Soon we will be closing the window in our hotel room in order to begin our journey out of France and back to Germany. Through this window the sounds of Paris rushed toward us - the relentless shrill of traffic which began anew each time the light below turned green, the intermittent ringing of church bells, the hammerings of men working in the church across the street, and the voices of humans calling out to one another.
For me, Paris has been brutish. In two days we climbed the heights of the Basillica of the Sacred Heart; witnessed the graceful lines of Arc de Triomphe, the splendor of Versailles, the incomparable grandeur of the Lourve and the beauty of Notre Dame. We ate somewhere along the Champ Elysees. We sailed along the river Seine and walked across its bridges. We rode buses and subways and trains. But most of all we walked.
For miles we walked until my feet felt both swollen and deformed. We walked until my side and my chest hurt so much it became too difficult to breathe, and I thought I would die here in this beautiful, ancient city which seemed at times to be angry with its residents and with its hordes of invading tourists who take so much and leave so little.
But now it is time for us to leave. Au revoir Paris. I salute you, if for nothing else, for your ability to endure and to keep moving forward - through time and war, passed the capriciousness and greed of humans and through the sometimes illogical and seemingly inconsistent love of the God or gods who conceived of you.
It is time for us to leave. Au revoir Pari, until we will meet again.