A City of Lights

It is the darkest time of the year. What little light there is constantly changes. Until one moment late in December, the Earth’s northern hemisphere is moving into its furthest distance from the sun. At the apogee, all begins to move once more towards the sun and a new cycle commences. It is Christmas time, once a pagan festival celebrating the return of the light. 

In Paris, ville-Lumière as it is known, the Eiffel Tower shimmers its Klein blue into the night sky and explodes on the hour into brilliant bursts of jumping white starlights -an eiffel version of the Euro flag. At 5pm the sunlight leaves the sky and the trees lining Champs-Elysée fill suddenly with cascading violet-white lights. Opposite the Arche de Triomphe on the far end of the avenue, a giant ferris wheel turns in Place Concord stealing all attention. How could one even notice that right now in the evening sky below the curl of a white crescent moon, together Venus and Jupiter hold court.BlueEiffeltower

I find various reasons for why Paris is called the city of lights. Some suggest it began during the age of enlightenment, with Paris at the centre of philosophical thought, or perhaps even earlier with Louis XIV, the so-called the sun king as centre of the universe. Others insist that with the arrival of electricity, it is the shimmer of night lights on the city horizon and a few simply remind me of the soft shifting light on the sandstone colour of the architecture that is Paris.

I realize through my writing here in Paris that I have lost sense of a direct link to many of my earliest memories. I don’t know when it happened, but, no longer do I connect to the immediacy of the events and moments. And unless something suddenly triggers a memory, in just thinking backwards, I am not able to re-experience the emotions originally felt in my body, nor do I see, smell, taste or hear any echo of the original. What I remember now is most often the remembering. I remember, because I keep remembering.  This is how the story changes.