I seem to end up in the Jardin des Tuileries a lot. I’ve been there, accidentally and intentionally, probably more than any other spot in the city in the two weeks I’ve been here (TWO WEEKS. WHAT. STOP). It’s expansive and yet, like I’m learning about so many other parts of this amazing city, completely isolated and quiet in parts despite being a major tourist hotspot–it leads directly to the Louvre on one end and the Champs-Élysées on the other. Maybe it’s its size (overwhelming) or that everyone seems in a rush to get somewhere else by walking through it, but I’ve found the most wonderful, tucked away corners to sit and just be. I also think I stumbled upon two teenagers having sex against a tree yesterday in one back section, but I didn’t stick around long enough to find out.
I know one of my rules was to keep the tears to a minimum, and I really have been! Aside from crying going into my 36th hour without luggage when I got here, the only other time I’ve welled up was for a completely different, opposite reason. Remember this photo of my daddy in the Tuileries? On one of my morning walks last week, I happened to enter the gardens in the middle, and ended up smack-dab in the exact spot he must have been standing when that picture was taken. I stood there, and without even realizing, started crying. Happy, delighted, bittersweet tears. I had a –and I hate what a cop-out this word is, but– moment that is hard for me to explain. Not because I couldn’t dig to find the words, but because I think moments like that are just hard to put into words at all.
Thankfully, it was pretty chilly and windy that morning, so I could pretend my eyes were just watering, not that I was having a happy-cry in the middle of a public garden like a gauche Américaine.
Other Paris Details of Note: I broke 55k words today. While 10k in two weeks is the most I’ve ever written, it’s less progress than I somehow expected to make here. I’m being hard on myself, I know. I’m still treating myself to some celebratory macarons today, fear not.