Past Lives in Paris
It’s been cold and damp and gray. It’s been Paris.
This is the kind of weather that we both love and hate – I have always joked that if the weather were better in Paris, we’d be so overrun with tourists all the time, that there would be no room for us residents. But the joke’s on me, because Paris is Paris in spite of the weather, and you know what I mean by that.
In the last few days I felt like a kid in a candy shop…after visiting a couple of Paris apartments that ‘dreams are made of.’ Both were within a few steps of each other and in some ways very different and in other ways very similar. The location of both was that part of Le Marais south of rue Saint-Antoine between rue Saint-Paul and boulevard Henri IV not far from the river Seine. It’s old — very old, and very quiet, and very charming and very well located.
Both apartments are for sale, one by the owner, one via an agency. One is a good-sized studio in what appears to be a 16th-century cottage that may have at one time housed the guardian of a ”hôtel particulier” (aristocrat’s town house) that sits next to it and the other is a cottage within a courtyard that is a house in itself, or what we would call a “maisonette.” Both are so charming you could scream – with original “tomette” tile floors and centuries-old beams that lie under false ceilings desperately needing to be exposed.
Properties like these, such rare finds, send me into a state of excitement…as I said, much like an excited child. Because of the age of the buildings, there is a sense of many lives to have passed through them and there’s something very comforting about that.
Many people who come to Paris say they can’t explain the feeling they get here – as if they’ve had ‘past lives’ in this city and immediately relate to it as if they’d known it their whole life. I was one of those people, having had several Tarot card readers and psychics tell me this was true. True or false, there is no doubt that I had an immediately affinity with the city that I’ve never been able to logically explain.
One of our clients who is particularly creative, sensitive and intuitive has very strong feelings about the city, and in particular, specific streets, both good and bad. I am convinced that perhaps her ‘past lives’ are talking to her now and (you may think I am nuts, but…) suggested she talk to a therapist who could do past life regression therapy. I’ve always wanted to do this myself, although never took the initiative. Perhaps I don’t really want to know and prefer to live in a kind of denial.
My own apartment has always had what I’d call “good vibes” — from the moment I stepped into it. Then, once when I had someone staying here while I was out of town, was told her friend had visited the apartment and recognized it as her aunt and uncle’s, he having been an immigrant dentist who saw patients in the living room! I confirmed it when finding their names on my title deed! Were those the vibes I was feeling!?
All of you skeptics out there are probably thinking about now that I’ve lost my mind, or that I’ve been crazy all along and just never showed it off to you. But I’m not the only one to feel or think this way about reincarnation. In fact, reincarnation (“where the soul or spirit, after the death of the body, is believed to return to live in a new human body, or, in some traditions, either as a human being, animal or plant” — Wikipedia) is central to many religions, including Hinduism, Jainism, Sikhism, Buddhism, Druidism and Judaism.
Author of The Alchemy of Healing, David Quigley recalls: “Another validation of past life memories occurs when we meet people who have shared our past life experiences and remember them the way we do. I had the disturbing experience of taking a client into trance and helping him recall a duel in Paris with an arrogant musketeer. I knew who he was fighting…me in a past life! Together we both described every detail of the scene, including our clothes, our weapons, the reason for the duel, and its outcome. He killed me. This is one of many such experiences I have had which has confirmed my belief in the reality of my own past lives.”
Do you believe you’ve had a past life in Paris? And if so, who were you? What do you remember specifically? We’d love to hear about your experiences!…and then maybe this will confirm I’m not so crazy after all?
A la prochaine…
Editor, Parler Paris
(Past Life in 1978)
P.S. While we’re thinking about our past lives, let’s think about our future lives, too, and plan to come to our next Parler Paris Après Midi on December 13th, where you will meet our illustrious Interior Architect and Designer, Martine di Mattéo when she talks about “How to Create the French Shabby Chic Style.” Visit Parler Paris Après Midi for more information.