Oh, this city of cities. It now holds memories from some of the most difficult days of my life + yet it continues to be this almost sacred fountain of inspiration + vitality. That old adage about what’s bad for your heart being good for your art definitely rings true here. It’s a classic + beautiful + profound place.
My parents + I stayed in the perfect tiny hotel, built in the 15th century with these stunning ceiling beams + a single-minded elevator. It was on a cozy street full of little restaurants, within walking distance to most of the major sites + just around the corner from Notre Dame.
One of my favorite things about Europe in general (but especially France) is the slowness surrounding food, an almost reverential pace. I love the wandering from shop to shop, collecting bits of cheese + bread + wine. I love how dinner at a restaurant almost invariably means you’ve committed to at least three courses. And yet, I love how sitting down to a simple dinner of roast chicken feels just as perfect as any fancy meal could be. I love how I can get jamón serrano in the grocery store for less than three euros. I love how freshness is honored over fastness.And the desserts: be still my heart. To say that I had my fill of pastry on this trip would be only a partial truth for I could have kept eating all day would my stomach have allowed it.
I’ve been trying to integrate some of this slowness + simplicity into my life back at home, a hard feat to be sure. But I find great pleasure in walking through my neighborhood, or popping over to the grocery store for a few things I might want for dinner, spur of the moment. You see a lot more of the world on foot, even though it can sometimes be a pain when running to the store takes forty minutes instead of fifteen, because you can’t just hop in the car. But I am teaching myself that these moments of pause, these mandated foot breaks are just what I need.
A little opportunity to remind myself that “busy” is not so much the object as is “beauty.”