As some of you may know, I recently got back from a three-week trip over to London, Dublin, and Paris. London and Dublin were just for kicks, as I spent two weeks of my time in Paris, doing a creative writing course.
You know what's funny about all that? I was in Paris, which is historically, one of the most inspiring cities on earth. There are geniuses and masters buried in Paris's ground. It is a pilgrimage place for artists, tracking down Hemingway's old haunts and James Joyce's old apartment. And the city does not disappoint. It is everything you've been told about and more. The people are fashionable, the wine is out-of-this-world, there are baguettes being carried around daily by thousands of Parisians.
And yet, when I was there and doing all of this writing - I wrote about anything BUT Paris. I mentioned far away places a couple times, but I ended up writing the most about my childhood and home, or completely made-up tales that still, had nothing to do with the mecca where I was residing. I raises an interesting question: Can you write about places that you are still in? Can you write about events as they are still occurring? For me, no. maybe others can, But I found it impossible while I was there. I was too close, and things were still in the middle of happening. I had to see how it all ended before even attempting it!
I have suspicions that this theory applies to more than just wiring. It's with so many things in life. Can you process things while they are still around you? Can you know how much you have loved before you don't anymore? Can you understand people better after you are away from them? It's rearview mirror thinking. I find it so much easier to process understand things at a distance. Sure, you have to get up close first, but perception is a funny thing. When you're right there in it, and everything is going around and happening so fast, you're too close. It is too difficult to think about it, because the comparison of not being there is lost. So if nothing else, Paris taught me that I can't write about places while I'm still in them. Only once I leave can I think about it. I guess, this is a pretty good reason to travel....forever.