Idealizing France This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

November 13, 2010
My desktop wallpaper is a merry-go-round of places I'd like to visit. ­Previously, it was a black-and-white checkerboard of broken hearts and band-aids, superimposed over what appears to be a couple kissing. Go figure.

Anyway. That was then. Now it's a picture of Paris. Conveniently sans Eiffel Tower. I've never really liked the Eiffel Tower.

I find myself drawn to France recently. The countryside, Lyon, the Louvre, espresso, cafés with little wiry tables, châteaus, Normandy, wine, film. French nights and simple food and the trickle of the river as it passes by our picnic blanket. Everything so stereotypically French. Except for the Eiffel Tower. And baguettes.

I want to go to the land of Voltaire and sauces. I want to experience Hugo and Notre Dame and the Bastille. I want to see Versailles and the Jardin du Luxembourg. I want to breathe the atmosphere in which the opera Carmen was written. I want to hear the music of Debussy in the land of its origin. I want to feel the French grass on my back as I admire the French clouds and ponder the French penchant for stripes.

I want to be in Annecy for Christmas, and on the beaches of Lorient by summer. I want to climb the Pic du Canigou in spring and look out across the rows of enchanting cherry trees. I want to visit the St. Martin monastery on the way down and stare off the edge of its tree-covered cliff at its pastel-toned buildings. I want to spend the fall in Beaune, where the leaves match the latticework of the rooftops and the world becomes a wonderland of orange and gold.

And even then, my need for France and all things French would not be sated. The cycle would repeat ad infinitum. A few months in Chateauroux, a year in Orleans, a great while spent in Avignon, simply sitting at the fabled bridge, watching, thinking, writing, free from worry.

This is the allure of France: a place where inspiration runs freely in the hearts and art of her people. A place to find peace, a place for contentment. A place where materialism can be put on hold and at last the human connection can rise to prominence. A place where life can be what it wants to be, where introspection can form the core of being. A place where life strolls leisurely along the road that defines it. A place for rejuvenation and restoration. A place I want to be so desperately. But until I get the chance to bask in French sunlight, I will sit, bathed in the glow of desktop pictures, and reminisce and idealize about things that never were and that will never be.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.

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beautifulspirit This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Feb. 4, 2012 at 6:43 am
This piece is lovely. Something that a lot of people do----hanging pics of faraway places, hoping to visit. But I like what you said about the places in France and not liking the Eiffel Tower. I loved your last paragraph especially~ 5/5 from me!
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