Monday, March 23, 2009
Going for the Brass Ring
A couple of people have told me that my blog reminds them of Adam Gopnik's lovely memoir, Paris to the Moon. It's an incredible compliment although it probably has to do more with the common subject matter than my writing skills. At any rate, one of the scenes that stands out in my mind from that book was his description of his young son riding the carousel in the Luxembourg Gardens. At first, the little boy is too small to wield a baton to catch the brass rings on each pass. And then at the close, when it's time to return to the U.S. and the father is already nostalgic for his Paris days, he finds that his son has grown; he catches the rings almost without effort. It's a sweet vignette, both wistful and proud.
My kids are much too old for the carousel, too bad because there are plenty of them here in Paris, lovely affairs with elaborately painted animals and panoramas from another era. The other day, we saw this group riding the horses at the Jardin de Ranelagh. The carousel there is sufficiently small that it goes round without a motor. The man who runs it just gives it a good push every now and then, and otherwise helps the little ones hold the batons so they can feel as important as the big kids. If only life were so simple.