There is a bit of history to my nights in Old Paris, but first play with me and pronounce it in French- “pair-ee.” Yes, that is much more fun!
It was 2011, and I sat with my sons in a movie called Hugo. The movie was set in the early 1930’s in Paris. In one of the scenes, French music was being played in a café. My son turned to me and whispered. “Mom, how do you know the words to this song?” At that point, I hadn’t even realized I was singing along.
Shortly thereafter, I saw another movie set in early 19th century Paris, this time alone. I sat strangely detached and wide eyed, holding my popcorn and diet coke (neither of which was consumed) as the recognition became stronger. The streetscape was comfortingly familiar; cobblestone roads lit by gas lamps. I had visited this place many times in my dreams—for more years than I could remember.
On the way home that day, I stopped at the grocery store. I recall walking out empty handed, and standing confused in the parking lot. My car….what was it? Where was it? I walked aimlessly through the parking lot, unsure of what I was looking for. I realized I held the key fob in my hand and thought to hit the red button. Across the lot, I heard the horn blaring and the headlights flashing. “The Subaru…” I thought to myself when I saw it. Safely in the car, I made the short drive home, noting to myself that this is why I might be a candidate for a facility in my older years….
That night, my dream state lit up like the fourth of July, and when I awoke, I knew that I wasn’t losing it the day before. I had been straddling two realities; a “door” had been cracked open, and within the dream state I was flooded with memories from another lifetime. I played the piano, and very well. I had a small white dog. I was a bit of a socialite, though I wasn’t clear on the source of my standing. Was it purely economic or talent?
I found myself there again last night – in Paris – walking along the gas lamp-lit street with a young man. I could see my dress shoes and my skirt with its layered flounce at the bottom, and I laughed flirtatiously while we discussed a story printed in the news.
Unlike the reincarnational story that became Timeless Waters, I have no idea what message, if any, that lifetime in Paris holds for me in my present reality. It is, though, a lovely reminder that each of us is far more than we know, and glimpsing that totality is not only available to us, but our birthright.
What a joyful ride it is!