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Thursday, January 25, 2007

A Rainy Day In Paris


It was during my third visit to Paris that I knew our marriage was over.

I love Paris. Paris is a grand dame of a city. She’s alluring. She beguiles and seduces. I’ve traversed her varied and fascinating arrondissments, sampled her wares, drank her wines, admired her good looks and reveled in her charms. There is something to delight the eye and soul around every corner, down every street. To know Paris is to love her. When in Paris with a lover, all seems enhanced somehow, magnified and glorified. Paris leaves one breathless.

Ah, as they say, “Springtime in Paris…”

* * *

It was spring when I was there last.

My wife and I had sojourned in the Bordeaux region, an amazing experience in and of itself. We had decided to finish our travels with another stay in Paris. We booked a room in one of Paris’ “Grand Hotels,” the St. Lazare. It’s a beautiful hotel (although I still prefer the hotel Lutétia in the heart of the St. Germain district).

So there we were, in a beautiful hotel in one of the world’s most beautiful, inspiring, sensuous cities.

Two strangers sharing a bed...with a chasm in between.

She decided she wished to go shopping…alone. I was…relieved, in a sense. I, too, wished to be alone. As it was, I had felt alone in her presence for several years. It felt more natural, to me, to walk the Parisian streets as the solitary man I had become. So I walked and I walked and I walked. It was a rainy spring day. It was, in fact, the only day of rain we had experienced during our entire trip. It rained.
It rained and the city glistened. It rained inside me, inside my soul.

I walked.

I walked past my favorite haunts, I walked past sheer magnificence, I walked past subtle beauties, I walked past the Parisians and the tourists, the Seine and the cathedrals. I simply walked and walked and walked. No one could tell I was crying - everyone’s face was wet. One would have had to have true acuity of vision to realize that my face was wetter than those of others.

It was in Paris in the spring that we both knew that we had allowed something precious and beautiful and profound somehow slip through our fingers…never to be reclaimed. We had traveled light,
as always. But, this time, we had both left our hearts behind as well. Somewhere. Mine was left aching among the sunflowers on a windswept prairie. Hers? I don’t know…I’ll never know…lost at the bottom of a bottle of wine, perhaps.

We were both quiet during the long flight home (although it would never again be a home). We had spent a rainy day in Paris.

* * *

Now it seems the rain will never end.

* * *

13 Comments:

Blogger Green-Eyed Girl said...

A beautiful, yet horrible post. That moment when you admit to yourselves that it's over, it no longer exists, burns from the inside out.

Thu Jan 25, 03:23:00 PM  
Blogger Jonas said...

I suppose we all grieve in different ways...each equally gruesome. When I burn, I burn with passion. This felt like death. Lifeless, cold and darker than the darkest night.

Thu Jan 25, 03:44:00 PM  
Blogger Sunny Delight said...

You describe that lonely bitter ache so well, that moment that comes upon us when we know all is lost, no matter what you do there is no going back nor going forward. It is just heartstabbingly gone.

My someday hope for you..... glimmerings of starlight pierce the cold lonely night bringing warmth and light.

Thu Jan 25, 06:12:00 PM  
Blogger Fiona said...

You are an absolutely incredible wordsmith, Jonas. I felt I was walking the streets with you as I read this. So much so that I was convinced my shoes would be wet at the end of it!

The loss of a love IS like a death, a small part of us dies. And I've only lost men I've cared for, I've never lost anyone that I truly loved. I don't ever want to, especially after reading this.

I wonder. Would something like that make me just not ever want to love again, for fear of the pain?

Thu Jan 25, 06:58:00 PM  
Blogger Sally-Sal said...

I wish I could hug you. For the ache of a lost love.

Thu Jan 25, 07:49:00 PM  
Blogger Jonas said...

In truth, I had never, until this evening, pictured angels roaming the earth in a gang. Wait, "gang" sounds wrong. Pod? School? Herd? Flock? Yes...flock. You are a flock of angels.

Ah, Sunny, you already know that I see stars. I just don't know where they'll lead me.

And I have no answer for your question, Fiona, but I promise to keep you posted.

A hug, Sal? Coming from you? I'd like that.

Thu Jan 25, 08:49:00 PM  
Anonymous Roads said...

Paris speaks so well, and yet she has so much to answer for, too.

An evening spent just looking out from the Café Flore will cure most ills.

You'll know when it's time to go back there. Soon, I hope.

Fri Jan 26, 05:15:00 AM  
Blogger bct said...

Jon, I hope that your next trip to Paris blazes with sunshine and warmth, and glows with new beginnings.

Fri Jan 26, 11:32:00 AM  
Blogger Jonas said...

Thanks, Roads. I hope to return to Paris...someday. She is simply too alluring. I doubt it will be soon, though. I've got a lot more walking to do first.

One of my favorite spots (among SO MANY favorite spots in Paris) is the garden at the Rodin Museum. I'd like to return there with a lover and simply sit and savor...and kiss...

Sigh

Fri Jan 26, 11:33:00 AM  
Blogger Jonas said...

Oh, thank you, Bernice!

Sunshine, warmth, new beginnings...Yes! Yes! Yes!

Fri Jan 26, 11:37:00 AM  
Anonymous Ed said...

Jon, sometimes you carry your grief so beautifully that I almost forget how much real pain it has caused you, and still causes you.

I wish you peace and healing.

Fri Jan 26, 04:04:00 PM  
Anonymous raymond said...

How haunting....

I can only wish you all the best.

Fri Jan 26, 07:47:00 PM  
Blogger Jonas said...

Thank you for your kind words, my Buddhist friends!

Fri Jan 26, 10:37:00 PM  

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