If I could,
I would pack my bags today,
head to Paris
and live for awhile.
I would take my typewriter and
more paper than I think I will need
to finally get these thoughts out of my head.
I wonder if I will miss them,
no longer twirling and swirling around my brain;
the steady hum that keeps me company
But I do not think it works like that.
I have long believed that ideas
multiply and grow
like salt crystals on a string.
Once there is a something to hold on to,
they can develop and flourish–
creating something unique and strange
but entirely my own.
Perhaps this dream is a cliche
shared by many people
who only think
this is what they too want to do.
A desire that is romantic in nature,
and not practical or possible
in the least.
There are people—naysayers–who
implore us to find another city
to hope another hope.
We all have our own wishes.
We love what we love
beyond reason and rationality.
Besides, I already have been to Paris
and it’s the light beckons me back.
Years ago when I was there
I tied an invisible string.
When the time is right I will give a little tug
and find myself among the streets I remember
I visit them often
when I close my eyes.
I can see the storefronts, cobblestones and outdoor cafes.
It is not such a stretch of the imagination
to picture myself there again.
Lost in a sea of people
whose first language is not my own,
but whose love of the city
draws us close.
I feel that living there will only be for a little while.
I will write and walk the streets
with my camera as a constant companion.
Talking to myself as I try to work out
how the parts of the story I am writing
fit together as a whole.
Endlessly editing and rewriting.
Then one morning when I wake,
the wind will have changed
and I will know
that it is time to move on.
After the novel it will be time for Cornwall.
Sitting in the garden, drinking tea.
Day after day,
contentment as commonplace as breathing.
I have always wanted to live in
a Rosamunde Pilcher novel.
To have an aga, a conservatory,
a china cup constantly being refilled
and trips to the sea.
Both for picnics
or a recomuning with the waves.
It will not be a vacation
but an everyday way of life.
I will be the strange lady with the too long skirts.
When kids visit from the neighborhood
my dog will be happy to see them.
His tail thudding on the floor
the moment little fists knock at the door.
I will be pleased to chat with them at the table
or sitting amongst the comfy overstuffed
chairs who have seen better days.
I will be delighted to show them picture after picture
from my stack of photo albums–
a story to accompany each.
The talk will turn to book suggestions
as I occasionally excuse myself to
go and find right where I put the perfect book,
which is now lost amongst the rows of shelves.
And maybe I don’t find it
but my visitor will know
my intentions were good.
That’s a mantra of sorts,
for to have good intentions is half the battle.
And what comes after
novel writing and
becoming known as the old eccentric woman
who dresses in a style all her own and
always offers a fresh cuppa?
What does it matter what comes after…
To have lived a long life filled
with books and pictures and stories
will have been enough.