Thursday, August 30, 2007
We rented an apartment in Paris for a week. It was a few minutes walk from the Latin quarter and we hung out there a lot, in the cafés, bistros, bookstores, by the bouquinistes along La Seine. Paris is the kind of place where you can let your feet guide you and no matter where you are, history pulls you in. Here, in front of Victor Hugo's house, there, the hotel where Oscar Wilde died. You let yourself drift and a delicious surprise welcomes you at every corner. One day, as we strolled behind Notre Dame, we heard the plaintive notes of a saxophone. A band was setting up. A dark man with a Tati bag stopped, a grey-haired couple, holding hands, took tiny steps towards a bench, a young woman slowed down and wrapped her boyfriend's arm around her waist. They all silently moved closer. I leaned against a tree and watched the theatre of life unfold. A quiver of an eyebrow. A bent head. A humming. A tap of the feet. A caress. A sigh. The rhythm, at times fitful, at times melancholic, reached deep within the private drama of each spectator. The musicians felt the connection, and rode on its wave. That's what I love most about Paris, those little incidents of spontaneous connections.