Below is a excerpt from my travel journal when I spent two months in Paris last spring. My friend gave me a book called "The Artist's Way" that featured many exercises for uncovering and re-igniting creative energies. One exercise asked me to sit back and observe people and comment on what happens without editing. Below you'll find my thoughts.
le 1 avril 2008
At the Louvre
-A group of tourists pose with a momument... pretending to "hold" it up.
-A group of classmates were being rowdy, when one gave the other a "ball tag"
-Note to tourists... fanny packs aren't discrete.
-The black people here have a darker complexion than the black people back in the states.
-Gay or European? Here I can't tell. This guy has glasses, coiffed hair, trendy shoes and I still have no idea.
-The guy that was "ball tagged" is still reeling on the ground.
-Woman has a backpack, heavy jacket, and walking poles... didn't realize there were trails near the Louvre.
I.M Pei's famed pyramids paint the scene for these people. Take a snapshot and they exist in the same space at the same time; but, in a week or month, they will scatter themselves all over the world. As the sun begins to set on some of their lives I realize they only have a few spare moments left to sit back and appreciate views like this. To my left I see a baby of two or three years. While the sun in his life has just started to rise, he won't even remember these events until his parents show him pictures of their trip to Paris. In the background, he'll see the people I see now.
Those scattered souls also captured random strangers in their pictures. In a lifetime we serve as the background for hundreds, if not thousands, of photos, but more often than not we're unaware of the moment. We randomly find ourselves scattered through other peoples scrapbooks, memories, and stories.