Imperfection as Possibility

They’re expecting a large snowstorm in Paris tonight, though the sky remains clear for the moment. But the cold (the cold!) – it’s continuing unabated. Parisians have pulled out their puffy coats (I didn’t know they wore such things in France), all of us starting this new year bundled up tight, awed at the flurries that keep appearing to blanket our streets in white.

Despite the chilly evening, I ventured to the Village Voice Bookshop in the 6eme to hear Nam Le – fiction editor of the Harvard Review and author of the award-winning story collection The Boat – read to an entranced international crowd.

On the metro ride over, I had been pondering whether to finally start a blog.

See, I’ve been avoiding this for years. I guess you could say I’m a Luddite who still loves her words on pages rather than computer screens. More truthfully, though, I’m a perfectionist terrified of putting anything in the public realm before it’s finished.

Only, I hardly ever finish anything. I keep tweaking (see: fiddling/futzing) until there’s nothing original left.

Or, I don’t finish because I never even start. That’s no good! That’s not right! I berate in my head before I can even set the words down.

I’m a writer who has an awfully hard time writing. The thought of posting any old thing that occurs to me seems antithetical to who I am.

But that’s exactly why I think I should. This new year (new decade even! what are we, the 20-teens?) seems to call for a new way of doing things. What would happen if I simply ‘let it fly’ without censoring? If I allow the imperfect to see the light of day? (Would I see what I really have to say?)

Every place has its hardships, and everywhere its own brand of magic. I have neither wanted to rant nor rave about my new home. People will often withhold their sympathy when you complain about life here – “but you live in Paris!” they exclaim.

While this sentiment does get to me at times (but the bureaucracy is horrid! but they really can be rude!), I’m also coming to realize, hey, I do live in Paris! There is definitely something to this.

Paris is popular for a reason – it’s pretty, it’s posh, passion (or the pretense of it) is played out in some way or another on every city block.

It’s not paradise, though. But what would it be if it were perfect? Certainly not interesting.

And so, welcome to my experiment, my life in all its imperfections. By allowing myself to record some of my experiences – in even imperfect ways – I might just remind myself what a gift living here truly is.

The term ‘imperfect’ comes from Latin, referring to an ongoing but uncompleted action. (In learning French, you get more than your fill of grammar.)

This is my ongoing, incomplete adventure. My unfinished project. My idiosyncratic take on an idiosyncratic place. My Paris Imperfect.

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4 Responses to “Imperfection as Possibility”


  1. 1 pariskarin February 7, 2010 at 10:15 pm

    What a perfect post to describe what it really is to be living in the City of Light. ;-)

    I’m glad you found my blog, too, and heyyyyyy, I recognize the header photo for your blog! It’s the Quai de Loire, huh. I know it well. It’s in my ‘hood.

    I wanted you to know I will be checking back in with you regularly. It’s great to know there is someone else out there who finds Paris to be (im)perfect. :)

    Be well & I’ll see you ’round the blog-hood.

  2. 2 parisimperfect February 7, 2010 at 10:30 pm

    Hi Karin! We used to be neighbors, then! I lived in the 19eme near Quai de Loire before moving to the 11th. I miss the canal and Buttes Chaumont a lot.

    Yes, always good to have allies in the (im)perfect experiment called ‘being a foreigner in Paris’ :)

    I’ll be checking in on you, too. Take care!


  1. 1 A Taste of Garlic Trackback on January 13, 2011 at 5:01 am
  2. 2 One Year « paris (im)perfect Trackback on January 13, 2011 at 10:03 am

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paris (im)perfect?

Sion Dayson is paris (im)perfect. Writer, dreamer, I moved to France on – no exaggerating – a romantic whim. As you can imagine, a lot can go wrong (and very right!) with such a (non)plan. These are the (im)perfect stories that result.

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