I received the book at last! It just took me a couple of months waiting 🙂 Apropos waiting. I find it a great way to prolong joy and happiness. It depends on the type of waiting, of course. But what bothers me is the fast-paced culture we are living in, when everything must happen pronto: fast food, fast fashion, 4G network, 24-hours delivery. Isn’t it crazy how quickly we get used to the speed of things, which would take long time – just a decade ago? And I wonder if with all the bonuses of speed and comfort there are side effects. I find, there are. We get stressed, impatient and ungrateful, when we take the fast delivery for granted. While I want to come to the old-fashioned truth: “Waiting for things is as happy, or maybe more happy, than receiving things”. As we move into the holidays season, it is easy to understand. It is not the Christmas Eve that makes us so happy, but also all those weeks of preparation, hearing Christmas songs, joyful expectation that make the season so priceless. I would not hop directly to the December, 24 now – would you?
So I decided to view waiting for this book as an exercise of joyful expectation. And I enjoyed every bit of it. And, oh, another bonus – the book tastes so much sweeter after all those weeks of waiting. The book I am talking about is “A Paris Year” by Janice MacLeod. I was writing about how she seems to capture my dream of Paris and make it true here. I made a wish for this book for my birthday in September, I made a research about which bookstore in Oslo sells it and got a gift card for it from my friend. Some time after my birthday I joyfully (hopped) walked to that store – and found that the book was not there. Neither was it possible to order it in the online version of that store. So I walked out, sat on the bench, made an order on Amazon – and got an estimated delivery period of almost 2 months. Uii. I could choose the faster option for sure, but I thought: ok, this is a present, it is not something you need urgently, so you can wait and find happiness in it. And guess what – that was worth it. Whenever I would think of the book, I would feel happy. And when it finally arrived last week, I even waited a day to unwrap it. I find this version of events even luckier than if I had found it in the store on that very day.
The book is a visual journal, with some texts, many photographs and watercolors by Janice MacLeod. Janice had a dream to be an artist in Paris, so she saved her money and went there to paint watercolors. She became famous for her hand-painted Paris Letters which she sent to her friends and followers, and which became later a book (and a bestseller) “Paris Letters”. Maybe, that book would be my next dream and waiting 🙂 But so far I will enjoy “A Paris Year” as much as I can. I love this book. I read a lot of books on Kindle, but this one just had to be in paper. I love its velvety soft cover and how it feels to the hand. I love its drawings and paintings. I love the collections of photos. I feel that it is MY journal, because this is exactly what I would love to do: go to Paris, sip coffee on its terraces and scribble notes in my notebook while trying to taking undercover photos of the people around me.
A thing that gives me a sense of recognition is the author’s collections: of nautical signs in architecture, cafe chairs, lettering. My collector soul rejoices. As a child I used to collect buttons, and shells, and chestnuts. And as adult I would collect magazines of a Swedish store which made beautiful photos in exotic locations, pictures from the papers and pretty commercials. Unfortunately, I had to move so much in my life that those collections had to go to the waste. Then I decided to collect things in photos – they don’t take up space. I collected photos of doors, lights, old cars and details of Oslo which were difficult to categorize. All I shared neatly on my Facebook page. Somehow this passion has faded away – but with this book I feel again inspired to browse the streets of my familiar city for more.
Another thing that inspires me is how Janice creates a color scheme for every month. Collecting the photos and marking with the watercolors. I was reminded of my search for yellow this spring, and maybe, it is a good idea to be mindful of the color palette of each season, or each month. I like to go and search – that gives me a sense of adventure and meaning, so why not go and search for color of every month? It is always new 🙂
Ah, I just got my hands on this book and already feel like I am eating it in big bites 🙂 I want to slow down and savor every bit of it. This is just what I need in the season when the color scheme outside of my window becomes black-and-white.
Do you have your favorite books that inspire you with their pictures? What are they about? Fashion, travel, photography? Let’s share the inspiration!