It’s a beautiful spring day here, and it’s my lovely father’s birthday. We have opted to spend it in Paris; earlier we went on a virtual visit to the Picasso museum, this evening a boat ride on the Seine.
Have I mentioned lately that I miss Paris? I do—and prepping for these encounters today has made me miss it all the more. The photo above is taken on the Ile-Saint-Louis, heading toward Notre Dame and is from December of 2018, when I was there with my folks for Christmas and then with B for my birthday and New Year’s and beyond. I got to return there a month later to spend time with Babette and to work on my book.
These were very special times; the trips came at the end of a year that was anchored by the losses of Louie and Tom, a year riddled with all of the complicated dynamics that accompanied the loss of such magnificent forces in my life.
On these trips I spent a lot of time meditating in Notre-Dame.
And then Notre-Dame caught fire on April 15, 2019, the day after we officially said goodbye to Tom in that incredible celebration of life at the Capitol Theatre.
On that first trip, B and I immersed ourselves in film, traveling to Lyon, the birthplace of cinema, and seeing several movies in theaters throughout Paris. On that second trip I got a lot of re-writing done and essentially finished my manuscript, and Babette and I got to enjoy concentrated time together as we hadn’t since we both lived in San Francisco in the 1990s.
San Francisco … have I told you lately that I miss San Francisco?
Travel is one of my great joys … and especially the kind of travel where I get to “live” in the place I am visiting, get to interact with people who actually do live there in a way that one doesn’t always have a chance to do on vacation.
Alas. We will travel again one day.
For now, I live in Massachusetts with my parents, and I am incredibly lucky to be here. For now, most of my time spent with B is via FaceTime, though a safely distanced visit is in the works. For now our travel to Paris is virtual. And there is a lot of beauty in the now.
Happy birthday à mon cher papa (qui ne lit pas ce blahhhhhggggghh). Je t’aime toujours.