Saturday, February 12, 2011

Back to Paris

Actually this thread is about when I left Paris last February after my first "real trip" to Europe with stops in Italy to ski and in Paris to meet old friends and maybe meet a new one. And finishing a break from the past after a year of living on my own. I almost didn't go. That's fate.

Nothing ever turns out as one plans although the skiing and company were great and I plan to return in 10 days if I can negotiate the TGV schedules. But the trip to Paris changed me on so many levels that it will take years to figure it out entirely. Old friends were met and lost, new friends stayed friends I think and the newest friend became my best friend.

So I head back to Paris in a few days but I can remember the last days from a year ago, the travel home and arriving back at home. All this while I pack to go back.

The alarm rings early at 6am to make the direct flight to Atlanta and I awake alone and still fuzzy from the night before having closed the local bistro. No one is at the Metro station at Commerce and the RER out to Charles de Gaulle emerges from the underground in the dark but the first light of dawn is coming.

The Airport is shiny and new but the great deals at Duty Free are not alluring. The meal on Air France is miles above Delta with free flowing wine and spirits and a selection of 40 movies on my own TV screen which I can pause at will. And tracking the flight path as it passes the city I was born in and a recent Summer retreat is captivating, and ironic.

I arrive home with some new toys but the house is very quiet in the evening sun. Very quiet. As I process the last three weeks, not consciously, what emerges is a desire to travel and to share that wonder, and so in four days I will head back to Paris to share that compelling need to walk foreign streets, relax in new bistros, pick through flea markets and wine bins, walk some vineyards and watch the sun come up in the morning. And share a laugh or two.


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