Now I know why Hemingway is my idol as a writer– because he lived abroad, in Paris, where the air gives life to your language and reality to your dreams. It fills me with poetry like it filled him with novels; it creeps under your skin, this world, when as elegant a language as French is on your tongue, in your sleep, on the bus beside you. Here, one can’t help but spill over with a deep and lovely unspoken– an essence that becomes prose and verses, like an understanding of life exploded, glorified, as you inhaled the fumes in the subway, the laughter in the cafés. I am alive, and, if you’ll excuse the sacrilege, I feel like God must have felt when he created the world and saw that it was good. He knew how bad it would be sometimes, but he looked on it, and, in that moment, it was good.
Here, I feel like I am who I want to be: I’ve never been glamorous, but Europe makes me feel glamorous; Europe makes me feel beautiful. Maybe it’s because the streets crumble with history, old stones and young painters, or because the women are well-dressed and the men stare, or because there are rivers and dogs and bookstores that tumble around every corner– I don’t know why. It’s the je ne sais quoi that everyone speaks of, the perfection that seems more perfect because you can’t articulate it exactly. You just live it, and it is like a renaissance, a well-deserved smile, a rooftop with a balcony.
(written with Love, Caroline)