Paris Summer Update


I’ve already fallen off duty in documenting my forays in the City of Light. Turns out I’m too busy relishing my time in Paris to sit down and report on it. Sometimes life is to live!

The days are fun and full (how could I forget how much I adore the long nights, light still in the sky until 11 pm? And my, it has been many months since I described my days as “fun”).

Shall I tell you about attending a quirky film event called Kinoma at the National Library of France (Bibliothèque nationale de France)?

We saw some excellent short films, sat through a random sketch about dating (I think), awkwardly congregated in the lobby (the audience was instructed to leave the cinema while the film jury deliberated and invited to dance while DJ Metrosex spun tunes in the meantime. True story! DJ Metrosex!). Then we returned, awards were handed out and accepted as informally as if we were in someone’s living room. I loved the casual vibe.

At one point, after a long discourse by one of the invited guests, Ericka and I turned to each other and mouthed: this is so French! It was almost as if we’d forgotten how much this is a country of talking and debate. (Bonus tidbit for long-time blog readers: this is the same Ericka who received her doctorate in French cinema by defending a 600-page dissertation in French many years ago. She is also now based in the States but back for her Paris summer. We are obviously both discussing the possibility of returning).

Grand prix awards ceremony! (Photo courtesy of Kinoma).

Anyway, it was all random and interesting and really wonderful. These kinds of unexpected, offbeat experiences are my jam.

Other awesomeness! One of my besties (who took over hosting my writing salon, WIP) celebrated her birthday with a treasure hunt, petanque at Place Dauphine, and a fete on Pont Neuf. I met the beautiful new baby of another. There have been picnics at the bassin near the Bastille, coffee along the canal, and above all, time with my beau and long catch-ups with good friends.

It’s been wild how easy it’s been to slip right back in. That ease has been delightful and is obviously a comfort that I feel at home. Though on the other hand it makes me wonder: have I not grown at all since I left? I thought I might be further along on a new path. Wasn’t the idea to discover who I am away from Paris? What’s my identity when it’s not tied to the City of Light?

But perhaps that’s missing the point. I will always be tied to this city, it will always be a part of who I am. And this journey of discovery is a constant, a lifelong pursuit. Always ongoing, always unfolding, always evolving.

Last week, France endured a heatwave, with the hottest night recorded since 1872 (!) The canicule collided with Fête de la Musique, an all-night musical festival in the streets (and bars and churches and everywhere). Some experience this as a magical evening and others think that, particularly when paired with scorching heat, it approximates some version of a very noisy hell. But it falls on the solstice and is a true marker of Paris summer.

High school students across France also sweated it out last week, and not because of the weather. They were taking the difficult, multi-day exam known as le bac.

(I thought to write a whole blog post on the bac, but here’s a video explainer instead).

Part of the bac is centered on philosophy. Yes, teenagers are tested on philosophy! (See above: country of much discussion and debate).

Here are this year’s actual questions from that portion of the bac:

Is everything that I have the right to do fair?
Does defending one’s rights always mean defending one’s interests?
Does a work of art necessarily possess beauty?
Can knowing result merely from observing?
Can we free ourselves from our culture?
Can reason justify everything?
Can reason be misused?
To find happiness, must one seek it?

So we’re all reflecting on some big questions over here.

But mostly, for me, for now, I’m trying to take the pressure off. Practice gratitude for the time and the continued adventures.

Happiness, I didn’t seek it. But for a brief moment, it’s just here.


5 Responses to “Paris Summer Update”

  1. 1 Jolie Anne Preau June 29, 2017 at 8:02 pm

    As far as the growth goes, I’d say – well, it’s only been a little over 6 months, no? Patience, grasshopper! And all this political hoopla feels to many like a huge setback. Not to mention that you spent a chunk of this time taking care of your mom post-surgery. Time takes time. Time takes its time. Take your time. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    • 2 paris (im)perfect June 29, 2017 at 8:15 pm

      Thanks, lovely! I’m not actually *that* worried that I should have figured out the next chapter of my life yet. (Although it’s been NINE months, not six 😉 ). And *definitely* the political situation completely changed the calculus of everything for me. I didn’t actually realize just how besieged I felt by it all until I came back to Paris and literally felt lighter again. It’s nice to take a break and I’m open to following the unfolding. ❤

      Liked by 2 people

  2. 5 Karin B June 29, 2017 at 9:35 pm

    It is truly as if you had never left, and via this writing, I felt like I was there, too! ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

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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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