Visiting Paris is a festival for the senses. For French Boy and I, its notably our taste buds that party like its 1999. The moments prior to this particular trip, we spent the train ride deciding where we would eat for every single meal. Since we only had 2 nights there, that being 6 meals - we realised we had to cull our list of favourites down substantially.
But to my surprise, it wasn't the food and wine that stole my heart this time.
It was music.
No matter where we wandered, no matter what time of day or night, there was incredible open-air music coming from all sorts of places - from the habitual accordian player on metro line 12, to a saxophonist whose somber, slow tunes at midnight were reverberating through the thick stone walls of the Richelieu hallway of le louvre. Our weekend was marked by spontaneous musical intervals and for me, it was very special, being the week after my musical friend had passed away. I imagined he was there, in the air somewhere, waving a magical mystical conductor's baton everywhere we went...
However, there was one particular interlude that moved me to tears. We were wandering around the palais royal and as we turned the corner there, out of nowhere, was a 12-piece string ensemble in full swing, performing la petite musique de nuit (4th mvt) , by Mozart - a song I have adored since I was a child. It whisked me right into the moment and I realised at that point that my mind had been everywhere else - thinking about loss, mortality, my family, past events, future projects... but then, for the first time in such a long time, I was right here, in the present, in the middle of Paris, captured in the moment by this music.
With wide eyes and whole heart, I listened, watched, and felt. My senses were enchanted.
I watched as a lady in the crowd waved her arm in the air and gently dropped it with each fall of each note. I watched the conductor - who was also playing a violin - as he came to the woman and played his instrument, just for her. The space between them was filled with admiration, love, passion, understanding and pure pleasure.
I was present.
The music filled my whole body and my heart heaved. As I took my next breath tears welled in my eyes. I watched this lady enjoy the performance without inhibition and I understood: this is life, and I am living it.
Please press the play button below...
This one's for you, Mum.