The Places We Live and Who We Are When We Live There

 paris_paris_by_surpiko

paris paris by surpiko

 

A while ago, which now seems eons ago, I had another blog which is now defunct. It was right, but not quite. I fell into an old trap with it and knew it had to go for me to escape the trap. The trap is one which may be familiar to you. It is one which exists in many of our relationships.

We want to be ourselves, but as we get to know the other person we notice that they like certain things about us more than they like others. Being typically human and wanting to be liked and maybe loved too, we focus on the things the other person likes about us and start to hide the less attractive side. Soon we find ourselves feeling censored and restless because of it.

At least that’s how it affects me.

Whether the censorship comes from the other person or from ourselves or more likely a bit of both doesn’t really matter in the end. If we’re forcing a smile because our tears or frowns aren’t welcome, it’s going to start to feel as though we’re splitting ourselves into portions of good and bad, and as much as we like being good, being good all the time is humanly impossible. And our bad side may not be bad at all, in fact it may be the best side of us.

Yes, I’m talking about myself again. The parts of me which others appear to me to reject are usually my favourite parts. The good side of me which others seem to accept… well, I like that too until others like it so much they only want me to express that side of me, then I get contrary and annoyed.

“I’m selfish, impatient and a little insecure. I make mistakes, I am out of control and at times hard to handle. But if you can’t handle me at my worst, then you sure as hell don’t deserve me at my best.” ― Marilyn Monroe

I’ve mellowed now that I’m in my crone years, but when I was younger this attitude caused havoc in my relationships. I can see my own hand in it and am making amends now as best as I can by being a bit more patient and a little less insecure. Mistakes are still aplenty, but I can see the value in them and hope I’m learning from them in a constructive way.

When I had that blog I learned a lot and met some very interesting souls while doing it. One in particular became a great muse for me. Positively at first, then negatively. Such is my life. A series of small things accumulated into a big bust up. They thought I was wrong and full of BS. I thought they were wrong and full of BS. And never the twain shall meet because I’m not apologising and neither are they and it’s better that way. I know I’m full of BS, but some of it is fertiliser…

And that fertiliser created this blog.

I am grateful for the part they have played in getting me to express myself and do it in as authentic a manner as is possible. For a human. Like me. Who is prone to making mistakes and stuff. I am very wary of falling into the same trap as before, it’s very tempting because if you do a ‘positive’ post you’re likely to get more attention. Your good side is loved. But if you do a ‘negative’ post it may scare people away. But I’m both so… you get all of me and what you like and don’t like is up to you. I’m just being me. And trying to stick to that. It’s a very selfish thing and that is important to me because I’m tired of falling into the being selfless trap which… well is being selfless really selfless?

Anyway. My old defunct blog was a place I resided in for a while and the person I was when I had it was an experience I needed to have to become who I am now living in this blog place.

I wrote a piece for that blog which was a rudimentary developed thought about how the places where we live influence us. It’s a theory which has always interested me because I’ve lived in quite a few places and my life in each one and who I have been when I was living there was very different… yet the same. It was as though each place had something to impart which I could only have by being there and immersing myself in the experience.

We have relationships with places as much as with people.

This is that piece:

I was talking with a friend about the places we live, and how they affect our perception of ourselves. Each country, city, town, village etc… has a specific psychological outlook, as well as a cultural tradition. Our very mood, and thoughts about who we are, and what the meaning of our life is, can be altered by the collective consciousness of the place in which we find ourselves physically.

Home decoration is always something we consider in this respect, which is why one of the first things we do when we move into a new home is to make it our own. We know this affects how we feel… but how often do we consider how much how we feel is affected by the thoughts and feelings of all the people around us, not our friends, but the strangers who live in the same geographical location as us. And how often do we consider the psychological impact upon us of the country, city, town, etc, which we choose, or are forced by circumstances, to live in.

I’m repeating myself, I know… but this idea greatly intrigues me. I even looked up the asteroids for the cities I have lived in to see where they are in my astrological chart… hoping to shed some light on the issue.

Because I lived in quite a few places I did not particularly feel connected to… one of which I desperately wanted to escape. I told myself that I had to live there until I had absorbed the energy of the place, and the lesson it had to teach me… and only once I had learned my lesson would the place release me from an invisible contract I had with it.

So what did Paris teach me… in spite of its superficial beauty, I found it to be a very depressing place. The skies were predominantly grey, ‘grisaille’ is what Parisians call it, and it could hang over the city like a heavy umbrella. This is due to the fact that Paris is in a bowl… or something like that.

I went through puberty in Paris. Had my first romantic encounters. Socialised with people of my own age for the first time… went to parties, hung out in cafes, etc. I smoked my first cigarette… silly, I know, but tres Francais. I learned how fashion choices can ostracise you from or draw you into a group. And I also faced a severe crisis point there, when I almost killed myself.

Paris, the asteroid, is natally in my 11th house… the house of friends, groups, society etc. When I almost killed myself it was transiting my 8th house… the house of Death amongst other things. Interesting, non?

So what do you think?

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18 thoughts on “The Places We Live and Who We Are When We Live There

  1. Page 404: That was what I saw when I tried to comment on your suicide blog. Don’t know why that is, but I will say that you seem to have an uncanny way of looking at the opposite sides of things. Well … it’s a good thing you didn’t kill yourself.

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    1. Thank you 🙂

      I unposted the post shortly after I posted it. That’s why it disappeared and showed the error message.

      I like to see as many perspectives on the same thing as possible, because it gives me a more rounded view. It helps me to understand the alternate versions of reality which exist and why they exist.

      Opposites are a constant in the human view of the world. People like to split things into opposites. Right/wrong, good/evil, etc. I like exploring both sides, and everything between the two, where the opposites meet, blend and sometimes form a whole. It’s particularly useful in sorting out disagreements because I can see the situation from both sides, see how the other person is viewing the situation and their reasons for seeing things their way.

      If I come across someone who hates me, I can usually see why they do from their perspective. I like to understand… which does not necessarily make me understanding.

      Part of why I didn’t kill myself, is because I could see how other people would use my death for their benefit, how they would view my suicide, and I decided I’d stick around and not give them that kind of opportunity. I could also see that there were others who would be hurt by my action, and decided I didn’t want to cause that kind of hurt even though I’d be dead and wouldn’t suffer the consequences… I didn’t want others to suffer my consequences for me. Sometimes I think… I’m an idiot, and sometimes I don’t 🙂

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  2. Reblogged this on An Upturned Soul and commented:

    I’m reblogging myself… in non-blogger terms that means… I’m recycling my own hand-me-downs.
    .
    Paris came up in a conversation today…
    a stressful conversation with a stressful reference to Paris… my experience of it before and after I lived there, part of the reason why I ended up living there and going to high school there.
    .
    Life… can sometimes feel like a secondhand something or other someone else gives you and you… deal with it first hand.
    .
    Anyway… I’m recycling myself, hope it’s green… and not with envy!

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    1. The origin of writing is this, a thought popping up again and again so it pushes us to ponder.
      Still, paris a weird place, making you feel more foreigner than you are but attached to it at the same time. i seem to understand you came here with your parents, so it’s not a real choice, you had to.i picked it!Another reason to say-sei proprio una bella cretina se pensavi di fare parte di qualcosa proprio qui.
      Sometimes, if i feel accepting of myself, I happen to enjoy my being an ousider and observer…

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      1. The other night I watched the pilot for a TV show about Americans (and some other expats) living in Paris and what it meant for them. It was a rather pretentious show, which was quite apt in some ways. It had that kind of vibe which sort of goes with Paris.

        There are many versions of Paris, present and past. Paris’ history is quite fascinating to explore as it can shed light on what it has become, and what it means to those who make it their home, whether by choice or by accident.

        We often fantasise about a place where we will feel perfectly at home, a place of belonging, a place which will be everything we need it to be, which will fulfill our needs and wants, a place where we can be who we think we are, a paradise for us.

        Paris is a good destination for misfits… but do misfits really want to belong or do they prefer to always be misfits longing to belong but never belonging no matter how perfect a place for them to belong they find.

        Be careful for what you wish… or at least pay attention to what you really want, rather than what you think you really want.

        I think Paris suits you, the history of it, the mystery of it, the philosophy and sophistication of it, the surface and the underbelly… you have a je ne sais quoi tres Parisienne!

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        1. Sometimes while I am walking for my daily stroll following the same streets as they help me to structure my thought, I open my eyes and i realize i am in a beautiful place;thinking of of all the works of art sleeping in the museums at night reassures me about life and human nature.On the other hand, you struggle with people but it gives a strong if violent idea of what you are and what you don’t want to become, hence you are more and more of a foreigner. Actually i think i am clearer about what i want now that there is just the last bit of life to be lived.
          Thank you for the compliments, very much appreciated!
          Do you feel at home where you live?i know you love nature but is there anything you miss?

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  3. Cara amica,
    I live in the 7th, but my heart belongs to the 4th, here i am a stranger among rich people and i am not mesmerized by le bon marché! The route is identical, it makes me smile, I wonder if i might consider the word route in a wider acceptation.
    I almost forgot to say a word about the first part of oyur post, as it’s a very serious matter, concerning showing a certain way of being, giving to other people what they want and being positive, reassuring and nice all the time.This is our issue but people have their own issue too: they can’t put up with the “dark side” as Shakespeare called it, of humans, as we travel in high and low spirits and it’s a bit as a roller coaster.
    Quite frankly i don’t blieve there are people who can be positive and in high spirits all the time, it sounds a bit as plastic, doesn’t it? i find your blog very deep and authentic, therefore you are there whenever you feel well or less well, and that makes what you write true and heartfelt. The temptation to become less of ourselves and more of what others expect us to be is well known in our family history. i hope I will be able to get some radical change in my poor existence and to be able to recognize monsters before it’s too late.
    I sent to all my friends a beautiful picture of a dancing Shiva but I can’t attach it here, and I hope 2014 will be an unknown dance of harmony.
    Here’s a poem I love; I try to value my choices and to see the bright side or, as you say the gift in the curse, but at the moment I am struggling hard to convince myself as I don’t feel exactly in high spirits, but we can communicate just the same, don’t we? We are as we are, that’s it, it comes all in the package, take it or leave it. I say this for all the people who come to us with an hidden agenda, to suck our selves.
    My choice since my birth has been to put others and their needs before myself and my needs, I am craving for some balance and yes, unconditional love i have never had. A bit ambitious I am afraid.

    Robert Frost – The Road Not Taken

    TWO roads diverged in a yellow wood,
    And sorry I could not travel both
    And be one traveler, long I stood
    And looked down one as far as I could
    To where it bent in the undergrowth;

    Then took the other, as just as fair,
    And having perhaps the better claim,
    Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
    Though as for that the passing there
    Had worn them really about the same,

    And both that morning equally lay
    In leaves no step had trodden black.
    Oh, I kept the first for another day!
    Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
    I doubted if I should ever come back.

    I shall be telling this with a sigh
    Somewhere ages and ages hence:
    Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
    I took the one less traveled by,
    And that has made all the difference.

    I am very happy I have met you. Happy new year Ursula!
    big hug
    seashell

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    1. 😀

      Beautifully expressed!

      I have an option on my blog to allow people to use comments as sort of blog posts, thus add images and more… I think… I don’t know because I haven’t had time to explore it yet. It makes commenting more creative for the person commenting. I think. They’re always adding stuff to the format and it takes a while for me to catch up.

      I appreciate the idea of the shared image and I know Shiva well as I love Hindu art and mythology 🙂 So thank you very much so the shared spirit!

      You know, just the short time we have been interacting, I see a change in you which inspires me because you help me too – never forget that all interactions and relationships flow both ways. I feel you are accepting yourself more as you are and are appreciating the beauty in the parts of you which were perhaps estranged due to how others made you feel about those parts of you, parts which are sacred and valuable. To see the dark side and know it and embrace it… Shakespeare is not the only one who saw the personal power there and how it needs to be expressed and acknowledged and integrated into a whole self. Jung also said it too and many others, because as humans we seek to be whole which includes all those parts we don’t necessarily feel comfortable with or which others necessarily like.

      I’ve studied other people a lot to better understand myself and to understand others. People tend to reject the traits in others which trigger passionate reactions in themselves. All people feel pain and the immediate reaction to it is not to feel it, to heal it, make it go away… as though pain is an enemy, but it is not an enemy, it is an ally.

      So… being overly positive and only focusing on that is a trend, more so now than ever because so many people are finding their lives in upheaval.

      Like the poem… I too have chosen the path which is untrodden, the road less traveled in life, because it is an adventure and because it suited me. I did it at first unconsciously, but mostly it has been conscious. There are moments when I regret my choice because I imagine an easier life to the one I’ve had so far, but I think I would have regretted more the choice to follow the well trodden path. So there’s that.

      What I do on my blog is designed to work for me in all of my life. Share everything (almost everything, some secrets are needed to stay whole – healthy boundaries), be as authentic as possible, and express myself as I am in the moment when I do it. So if I’m sad, I’m not going to pretend that I’m happy, but if I’m happy then I’ll be exactly that and anyone who doesn’t like it… doesn’t need to notice it.

      I think you’re on a very exciting path right now and that you won’t have to worry about monsters in the future because your present is teaching you how to make monsters afraid of you 🙂

      This year is going to be one of discovery for you which I think you’ll enjoy!

      Take care,

      ♥ Ursula

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      1. Thank you, Ursula.I trust what you say although I can’t see it with my own eyes.I have been able recently to accept help, tonight I had a lovely dinner at a friend and in spite of my innerstate we had a laugh and interesting conversation, but Inside I feel as though I am not good and there is something that might be contagious so I tend to protect people while all they want is sharing with me, I am terrified to be a burden for them. if you say you are perceiving changes, it means something is changing, that’s what my friends say.I am utterly blind. You know, i can help people and see clearly what’s going on with them but when it comes to myself, it’s more than misty..love your remark about the monsters!!!
        Please tell me if i can send you my pictures, I took plenty when I went to India and although I had contractictory reactions to the place, i shall say there is something very ancient and beautiful touching my heart.
        Your presence truly reconfort me, thank you for all you have been doing for me so far, I am deeply touched if i could give something in return without being aware of it.
        and concerning Shakespeare, you are right, but I am an old soul and i like playing the role of the one out of time!!
        i perceive you as someone who has chiosen her life, fully aware of whatever is at stake, but firm and sensitive at the same time..I feel as though a huge wave had taken away my life and I could only follow, do you know what i mean? I bet you do.
        take care you too, hope you had a lovely moment with people you love.
        seashell

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        1. Thank you 😀

          re: pictures (which sound wonderful!) I’ll let you know as soon as I have time to explore this enhanced comment feature on WordPress. Otherwise if you have a deviantart account (which is great fun) or Flickr or other image sharing site you have open to the public and on which you share your photos and creativity let me know via link.

          I sense a new personal power emanating from you, and I think you’ll see it and feel it too in the coming year as the strength of it and of yourself grows. What you are doing now with yourself and your life is going to ripple out into everything else, so trust yourself and your path.

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          1. Thank you Ursula, I can’t see any of it at the moment, and started the brand new year with something which is not brand new at all, as my father insulted me with the usual failure and misfit song; I couldn’t react properly nor stand for myself either.
            True you and all my friends say it, so I trust you.
            I haven’t any account online as I am very shy about my pics, to tell you the truth somehow i don’t even realize I am writing on a blog, I always think iI am writing to you as a friend…

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            1. I have to sometimes remind myself that this is a public blog 😉 however I am naturally inclined to share and be open, life has taught me to be more secretive and cautious, which I always found difficult but I got quite good at it and gradually came to believe that I was naturally secretive. Blogging has helped me to rethink myself. Sometimes I write a post and afterwards I think – is that true? And then I explore the question and see what answers emerge. I am naturally reserved about certain things, but it’s different from being secretive.

              I think the reason I had to become more secretive was to learn healthy boundaries, so a lot of our experiences are about learning a new skill and then integrating it into who we are naturally. Evolving ourselves from a starting point.

              So, you’re doing that now very consciously, whereas before you did it more subconsciously. And when you become consciously aware of the process of your own evolution and evolving self, things make more sense and it’s more fun because you feel more in control of what is happening even when it’s chaos.

              Don’t worry about how you reacted or didn’t react to your father and his usual routine. The important thing is that you are more aware of his routine and can see it for what it is. He is stuck in a pattern of behaviour and just presses ‘play’ and the old recording plays yet again. What is different is you. You now hear what he says with more detachment, that shows your progress in dealing with the relationship and the rituals of it. So be kind to yourself and acknowledge your progress. It has to be slow and gradual for it to last, thus it’s not going to happen suddenly overnight, but one day, maybe this year, maybe next year, you’ll be in the same situation and react differently and it will surprise and thrill you… you’ll think of it as a sudden change, but you’ll know it was a gradual one which has finally come to fruition.

              The most important thing to remember when dealing with a Narcissist is that they are always talking about themselves even when they give the impression of talking about you. So what your father is actually saying to you is that he sees himself as a failure, and he envies you for the freedom you have because you’re a misfit and you’ve broken free from the limitations of ‘fitting in’. Narcissists always envy their children. Narcissists envy everyone. The older the Narcissist the more stuck they are in their small world and they repeat the same thing over and over like a mantra expecting it to somehow be different and make a difference. Old Narcissists tend to be less able to keep the charm going, it loses it’s hypnotic glow, and it is easier to see the sad fearful and bitter face behind the mask.

              I was also very shy about my pics, which is why I opened a deviantart account and challenged myself not be so shy. I freaked and almost deleted right after creating it, but I kept it and it’s helped me in many ways, it forced me to express myself creatively, it’s still very much a rudimentary work in progress 🙂

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  4. I love that quote by Marilyn. When I was younger (20’s), I had a virtual library of books about her, as well as many collectible items…plates, dolls, etc. A shrine, really.

    The more I read your posts, I realize just how ignorant I am about astrology. Perhaps I should study it a bit. I went to the website in your post, but they need the time I was born. Once I get that, perhaps all of my life’s mysteries will be solved :/

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    1. Do you know why you were so fascinated by Marilyn Monroe? I think there’s a lot we can learn about ourselves from the things and people (especially famous people) who become a focus of our attention, it’s telling us something about ourselves. We’re searching for something in it and them. I think when we move on, we’ve found whatever it is we were searching for.

      You can use astrology to get insight into the reasons why you are attracted to certain passions, things and people 😀 Astrology is like philosophy and psychology with astronomy and mythology thrown in to give it added dimension. How it works for you depends a lot on how you use it. I tend to use it to help me find answers to questions. I can see why I attract Narcissists in my chart, but it took me a while to understand the answers I got.

      The time is needed to set the Ascendant which then sets the rest of the chart. You can do a chart without a time (just by putting any time in), but it means the houses and signs will be out of sync so the information you get from it will be vaguer because you won’t know where the influence of a sign and any planets you have in that sign are located in your life. The houses are slices of life – Identity, personal values, the mind, family, health etc.

      Take Mercury for instance, it represents your thinking style, how your mind works, without a time you can find out what sign your Mercury is in, so let’s say that means your Mercury is in Virgo, which means your thinking style is precise and good with analysis and detail, but you won’t know where this ability focuses itself the most – of course your mind is in all your life but it has an area where it shines brightest, is most ‘at home’ and which it enjoys the most – with a time you’ll find the house where your natal Mercury is located… so if it’s in the 5th, you will apply it most often to creative projects and to your children, and you will use it creatively and inventively with ease (unless there are hard aspects to it from another planet, then it will be more challenging)… if it’s in the 10th house the ability will be used to fuel your career and your social status in life.

      So, mysteries won’t be solved by generating a chart, but you’ll give yourself another way to access your inner knowing to solve them for yourself 🙂

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  5. Hi there Ursula,
    what a coincidence, I live in Paris and I do share the same feeling you have towards it; I made a choice to come here, as I was born in Italy and I lived in England for a long time, which I still consider home. What you say about places is absolutely true, there is a very ancient divinity for it, the Genius Loci, as it is called in architecture to evoke the presence of the spirit of a particular place and of course it affects us, not always in a positive way. I still don’t understand why I wanted so badly to come here, where I have been struggling for almost nine years without any hope to become part of it, that’s why I think I have to move away.What you know about astrology is impressive, i Wonder if there is something connected to it in my chart too.
    A kind of astrology i have always found interesting and spiritually true is the chart of the world, as it seems each place is related to a specific sign, for instance Paris is Virgo (and I am Pisces, no wonder!!), London is Aquarius, Prague Pisces, Rome Leo and Florence Aries. Greece and India are under Capricorn, the sign of meditation…and my astrological knowledge ends here! do you know by chance where i can get more information about it?
    I perceive the energy and spirit of a place more than people’s, I am fully aware of it and i admit I am deeply conditioned by it. England is very special to me, although it might rain as much as here, but there is something very tender and welcoming about the light and its landscape.
    thank you for this inspiring post.
    seashell

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    1. Hi 😀 There is a whole section of astrology which deals with location. The astrological charts of countries are something quite a few astrologers blog about and can be very interesting.

      On http://www.astro.com/ you can create a chart which shows how different places in the world affect you using your natal chart – AstroClick Travel is fun and easy to use as long as you don’t take it too seriously or you might not want to live anywhere or you’ll find that the only place worth moving to is some tiny island in the Pacific which sounds great until you move there and have to survive the enormous mosquitoes and deadly spiders 😉

      Mine says this about Paris: Your experiences are coloured by sublime and intense emotions.Your moods are often complex and confusing.

      Which is fairly true about my experience of Paris, but that describes me anyway wherever I go. But it is interesting to explore for a new perspective on something and see if it stirs up some ideas.

      I was a teenager when I lived in Paris, so there’s that too. A teenager’s emotions are always off the charts, high highs and dark low lows, it’s part of that phase.

      I’m sure Paris has changed a lot since I lived there. I haven’t been back in ages.

      I used to live in Italy too. I swear in Italian, very satisfying.

      Paris, I think, is one of those places where artistic souls can find a home. If you look at the endless list of foreign artists who moved there and stayed there for a long time, and some who died there, you’ll see a pattern. Hemingway took Paris with him when he left (according to some of his words). So maybe you went there to find your artistic soul and claim it and perhaps you can’t leave until you do? Just an idea to muse upon. A foreigner can fit in very quickly and be embraced by Paris, but there is always a certain solitude which lingers. The city has an ancient energy. So beautiful yet cold somehow. Made of stone. Loved walking along the Seine though!

      Still not quite sure why French apartments have to have so many doors leading off one room, other than for farces.

      Have you ever seen the film – The Dreamers (2003) ?

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      1. And I swear in English! How funny you lived in Italy..Yes, I guess that was the thought behind my plans, i wanted to be free to create, but I undermined the poisoning inner presence of my parents- with them you are never free. And definitely, Paris is beautiful and cold, I wanted to put a distance between my emotional world and my daily perception; I didn’t want any sublime to touch my soul; but it’s killing me and the loneliness is just unbearable, in spite of my friends or maybe what I am going through is too much. But still a stroll along the quais it’s my favourite, always the same ritual from the 7th to the 4th and back
        Tomorrow is the last day of a year I have utterly wasted on my former shrink, I feel empty and a moron for not seeing things clearly. it’s a very sad feeling and i think this is the last cadeau i am going to get from paris, le pari, the bet..I lost my bet.
        I haven’t seen the movie yet, how did you enjoy it? I will, although Bertolucci can be overwhelming, such as The sheltering sky, with the beautiful Sakamoto’s music.
        I can’t answer your query I am afraid about French flats and their multiple doors, there are so many things i don’t grasp about this country…anayway they always have a valuable- pseudo- rational excuse for everything.
        I need a place to breathe without being judged! About my creativity, once again I will mull over it..

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        1. I used to live in the 7th, so that was my starting point too 😀 once I got to the Pont Neuf I usually wandered off into all the tiny streets in Saint Germain and Saint Michel. And when I was feeling really blue I’d hop on a bateau mouche, one of the small ones which does the longer trip along the Seine (although they’re quite expensive so it was a treat).

          Il mio padre e Italiano 😉

          This is how I prefer to view things when I feel like I should have seen something earlier – You can see it clearly now, so the time was not wasted. And you’re starting the New Year with a new view on yourself and life, one where you have more power and focus. It may not feel like much right now because you’re still struggling, but it is a foundation which you can build upon.

          The thing I’ve found with the places I’ve lived is that the ones I wanted to escape were the ones I could not escape until I didn’t want to escape them anymore. But my life is full of paradoxes (at least the way I look at things). It wasn’t so much that I didn’t want to escape them anymore, but that I had finally decided to stop fighting being in that place and start accepting that I was there for a reason (other than the obvious one – ie job/travel/studies) and I’d better find out what that reason was and what it had which was of value to me. Paris gave me a lot and I had many intense experiences there, but what I struggled with the most was the futility of my life because I felt as though nothing I did made any difference. And that futility was part of what I needed to feel and learn to view it using the philosophy of futility that you can find in French literature. I needed to absorb the French attitude and make it a part of me. I needed to really grasp what – C’est la vie – means.

          My departure from Paris was very sudden. But most of my departures from the places where I felt trapped have been sudden. The whole experience follows a very distinct pattern, which I usually can’t see when I’m in the experience no matter how many times I have it and know it well. Because you have to lose yourself for a while deep inside the experience to pass through it.

          You’ll figure it out, your life is opening itself up to you to be understood.

          Maybe you might find the answer by writing the story of your journey to Paris and your experiences of it up until this point, see if you find the answers you’re looking for in your own words. 😀

          That Bertolucci film is a bit easier to watch, still stunning for the senses just more compact.

          Happy New Year, and don’t worry if it feels pas tres bonne – C’est la vie, non? 🙂 et la vie est un long fleuve pas ci tranquille.

          Which reminds me, there’s a French film called – Home (2008) by Ursula Meier – which is brilliant and deals with how we turn our homes into prisons and the desire to escape. Very philosophical and artistic.

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