In lieu of today's Sunday Paper, I'm sharing some thoughts from my week in Paris. Coming up throughout the week will be all the pictures and travel guides!
When I was in the forth grade or so, we learned to diagram sentences. It's one of my favorite things I've ever learned in school, which I'm aware makes me a weirdo. It's because every word had a purpose and a place, and you could map it right there in front of you. That became a sort of theme to my life. For the most part my decisions, my time, and even the things in my home all have a purpose and a place, and I could map it if you wanted me to. I don't wander. I destine.
Wednesday, July 8. I'm writing this from Paris. Last Friday around lunchtime, I booked a flight completely on a whim, and less than 24 hours later I was on the first of three planes to get here. From the very onset, this trip has been a lesson in living outside of comfort zones, for although I love adventure and even challenges, I prefer calculated ones that I have time to prepare for.
Today things went to a whole new level. I got off the metro at Montmartre and started walking. Just walking. I wasn't sure what I intended to find first from my mental list of things-to-see there, and in fact, I wasn't even looking for any of those things to begin with. I just wanted to... see... whatever there was to see. My inner sentence-diagrammer argued with me about using time efficiently and the dangers of being lost, but as I turned onto a quiet, tourist-less street and the thrill of embracing the unknown tickled me like a mild electric shock, she shut up quick.
A side street cut out from my side-street and I could see that it was a dead end. I turned down it, to see what there was to see. French Kimberly, I thought to myself, is very different than regular Kimberly. The houses were beautiful! In the prettiest colors, with vines growing on them and curtains in their big windows and little gates out front. I took pictures.
This feeling, I told myself, is what I need to return to when things go off the grid in my life. When there's a situation I can't control, when an outcome is unknown, I want to recall this feeling of thrill mixed with calm. This chaotic confidence that what I may discover on dead end streets matters more than getting to a pre-determined destination on time. Or at all.
I think the best moment at all was when my quiet street came right out to the back side of the place du tertre, the square where artists sit and paint. It was just where I had wanted to eventually end up, though I got there from the opposite direction.
Il est vrai , je suppose: Pas tous ceux qui errent sont perdus.
(It's true, I suppose: Not all who wander are lost.)