There is an excitement to living in Paris. At every corner there seems to be something to get the imagination flowing. Whether it’s crossing Pont Alma, as I do daily to get to the library, and being reminded that James Joyce would stop in the middle of the bridge with his publisher, and discuss writing as they watched the Seine. And while we've established that I'm not a fan, how can you not think of Henry Miller when wandering the base of Montmartre. He was 40 years old he quit his job and came to Paris to write- sound familiar?
But it isn’t only the people in the past that can propel us forward. Today, I spoke with a friend who spent the last week in London with literary agents that love the project she is working on. An English guy I’ve admired and chummed around with for a bit works for Reuter’s News Service and was discussing journalism with an American that worked on the wires during Watergate, Billy Jean King beating Bobby Riggs and the Vietnam War. He painted an exciting picture of tearing the news stories off the wire and running it to the editors- just like in the movies. He gave up journalism to pursue jazz guitar, which spun off into a whole new discussion about Dave Brubeck's “Take Five", which I do know something about. A woman I met recently gave me her web address so I could check out her graphic design and it turns out that it has incredible recordings of her singing songs she wrote. Beautiful songs.
I often toy with the idea that you can have a “Paris state of mind” anywhere in the world and therefore I shouldn’t be too upset if I have to leave but I’m just kidding myself. It isn’t just Paris that stirs the imagination it’s also the people that have chosen to come here and make Paris their home despite the uncertain finances and distance from their families. These are the people that inspire others to work toward their dreams.