Sunday, November 15, 2015

That Perfect Melancholy

I am feeling a perfect sort of melancholy today.  I have been reflecting on my time in one of my passionately favorite cities -- Paris.  I went in early 2007 and sincerely loved that place and did not want to leave (but couldn't afford to stay longer).  My soul melded with its essence in a deep and personal way.  If a city could embody my loves, my passions, my perfect visions, it did.  So much so that I blew off the rest of my itinerary in different European destinations to remain in Paris, soaking in as much of it as I could in the two weeks I had.  I've said many times that the most beautiful people I have ever seen were in Paris.  And not just some of them.  All of them.  And I am remembering so many perfect things:  from the delightful casual enjoyment of crepes in the street, to the breathtaking views of Notre Dame, to the cafes, flowers, and fruit stands of Montmarte, to the grandest cemetery I've ever trodden, to the majesty of Versailles, to the modern impressive beast that is the Pompidou, to the vineyards mid-city, to the best cassoulet and creme brûlée I had in the middle of a gorgeous rainstorm, to the historic neighborhoods where legendary artists lived and painted, to the superfluous stairs in the metro made up for by the beautiful metro signs and metalwork, and to the nearly infinite mind and soul boggling abundance of Art everywhere that makes the city just exhale aesthetic experience into every breeze.  And right now, Paris is hurting.  That perfect place has been ravaged by angry people who have preferred death over such beautiful life.  The melancholic perfection I feel isn't the usual perfection I write about.  It is instead "absolute or complete" or "free from defects."  A perfect melancholy is the worst kind.  And I feel it today.