Saturday, 28 November 2009
So what's going on, mate?
Things are a bit inert these days, and I think the blog reflects this. It’s not that I’ve lacked subjects to post about – in fact, that I’ve just completed an epic sequence of posts on a really heavy subject, so you can look forward to some bad shit going down.
I’ve given my notice from my job here in Paris and I shall be departing from the country shortly. I leave France with an enormous cargo of good memories. Enough to make me believe I’ll romanticise this place in ten years’ time, but what the hell – if you can’t romanticise Paris, then what else can take that role? My next stopping place will be Italy, where I intend to spend my Christmas holidays looking for my next job. I mean to work at sea, this time around. Not sure doing what exactly – I’ll get on a cruise, a fisher-boat or even a pirate ship if that’s what it takes, but I want to be on the big blue. Call it my Melvillian aspiration.
I hope to find the job before the end of January, because that’s when I’m leaving for India. I’ve got a journey planned over there. Three weeks, and who knows, maybe longer – if I were to find a job down there which doesn’t involve something as gross as swiping the shit from cows off the temples, then I might just stick to it. I’d love to spend a few months in India, though probably no more than that. My future is in Europe, as after all is my past.
At the moment, I have just two days of work left to go before I quit this country, so most of my days I am spending evenings in Paris, each one of them a little more final. Shall I return, someday? Who knows. I certainly hope so. Paris gave me a lot, and I have almost nothing to give in return. It’s not much and not total, but in the meantime, here is the only sonnet that I wrote to this city – one which was on commission (the italics on 'Paris' are there because it's meant to be pronounced the French way).
Paris, Paris, I have not come to light
Or spin you, I’ve not come to sing la Senne,
My throat seeks no refreshment from your night
And I’m not asking where to go or when.
For pilgrims are no conquerors, who come
To seek the root of their humility,
That common street where all their roads are one
Behind the mask of your plurality.
Paris, you’re not the basin of my past;
You are a road, but you lead not to Rome.
– And what is Rome if not a bust (the last)
That honours ashes, cinder dressed as home?
Paris, teach me the junctions of the way
For us to noble or ignoble clay.
There will be others. There will be more. But now I need to metabolise what I have seen, what I have experienced and anything else. City of lights, city of shadows, city of damned poets (and overpriced poetry), city of more than I can tell, I could never find the words – much less the heart – for an adieu. I’ll do it my way: thank you, and arrivederci.