Seduction


From the majority of heartache that I have suffered in my life, it has not been because of my attachment to people, but places. When I tell a friend that I am in “love” with Paris, I do not mean that the city is simply a favorite destination of mine. What I mean is that the city as a whole caught my eye, quietly wrapped its firm but gentle hand around mine, led me down a small and winding cobblestone street and held me close...and did not let go until morning.

Places and destinations seduce me. The sites and sounds, the colors and scents, the ever changing shades of light...The seduction goes deep: it re-wires the neuron pathways and settles into the marrow of my bones. Should we ever be separated, the anguish of separation is almost unbearable. I have been known to stay in undesirable situations simply for the love of the locale. Relationships will often take a backseat to a destination.


The first time my heart ever really experienced wrenching heartbreak was when I lost a home. Nestled between soft green hills with grass that flashed silver when the wind swept through it, and large looming purple jagged mountains that stood on my doorstep, that house was a safety zone from whatever life threw my way. Then in what seemed like an instant, it was gone. Ripped away, and handed over to someone else. Someone who would paint over the silver walls of my bedroom, board up my secret attic access (by way of my closet), and tear out my butterfly garden. I remember on evenings with a full moon, the moon would set over the ocean and completely illuminate my bedroom with light.


Paris had been a place of healing for me. It was summer and my then second visit to the city. It was on the 3rd floor, during a hot and muggy summer afternoon that I finally came to terms of what had been a rather traumatic previous year. It was in that room that I realized I was indeed half way around the world, far away from anyone who knew me, my past, or my dreams. Not even I knew my dreams. Paris did what I couldn’t do: it embraced me, built a tender cage about my heart and preserved it.


I have watched the skies of Paris glow at 9:45pm with lingering summer light, and I have watched its skies gently wake with the break of dawn. I have seen the “unseen” moments of a woman who thought no one was watching her on the metro. I have heard the first engine in the city start, and I have smelled the sweet scent of the first pain du jour. I have also seen heartache. I have shivered from the bitter, wet Paris cold that feels like it will make off with your fingers if you do not hold on to them. But still, the city holds me close. It envelopes me like a hen does her children and nestles me close to its breast. A lover who seduces me with every taste, sound and sight.

She may have lost her head, but she still intends to fly
Where I currently lay my head I do consider home. Monogamy it seems, is overrated. Two lovers who fight for equal space in my heart cannot seem to live harmoniously in the small hollow I have to offer. Can I have both without hurting the other?
All photography mine

7 comments

Mademoiselle Meese said...

Your writing is hauntingly beautiful. Write more often.

xx
Donyel

with love from Mademoiselle Meese

Jennifer Fabulous said...

AMBER!!!!!!! OMFG.

Girl, you need to write more often. Can I add that to my poll option?!? This is STUNNING.

Movies on my Mind said...

Amber, just when I thought you were a pretty face with a swell camera and dapper sense of style, you go a spring this one on me.

You’re writing in this post transported me. Even though I have never been to Paris (although I can practically see it from my house, or so he reckoned), I really got a sense of why, metaphorically, it remains the true love of your life: a place that beguiles you and wearies you in equal amounts.

“Can I have both without hurting the other?” Probably not. But without pain, without sacrifice, we would have nothing. These are the years of your life where one can take big risks and still bounce back if they don’t work out. In another five years it may not be like that. Then again, maybe the things that we have are really the things that we need in life, therefore, why try and go back to a great moment in one’s life that can never be truly recaptured, at least not the way one would hope.

I’m not a natural deep thinker and I’m thinking deep right now. This is so not me. I’m gonna clear my mind and go watch “Titanic 3D”... wish me luck.

Midnight Cowgirl said...

Such a beautiful post! I have always wanted to visit Paris.

Meri said...

What a beautiful but heartbreaking way to look at it. I too fall in love with places (cities, towns, not homes), and when I move on it makes me hurt.

Barry said...

Absolutely and completely in love with this! Amber...wow! Jenny's right, please write like this more often. Of course I'm even more enamoured because this is a subject very close to me.

As I mentioned before this has inspired me to write about my own impressions of Paris. Gave you and AM a shout-out in the post, I figure it's only fair! :)

Jill said...

I love it! You describe your love of Paris well. True writing comes when we feel most passionate. Anyone who's ever been there knows what you mean. I miss it every day and feel called to go back!

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