Something new …

ImageI don’t know why this photo is so enormous but I imagine it’s because this man is larger than life. He did let me take his photo for a few euro, he plays one of my favorite instruments (yep), and he has a kind and interesting face.

Still in Paris for another day and a half, and it’s been cathartic and important and Parisian and all that. Earlier I said that I must visit Notre Dame, which is very close to us, because it’s a tradition that I do at least once on every visit here. I take in as much as I can of its Gothic magic, breathe in the centuries-old air, get annoyed with people using their flashes when the signs blatantly ask that one doesn’t, make an offering, and shoot a photo or six of some gryphons and gargoyles. Tradition. I have to do it. But today started to run low on time and tomorrow I have plans that may not lead me in that direction and Wednesday afternoon we leave and … I realized … this “tradition” has served me in some ways but my first four decades were far from smooth, so maybe breaking tradition is what I need to do to make the next four exponentially better.

And so, radical as this may be, it is quite possible that I will NOT visit Notre Dame on this trip. And maybe my life will dramatically improve.

In fact my life has all the makings of being pretty damn good – I just have to let the not-so-good things fade in importance. I thought I was in love and I landed with a thud in the reality of heartache. Ongoing heartache as the object thereof has slipped away from me. He’s going through a tough time and I didn’t do everything right and blah blah blah how easily I make excuses for the trespasses of others. Time to actually be selfish, not just defend myself against accusations of selfishness. I am better than this. I deserve better than this. I will find better.

And that, my friends, just might be the punch-drunk late night me talking, but I like what I’m saying.

Onward and upward, says I. With all due respect to the man I’ve tried in vain to love. I want only good things for him. I wish ill upon no one.

I want him to love me. But he can’t.

And so I move forward.

To incredible lives and the wisdom of years.

Oh, you …

I do believe I’m being stood up. Ain’t love grand?

Time for a little wisdom from Mary Oliver:

The Journey 

One day you finally knew
what you had to do, and began,
though the voices around you
kept shouting
their bad advice —
though the whole house
began to tremble
and you felt the old tug
at your ankles.
“Mend my life!”
each voice cried.
But you didn’t stop.
You knew what you had to do,
though the wind pried
with its stiff fingers
at the very foundations,
though their melancholy
was terrible.
It was already late
enough, and a wild night,
and the road full of fallen
branches and stones.
But little by little,
as you left their voices behind,
the stars began to burn
through the sheets of clouds,
and there was a new voice
which you slowly
recognized as your own,
that kept you company
as you strode deeper and deeper
into the world,
determined to do
the only thing you could do —
determined to save
the only life you could save.