“A Dream Collides with Reality”
There are many defining experiences in life that change us forever, as
if cells in the body sickle or as if a sickle cell becomes whole again.
The magnitude of the experience rocks our world, and forever becomes the
staff by which all other experiences are measured.
The Bible says that hope deferred makes the heart sick, right? Here’s
an exposition of Proverbs 13:12: “Hope deferred makes the heart
sick…. That is, at least if it is delayed any length of time, the mind
becomes uneasy, the heart sinks and fails, and the man is dispirited and
ready to despond and give up all hope of enjoying the desired blessing;
whether it be deliverance from any, or the possession of any good”.
Putting your dreams on the back-burner, so to speak, while you contend
with life can make the heart sick, if you yield to the disappointment.
The secret of survival is to keep stoking the fires of your dream;
keeping hope alive!
Stoke the fire, so that in the midst of tears and often perplexing
happenstance, the metamorphosis can begin; a metamorphosis from
hopelessness to solid belief that God will grant your deepest desire.
Eyes wide open; or wide shut? Hopefully, eyes wide open to Grace!
That one factor of the human condition, eyes wide open or wide shut to
the miracle working power of God will determine whether life is
uplifted, or whether the deferred experience places a shroud of
uncertainty over your confidence forever?
The faith to believe that one day, after childbirth, after working to
support the family growth and development for so many years; all those
things you desired to do so many, many, years ago will someday come to
pass; and your heart will still hold the flaming desire to touch that
thing when it ar-rives!
Well, I have kept my dream alive and well, and it is now time to board
the plane that will spirit me away to the place of destiny here on
My attention has turned to preparations for the trip, and once again
there’s pause for contemplation and even dare I say, something akin to
The French, I’ve heard, can give you a magnitude six earthquake
experience, that will shake your foundation and test your personal
confidence level like none other!
How you dress; how you speak; how you enter a room, things you’ve
instinctively pulled off daily for years will be suddenly tested, unless
your language skills are beyond par and the French accent comes natural
Reminiscent of a finishing school, people on the internet admonished
Americans travelling to Paris on the etiquette of what not to wear; and
more specifically what you must wear to impress.
The “not to wears” far outweigh the positives: for example: not to
wear certain distinctly American articles of clothing, such as shorts
and T-shirts (especially with slogans and little vignettes written on
them); not to wear white sneakers or any sneakers for that matter; to
always wear a scarf which makes one instantly more sophisticated.
There were further admonishments that Americans often enter a room
without speaking a greeting or even catching the eye of the proprietor
to acknowledge his or her presence before beginning to shop.
That same American more often than not would leave the store without a
simple au revoir!
This proclivity towards entering and leaving a room without a greeting
is considered the height of rude and adds to the ill will sometimes
displayed towards Americans.
Well, there’s another internet article that lifts the height of
perceived snobbery to a new high; indicating that Parisians, once you
establish by your shabby French that you have only a rudimentary
knowledge of the language, will forever speak to you in English because
the sound of you butchering their precious French is too much to bear.
Confusion enters the mind: Do I speak French to show I’m friendly; or
do I assume everyone speaks English and risk an affront?
I have noticed down through the years that people from other countries,
with native tongues other than English have a tendency to demand more of
us than of themselves.
While stationed in Germany, I worked daily with German citizens on the
Air Base who routinely butchered the English language, but communicated
nonetheless. I did not admonish them!
Later, in Spain, the same thing, they tried hard to learn and speak
English as a second language, but for many this seemed impossible; again
I displayed the patience of Job.
I’ve noticed that Americans never seem to stop non-English speakers in
mid- sentence to correct grammatical mistakes. This is my experience
while travelling the world; others might see it quite differently.
Often, when speaking with my husband, I’ve asked that question, If
I’m understood, why the need to correct not only my pronunciation, but
Hopefully, the French will be kinder to me on this trip, and allow me to
live out my fantasy of speaking the language I love. As for my wardrobe,
the indecision that now plagues me concerning what is chic and what will
be considered droll; has brought my packing to a dead halt!
All the while, my suitcase for this trip waits patiently for me to put
something into it!
This long awaited voyage will be made in the month of August, the summer
period in France, where they say the majority of Parisians flee the city
and leave it to the tourists.
So, should I risk packing my Capri pants, together with my sleeveless
shirts or even my Nike casuals?
The suitcase is giving off a vibe right now, seemingly nudging me
towards long pants and big girl blouses with sleeves; and what harm can
it do to pack a few scarves to set the world aright?
I decide to go for the latter, but to roll a few ultra -casual things in
for at least walking about the hotel.
The sheer magnitude of this fast approaching adventure has taken hold of
my 24/7 thinking. Imagine a little girl, from the southern town called
Rome, Georgia that did indeed sit romantically upon seven hills like the
famed Rome Italy, ending up travelling to Paris.
Excerpted from "Paris Mon Amour" by Cynthia Inniss. Copyright © 2015 by Cynthia Inniss. Excerpted by permission. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher. Excerpts are provided solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.