It's late on a December evening and very dark. I love walking along blvd St Germain on nights like this. The darkness creates a real intimacy and sense of connection with Paris, like strolling along with the woman you have been married to for 20 years. Maybe not much is said but much is understood. There is a peace and familiarity to it.
I walk slowly with no effort and no goal, savoring each step along this street I have spent so many years with. I look in the window of the immobilier (real estate office) and check for new listings. The descriptions of the apartments are wonderful and conjure up visions of peaceful sunny mornings sitting on the 'balcon' overlooking the park. Having no goal I am more mindful of what is around me. This is a new sign in the shop window. This is a doorway I have never really seen before. And so it goes until I get to rue de Rennes. Here is Deux Magots and Café de Flore with their ghosts of Sartre and Beauvoir and Jeanloup Sieff. The past is alive here. I capture this moment on film, imagining each of the little white lights is a soul returned from the past to spend a few more moments on this spot.
I spend some time in each of the bookstores here – La Hune and L'ecume des Pages. There is a full moon tonight and I splurge for a drink on the terrasse at Deux Magots where I can see the moon over the old church tower. As I leave the café I walk past the statues of Denis Diderot and Bernard Palissy. I know it is silly but they are both old friends after all these years and I always say goodnight to them. Bonsoir Denis, bonsoir Bernard.