Sunday: Alors, aimons!

Montmartre is my favorite place in Paris, without question. Its narrow streets and quaint buildings are exactly what Paris should be like – without the tourists, commercialism, and overall feeling of trying too hard to be Parisian. Sometimes I think that Paris is a caricature of itself, and Montmartre is the exception. Exploring the area on Sunday only further proved my point, when we discovered this in the gardens of Montmartre, right off of the Abbesses metro stop:

How many ways to say "I love you" do you know?

The work is on the wall of a building in the gardens of Montmartre, hardly noticeable until you step up close. The writing on the blue tiles says “I love you” in over 300 different languages (I could only pick out 4: English, French, German and Spanish). The painting above it, however, is what makes it truly special:

"Aimer c'est du desordre...alors aimons!"

The quote reads: “Aimer c’est du desordre…alors aimons!”

“Love is disorder…and so we love!” I found other translations online – a favorite was “Love is messy, so we love!”

No matter which phrase works best for you, the idea is universal: in our lives we often seek disorder, and in love we find this. For some reason this mural hit home for me. Love is messy, so we love. So often in our lives, we stick to order, structure, and rigidity. The familiar, the comfortable, the habits of our daily lives that let us slip quietly by without making any ripples. We put things in boxes, tuck them away in the attic of our minds and go through the day without thinking about all those things that might cause one little ripple.

So what about love? I can’t say that I know too much about it, but I know a little. Enough to know that love is disorder. It is the thing that messes up our plan, tears the cardboard boxes to shreds, and makes us realize that our lives are often in need of a little mess. It is often in finding disorder that we find ourselves, that we tear through the facade of structure and organization and into the real core of our being, where nothing can hide. Love is disorder, and disorder is love: often in tearing down these walls, and opening up the boxes in our mind, we find what we’re looking for. We let the light in, let the dust off, and allow ourselves to breathe. Aaah.

What I often find myself repeating, over and over, as a little reminder, is that we are human beings: we love, we hate, we discover, and we mess things up. We’re not robots or superhumans with the ability to go through life never building up or destroying love, we can’t simply forget things or make them go away by putting them in a box in the attic of our brain. We need disorder. We need the mess of human emotions that comes with living, and the fear and uncertainty that comes with allowing ourselves to love wholeheartedly.

For me, disorder comes easily: one look at my room will tell you that I am in no need of help when it comes to creating mess. I am impulsive, passionate, and thoughtful – I am hardly the kind of person who needs to be told that love is messy. How many times have I fallen and found it near impossible to pick myself back up? My friends would say: countless. But finding this in Montmartre brought validation. Love is messy, so we love. We all need mess in our lives, a little break from the structure of our existence that reminds us what it truly feels like to live. Disorder is harder than we think, because it’s so easy to fall into familiarity, but it is often in fulfilling this disorder that we find ourselves, and the true but of our existence.

Love is disorder, and so we love.

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