Sacre-Coeur, Montmartre, Paris


I think its worth leaving the present behind for a moment to reflect on a more exciting past, one in which I could breathe freer. The first place my head starts to wander is Paris… on top of the hill in Montmartre where you can over look the city from Sacre-Coeur  {Sacred Heart}.

Erica had just joined B and I on our Europe journey a day earlier. We had taken a train from Amsterdam and arrived in Paris late that evening. It was the last city we would stay. There was a sense of adventure, but the adventure was also starting to wrap itself up. Having Erica join us gave it new life and B and I needed this after 2 months on the road.

I was not particularly interested in Paris when it all started. B on the other hand had been waiting the whole trip to make it there since she is a classically trained french chef. Erica was excited to get out of Portland after a break-up and experience Europe for the first time with two awesome ladies. I booked us a quaint place in Montmartre with a true Parisian artist. The place was charming in a lived in kind of way. It had a porch over lurking a garden where we could peer into others apartments. The windows in the front over looked the bustling street below; we could watch the man gathering change from pedestrians at the ATM every morning. Pizza aroma wafted through the cracks of the floor from Gigi’s making us continuously hungry for Parisian cuisine.

Our host was delighted to meet three young artists and promptly took us on a tour the morning after we arrived.  Our first expedition was down Rue de Clignancourt and up some side streets where we reached the towering staircase that took us up to Sacre-Coeur. We listened to an accordionist play la Valse d’Amelie {yann tiersen} as we gazed at the beautiful Roman-Byzantine structure looming at the highest point over Paris. I started to feel the romanticism of tourism crawling through my veins.

There was was light beaming through leaves, it was reflecting off the white stone structure and it was radiating over the city. It felt good to be with my ladies, it felt important to share this time with them.

Since we left I felt 5000 miles away from this beautiful day in Paris. I feel resistance in my creative process. I am not with my ladies, I am alone in a large cold room trying to tap into the inspiration from a fleeting time in another world. How do I free my muse?

For the time that I sat here reflecting on this first day in Paris my heart beat picked up its rhythm. It felt a little warmer and I forgot about the writers block that has been trapping me for the last few days. If I let myself get lost in a memory I realize it is not as scary as it is when I am just contemplating reflection. For the moment I write I am traveling again. Fear and resistance subsides and I am distracted from my inner critic.

As artist we must love. We must reflect. We must get lost in far away times to find meaning in the present and to learn to make more meaningful times in our future.

This street art says "we love" and we must if we want to create.

This street art says “we love” and we must if we want to create.

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