editing type of logic, a head of worms that digest everything in a productive, orderly and patient way. But don’t worms eat dead people in the soil? I’m not dead; I’m very much alive. My writing might not be useful, life changing prose or even tell a story but it’s honest and raw and is written from my heart not head.

So many thoughts so many emotions trapped in this body but I have to release them somehow. Insomnia is the preserve of a writer and I have feared being a tortured soul but that torture stems my own ability to face my destiny, my dharma, and myself. I float, I absorb, I put down my whimsy to vata tendencies but I must not compare or contrast or even think about for what purpose I write. So many heart gestures so many featherlike signs have floated into my troubled path signposting the way, showing me what to do but I ignore them always. I was far too fearful to acknowledge that Paris was my soul finding itself. As I walked anonymous and lonely, envying those friends laughing and dining or lovers holding hands and leaning in for a warm kiss. I was so lost and also found. Getting engaged felt like the cherry on top of that very sickly sweet cake that I mistook for my happy ending. Seeing a bride in a white dress and her new husband sweeping through Montmartre the night he proposed was to me a sure sign that my destiny was he. It was probably even midnight when we saw them. The taxi home was surreal and my apartment small, confusing, claustrophobic but exciting. I was living to the full, I was twenty-one, living in Paris, a model and engaged. I remember staring at the ring and feeling accomplished, like I’d achieved some momentous milestone, it was tantamount to smug. Strange, strange feelings waking up to the shitting pigeons, grey, paint peeled railings and the rain the next day, everything forever different.

Walking through Montmartre more recently I felt sick to look at the spot where the bended knee and ecstatic phone calls and photos had been struck. A poisoned nostalgia of confused throat choking memories trapped deep within emerged and was quickly and painfully swallowed down. My chest swelling with pain, confusion, sorrow and grief, like a suppressed vomit of emotions.

A vata in balance is creative, maybe after Ayurvedic diet and lifestyle changes my body is rewarding me and saying “well done, keep going, you see if you exercise self-discipline, we’ll let your demons tap-dance in unison and eventually they will dance to the beat of your heart drum”.

Paris, Toulouse Lautrec at the Moulin Rouge, Monet’s Giverny, fuck I cried at Giverny when I saw the bridge and the lily pads and a black cat that made the nostalgia of a bygone era real. I cried at Place des Vosges with my mum and brother watching an orchestra play beautiful music. I cried when I was fifteen outside the Louvre when we got off the school bus going to Euro Disney on school trip. The beauty of the building, the lights, the glow, the foggy people, the sounds, the smells, the cool air and the romance overwhelmed my senses. I met myself even at that age I bought art prints to bring home and remember being impressed by the persistence of the African street sellers at Trocadero. That overwhelming soul reaching tug has never been lost. I know I cried until I was frozen and numb sat on those steps at 11 Rue du Cherche Midi. My magical Marais was tainted that night. A surreal Narnia like portal where a whole life was lived in two days. Sitting in a cab on my way to dinner from La Defense to Anahi was a breathless ride of anticipation. Attending a gallery opening in Trocadero, plastic cups with wine or orange juice like urine sample cups in a hospital. Feeling like an awkward intruder amid the clinical examination of bespectacled, tattooed, bare shouldered, honey skinned Parisians with pursed lips pouts, mopeds and bohemian style. Red trousers signifying instant yang-power, an art critic and buyer, he didn’t stay long, but made his impression left ripples of whispers and implied approval.

The long-term commitment of a lifetime one gallerist, one artist, so unexpected in a transient world of waves cycles and constant fluid movement. An exhibition amid the bourgeois at Hotel du Rothschild, money, power and peacock adornment an uncomfortable showcase to be enshrined in. The artist a captured wild animal, a freak show circus to be viewed as a dangerous or weird spectacle to entertain and repulse. Like frogs caught on a hooked line in the French exchange pond by Alexandre Chevalier when I was 11 they danced and performed for their freedom, dangling dangerously close to death in the process.

I think the bubble has expired, the postule has popped now. I am ending my surge of words. This passage won’t be a novel; it’s not Shakespeare nor Hemingway or even the painful personal memoirs of a Dutch girl in an attic. These words don’t mean anything to anyone except me and even then when I read them out loud I’m ashamed of their hollowness. Let’s just leave it at this for now. Let’s not say “to be continued” because that’s too binding and commitment doesn’t sit well with me. I don’t have to follow these words on, to see it to completion, make up a story to fit the words, that’s all bollocks. Why can’t I just write for writings sake for fuck sake? Not to seek praise, acclaim or validation just to write my thoughts, my musings and make sense or not of it all. I’m not going to pressure this little kid to be grown up, better that it stays small and full of imagination that be mature and write sensible stuff that isn’t true. That makes you a liar.

I love to see “You are here” on a map it makes me realise I’m here, it’s somehow grounding, a present moment reminder like a pavement trip or an elbow knock.

Breathe, it’s passed, focus on the now.


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