August 8, 2008

these are hard times for dreamers

this photo is almost 1 year old. recently i was going through my old travel journal and found this print, along with a few others, wedged in between a couple of dog-eared pages.

when i look at this i am flooded with my first memories of paris....
and wet from the constant drizzle...

my friend and i had taken an overnight train from barcelona and somehow we screwed up the dates and arrived in paris a day early. our hostel was full and our room wouldn't be available till the next day. we walked around for a few hours looking for room and board at 3 other hostels - but no dice.

completely out of ideas and energy, and feeling no love from the city of love, we miserably wandered around the champs elyseese like two lost puppies. a few hours passed, we ate, we sat, we drank a coffee, and tried killing time in a garden - lying in the grass. i had no idea where we were going to sleep that night, since we couldn't afford a proper hotel room. we knew no one in paris, we hardly even spoke the language.... plus we were at each other's throats. every hour that it got closer to nightfall the tension built between us. we were past worried, and moving into desperate territory.

then, quite unexpectedly a couple of parisian boys came and sat with us in the park. my french was terrible and so was their english, but somehow we managed a conversation. i explained our present situation to them. they talked between themselves so quickly that i could not keep up. finally, they said "we have a room for two of you if you want to stay and see our paris". never in my life would i think those two words "our paris" would mean so much to me...

and yet looking at this blurry print a year later, i realize it's those very two words that embody all things paris... the fresh bread that warmed our bellies, the drunken giggles over wine glasses, the loud laughter in dark allies, and the pitting nerves that welled up in my stomach when this strange boy grabbed hold of my hand.

our paris will forever be one of the greatest nights of my life - snapping photos through the taxi window as it zips across the city, wild eyes and yellow scarves, sneaking into house parties pretending to belong, dancing to strange music, the hazy buzz in my head from so much wine, terribly translated conversations, smoking gauloises's in the street, and marveling at the magical glow of the lights as they glimmered through rain drops.

sometimes the greatest adventures spawn from moments of sheer desperation. unexpected miracles present themselves to those who are patient and vigilant to the unknown. your only obligation is to sit back and enjoy it. dedicate yourself to these great moments, absorbing every little detail, every speck of light, and funny laugh, and drop of rain, because this is life - unmapped, unrehearsed, a little bit blurry, and full of chance.


  1. Holy shit that last paragraph was captivating. Write a book? Yes, no, maybe? Well, until then, if it happens, I enjoy reading your blogs.

  2. Colie... I could hug you. You have done more living in your short life than most people do in several lifetimes. I envy you that (but in a good way!)LOL

    You not only "know" you're alive and can live and breathe each moment... but you can talk about it here like it was nothing.

    Let me tell you... it's not's really "something".

    What a gift for words you have. And your pictures? Well they stand up and speak for themselves. It's all amazing.

  3. thank you both!!!!

    i really need to blog more. it drives me crazy! i have so much on my heart and yet i find it hard to write daily. i will try... so i better get to it :)

    you guys are amazing and basically the reason i keep doing this.
    thank you!