Updated: Jan 7
Like a hall that has yet to be filled, so the year opens to us with vast potential. That hall can be ordinary or grandiose, according to our vision. I invite you to choose the latter.
In Paris, one often has the sense that the best is behind us, that beauty itself is an outmoded notion of the past. There was an epoch of more noble aspirations before mankind supplanted itself with the Machine.* I have met many people in Paris who feel as though they belonged to a previous age.
Yet, all that we find so beautiful is still there before our eyes. Our very recognition of it is reassuring. As long as we maintain our sense for beauty, we can find our way back to its path. Beauty will save us in the end...if we are willing to be saved. A more beautiful world is possible, if we are able to envision it.
This, for me, is the role that Paris plays in the destiny of our world. Once so very close to total destruction, Paris still stands sovereign to remind us of our own sovereignty. We are capable of greater things and worth more than statistics may suggest.
In this year 2023, we must invoke with all of our hearts this capability for greater things.
We need not erect our own Eiffel tower, but we can make it our personal priority to sustain life and human culture on this Earth.
Allow Paris to inspire you to greater endeavors.
Counter the Machine* and consume only those products that honor our humanity. This would be a grand first step into the new year.
Friends of ExquisiteFrance, these are my wishes to you for the new year.
My personal agenda for Paris inspirations in 2023:
Venise Révélée Exhibit, until February 19
Marc Chagall at the Atelier des Lumières, starting February 17
Frida Kahlo at the Musée Galliera, until March 9.
Case Scaglione directs Gustave Mahler's 5th Symphony at the Paris Philharmonia (preceded by a talk) - May 9
Taste of Paris - May 11-14
Aurore: the grand opening of an eco-lux hotel designed by architect Kengo Kuma in the 13th arrondissement.
* the "Machine" is a telling metaphor of what humans are doing to themselves and to life on Earth since the industrial age. Its starting point is the mindset of domination and exploitation; its endgame is the control of the world through artificial intelligence. Its nemesis is the Great Beauty.
Click here to see the Equisite France 2023 greeting card.