Jardin des Tuileries

Jardin des Tuileries

Jardin des Tuileries

Jardin des Tuileries

Jardin des Tuileries

Jardin des Tuileries

Jardin des Tuileries

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.

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May 16, 2014 / art / photo / Travel / LEAVE A COMMENT / 29

29 comments

  • well know i am crying. how beautiful. some thing don’t need words. words become fickle and obsolete in comparison.

    55k! 10k in 2 weeks. oh don’t be hard on yourself, that is amazing. and you want to enjoy being in paris while you are there, non? like i have said before you are absorbing and writing in your head while you are being present. that’s important – it all comes out on the paper in its own time. and by how much you have been writing that time seems to be now. xo

    • Is it wrong for a writer to agree that words sometimes ruin things? Because in this case, I think they definitely would :)

      Thank you so much, twinsy. I think you’re right, everything is ‘steeping’ so to speak, and I can’t force it onto the page until it’s ready. I have to be more patient! But some days it’s like I can’t get it all down fast enough, and others…well, I’m just like, “let’s eat more croissants!” haha. xoxo

  • You’re building momentum! Never fear, you’re going to be on a sickeningly productive roll in no time. And even if you’re not getting the words on the paper, I bet the story is advancing in your mind just the same, n’est-ce pas?

    • Ha! Thanks Samantha! I like the phrasing there, I hope you’re right! I definitely think things are brewing and formulating when I’m not at the desk every day! xo

  • I hope you took the time to practice your French and ask someone to take a photo of you replicating that photo of your daddy! If not, there’s always tomorrow, right?

    • I think I’ll wait until my friend Annie or even Jamal comes to visit. I have such nightmares about a stranger running off with my camera!! :) xo

  • loving the updates & you’re doing fabulously! if writing panic arises, instigate a lock-in {armed with macarons & gin of course!}…
    how long are you there for? i won’t be able to come with annie unfortunately, but would still love to pop over to meet you, even if it’s just a day trip one weekend!?!

    • I think it’d have to be Rosé if I want a true French experience, haha, but otherwise I love your plan!! The problem is it’s been SO NICE out that the urge to be outside and exploring usually overpowers everything else!
      I leave on June 30th! God that feels like it’ll be here in no time :( Annie is coming this week actually! Busy week for her, first NYC, then Paris! xo

  • J’ai suis désolée pour ton papa, j’ai regardée ton lien et je comprends ta peine. Il ta laisse un magnifique héritage, son amour pour Paris, que tu racontes si bien !
    Ne sois pas trop dure avec toi même, tu as écris beaucoup et le plus important, c’est le vécu que tu ramèneras chez toi pour toujours !
    Have a nice weekend ;)

    • Tu es toujours correct, Eva! Le vécu que je ramèneras chez moi pour toujours. Je ne besoin pas finir mon roman ici, j’ai besoin avoir le meilleur vécu. Et merci pour ton mots gentils, mon pére etait formidable. Je pense qu’il est ici avec moi. xoxo

  • Once again (and always) beautiful photography! ‘Moments’ are difficult to describe since theres never a word that perfectly describes and all the explained emotions never fully capture the meaning.

    Hell, I’d award myself with macarons for writing 5 words. 10k is an outstanding accomplishment considering you’re in Paris which makes doing anything other than eating and sightseeing seem like a misuse of time!

    • You’re so right. I could rattle off a list of emotions but that’s about as close as I could get to really pinpointing the exact moment. It’s a toughie.

      Thank you for your kind words!! I did indeed treat myself to two macarons that I devoured on the one block walk from the Laudrée to the bus stop, haha. But I completely agree with you, guiltily!, about misusing my time sitting indoors all day ;) That’s why today I’m off to parc Monceau to find a nice quiet bench and see what inspiration pops into my head! xo

  • Your photos! I have so many memories from walking there through the years, one for example from celebrating my mother´s 70th birthday 1986. Now she is gone and I´m Close to 70! But me and my husband are going to Paris in two weeks, and we´ll be there again and again I hope for as long as we live.

    • Oh, Teruko, I’m so glad these brought back happy memories! (I was born in 1986, don’t hate me! ;) You are going to have such a wonderful time with your husband when you come! And as my mother likes to remind me, Paris isn’t going anywhere. You can always come back again and again. xo

      • Thank´s for your nice answer! I can assure you I Always go back to Paris… Since my first visit in 1969 I have been back at least 50 times ;-) I never get tired of it.

        • Wow! And I thought I was a big Francophile! You put me to shame :) I’d love to hear sometime how the city has changed since you first came to now. I bet there are a lot of subtle differences (and maybe some not so subtle!) xo

  • Tearing up looking at Daddy’s photo and imagining you standing in that exact same place. Please set the camera up and let Jeff take a photo of you. We all miss him terribly, but how proud he would be to know you were in Paris, alone, writing! There, I used an exclamation mark!

    • I have a feeling, and Eric agrees with me, that he would have listened to my plan and said, “Great! I can’t wait! We’ll have so much fun!” and booked a flight with me. You KNOW he wouldn’t have been able to let me go alone, haha. Think of how much fun he would have had here with me, and vice versa! xoxo

      • GO ALONE??? Are you crazy? The man wouldn’t let you go to camp because he was afraid he’s get arrested sneaking in the woods to see you every night. He would have enjoyed every minute of every day. I can see him taking small bites between his thumb and middle finger until he broke out in a rash from cheese! Just imagine him having a macciato with his pinky up every time you stop at a cafe or sit on your balcony sipping tea.
        He would describe every painting just like he did when you were an infant until you fell asleep in his arms….I still say from boredom.

        • Haha, I think of him constantly here. It’s unavoidable. Usually in order to convince myself I’m allowed to indulge/spend money/eat more cheese/sleep late/etc etc. xo

          • He never said, “No.”

  • These are such colorful and beautiful pictures!
    Sounds so good you’ve been able to write more, just don’t be so hard to yourself

    • Thank you so much, Barbara!! I’ll try, but I can’t make any promises ;) xo

  • Cry all you want my dear. You’re in the world of dreams right now and you have the right to feel all the feelings

    • ALL of the feels! Oui :) xo

  • I’ve cried on the metro, on the street and probably elsewhere as well here in Paris. Haha! The thing is that you’re so anonymous in this city. You never have to see those people again! That is NOT the case in Sweden.

    • Haha and not the case in Philadelphia, either, because I feel like I’m always seeing someone I know there. Here, though, you’re right!! That’s a freeing thought. xo

  • stunning pics. as always these days xo

    • Thank you, lovely. xo