I Belong in Paris

by

I really do.

I asked for a sign.

I got a million of them.

Soft, cold, fluffy, uniquely beautiful each flake falling from the cold sky onto my upturned face. I got snow in my eyelashes and snow on my cheeks, it was like being sprinkled with kisses.

I smiled all the way to the Metropolitan station.

I love the Metro.

I love Paris.

If it was possible to love it more I am not sure.

Maybe.

In Spring I hear it is just delirious and after many a cold clammy Spring in San Francisco I would welcome a warm Spring.  I would welcome days without layers and warm breezes on my skin.

I dare say I will be here to feel them.

I had some moments of doubt today as I set out for Saint Pancras International.

It was also snowing in London and it was a pretty sight, I won’t deny it.  But London did not feel like home, it did not feel like much fun, it was marking time until I could get back to Paris.

Ma cherie, je t’adore.

Sometimes you just have to go away a little while to see how much you love something.

That has happened to me with San Francisco.

San Francisco was home, but it is not any longer.

I had the worry monster come a knocking on my door, and I admit it, I opened up, I invited it in.  I said, “hey you look weary, have a rest, unload your burden, let me make you a cup of tea.”

Hang on a minute there.

What the fuck am I doing?

I need to make decisions based on faith.

I asked for direction earlier when I was feeling a little blue, go grocery shopping was the response.

Really?

Come on, isn’t there something else I can do?

Some other way of thinking my way into a happier mental state.

Oh, thinking, that doesn’t work for me does it?

Eight years later and I can still forget that thinking is not a great tool for me, it’s broken, my thinking, about all sorts of stuff, but mostly about trying to figure out what I should do with my life.

Notice that try to figure it out are in that sentence and you may begin to see the point of entry for the useless pain of my thoughts to find a place to latch onto.

Ok.

I will just get dressed and go grocery shopping.

It felt like a tall order.  After I had gotten back, home, although it did not feel like home quite yet, I had made a hot cup of tea and scanned the cupboards, they were bare.

I did not want to go out.

I wanted to wallow in my weary wallow of self-pity and woe is me.

Woe is me, my ass.

Fuck, I was in London over the weekend, I saw things and went places and rode trains and got to go for a ride, on the wrong side of the road, and connect with friends, and it was just not that bad.

It just wasn’t what I thought it would be.

Nothing ever is.

I watched a video, I called Corinne, I talked with Barnaby, I e-mailed some friends, I answered some e-mails and I checked on my blog.

The answer was here, right here, in these pages, in these words, a blog I wrote before coming to Paris about failing greatly.  That I would do it anyway, go anyway, try anyway, break my heart anyway.

I would do it.

I am doing it.

Don’t quit before the miracle, Martines.

I pulled my head out of the muck and mire and got a sack, my “I don’t need a sack I am a sack, sack” and went to the Carrefour.

I felt the first breath of cold on my face, then stepping out into the courtyard I saw the snow.

Snow!

Oh, snow.

I smiled, my entire outlook changed.

My perspective blew wide open.

I went  to the corner and watched the snow fall.  I let in fall on me.

I surrendered.

Snow fall

Snow fall

I crossed the street and went grocery shopping.

I smiled the entire time.

I went back out and the snow was still falling.

I took the groceries back, unpacked my bag, took a big deep breath and said, thank you, I understand, I do, I am right where I belong.

I belong in Paris.

Paris is my home.

I don’t know exactly what is going to happen, but my faith has been doused in flakes of surety and softness.

Kissed by my city I tripped down the hill to hop the Metro over to the American Cathedral.

I was so entranced by the snow falling my face again lifted to the lowering sky, I missed the fact that there was a friend standing right next to me, doing the exact same thing.

We laughed out loud and hugged each other.

“It’s amazing, isn’t it?” She asked.

I smiled.

Yes.

It is amazing.

Earlier I was crying in frustration with myself and my not knowing and I just forget, silly rabbit, that I am not supposed to know.  That certainty about anything does not provide me with happiness and if everything was certain and I knew it already I would miss the mystery and the magic.

Snow in Paris on a Monday evening.

Pont Alma completely deserted.

Empty.

Not a soul.

Apparently not everyone wants to be out in the snow.

The bridge was completely deserted.  I have never seen that before.

Ever.

Eiffel tower in the snow

Tower in the snow

Snow and Street Lamps

Snow and Street Lamps

The Eiffel Tower to my right, the arc of the bridge walkway before me.

Nary a person.

Just me.

Just the city.

Just Paris.

Just my home.

On the Bridge in the snow

On the Bridge in the snow

I am exactly where I am supposed to be and that is the only thing I need to know right now.

My heart told me so.

The snow kissed it into me and I acquiesce now.

I surrender.

Paris, I belong to you.

Will you be my Valentine?

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