lonely lovely city

lonely lovely city

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Thoughts of Paris...

This evening at work proved to be a bit slow, thanks in large part to the crappy weather. While I was working away, I had an interesting exchange with two charming Frenchwomen. One was older, delicate and classy. The younger was affable, kind, glamorous, and warm.

What I loved about them was their openness to talk, to engage in a dialogue about France. We spoke about the differences between Parisians and New Yorkers and how they hold carefuly interwoven similarities: the brashness, the reputation, the cuisine, the history, the sheer beauty, and the energy are a just a few.

Both NYC and Paris have quite a strong following with droves of people from all over the world, willing to come to our cities and give up livelihoods and begin something more meaningful and rich. I did it when I moved here to the big apple from LA. I know what it feels like to start over anew with a different perspective.

As I stood there, listening to them speak in their native, gorgeous language, I found it easier to imagine myself living there someday. Certainly, it won't happen over night and the planning will probably require a bit of time and research. But, this night gave me hope.

When I visited Paris for the first time last year, I wasn't daunted by the bone chilling winter, the impossible language barrier or that I was practically lost when I turned every corner. I reveled in the sights and sounds and how strangers were more than willing to help out an American tourist such as myself. I walked that city for days amidst horrible conditions, disoriented , bewildered, and overwhelmed. And, it was probably one the happiest moments of my life. I felt free, inspired and refreshed as I sat for hours in the Louvre and sipped Ricards and ate French Macaroons while people watching in the Saint Germain Du Pres.

I loved that these two beautiful women were able to chat about Paris and humor me a bit regarding my fascination with the place. I received a few tips on where to go when visiting again and the do's and don't s of speaking French. I even got a business card from the younger if I ever choose to move there. She mentioned she would be happy to assist with my transition in obtaining contacts, including her assistance if I needed it.

Whomever said Parisians are rude and snobby are so full of shit!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

A page a day is a book a year....

One of my former writing teachers said something a couple of years ago that I won't forget. She said,"A page a day is a book a year." Perhaps it wasn't the actual statement itself, but the way she annunciated her words. It was said in a matter of fact way. Succinct and soft.

As we are unbelievably almost finished with January, I am here at my computer, alone in my over heated apartment with fervor to write more. It's not that I haven't neglected my voice, but taking a much needed break from life, school, work, and so forth were way over due. But, my excuses are no longer tolerable.

I've been writing my memoirs on and off for about two or three years-give or take. They are mere collections of thoughts, ruminating essays and downright rants of my expressions about the world and the terrifying childhood memories that rest in the back of my mind, unhinged. Depending on my coursework for the semester, my writing for that particular project varies. Not anymore.

For the second time, I've just finished watching, Eat Pray Love. Yes, it received mostly frigid reviews. Whatever. I don't care. I love the movie. Adore it actually. Not because it is entirely true to the book, but that it tells the story through a woman's eyes. A lovely account of what happens when we investigate our inner callings. Yes, I am still a Julia Robert's fan. And no, I am not apologizing for it either.

My point is that this film successfully told the story, which derives from this longing to understand something innately primal in all of us: why am I here? The book, which is simply magical if not intoxicating, ruminates constantly in my thoughts. Why is her story so compelling? Why is her writing lyrical? Plain and simple. Talent. Relentless ambition. And, a calling to express her life through the power of the written word.

After the credits, I watched the additional commentary about the novelist herself, Elizabeth Gilbert. She goes on to elaborate what inspired her to write the book in the first place and what the writing process meant to her. As I listened, it made me think about my own writing processes and what prevents me from writing more about my story. We all have one. Some, perhaps more compelling than others. What I took from her interview is that we are all on an exploration. Some of us might be more willing to play around and figure things out the hard way.

I am not promising anything to anyone much less myself. Anyone who knows the process of writing accepts that our inspirations seeps into different forms and spurts. Mine seem to be flowing. Call it the new year. Or simply deem it the time I needed to rest. I am going to attempt to write a page a day. It might not be cohesive or as fluid as I would like, but it will be out there. On the computer screen saved for my reading pleasure.

Much like the affable, it not exhausting Ms.Gilbert, I have a story that pertains to my childhood in Nevada and to my adulthood of making it on my own in New York City. And, I intend on sharing it someday.

Incidentally, my teacher has already published three of her memoirs and is working on her first novel. I love the power of positive thinking.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Western roots

The past couple of weeks have been quite relaxing. I spent some needed time with my brother and his beautiful family in Salt Lake City. I crashed on the couch of one my dearest friends in the world at her pad in Los Angeles. Life is good.

I had the chance to reconnect with my western roots, mostly I had chance to reconnect with myself again. All of it, where I am from and where I have lived have brought me to where I am now. Thirty something, single and living in New York. As I was out there, I tried to hang up my problems.

I ate scrumptious cuisine, drank decadent cocktails, partied with friends, watched movies, took walks, laughed over silly things, sat by a fire with copious glasses of wine, slept in, played with my handsome nephews, gabbed with my amazing sister in law, commiserated on the wrong doings of my parents with my brother, shopped for things I didn't need, checked out hot guys, had an interesting conversation about mortality with a stranger on a plane, and drooled while watching a handsome, celebrity leave a cafe above Sunset Blvd with my BFF in hand.

Now as I am back in the arctic that is Manhattan, I am sad that it has ended. My western roots are an integral part of me. For so long, I thought I was this frenzied city boy with places to go and people to see. The quintessential city boy, thank you very much. But, am I really that person I've perceived myself to be?

Not that I am in love with LA again, but watching my loved ones co-exist in their worlds made me realize that there is a whole other galaxy that doesn't pertain to NYC. I thoroughly enjoyed my time off, because I wasn't stressed or worried about inane things I can't control. I looked around and wondered if I could live there again. The pace and people are way different. They are definitely slower. They are perhaps, weirder. If that makes sense. But, they know how to relax, chill out and not take everything so literally.

So, from this point on, I am going to try to chill a bit more and not take everything so seriously. Can this truly happen on this maddening island? Just wait and see. There's no place like home.