Paris Lost and Found
Sixteen years ago I went to Paris. I lost a camera (technically my wedding gift to my new husband... technically with all our honeymoon photos on it). I was an artist then, going expectantly to an artist's city. But I came home having lost heart for being a professional artist. Upon returning, I immediately began to pursue a Masters in Teaching. My time in the great city had given some things, taken away others. All of it unexpected.
Fast forward. Today, I returned from Paris. And again, it gave some things and took others away.
There were things I hoped for, sought, even acquired. A day at the Picasso museum. A visit to Roman ruins. Strawberry jam from a wonderful fromagerie.
Picasso, closed. Ruins in renovation (explain that!). Jam confiscated at security; okay, I'm a seasoned traveler, but I packed the carry-on bag from H-E- double L. In other words, I had four glass jars of sealed jam. One open jar, for breakfast on croissants of course. A bottle of water. Scissors in the kids' sewing project. Like I said, the bag from H-E-..... Oh, and I lost my airplane chocolate chip cookies, had to give them away, 'cause while I was in Marseilles I found I am allergic to almonds and the wrapper said could contain traces of nuts.
In place of Picasso, we found St. Paul's, and had a moving moment of lighting a candle for my gravely ill baby niece, Summer Rain. It was the kind of moment that I and my two girls came into all at once, agreed on without words, then found it was so when my Littlest expressed, For Summer. It was almost physical, the way we moved together in our minds before our hands lit that candle of please, God, please.
The ruins gave over to a famous bookstore, Shakespeare & Co., where my Littlest played the piano (and lost her rock when she set it down). The lost jam found us a story. And the cookies I had to give away... they found me a laugh! When reading the wrapper, which said, suitable for vegetarians... and... saving orangutans, this product is free from palm oil... my travel-weary brain read that the cookies were suitable for orangutans.
In a rather ironic twist, I wrote this on the plane and ended by saying I do not yet completely know what I have lost and what I have found... So of course, when I landed, my luggage was... who knows? Not with me on the ground.
Doors of Notre Dame in Marseilles photo; Shakespeare bookstore photo in Paris; St. Paul's in Paris photo, by L.L. Barkat.
L.L.'s Made to Last
L.L.'s Golden (includes awesome picture of ceiling in Notre Dame Marseilles)