And so it happened that I fell ill in Paris. Two days of misery which caused me to stay close to the “loo” and separate from Alan and Mert much, I’m sure, to their relief.

But this afternoon I felt better, aided by clear sky’s I ventured out into the streets and oh my friends… may you see it through my words.

Les enfants playing with wooden sailboats in the lake like fountains of the Tuileries, imagining only what I pray to God I could see.

The Sun setting over the crystal Musee D’Orsay casting cold shadows on the magnificent fascias of the Louvre and the Palais Royal. Harsh contrasts; Stone and flesh, cold and scalding as a kiss with intent.

The sound of crushed stone underfoot while walking perfectly tree lined paths quietly saying, here is beauty.

The statues, lone proof of an artist’s loving touch, the perfect “screen” for a game of hide and seek. And people, rich and poor, in groups or like me… alone, recharge their souls, forget about survival for an instant and become at peace with that which lingers in one’s heart memories.

People, Sky, Stone, Scents as if in a too wet watercolor blend into composite images with the Weeping Willows at the edge of the Seine.

Bright lights everywhere… the riverboats, the Louvre, the architecture on the Quai Voltaire and a clear evening sky with a not quite half-moon 1/3 up in the horizon.

The Champs Elysee aglow with every single tree lit to perfection leading the way to L’Arc de Triumphe, the ol’beacon of Paris La Tour Eiffel at 9 o’clock from this scene, pales by comparison.

Deep in the garden darkened by evening, the din of Paris is but a faint echo. Heard are the footsteps and the quack, quack of invisible ducks happy to have reclaimed their fountains.  The laughter of little kids still in-cadence with the music from the antique carrousel.

The fragrance of roasting chestnuts and the muted voices of people out for an evening stroll… the temperature bitter cold and unimportant.

And then… Bang, you’re in the heart of Le Champs Elysee, between the Rond-Point and L’Arc. Here, like the river Seine not too far, the “current” of people runs deep and strong, no set patterns… going to the Left, coming to the Right… Just a perfect weaving that interlaces itself without conflict like in a Graham dance.

And we, in the George V cafe, warming up with a Carlsberg and Jambon de Paris watch all of this and try to capture it with eyes and pen. Probes penetrating and imaginative weaving a story from an expression and fleeting look.

Mata Hari’s talent was discovered at the George V on a magical December’s evening.

No high tourism at this time, just us expat’s watching Parisieenes Christmas shopping like the rest of the world, unaware and unconcerned about being described by a handful of pen strokes.

I shall stop and let them be. Enough “soft” stuff about this day like every other day, time to go back into my cell and prepare to depart Paris can be felt, touched and experienced but to me today… Paris was instinctual.

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