Saturday, June 14, 2008

THE MOMENT - or shall I say, my awakening

Ever the walking cliche' or at least I feel like it, I had my 'awakening' and it was today. I have had brief interruptions of sleep-walking through the day of the blazee, BUT today was a day that all the naysaying negativity about Paris has gone to sleep and I ... I have awoken to the glory of the city of Light.

I had been in my sleepy way of should be practicing French, but watching "Valley Girl" on YouTube is just so much more interesting. Like totally! But I had a grocery list to get and as you may know, the stores in Paris are unbelievably closed on Sunday!

So, I dreaded doing it. I pretty much have only had fun when I am out - but it's the thought of leaving our cozy sanctuary that does not appeal to me. I am not pleased to say it, but living in Durham made me a serious homebody. There were only two places I would rather have been: the forest or the dance floor - and the truth is, they are just extensions of home. ANYWAY!

Got the bags to carry the groceries home. On my list was toilet paper, coffee, bread, soy milk, yogurt, apples, laundry softener (gonna give it a try), rice cakes, cereal and lotion... We will get the veggies tomorrow at the market and I will bring the camera for blog purposes! Which is what I wish I had done today!!!

But of course, what exciting thing could happen between here and 4 blocks to the store? Well, a group of musicians COULD be standing on the corner playing Fwenchie music like the other day... or a new store could have a wine/cheese event... or there could be some particularly beautiful fruit or flowers in one of the numerous street shops worthy of a photo... but today there was a musical extravaganza in the streets!

AND IT WAS MOST LIKELY ONE OF THE COOLEST THINGS I HAVE EVER SEEN. Now, don't get me wrong, I have seen some dynamic drumming in India (imagine hundreds of Indians drumming and walking) and some funkadelicious drumming in Honduras on the islands during some Garafuna holidays and so on... but today, I saw the French version of drumming that would have put Hillside High in Durham to shame (well, not really)... but allow me tell you what was so special about this drumming and dancing down the streets of a small neighborhood in Paris. The drummers were 80% FRENCH WOMEN AND GIRLS and the dancers were all French women. The entire group spanned from 14 years to 50 years old. These lovely women were pounding those HUGE drums and swinging their hips and the dancers were giving the crowd filling up the sidewalks everything they had! I of course, started crying right then and there. Now if you know me, I can cry over a feel-good commercial.

The other interesting thing about it was that for the first half of the parade, the cars drove right along side of the dancing/drumming parade. It was a two way street and they all seemed to take turns going. That is one cool thing I have noticed about the people here - sure, they may not be 'friendly', but nor are they aggressive or possessive. From what I have observed, they genuinely know how to share space. It is kind of unbelievable at times. Even during this dancing in the streets, the flow didn't just STOP because of this, the street became used by both. I, for one (and maybe the only one standing there grinning and crying)thought it was totally amazing. Everyone, people with full shopping bags like me, daddies with strollers, old ladies with canes, young men with motorcycles, fashionista females all just doing their thing.

I stood their bopping, grinning, shining and crying at seeing French women in a new way and in seeing myself living in Paris in a new way too! I now am beginning to understand my relationship to the outside world needs to open up in a new way ... and so I need to change too. So, now it is when I say, see: I am now the cliche and I like it like that.