You can meet spring while carrying a box of flowers too big for your arms through the streets of Paris, absorbing the appreciative gazes, nods and comments of strangers, all the while thinking that life is truly beautiful. Or, you can meet spring by breaking the heart of somebody you love and breaking yourself together with it, realising that life is just cruel. The last option is to do both, and sit crying on a sun-drenched bench in Parc Monceau, observing the flowers spread out as colour splashes on a green canvas, listening to birdsong mixed with children’s laughter, thinking that life is in many ways both cruel and beautiful.
That is how I met spring this year, and as the sun rises as if nothing has changed and time flies away from me day by day, I am learning to live with the fact that life is at once beautiful and unbelievably cruel.
Featuring streetstyle series "lunchtime" by photographer Charles H Traub in the 70's.
Why did they not notice that my heart was aching and that my tears needed to be dried with their Chanel gloves?
I remember watching old ladies strolling by me on their afternoon walks that day in Parc Monceau, and I remember thinking that all I wanted was an old lady of my own. I needed a woman who had lived, who knew something about life, to hold me and explain to me why it hurts but why it is still worth it. Why did they not notice that my heart was aching and that my tears needed to be dried with their Chanel gloves? They did not, of course, because what happens to me means nothing in this universe, so the sun will still rise, the flowers will still bloom, the children will still laugh and the elderly adies of Paris will still take their afternoon walks in the park, knowing nothing about the fact that my life is falling apart. And that is reassuring and scary at the same time. Beautiful and cruel. I think started healing when I realised that.
I went back to my home country, which was another kind of heartbreak. I cried when I was alone but I laughed with my brothers and I talked about life with my parents and spent entire days trying to froth milk perfectly with a whisk because that was something stupid that took my mind off him and what had happened to us. And I felt something more than pain. Maybe that was, in fact, when I started healing. Or maybe it is now, when I am pouring my heart out in a Word document, that I am starting to heal for the first time. Because while it hurts so much, it is also so obvious now.
When it feels like nothing will ever help you, I promise that these things will: 1. realising that life goes on (no matter how impossible it feels), 2. that time actually heals (no matter how disgusting of a cliché it sounds like), and that this is what life is like – a rollercoaster of emotions that keep you alive when it feels like you are dying. Strangers will smile, tears will fall, flowers will make life look like art, hearts will break, old ladies will take their walks, spring will arrive and you will heal.
- Cornelia Falknäs