L’Espoir, or, Hope, and Patience

August 21, 2011 § 1 Comment

L’Espoir et la Patience, rue Pierre Bourdan, Paris, 75012

I love to go for walks early in the morning. The coolness from the night has not yet been swallowed up by the heat of the day. The air smells clean. The streets are empty and quiet, especially on weekends. There is a feeling of solitude and possibility and newness that I love. These days I am forced to take a break from my long long walks, but I still went out this morning to check out Velib, Paris’ awesome rent-a-bike program, as an alternative to walking. One of the first things I saw after I stepped out into the early morning were these two cats, staring fixedly at the two pigeons above them on the ledge, who were in turn starting fixedly back down at the cats.

First the image made me laugh. All four were like statues, and so very serious and determined in their staring. Then, since I can’t help but apply what I see to my own life, I thought, this image epitomizes hope and patience, two qualities that I am often short on. Especially right now when if I do not write something brilliant and insightful then I begin to feel hopeless and fed up. That leads me to take a break from work and find something else to do to procrastinate which usually involves reading about baking or eating or Paris online, heading into the kitchen for a (usually healthy) snack, or doing stretches, squats and resistance training while watching French TV. That is the negative cycle of non-productivity I get so easily sucked into these days. And it MUST STOP!

So now I will try thinking of these cats instead. Two beautiful, adorable, small cats, who I have named Hope and Patience. They would sit and watch those pigeons all day if they could so there is no reason for me to not sit at my computer and work for one full hour at least without stopping to do something, anything, else. L’Espoir et la Patience! I will finish this thing (hope) and I will not give up every time it begins to feel impossible (patience).

PS I just remembered the mighty lions guarding one of my favorite places on the planet, the New York Public Library on 42nd Street, Patience and Fortitude! No wonder the names sounded so right. All the more reason for me to focus on those qualities in myself.



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