by Cathy Arden on November 14, 2015

Paris, you are my heart, the lost love I ache for every day since I left you. You have always been my true home.  Parc Monceau in pink light at dawn, sobbing as I sat surrounded by Monet’s lilies, my balcony for a year overlooking rue Andrieux, the faint echoes of French voices filling the courtyard beyond my bedroom shutters every morning.  When I moved back to the United States, I fell into deep despair and grief.  I woke up from a dream one morning and wrote this:

In the dark sky there are a million invisible hearts beating and the heartbeats of a million hearts are creating silent bursts of light. There are comets, hundreds of them, creating trails of pulsating color.   Stars and meteors and anything heavenly that moves through the sky is breathing and living and singing in the only way they know how. The sky is silent and yet there is great movement, illuminated joy. This is the sky above Paris. It is the sky above Paris after I have gone. It is the Paris I revisit through my grief. It comes to me at night, like a ghost who has not yet found a resting place, the ghost I love.

Shortly after I moved back to New York from Paris it was September 11, 2001. I had lost the life I loved in Paris and my grief over that loss would merge with the loss and horror of 9/11.  Now that grief has returned. My longing for Paris has never been greater than it is at this moment. Paris, you are the chorus at the center of the song.  You are Parc Monceau with it’s own inner light and life and I will enter through the tall black and gold gate in my dream and be transformed, circling, over and over again.


{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Iris November 14, 2015 at 8:22 AM

Dear Cathy, your writing, as always, is beautiful and touching.
Though our dreams of a beautiful and romantic Paris were shattered last night, we can only hope that The City of Light can rise above this horror that threatens us all.


Cathy Arden November 14, 2015 at 8:33 AM

Iris, my dreams of beautiful Paris will never be shattered. Paris will survive. As will it’s strong and determined people. I grieve for those who were brutally killed senselessly. There are millions of hearts touching the hearts of their families and loved ones today.


Amy Louise Pommier November 16, 2015 at 8:45 AM

Dear Cathy,
So many of us, in the aftermath of the horror, are filled with the ache and the love that Paris, and the experience of living there, inspire. Thank you for posting such a beautiful expression of the connection to that magnificent place.


Cathy Arden November 18, 2015 at 10:14 PM

Amy, I know you understand all too well my love for Paris. Thanks for your thoughts.


Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: