“Non, Madame, you have ordered a sandwich, SANDWICH, please do not confuse it with a baguette. Should I repeat that? VoilE, bravo. Bon Appétit.”
Well, how could I know about this difference, so insignificant for me, and so unacceptable for the owner of this tiny bakery? Probably, she had already managed to get used to the crowd of illiterate tourists coming to Paris from all over the world. But she did not lose patience with us, such a hopelessly hungry crowd of mad tourists, feeding us with baguettes aI wanted to say sandwiches and teaching us real French.
Paris is an amazing city.
Here you are met not only by responsive and understanding staff in bakeries. Here you encounter an endless stream of inspiration and new creative ideas, ease and enjoyment of every minute of your life. When you see the same places that Picasso or Matisse saw once, when you sit at the same table a which Hemingway once sat, drinking his third glass and creaking at the same time with a pen on paper. When you see the streets that Chanel and Dior once admired. When you walk around Montmartre, where once Zeld and Scott Fitzgerald were dancing.
And now here I am, imagining myself in the middle of the 20th century, sitting in the Café de Flore opposite Truman Capote. And then I ask myself, would I have doubts in my work then, at that time, would I have the courage to try to turn my ideas into reality, even the most courageous, full of errors and shortcomings? Would I have the courage to follow my inner voice alone, without paying attention to negative comments coming even from the lips of my relatives? If such masters as Henri Matisse and Salvador Dali accepted me into their conversations, what would they say about my doubts about my works, so imperfect and inaccurate?
After visiting the Pompidou Center and attentively studying the works of these great masters, their strokes, the selection of the most daring colors and curves of broken lines, I would venture to suggest and answer “YES”. And add to the answer the following: Do not allow yourself to be distracted by strangers and assume that you will not succeed. If you feel that this is yours and that nothing else in life will make you happier than this, then do it. Until the end. Until you have won. And you will.
Oh, Paris. In addition to the aesthetic component of this journey, you gave me something special and very important for my creative path. And I won’t let you down. Or I will say this. I will not let down Paris and the Parisians, past and present.