Lately, I’ve been so busy that there has been little room for whimsy, which is a great shame. Everyone needs regular escapism, otherwise life is just a drill you march through, numb and unthinking – no thank you, Mr. Officer. Give me a pitcher full of butterflies and a trolley-load of poetry to go, please.
For me, creativity begins with daydreams. When your brain is a burnt-out mush however, it doesn’t really lend itself to flights of fancy, more panicked nightmares of missed deadlines and hazily forgotten appointments. It’s like trying to grow a garden with rubble for seeds.
A friend of mine recently visited Paris for the very first time. Oh, I envied her. Paris is the capital city of whimsy, drawing dreamers from across the globe like moths to flickering flame of the Eiffel Tower’s nightly light display (pure magic). The spirit of Parisian café society between the wars is one of the few things I’ve been able to indulge in, albeit it from a significant time and geographical distance, thanks to Paris Was Yesterday a collection of Janet Flanner‘s (aka Genêt) Letter from Paris column for the New Yorker. Spanning from 1925 – 1939, these witty, sparkling reports deftly paint a Paris filled with glamour, intrigue, possibility, drama and of course, great art and culture. One can only admire those who flocked to La Rive Gauche back then, flouting the traditional mores of the day to live the type of bohemian life Paris was the poster child for. The city’s cafés and vistas are still haunted by the ghosts of those trail-blazing men and women. See Woody Allen’s Midnight in Paris for more details.
Me, I’m going to listen to some Charlotte Gainsbourg and eh, peruse a ticket price or two. Paris may be lovely in the spring time but as you can see from the pic above, it is pretty special in the winter too.