Friday, January 20, 2012

Sub City Paris and Yoga

Paris Metro
Originally uploaded by snarkle

Nearly everyday I traverse Paris, teaching yoga all over the city. 98% of the time, I rely on the Paris Metro to get me to and fro. It is so easy to get lulled into a state of urban dweller apathy or (maybe worse, maybe not), disgust. Throw on the headphones, go through the motions, head down, think about my plan for the next class, make as little eye contact as possible...

There are those (thankfully, rare) days when the negative stimulus consumes and all I take in are the grumpy faces, hunched shoulders, delayed train announcements, same five accordion tunes played badly, delightful wafts of urine (and other unmentionables), a scurrying rat, and the occasional pained soul smoking crack at the far end of the platform, surrounded by empty €1.50 wine bottles.

But then there are those days when the breath is flowing and all is moving at a graceful pace, and I pick my head up and see and feel and hear the beauty, history, and romance of this phenomenal public work project. This will occur when, while walking between trains, I pass a tastefully designed poster for an art opening, theater show, or salon. Maybe it happens when I see sepia-toned signage that's been there since the Belle Epoch period. Sometimes it happens when up ahead I witness the kindness of a stranger, helping a senior or parent with a stroller climb the never-ending stairwells between platforms, sans escalator.

Mostly however, it happens when I begin to ascend at my destination. I gaze up and draw in the tops of the Haussman with their ornate iron-work, or the ubiquitous cafe chairs and awnings, or the twinkling of the carousel music, or the glow of a fabled landmark too awe-inspiring to ever conjure apathy...

That's when my heart opens wide and my eyes make contact with a stranger. Without question we know what each other is thinking and it simply has to do with beauty. Ezra Pound was right.

Spend the next three minutes of your life taking in a bit of regular, simple beauty...
Sub City Paris by Redglass Pictures.

Thank you yogateau for introducing me to this beautiful piece of art ~