There’s a reason the city of lights holds so much inspiration for scribes across the world.
The first thing that struck me (after I’d recovered from jet-lag and had some sleep) when I landed in Paris last March, was that it’s not considered pretentious to take time to think and dream. You see it in cafes, in the people seated by the little lake at the Jardins du Luxembourg, in the queues for the hundreds of galleries across the city holding ancient sculptures and treasures: the creative act, in France, is not a luxury. It is necessity.
Perhaps this is why I found it so soothing to take my notebook and head to a café or bistro every afternoon (yes, it became an almost daily ritual!). The tables face the outside world, and if you’re a solo sipper, you’re most definitely not in the minority.
There’s also the sense that history matters, in Paris – from the way the buildings are preserved to the creative output of artists across the ages. Art’s value is inherent in every part of the streets around you – it seeps into your unconscious and you start to value the creative part of yourself, a lot more…
One other thing – unlike some bistros and cafes in Australia, where you’re whipped in and out and your glass is cleared before you’ve drunk your last drop – there’s no sense of rush when you settle in to a table in Paris.
Aside from the luxury of not being rushed, there’s something very comforting about being in a city where art and creativity is so highly valued. It’s like being surrounded by Olympians when you’re trying to get back into your fitness – it raises you up and carries you higher.
So if – like me – you’re a creative and you need a jolt of inspiration, head to the city of lights (or watch my favourite, Midnight In Paris, to tide you over until you can buy a ticket!).
May the muse be with you!