To Paris with Love.
A sentiment I wrote with a flourish… often, in those days.
So often it appeared in almost every journal entry as I prepared that summer to visit the city of my dreams, for the first time.
Studying the language, culture, and history for nearly twelve years, it was hard to contain my dreamy exuberance.
I was young, in love… and going to Paris!
And it didn’t disappoint. Better than my dreams and that first trip is as vivid in my memory today as it was during that long, hot summer.
The gardens of Luxembourg, summer evening walks along the Seine near where my father was lecturing at the University of Paris (Sorbonne), and, of course, Notre Dame.
Day after day… it was the art that drew me to Notre Dame. The street art.
Mesmerized by the incredible artists who spent their days, every day, creating masterpieces… on the sidewalks… surrounding Notre Dame.
Simply exquisite. And unbelievable.
Hours invested. By nightfall, the masterpieces had turned to little more than scuffed chalk dust, trampled beneath the feet of tourists and Parisians alike.
And the next day, the art would begin again. Fresh inspiration, a new day, a new temporary masterpiece.
To my young mind, it was unimaginable.
Were they wasting their life… their talents… their opportunities?
To be honest, it’s still hard to understand.
Yet this I know.
Opportunities come… and they go. They are never stagnant and they may never come across your path again. As fleeting as a sunbeam… or a work of art etched on a Paris sidewalk.
How many times have we passed up opportunities, blinded by the allure of tomorrow, completely missing today?
Emily Dickinson wrote in her Complete Poems:
“Not knowing when the dawn will come
I open every door.”
What doors will you open today?
What opportunities will you seize?
What kind of art will you create… today?
Perhaps it’s as simple as an encouraging smile or word to your favorite barista. Or as exciting as a new business, social, or personal opportunity.
If life is a canvas, as they say, then the strokes of our life can create beauty wherever our path leads. If only we can recognize the possibilities.
“Today is life – the only life you are sure of.
Make the most of today.”
The world is a giant and beautiful place. Make your mark, begin your journey.
An ancient proverb declares, “A journey of a thousand miles, begins with a single step.”
Put on your walking shoes, sharpen your chalk, and make your masterpiece!