C’est impossible

An obligatory first photo of the Paris skyline from the Centre Pompidou. Hopefully I will not post too many of these.
An obligatory first photo of the Paris skyline from the Centre Pompidou. Hopefully I will not post too many of these.

Before I begin, I am going to have to clarify a few things about this blog. I have been in Paris for five days. The five days have confirmed my suspicion that I am never, ever going to be able to describe this place in any way that is remotely accurate. I will never be able to capture the feeling of waiting for the traffic to pass while crossing the street on a red walk sign, or being pressed into a crowd of women reaching for their children as they are let out from school.

Why? Because this place just has so much in it. A look down every street offers a new civilization to explore, and other than using the word beautiful at every time of day, it is just too much to describe

(And I do not mean beautiful in that it is perfect. I mean that the noise and the smell and the people and the stores and the food come together to make all the clichés that you have already heard, but also that this is a real place. Outside of the immaculate globe it is cracked up to be, there are mundane, everyday aspects and some of them are ugly — even mean. But all of this is what makes it call for the word beautiful. It is beautiful but also very sad and sometimes disgusting, but because of that it is even more beautiful.)

So while I will probably be doing a lot of describing, I just want to make it clear that these are just the things I see. I know I will never be able to pin down what it is like to be here, because (and I hate to be that person and say this) unless you are here, you just cannot know.

Alright, hopefully that is as preachy as I will get. Onward and backward to those first five days. From here on out, I hope to discuss things in detail, and from my limited perspective, to avoid the banality. And to avoid using words like “banality” for lack of more honest words.

So, here I go. Once again, this essay is exactly that: an essai. I am just trying — so on y va.

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