Friday, November 25, 2016

LYON - Nuages

     I returned to Lyon a little less than two years later, staying for a few days with a lovely family on a beautiful old estate nestled into a hill on the west side of the two rivers.  The last days of winter, with grey stone & sky scarcely distinguishable from one another.  I retraced the steps of a favorite walk from the end of my time in France, north along the Saône to a quiet little area near Passerelle Saint-Vincent where rows of pastel buildings domino down from Fourvière to the riverbank below.  Before falling asleep that night in a room that overlooked the edges of Presqu'île, I tried to place the feeling somehow missing from a still very pleasant return.  Clouds filled balloon-like with stadium light rolled slowly by, projecting memory itself onto the walls & curtains.  The time in time & place – the clamor & the swelter of a summer unrepeatable, its present become past.

Elle aspire comme chaque matin l’odeur puissante et humide de la rue St-Jean dont les pavés glissent légèrement. Elle voudrait rentrer dans cette boulangerie et acheter un pain au lait. Mais quelque chose file devant elle qu’elle doit saisir, c’est le moment elle le sait – sinon – elle tend le bras – sa vie s’écoule – elle ne l’atteint pas.

Thursday, November 24, 2016

LYON - Noircissement

     Suddenly the city was empty, its residents in mass holiday exodus.  Green pharmacy crosses flashing all the more brightly for the lack of headlights on the boulevards below.  The fountain at Place du Maréchal Lyautey burbling all the more clearly for the lack of early evening drinkers on the patios of bars nearby.  And the sky over the chimneys of Croix-Rousse all the more otherworldly when seen alone in the south meadow of Parc de la Tête d'Or, the light fading and the summer darkening.

Prune passa sur le trottoir de droite, elle vit cet homme devant le Pont de la Feuillée, elle sut immédiatement qu’elle aurait pu partir avec lui, tailler des bâtons, vivre dans les Célèbes et ses bras, mais son bus arriva et elle leva la main.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

LYON - Lévitation

     I had hoped that Fate would intervene and allow me to stay in Lyon beyond the summer.  So there was a time when only the present moment was felt.  A long time, or at least a profound moment, and one that happened to form around the equinox.  Pink, blue, and bronze sunsets hung over Presqu'île for what seemed like eternity – the effect like that of an eclipse or the feeling when as a child I jumped off the roof of our house holding my father's umbrella and managed to land unharmed on the grass below.  Strangeness, levitation.

Je ne peux pas me dire c’est ici que je suis né c’est ici que je mourrai infini des formes dans un fini des murs alors j’ai dû partir tout se reproduisait toujours mêmes visages mêmes feintes de corps j’ai dû partir et laisser derrière moi un écran mat et lourd quelques brumes.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

LYON - Escaliers Secrets

     I'd walked right by Montée des Chazeaux countless times without noticing its many steep & crooked steps.  Always rushing through Vieux Lyon, listening for sounds to record or looking for reflections in motorbike mirrors to photograph.  It was a delayed reaction when half a block down I thought to backtrack and confirm the staircase glimpsed from the corner of my eye.  A five-flight shortcut to Montée Saint-Barthélémy and Parc de Hauters, the steps were strangely empty despite lush views of the city offered from each landing.  So I felt all the more like a traveller between worlds when I would traverse the stairs alone on brisk evening walks from the church to the city's summit & back.  Over time I would discover that Lyon possessed many such passages.  Having grown up in the plains and previously lived mainly in flat, grid-like cities like Chicago & Boston, stairs were until that summer all too often dour markers of duty – entryways to schools, libraries, and houses of worship.  Lyon's secret staircases – pathways of wonder – were wholly free of such foot-slowing seriousness.

Julie passa une jambe par la fenêtre quand soudain la pluie.

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