Posts Tagged 'beauty'

Path of Beauty (Video)

Happy V-day, folks.

Let’s celebrate love in ALL its forms today. And everyday!

We can love each other, our lover, our friends, our family. How about loving ourselves, too?

Beautiful moments, alone or shared.

Big bisous, friends. I consider you all my Valentines.

End of Summer Mantra (and the Return to Paris)

A decorated street during Festa Major de Gracia

Paris has welcomed me back with sunshine. It’s warm and glorious and everything it wasn’t when I left. This makes my reluctant return after nearly 2 months in Spain easier.

I offer this idyllic image first because my journey home last night looked like this:

Continue reading ‘End of Summer Mantra (and the Return to Paris)’

Catharsis Catalogue

Hi friends,

Usually I try to respond to every comment left on this blog.

I have been so humbled by all of your warm and supportive comments on my last post, however, that I was rendered speechless.

Thank you. Gracias. In every language, merci.

Know that I have read, re-read, and will continue to cherish, all of your encouraging words. They have touched me so; I’m sure they will be gems I return to many times. (You made me smile and cry at the same time. I am becoming the master of smiling and crying simultaneously. I’m coming to kind of dig this ability, actually).

As I mentioned, I have my heart set on gratitude, beauty, and compassion as much as anything during these shaky times. You all have confirmed by about ten million (10,000,000!) why I am so thankful. Wow, I also feel joyful and amazed!

I never wanted this space to become a record of a breakdown (and hopefully it won’t now, either!), but I thought I’d share a bit of my journey over the past several months in song-form (ahem, other people’s songs. I have not suddenly gained the ability to sing, though that would be awesome!)

Continue reading ‘Catharsis Catalogue’

In Love with Istanbul

Cruising along the Bosphorous

Sometimes when I travel I feel as if I’ve just lived an entirely different life. Of course, we travel for new experiences and to immerse ourselves in other cultures.

But I mean there are a few instances where I sink into the new place so deeply it feels as if it’s become my whole reality. An inexplicable feeling grabs hold; I’m full with the sense that some part of me belongs even as everything is also foreign and unknown.

Ceiling of the Blue Mosque

On rare occasions – Paris was such a case – this feeling does presage a new life.

It’s been awhile, though, since I’ve felt thus transported.

Well, add Istanbul to the list. I can’t believe I was only there for a week; it felt like its own small lifetime. It helped, I’m sure, that 1) I was with my family so I truly was with people from my “real” life and 2) we had an extraordinary homebase that made us feel like we already had family there.

I don’t usually stay in hotels when I travel. I couchsurf, stay with friends, do apartment swaps – these feel like they put me in closer connection to the true city.

For our reunion, though, I wanted to join my family where they were comfortable and we chose a modest hotel in Sultanahmet in the Old City. We couldn’t have chosen better.

View from Hotel Peninsula

It’s no luxury experience. No. It’s a basic hotel but it has Ruhat at reception who by the end of the week was part of our clan. When I had to move for the final day, in fact (I stayed an extra day alone and the hotel was full), I still used Hotel Peninsula as my base and felt as welcomed as if I lived there. The man who served breakfast each morning literally told me I was family now. He looked as if he was going to give me a hug when I left.

And that’s sort of how the whole week felt: like an intimate, familial gathering – no matter that we were strangers.

We stayed mainly in our area, which, yes, is very touristy. We barely scratched the surface of the big, sprawling city. But when the Blue Mosque, Aya Sofya, Topkapi Palace, and the Grand Bazaar are all a stone’s throw from your hotel, it’s hard to get further out at first – so much to see on every corner!

None of those sites are what did it for me, though. (To tell the truth, I had to flee the Grand Bazaar and felt a bit let down by Topkapi). No, it was the vibe of Istanbul that drew me in. Laid-back, friendly, international, intriguing.

We hopped on a ferry to Asia one day in what has to be the easiest inter-continental commute in the world (and only 1.75 lira to boot). Cats roamed everywhere – over ancient ruins, rooftops, cobblestone streets. The Muslim call to prayer rang out 5 times daily, punctuating time with a strangely beautiful soundtrack.

Business, socializing, wooing were all conducted over tea – I can’t count the number of complimentary cups I was offered.

A grungy, cosy nightclub with a view played French, Spanish, American, Turkish, and gypsy music and a relaxed international crowd (no dress code) got down. Bustling crowds at Taksim Square bristled with energy. This might be the easiest way to say it then: Istanbul is alive.

Continue reading ‘In Love with Istanbul’

Pretty Paris

I never forget the beauty of Paris. It’s not something that one ever takes for granted. Even through the eternal ups and downs (and boy, there have been many!), the magical quality of the city endures. In fact, it’s a major reason for putting up with the many trials of living here.

But really? Loneliness, confusion, French bureaucracy, homesickness – all of these are made easier simply because Paris is pretty?

Well. Yeah.

It sometimes blows my mind that “yes” continues to be my answer. But being surrounded by beauty somehow seeps into the soul.

That being said, all that beauty can sometimes make you feel isolated, too. When you’re feeling down, the contrast between the beauty outside and the non-pretty stuff you feel inside can feel stark.

But I contend beauty is a balm for woe. We each experience it differently, use that meaning in different ways.

Paris’ beauty isn’t exactly a secret and millions have tried to capture her je ne sais quoi. I feel like I’ve seen the same shot of the Eiffel Tower enough to last me a lifetime. The attempts to hold the beauty in a still frame can’t always mirror that very real sensation of standing in a living, moving piece of art.

But sometimes, there is success. Just as we each experience our own version of beauty, everyone has their unique way of capturing it.

Here’s a short video that reminds me of my answer. Our life is art.

Yes. A simple yes.

Le Flâneur from Luke Shepard on Vimeo.


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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