Hi friends – to kick off this travel vignette series, I’d love to share a moment from my 2018 trip to Paris. My travel vignettes are meant to be instant plane tickets to a foreign country; a journal entry that transports you to a place from the comfort of your screen.
My vignettes are written words meant to enrich your imagination, paired with photography to transport you to a place far away. So lean back with a cup of your favorite fall beverage, and prepare to take a trip to Paris…
A letter from Paris, avec amour…
Picture this: you’re standing in the middle of the square, gazing back at the Louvre.
It was a balmy evening in the city. Throughout the square, people from all around the world milled about, strolling through a city that had lived long before them. Other than the hushed mutters burbling from the tourists’ mouths, there was a deep calm & quiet that lent a heaviness and reflectiveness to the air.
The cobble-stoned square lay still and quiet in the evening light. On each side, like stern, elegant guardians overseeing the courtyard below, the buildings of the age-old museum loomed overhead, graced with ornate figures and alcoves. Windows peered out like inquisitive eyes, reflecting the purple of the sky around it. Where rain and wind had touched the buildings, the stone revealed its age, giving way in some parts to a gray-brown, streaked with the telltale fingers of running water.
We walked through the warm summer night, admiring the large, open square. Entering the Louvre’s courtyard through a covered area, we emerged into the open night in awe of the majestic buildings, eyes drawn towards the center of the square where I.M. Pei’s renowned pyramid gleamed in the evening light, polished and pressing towards the sky. Below it, a still pond shone beautifully, a mirror to the sky and the buildings around it.
Rising above the relative silence, like a knife ever-so-slowly sliding through warm butter, the sonorous, melodic hum of a lone cello rang through the air. From beneath the arches of the entrance from which we came from, he first played a haunting melody, and later the Prelude to Bach’s Cello Suite No. 1. The cello emanated a richness that settled deeply into my bones as I gazed out across the square. It was like a balm to my soul that I recognized, a warmth that was familiar to me since the days of school lessons that turned into 8 years of playing the amber-toned, rich-as-molasses instrument.
It was at this time, crossing into the square, that the sunset glowed a deep orange hue, a watercolor masterpiece with a menagerie of brilliant diffused pinks and lilacs and mauves and lavenders.
It is moments like these, standing in a city where sunsets, music, and architecture come together in perfect poetry, where I feel truly alive.