When it began I am not quite sure, that I am totally in love, is a given. And I am not alone.
Imagine the scene. Hot, African climes and lunch. A women I met but for the first time, begins to parlez to our host, despite few of us any the wiser at the touts and oui’s and allors that rolled with her r’s off her tongue. Pretentious show off I thought at first, and then … then it dawned on me that the performance was only for the love of all things French – and that she had the proverbial accent to go with that love. So I could not stay irritated, for I am the same, sans the accent, or the lingo of course.
Some of us are so enamoured with all things French, we are to be forgiven for it. For me, the closeness of Paris and my unashamed love for her is part of who I am. My place of place. I am passionate, and putty in Paris. The sounds, the chicness, the rooftops, the joie de vivre of attitude and of course, the promise of eternal, unbridled, sickening sweetness of the heart romance is the drug. Lovers are lovers there for all to see, for show and tell ‘amour’ is all around. Architecture sings of golden tipped gods and cherubs watching from high as you cross the Seine and imagine the possibilities. Grandeur in kissing, touching, losing oneself in another in small cafés, swooning over the Bordeaux, the world forgotten in a single moment.
We love the French for politics is simple a reason to debate. Striking is a National Pastime and ‘Merde’ is the operatic phrase for everything. Working is a useless waste of time before the sunset hour, until we meet on the side of the street, blowing smoke, drinking wine and tearing at the baguette. In small measure for eating is for dining, not snacking like the others do. The French do not snack, snacking is like making little love, one must be in it totally or not at all.
I love Paris in the winter. I have a muse as luck would have, I have met on more than one occasion. My muse is old and walks, wrapped in fur, a cigarette on the end of a long holder, her dog sniffing at the sidewalk. She does this everyday – walks, smokes and cares less for being accountable. I wonder at the stories she may tell …the men she whose lives she has changed.
I love the women on the Cote D’Azure in the summer. Their dresses swish along with their baskets as they walk – tanned, oblivious, yet sensuous in their gait. They work, they love, they do not question, but saunter to the beach in the afternoon and strip to soak up the last rays of the day. Immersed in the being there, not in the planning of what one needs to do, how to be successful, what lasting impression they will leave.
The force of Delacroix, of Monet, of Lautrec and Degas is never far. It is the carousel in the Tuilleries, the linear trees of the Luxumbourge gardens, the boules, the picniques, the revolution, the doomed Marie Antoinette that lingers. Even history for the French is classique, is passionate – we have lived! We have fought! We have resisted! We have loved.
Fashion and Passion. The French way of life.
When I try to speak French in France, they change to English. So speak dear lady, speak for the language is one of love, and love is what the French do so well …
We love the idea of France, of Paris and Provence for we are all in love with the idea of love. So who can judge us for that?
Images Haven in Paris and Pintrest