Sunday, September 26, 2010

La belle vie.

So I've been thinking lately that Americans should learn from the French.  I know, I know.  Many American folks dislike them (or just think they do), but personally, I think they do everything the correct way. I've always loved all things french, as you can probably tell from the many, many french images all throughout this blog. :)

The language, the culture, the food, the people, the architecture, the fashion, the fragrances,  the desserts, the passion, the rivers.....

 ....the design, the chocolate, the street lamps,  the brie, the wine.... (sigh).  Everything that makes up France is just wonderful.

 From the balconies, the chimneys, the beige, black, and white colors, to the windows, Paris in itself is an absolute dream.  I was twenty when I visited and the place was such an inspiration that I spent the majority of those two magical weeks writing in cafes throughout the city.

Why do I think the French do it the right way?  Because they know the meaning of "less is more."  They know they can eat fondue and pastries... as long as they control the portions. They know how to make something simple such as a scarf gorgeously complete an outfit. More freedom with less worrying.  More love with less information.  More style with less stuff.  While Americans think in terms of black and white, the French live in shades of grey, holding a very realistic outlook on the imperfections in life. They are content with ambiguity and don't have to define, calculate, and play by every single rule.  They take pleasure in lingering over coffee, art, and gardens.

  The French straddle the line between romanticism and realism flawlessly, and prefer subtleties over telling all.  More mystery. An inner life. The implicit over the explicit. They value privacy and discretion, recognizing boundaries we should all have. I also have yet to see a French person stumble around drunkenly.  I noticed the nights I'd go out that the scene was different there.  They'd hold themselves with class, always.

The French also know the fine art of "not giving a damn."  We can't please everyone.  Not everyone will like us.  But you know what?  Who cares?  See, isn't that freeing just to say outloud?  ;)

There is an elegance, a sophistication and a certain je ne sais quoi that I'm completely drawn to... almost fascinated with when it comes to the French.  There is nothing lovelier. <3  They are the epitome of grace.  We, as a culture should watch and learn. :)

I think that long after you leave a country like France, a small part of that culture stays with you.  You are forever changed in quiet ways, only you may recognize.  That's part of the beauty of travel, and why we learn so fast when we are immersed into cultures far different than ours.  It broadens our horizons, and leaves a lasting impact on the ways we think for years afterward.  Have a lovely night.... I'm sure I'll be dreaming of Paris. ;)

Ohhh, and I must (of course!) add that the French know good music.  So many great bands come from France, such as this awesome one( Pheonix) and my personal favorite song by them- "Love Like a Sunset."  Close your eyes and let it take you because if you are ready for it, I can assure you it will. From 4:11 on, it just may melt your brain. :)

"That country where it is always turning late in the year. That country where the hills are fog and the rivers are mist; where noons go quickly, dusks and twilights linger, and midnights stay.  That country whose people are autumn people, thinking only autumn thoughts. Whose people passing at night on the empty walks sound like rain." 
Ray Bradbury 

Photo source: here and here

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