Paris

Why do I write? What am I trying to accomplish? Maybe it my constant search for self that drives me in my writing. Or maybe it's my sense of wonder In a world that I am just starting to scratch the surface of. I remember sitting at my high school graduation back stage, waiting for them to parade us on, wondering to myself what happens now? A group of girls in front of me were talking about their plans for summer, others were talking about their college plans and how they are going to stay in touch. I just remember thinking that life only gets better from here and for me my next step was Paris. 

My parents bought me a plane ticket to Paris as my gradution present, and, trust me, gradution did not come easy. It was a struggle from day one. But, as I stood there, waiting to take our seats on stage, it hit me that everyone else around me saw this as an end. I only saw it as a beginning. To quote one of my favorite songs, and, being a songwriter, I have many, called "Closing Time" by Semisonic,"every new beginning is some other beginning's end." I know that my high school life was ending but I hated high school, so I viewed it more as a "waiting period," and when graduation came it was like I was free to finally be myself. I never felt like I fit in and people were so judgmental, though, I admit, I was too, but I never liked that about myself. Anyway, back to Paris.

My traveling companion, who we will call Bert, was functional in French and would be my "guide" (as he called it), though he really was a terrible guide. I mostly ended up walking around Paris by myself cause I really didn't want to go at his snail-stuck-in-molasses-in-a-Canadian-winter pace. I wanted to see the city, eat the food, meet the women, and write. I was going to use this experience to start my growth into the man I wanted to be not the boy I was, and in some ways, still am. Growth takes time. 

One story comes to mind, as I write this now: I was sitting in the garden at the Rodin museum. I was staring at the Gates of Hells, a giant sculpture by Rodin, and I began writing:

"In the garden of Rodin 
Where the thinker thinks
I hear people hurry on
In the shadows I sit 
Listening to those 
Who wish they knew it all

In the hall of Rodin 
Where the walking man stands still
I see people moving past
In the lights 
I see those 
Who wish they were young again

Outside the Gates of Hell
Where Adam and Eve stand aside
I feel people gaze upon them
In the dark I stand
I feel those 
Who wish they were, fall"

Now why this memory of that particular museum, out of the many I visited, stuck out, I have no idea. But I do wish to return there and sit in the same place and see what I saw then. I remember how I felt when I came home after that trip. I was very different, yet the same. It was a good feeling. I often wonder about the people I graduated with and how they are doing. Maybe our paths will cross again, but, for now, I will continue on my own.

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