Paris is one of the only international cities I have ever visited. I was only able to go because I won two tickets to anywhere Air Canada flies ~ 23 years ago.
My wife and I could only afford two weeks of travel and we decided that we wanted to spend it all in Paris. It was the right choice. It would be the first place that I would go back to in Europe, if I travel again.
It is one of the only truly cosmopolitan cities in the world. I can’t prove this to you, I can’t present wonderfully crafted arguments, Paris and Parisians are what they are. The only experience that I can compare it to is my first kiss. (Yes I am going there). The fear before hand, the hesitation – what if she doesn’t kiss me back – the timeless moment being held and holding while our young lovers lips touch. This is Paris for me. It will always be Paris for me.
At a time when everyone in North America was trying to wear the same shoes and same clothes, Parisians where individuals of choice. People being who they wanted to be, in fashion and attitude.
There is a fierceness that pervades the people of Paris. At that time Paris was one one of the most culturally diverse cities in the world. The Lebanon section had some of the finest Jazz music in the world. We went to the old Paris Opera house and watch a stunning modern ballet that someone fused the ancient brocade architecture of the building with the art of today. We went to New Paris Opera house and watched an achingly beautiful presentation of Carmen. We ate food on the right bank and left bank of the Seine, we walked and we walked and we walked. The metro system was a joy to use and beautiful to behold. We watched the Bastille Day parade with millions of Parisians and stood silent with them in respect as the President at the time Jacques Chirac passed by in an open jeep. The silence of a million people is deafening.
And then there is the Art. It breaks my heart to think about the beauty that I saw. I tried to fix it in my mind forever. But I can only remember trying to remember.
My hope for peace, close to me after this past remembrance day is sadly dying.
I pray for Paris, the secret love of my heart. I pray for the families and loved ones who were killed yesterday.
I pray for the return of hope for this world.