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  • Writer's pictureCarsten Sprotte

The Eternal and the Ephemeral

Eternity ebbs and flows sous le pont Mirabeau as the Seine says goodbye to Paris, carrying with it a thousand words of love unlocked from its bridges. Flocks of lovers with their silly locks wanted their love to last forever. 

L’amour s’en va comme cette eau courante 

L’amour s’en va

Comme la vie est lente

Et comme l’Espérance est violente…

-Guillaume Apollinaire

Their love comes and goes, but Paris remains and the Seine still flows.

How does it feel to tango with the timeless? It feels mysterious, wondrous, grandiose. 

Vive la France ! 

What about falling for the charm of a place? It feels like someone has tickled your toes, or opened a new door to home. 

La douce France !

One is the tower and the arch that exalt their makers into immortality, or the great cathedral that transcends mortality. 

The other is delicious, delicate, and ephemeral: the sweetness of decrepitude, the smell of a place you will come home to, the final glow of the autumn leaf. Here we are near the secret of the Paris magic show. Watch closely this sleight of hand: now you see it, now you don’t! What you first saw was a glimpse of grandeur -- — great works of steel and stone, standing firmly forever. And there are times when you think you might want to live during that same forever. 

Then, under the late-maturing sun, you catch a glimpse of the old wisteria vines that round the zinc-eaves run. All beauty is gently fading into a blur. Paint while it lasts! You would like to be brush-stroked into a tableau yourself, and dissolve into the great Beauty--the canvas of the cosmic whole. You’re unable to see that you already are. You would like to lose yourself in the eternal ebb and flow. 

Has not France offered you this entire package, beyond what money can buy, the eternal and the ephemeral?


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