Night Tour

18 12 2006

A Grand Tour is perhaps a collage of many Mini-Tours into new experiences, that often have little specific goal and are the better for it.  For me, one such adventure was a ‘Night Search’ in
Paris in 1965, allegedly a “must do” all night stint, though I cannot recall exactly where we learned of it.  Within mem’ried diffusion, methinks Woody and I made it up – a fun construct drawn from bits and snatches of rumors, books, travel guides and intuition.  At any rate, we decided to spend an entire night touring
Paris, with several specific agendas/goals:

to visit some “Caves” (bohemian nightclubs)

to walk along the
Seine by moonlight

to watch the street sweepers work

to steal some fruit from Les Halles

to beg some bread from a bakery

to watch the sunrise from the steps of

such a Tour should not be made alone, and we had just made the acquaintance of two girls from the States the day before.  That they would join us was never in doubt.  Now understand, in that decade, and given our upbringing, any sexual liaison was neither sought not expected – for others perhaps, but not our geeky selves.  During our 100 days in Europe many females, singly and groups, had attached themselves to us for protection and companionship – because they knew instinctively (or intuitively) that we were ‘safe’, and as this was the bond they were, and being so ‘chained to our integrity’, we were actual free beyond imagining.

The details of the night are unimportant – all expectations met and exceeded.  Yes, we held hands in cheerful abandon – and everyone dares a kiss ‘neath the Bridge at Pont Neuf and we shared a blanket shawl at sunrise at Sacré Coeur just as it should be.  But the true event was that throughout the night’s passage no conversation ever engaged “I Think,” or “I know.”  Every phrase was of “how I feel,”  “How that inspires me,” or “that makes me cry, or laugh, or …”

There were four sets of eyes scanning a strange world of wonder, to which we drew each other just to share the sense of awe and joy and love that we commanded.  I took four journeys that night through the gift of simple sharing of heart and ‘jeux de vie’.  As we expected nothing we found everything.  Language was no barrier and we touched a hundred lives – strangers who waved and smiled – understanding; yet we saw no other Americans; and on the fabled steps the new day was greeted in whispers in a dozen languages – none of them English.  We communicated in silence – not for shame of nationality, or fear of condemnation (early
Vietnam days), nor lack of passioned thoughts. 

The Night Tour had takes us each and all to a new level of understanding – a secret found in this City of Lights that I cannot share – except to write poetry of everything I see.  We parted at the Metro, never to touch souls again.  Yet somewhere they remember too, and reflect on how this Tour changed their life.

Woody and I discussed the experience many times, leading to the crafting of a philosophy called ‘Reflectionism’ – part of which is found in my Lanterns of the Abbey.  What I know to be true is that we are often too bound by ‘mind’, and rarely give ‘earth, and heart and spirit’ a chance.  I also know that had I walked those streets with someone close – sibling, soul-mate, lover, I would never have seen such wonder born of innocence.  And I would tell you to occasionally walk with a stranger, just because you can – and because I can, I must …

which is why I am one with Lemuria – where many of you stroll in sunlight while I walk the streets of night, and where one’s Twilight Hush gives birth to another’s Dawn, and heather grows upon the hill …

forever and at all time.





2 responses

18 12 2006

one of my favourite cities and what better way to see it but by night

19 12 2006

What a great thing. Very interesting reading.

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