Sunday, 9 September 2012

The Gift of Paris 2012

Well, I have now been to Paris twice in my life! Once when I was 19, and then not again until this August, 2012, most thanks to my dear brother. The occasion for this voyage was the Kirk Family reunion ~ all 14 of the relatives on my mother's side are spread apart between South Africa, Scotland, Austria, Canada and Italy. My mother has lived in Italy for 41 years now, having left Canada to follow the love of her life when I was the eldest to my brother and sister at age nine. I love my mother with all my heart, and only wish trips to Italy weren't such sporadic and rare gems in my life, but hey, I've been lucky enough. I last saw her when I went to visit her at her rural home near Bassano Romano in 2007!

Mummy and Me, Once Again!

My Italian sister Flavia, 16 years my junior, now lives, works and sings in Paris, and so everyone decided it was the most central and splendid place for us all to convene. The hoard of us stayed in a gorgeous old house in Ballancourt-sur-Essonne, one hour by train south of Paris, and spent a few days exploring what we could of the city of light itself. Many nights drinking and talking through until dawn, laughing our guts out as well as crying, confessing, waxing nostalgic and getting to know one was marvelous and life affirming, celebratory and hopeful. The Kirks are a witty, intelligent and loving bunch, and reconnecting to our shared traits and unique gifts was a solid and grounding epiphany, we all agreed on that. 
Where we stayed at Ballancourt~sur~Essonne
We drank a little...
I spent some precious time in Paris with my sister Coralie...we went to Jardin des Tuileries and the Musee de l'Orangerie....
My sister Coralie and Me

...but my favourite personal experience was our day in Montmartre....we came upon a very special place....12 Rue Cortot, where one of my favourite mysterious artists once lived...the elusive Suzanne Valadon. I will write all about Madame Valadon very soon. She has held the deepest intrigue for me and I often wonder why there has not been a movie made about her life, it could be such a magnificent adventure of a film. Perhaps you are already familiar with this unsung artist and muse who lived, loved and painted wildly among her prestigious and better known male peers during the Impressionist era, but if not, keep an eye out for my next post about my enchanted obsession with this woman and her art. Hers is a spirit I thrive upon and I could barely believe I was standing in the very house where she lived. Sitting in the courtyard, looking up at the studio where she painted, I marveled at the reignition of inspiration and the deja vu of shared passions capable of travelling across time and space from one beating heart to another.
Feeling the Aura of the Historical Courtyard at Musee de Montmartre


  1. dear, it is strange, but all the time yo were in Paris, I felt you close. the reunion sounds wonderful, for a wee moment, I was thinking on joing you ;-) ah, and France suits you well. you look stunning!

  2. I do very much hope that Berlin is on the agenda next, Annton...who knows, we may be casting the net for another reunion in the future...your words mean a lot to me, and it seems we are at least circling closer...xoxo