A rock of a different color

I bought a rock in Paris this morning. Actually I bought a few rocks.

Last night while we were walking in the covered passages, we noticed a crystal vendor. The door was locked. Even though the door said they were open until 7 and it was only 6:45. Boo! We saw a lady inside but she didn’t re-open the door. We figured we would try again in the morning

I’m a bit of a rock junkie and we joked before we left Chicago that maybe I would find myself a new crystal while we were in Paris. This store, Brasilerie Mineraux winds up being less than a quarter of a km from our apartment. Interesting.

I often get little words or phrases stuck in my head and I use and re-use them for a period of time until they no longer serve me. Over the years random words like Hippogriff and Stinkybuttfish to name only a couple have become regular parts of my vocabulary. As we were packing/preparing for our trip I frequently joked that if we were missing something for our trip we could just buy it in Paris.  “It’s not like were going to Botswana for corn’s sake,” I would offer. The phrase has become a running part of our banter and I randomly during this trip say, “We’re not in Botswana!”

I love the musicians in the Metro tunnels in Paris. Sometimes they board the trains and play while you are riding, sometimes they are stationary in the alcoves and platforms. Since we have been here we have seen solo artists with trumpets, Russian stringed instruments, trombones, accordions, banjos, electric guitars, saxophones, tambourines, and this morning we finally saw a good old traditional acoustic guitar player, and he was playing Bob Marley, and he was playing my second favorite Marley song – Redemption song. Interesting.

Every once in a while, I don’t buy something and it haunts me. Through the years it has included things like shoes, books, jackets, bottles of balsamic vinegar, baseball cards, you name it. Once on a vacation in Jamaica I met a Rasta man and his wife who sold jewelery and the like. They had a pendant made of spectralite, also known as labradorite that I was very drawn to but it was expensive. The fact that I didn’t buy it has haunted me for more than 15 years. I have often gone into semi precious stone shops and inquired if they have any labradorite and always get either a no, or a raised brow.

So how to these seemingly random and disjointed pieces of information fit together in a blog on my last day in Paris you ask? As I said, this morning I bought four rocks at a store in the covered passages in Arrondisement #9 in Paris, France. Two of the stones were for me and two were for CJ.

The first of my two stones is a Tourmaline quartz crystal to add to my collection. The second is a simple looking, but particularly high energy piece of labradorite that I found in a small bin well away from the fancy stuff. It cost only 5 euros. After all these many years I had found a piece of spectralite, the stone that Bob Marley sings about more than once in his music. Furthermore, within ten minutes from that purchase I am in a Metro station on the “number 8 light purple line” listening to a Parisian street musician singing Bob Marley, and singing it well. More than a little interesting.

The stones for CJ were a nice blue Agate pendant from Brazil. The other one was a tiny little orange thing of unknown identity. “Why in the world are you buying that,” I asked her. “I don’t know. I’m just kind of drawn to the color orange today,” she replies. I’m used to this stuff so I don’t even blink an eye. As we are paying the very nice gentleman is wrapping and labeling all of our purchases. He puts the little orange stone in an envelope and says, “It’s carnelian cornaline…from BOTSWANA.”

Seriously?  I’m telling you people that this kind of stuff just happens to us repeatedly. I really couldn’t make this up if I tried. We just look at each other completely dumbfounded and just as we start to try to explain to the very nice clerk exactly why we are mind boggled, we realize there is no way to translate this story into broken French.

Fourteen days ago we arrived in Paris with my girlfriend crying on a escalator that’s not an escalator because she lost her new Miss Sixty trench coat. Tomorrow we depart Paris Très content with a camera full of pictures, a belly full of great food, and a lifetime of wonderful memories.

I mentioned that Redemption Song is my second favorite Bob Marley song a bit earlier. My favorite you ask?

No woman no cry

Not this time. No not this time at all Mr, Marley. The line continues to move and the circle remains a circle. I fly back to the United States tomorrow with more stories yet to be told.

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About Jim Herbert

I've been wanting to write my whole life. By age 45 it had amounted to nothing more than a storage locker of half full journals and a lot of unfulfilled dreams. Then Paris in the fall of 2011 happened. It was the catalyst I needed to consistently blog. At first I had a hard time hitting the publish button, but now two blog sites and over 300 posts later I'm hitting my stride. I'm also a budding speech writer. I've recently been heavily involved in the Chicago Storytelling scene and have also won the Chicago Toastmasters Area 66 International Speech Contest. Check out our website at www.emergingintojoy.com for more details about the amazing things that are happening in my life. A book or two are nearing completion. With another Paris trip on tap for Easter of 2015 I can only imagine that there are Infinite Possibilities on the horizon!!!
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