pont notre-dame

28 november 2018 22:45

i have a very interesting relationship with privacy and solitude. 

i crave it, yet so willingly share so much of myself in measured ways. i have a voice that demands to be heard and find trouble writing music in dorm rooms or, most recently, my bedroom in my homestay. year in and year out, i hate how little privacy i have, spatially. at home i used to sit at my piano well after midnight, my parents fast asleep upstairs with their doors shut, belting and playing to my heart’s content. last summer, i wrote the riverside as i found release in the absolute privacy that nature gave me. a physical escape that gifted me absolute white noise, absolute isolation, to simply be. 

i recall a lunch i had earlier this quarter. with summer still in the air, a friend and i sat along la seine. beneath the next bridge over, a man practiced his trumpet. the sunlight hit the water and casted gold webs across the stone arch, as his jazz painted the air beneath it. 

this monday, i found this bridge, pont notre-dame, and sang beneath it for 15 minutes before i met that same friend for lunch, 8 weeks later. it was raining and freezing, i had to close my eyes to avoid the discomfort of the runners’ and dog-walkers’ gazes. i told myself i would come back. 

today, i walked around isle-de-la-cite before class, found my bridge, wrote this song, and recorded it. 

it’s a different kind of privacy and isolation, the kind only a big city could teach me. 

one that asks to be left alone, but does not apologize for existing. 

as i wrote on the 25th of november, paris is “a big city of lights that gifts its residents a hectic peace that comes with the passing faces, cars, scooters, bicycles, trains, words that do not care about you one bit.” 

the simultaneous vulnerability and guardedness that comes with creating in a setting like this taught me a few things:

*i do not have to run away to the mountains or run back home to find my peace- physically or proverbially.

*i can make space myself.

*bridge acoustics are incredible.

*as long as you’re not impeding on someone’s well-being or someone’s way of life– people don’t care about what you’re doing as much as you think.

so, talk to yourself; sing to yourself on your walks; practice your speech, run your lines, rehearse how you’ll ask them out to dinner while you’re riding a bike— give the world as much as yourself as you want 

this song is the road i took to get here. 

this is pont notre-dame

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