I have been home for nearly a week now, and fully intending to update on my blog, but was never entirely sure where to start. Do I tell humorous anecdotes of silly things that happened or that I saw? Do I take the romantic route and talk about the beauty of the place? Do I tell about the tears on my birthday, or the whimsical ones on the taxi drive to Charles De Gaulle? Do I just show some of the 600+ pictures I took, of the astounding architecture or of light so pale that it kissed my skin? I'm not sure, so I think about it some more, and ultimately don't write anything.
We arrived home on Sunday in brilliant sunshine. It was warm, but not too warm, and as we sat in the car coming home, the light through the window was hot where my skin had been burned in Thailand. The Elfling and the Monkey were seated either side of me, and their chatter melded into white noise while my whole body relaxed at being home. I remember looking at Bingley, as he went about doing the things that he does at home, and seeing him differently, to the companion who had followed me half way around the world and back.
What I can say is that Paris was everything that I knew that it would be. It was me. Sitting on the rattling Metro one afternoon, with sore feet and messy hair, my lipstick bright red, reflecting of the glass and my eyeliner stark against the unadulterated gold of my eyes. I belonged there. In the misty limestoned light, it was like ghosts of someone I had always assumed I would be were whispering around me. It was exhilirating and painful and beautiful all at once. Can a city make love to you? I'm not sure, but I felt flushed and beautiful and alive in its presence, more than I can recall having ever felt. I felt calm and tempestuous. Langorous and alive. Liquid.
Whether it was my research, or my sight unseen love or all the dreams I had had of the place it felt like home. From the very first moment of being greeted in French, to the lady who handed me my change in the crowded Franprix, I have no doubt that in some other version of my life I lived there, breathed there, loved there.
It is raining now, beautiful Queensland Summer rain that is sweet and clear and tastes of sunshine. The smells of Earth and the purple carpet of jacarandas. Golden rain. It captures the heat and the light and is why I never want to leave this place to live. It rained too in Thailand, heavy monsoonal rain, but flavoured with smog and thick grey. And it rained in Paris, austere, beautiful, silvery rain. Rain that misted my eyelashes and ruined every hairstyle I attempted and clothed everything in pale shadowy curtains.
I left my adolescence and my twenties in France. Left them there to dance with the ghosts of possibilities and leave me with memories to make me smile and forget how much I wanted two disparate lives, two chances at living. But I came home to my Possum, who grew into a big boy in two short weeks, and learned how to speak while I was away. A beautiful golden haired child that loves his Muhmee. And I came to the conclusion - Non, je ne regrette rien.