Rushing to Godot

Lounging by the Seine, Paris, Photograph by Nichole Robertson

Lounging by the Seine, Paris, Photograph by Nichole Robertson

Lounging by the Seine, Paris, Photograph by Nichole Robertson

Lounging by the Seine, Paris, Photograph by Nichole Robertson

People in Paris lounge, and they lounge well. They remove shoes and socks, shed cares and settle in. In New York, people often have one foot off the grass and back in the office. That momentary respite on a bench in Bryant Park or on a blanket in Central Park feels temporary – phones remain in hands, eyes wide open and settled on screens.

In Paris, people close their eyes, fall asleep and make out. A lot.

I hate to admit it, but as much as I want to adopt a Parisian lounge attitude, I can’t. It’s not because I haven’t tried. I’ve often shop-hopped and bought cheese and bread for an imagined half day picnic – determined to enjoy hours of unstructured time. But an hour later, I’m restless, and this vague sense of “let’s go” pulls me to my feet. It’s absurd, because I want to sit, yet feel compelled to go.

It’s the opposite of Waiting for Godot. It’s Rushing to Godot:

“Let’s sit.” 

“Yes. Let’s sit” 

They go.

Are there any professional loungers out there? What’s your secret?

9 Comments

  1. Sara
    March 13, 2014

    I know the feeling! I love relaxing, but I get so restless and feel a bunch of should’s pulling me away from my lounging. Oh to be Parisian!

    Reply
  2. Nichole
    March 13, 2014

    Sara –

    Maybe some day it will rub off on me. ;)

    Reply
  3. Dulce
    March 14, 2014

    Yesterday someone shared with me this little story.
    There was a king and a wise man. The king was complaining because there were more people who went to visit the wise man than him -who was the KING-. So one day he asked to one of his man what the wise man was making different, so the man said that he would find out. The next day, the man reported that the wise man wasn’t doing anything different than the king.
    Confused, the king went to see the wise man, and ask him, “Why people came to see you more than they went to see me?”
    The Wise man said, well my king, when i wake up (and stretching his hands) I Wake Up, when you wake up, you think.
    When I’m eating (mmmmm he said) I eat.
    When you eat, you are thinking
    When someone came to be with me, I’m with that person
    When someone went to see you, you think.
    When I’m going to sleep (uhhhh) I go to sleep
    When you go to sleep, you keep thinking.
    For that my king, we do everything different.

    When I heard it, i couldn’t help but smile, because even when you’re trying to let go, you are thinking “i’m going to let go”.

    Reply
    • Nichole
      March 14, 2014

      Yes. It’s hard to be in the moment, when you are thinking about trying to be in the moment. ;)

      Reply
  4. Rebecca Plotnick
    March 14, 2014

    I am fascinated by this as well! I tried so hard to “master the sit” this time around. I did better at cafes than last year. Hopefully next time I can picnic for longer too. Its all a work in progress…

    Reply
    • Nichole
      March 14, 2014

      Rebecca –

      I keep trying as well. Baby steps, I guess. I am truly inspired by those who can really lounge, let their minds wander and let go. It’s something I’ve been working on for a long time.

      Reply
  5. erin
    April 1, 2014

    Oh, I completely agree with you. I’m always bringing a notebook with me so I can sit in a park and sketch and write and relax, but it very rarely happens. I’m usually too hyper or something!

    Reply
  6. Five months in: the pros and cons — Ivory Pomegranate
    April 4, 2014

    […] Another pro – It’s not always so rainy. Sometimes it’s beautiful and warm and the whole city goes to Graslei and sits along the canal, lounging in a way that only Europeans can. […]

    Reply
  7. Hedgerow Rose
    April 29, 2014

    Funnily enough, I’ve only visited Paris once but my memories are of a lot of people lounging about and making out. Ah, France.
    I’m with you, though, I always have this “OK what’s next” feeling and as much as I try I can’t just settle in.

    Reply

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