Paris Peut-être?

A re-printing of “Paris Peut- être?” (Thursday, August 16, 2007)

This December and January, I am venturing back out into the wide European World yet again on another trip. Without knowing who my traveling companion will be – Heather, my Mother or just myself – I do not know exactly what my itinerary will be….

But if I was to go alone, if it was just going to be me, and my decision alone, I would do one of two things: I would either fly into London and spend a week or two there before going to France, OR I would skip London all together and go directly to Paris and spend two to three weeks there and then take a week or so traveling through the South of France. I seem to lean in the direction of the all-France travel plan.

I want to become immersed in Paris. I want to get a taste of the culture, the language, the city, the lifestyle, the experience of being there day after day… I would like to see if I would want to live there, which I have the distinct feeling I would.

But, wait!, you said – just a few posts ago – that you were going to go to London?

Yes, I did, but have you seen the dollar lately and how the pound kills it? I will go broke in London, but Paris is comparable to Los Angeles, I believe.

But, I think, the real question is “What am I looking for?”

Steve had a very interesting point when we were at lunch yesterday. I am a writer. First and foremost, that is what I DO. Everyday. I am doing my short film and am working towards other endeavors and dreams, but what I do best is write. And I am good at it. And I can write from anywhere in the World.

I don’t know if moving away is going to set me back. It might, professionally, but really, honestly, where is it going to set me back to? If I was still working to be an AD, then yes, moving to Europe would hurt my job prospects.

But strangely enough, this is not something that worries me. Maybe it should. But it doesn’t, because I have other things that I want to do with my life besides be mixed up in Hollywood’s grind. There are other ways of doing this, which I have recently witnessed when I was in Prague. Rian was a great inspiration.

I understand people’s belief that you must be in Los Angeles to make something of yourself, but I don’t want to become what Los Angeles creates. I don’t want to do blockbusters. I don’t want to be surrounded by the superficiality of starfuckers and wannabes. I don’t want to be befriended, because someone thinks one of my friends can get them a job.

I want to wake up in the morning, look out my window at my beautiful city, smile to myself and go “I live HERE!” as I turn my computer on and sit down to write.

Again, I’m a romantic. I’ve said it before. And don’t get me wrong. Romanticism doesn’t have to be about lovers, sex and passionate affairs. It can be about the simplicity of a thing, which is expressed so beautifully in Rupert Brooke’s poem “The Great Lover”:

These I have loved:
White plates and cups, clean-gleaming,
Ringed with blue lines; and feathery, faery dust;
Wet roofs, beneath the lamp-light; the strong crust
Of friendly bread; and many-tasting food…
Then, the cool kindliness of sheets, that soon
Smooth away trouble; and the rough male kiss
Of blankets; grainy wood; live hair that is
Shining and free; blue-massing clouds; the keen
Unpassioned beauty of a great machine;
The benison of hot water; furs to touch;
The good smell of old clothes; and other such—
The comfortable smell of friendly fingers,
Hair’s fragrance, and the musty reek that lingers
About dead leaves and last year’s ferns….

And in a couple years, after living somewhere I love, that inspires me, I might have written a couple amazing scripts and I will have something more to move forward with… Life is about moving forward and, although I am moving forward in Los Angeles, I feel, for some reason, motionless, as if it is hard for me to propel myself forward anymore. And I know it is not about my love for the written word – for I love to write – or my desire to see it up on the screen, but a restlessness that comes from the city. From what I feel the city does not give me. I feel like it is an empty calorie. And I only want good food.

I need a place that inspires. I need a place that I love. I need a place that shocks my system. And maybe that is London. And maybe that is Paris. I don’t know where I’ll be in Septemeber of 2008 right now.