Friday, August 31, 2012

Paris: Day One

We planned a perfect day with K.T. and Sh.Sh. to whose home we arrived last night and we are staying with.  The most important input was how they also are experienced I traveling with kids.  So, we left for Paris around noon after a relatively nice jet lagged sleep.

1) Luxembourg metro station - apparently most central part of the city.
To see Luxembourg Jardin, which was indeed beautiful.

2) Panthéon: one block on the east of the Lexembourg Jardin.
Panthéon is the burial of many famous French people but the building which was built by Jaques-Germaine Soufflot was initially a church.  The building is a huge monument with tall columns and a humongous door which is at least ten times my hight.  We didn't walk inside in the interest of time and energy. By the way, on the way there on the Souffle avenue we fed A subway sandwich.  This way, with A being full, we were sure M and I could be more adventurous with food and also get A the energy to walk some more.

3) Sorbonne: the university.

We walked north and west to Saint Michelle boulevard. On the west side of the street walking north suddenly the sidewalk opens up to a row of cafés and bookstores and a fountain that leads to the Sorbonne university monumental entrance.  It was good to take a few pictures and check out "I have been to Sorbonne".

4) Quartier Latin: the Latin neighborhood.

It was a favorite spot for sure, with narrow winding allies that are abundant with Mediterranean and middle eastern restaurants, cafés and tiny local eateries and souvenir shops.  There were a group is street musicians playing some local song and people had gathered to watch and dance.  K.T. had recommended a local eatery and had warned about the quality of the other shops. So we followed the lead to Maoz for a Falafel and salad bar sandwich. Mmmm was it yummy! And then to the famous Amorito creamery. A had a vanilla bean ice cream Ina cone that they decorated like a flower. Fantastic presentation and fantastic taste, indeed the best vanilla bean gelato I had ever had (and I am no vanilla).

5) Notre Damme: the cathedral.

We walked north some more and crossed the river to the cathedral.  The line to get inside was long but walking very quickly.  It was an easy visit getting A busy by showing him the candles and getting him to write in the guest book and show him the chandeliers. We all sat down for prayers and got to listen to a mass, very beautiful.
Note: A had a hot chocolate before the visit, so he got warm and energized.
Note: there is a public restroom by the cathedral. It is important, because there are not many, or in our walk until then any, public restrooms.
PS: we went back to the Anorino for a second round of ice-creams.

6) Shakespeare and Company Bookstore

Just south west of Notre Damme cathedral, there is this bookstore that has a character of its own. Indeed a treat. We were lucky where there was a writer who had a book reading reading from his book. Most of the books were English actually, but the whole building from top to bottom was filled with books.  Such a fun intellectual place. 

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Mom Son Dad

I had put my hair up just to keep the bangs off my face; very casually how my mom used to adorn my hair if I wanted to go to a birthday party as a teenage girl.  I was busy packing.  A came over and lay on the bed and started: "mommy! no other mom has hair like yours.  No other mom is like you.  I love you!  You are the best mommy!"
My heart melting.
This morning I watched M and A leave for school.  Such a simple scene: A holding his backpack on his shoulders and carrying his lunch box.  Daddy walking by him.  Daddy and son walking away together.  I was watching through the door.  Thinking this is a scene worth captured still.

Monday, August 27, 2012

When to Change Something

"When I was 17, I read a quote that went something like: 'If you live each day as if it was your last, someday you'll most certainly be right.' It made an impression on me, and since then, for the past 33 years, I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: "If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?" And whenever the answer has been "No" for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something." Steve Jobs - 2005 - Stanford

I read and heard this quote three times in the past 48 hours.  Pondering.

Why do I write

I write because I like to write.  I try to write when I have something worthwhile to say.

I do not have something worthwhile to say all the time.  I cannot say all the worthwhile things I like to write.  So I do not write.

I have been thinking, after 12 years of blogging, after 12 years from my emigration out of the mother land, after 12 years of submerging in a language other than my mother tongue, why I have been writing.  What the meaning of my blogs has been.  And what the true subject of my blogs has been.

The conclusion was simple: I just write to feel connected to the world in a literal fashion.  The meaning associated with this blog is to capture a glimpse of my thoughts and feelings at a particular time.  I write about life, my life, some ups, some downs. And I keep quiet about many many write-worthy things.  There are some thoughts and feelings that are to be kept private; forever.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Love and Attention

Last week, I was listening to the podcast of Robert Abdul Hay Darr talk at the last Baraka retreat.  It was so coincidentally inline with my line of thoughts at the time.  Prior to that I was talking with my dear Sh.K. about love and the need for attention from the lover.  What was the reason for this need for attention?  Was it just or wining of a longing heart?

I was then thinking about what makes you feel drawn and affectionate toward another person, deeply affectionate I mean, not a fleeting crush.  It dawned at me that it was hidden in how that person realizes you.  You know you are unique with all your capacities and flaws.  But what makes you feel driven to the love of a person is how that person wants to know you more, all your capacities, all your flaws.  How he looks at you dearly, how he listens to you attentively, how he wants to know more about you and your day and your experiences and your thoughts and your feelings, how he cares about how you feel, why you chose a certain word, even what you wear.  He wants to know you in order to make you happy; in order to be able to claim part of your feelings.  This is love.  You have no choice but to be driven to this person deeply; this drive is really beyond the comprehension of logic, it is all heart.

God said, "I was a treasure, I oh so wanted to be known".  And so there were lovers of God.

Now, that is true love.  Yet, it is the experience of this earthly love that makes you realize that true love through example and experience.  So, may be being in love and feeling loved is actually equal to paying attention and being attended to.  May be it is actually very just to demand this attention of a real lover.

I was smiling listening to the podcast when this saying by God got recited and this theory got validated remotely.  I love it when the universe rhymes with your thoughts!  Now, the universe is paying attention, right?