Paris, Rue de Réaumur : Finding inspiration


Trying to solve an inspiration shortage in the streets of Paris on a late Summer evening.


Paris, France : Rue de Réaumur at sunset
Paris, France : Rue de Réaumur at sunset

I have spent almost a month without taking any picture between mid-July and mid-August. Call it a breakdown of inspiration, maybe. All I know is that it couldn’t go on that way any longer. So I did as I always do when in lack of inspiration : wait for the rain to come, and get out at sunset with your camera in hands in the streets of Paris.

I’ve noticed it often happens when something’s on my mind. And there’s been a lot on my mind lately. Actually, I’d say a bit too much for me to cope correctly. So much so that even when I visited London with a friend I think of as the funniest and wittiest person I have the opportunity to get along with, I just couldn’t take a picture of the city (well, the weather was far from great, to be fair, but I loved London anyway).

It disturbed me quite a lot to be photographically mute all of a sudden. It happens, as said before, but one month, especially in July, is a bit too long. So on the 31st day without any picture, I decided enough was enough and went out with my camera to take some pictures, whatever would come to me.

I first walked from Nation to Bastille, and then from Bastille to République, without taking any picture. I was about to give up when I chanced upon a puddle that could do the trick. I took a picture, and tadaaaa, I had my first picture in the box! Generally, the first picture is the hardest to take for me. Once I’ve taken it, I’m able to take other pictures more easily. A bit like when you pick mushrooms : once you’ve found one, there’s no patch of green moss that could hide a mushroom from your sight.

Paris, France - Rue du Caire at sunset
Paris, France – Rue du Caire at sunset

So I walked down Rue Réaumur, with my camera in hand, taking pictures here and there. It’s really a nice street where you can take beautiful pictures at sunrise as well as at sunset. With its elegant Hausmannian buildings, it’s one of the prettiest streets to walk along if you want to go from Place de la République to Opéra.

The next day, I did the same, and this time took some photos near Saint-Augustin, a church that’s always intrigued me with it enormous dome sitting upon its narrow nave, and then near Rue de Rivoli, which is the most famous street of Paris, yet a bit too touristic to my tastes. Come to think of it, after having visited London, Paris really has a lot for it, when it comes to sightseeing.

I guess I needed those excursions to sort things out. Inspiration breakdowns generally come when you’ve got too much bothering you, so that you can’t let your mind wander freely and discover new things. It’s been a tough month, and I’ve been pondering over too many things. I guess I’m afraid to love someone new, to live again, to follow my dreams at last. I’ve turned 30 in July, and it’s time I lived my life. And follow my inspiration.

8 thoughts on “Paris, Rue de Réaumur : Finding inspiration

    1. Thank you ! Maybe I just needed a pause. Anyway, it was quite satisfying to feel that grin coming back to my face again as I took my first photos after weeks of inspiration shortage 🙂

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  1. Happy belated 30th birthday, Pierre! I am truly sorry that life has been weighing so heavily on your mind (and I understand a little bit, if maybe for different reasons). But hats off to you for saying “enough” and going outside to LOOK for some photos! Joseph Joubert wrote that, “You will find poetry nowhere unless you bring some of it with you.” And clearly you are still carrying that poetry with you, even if you may have temporarily felt like it abandoned you. Thank you for this beautiful and inspiring post. Perhaps you will succeed in helping this friend across the Atlantic get “unstuck” as well!

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    1. Thank you, Heide ! I like that quote. It’s a bit like “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder”. We’re the ones who make sense of things. Or rather, things have many meanings, but you’re the one who chooses to see one meaning rather than the other. Or you can try to see all the meanings, also, but it’s difficult and you can sometimes fall into the trap of thinking all is meaningless by trying to do so. Anyway, as long as you’re able to smile at the tiniest common thing and yet smile and think “Isn’t it great in itself?”, I guess you still have that poetry.

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  2. Beautiful work! I’m glad you got out and got started. The time around 30 yrs old can be so hard and is often a time of big changes. Try not to get in your own way, if you know what I mean. Take that energy you used to get yourself back to taking pictures and keep going with it, in more parts of your life. I hope that makes sense, and I don’t mean to be obnoxious! 😉

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    1. Thank you ! I understand what you mean, I guess. It’s easy sometimes to stop and ramble too much about the past, and forget there’s a long way awaiting you, if only you make a step, and another, and another, and so on. And that by going on, you may trade your bag full of regrets with a bag full of things to be remembered.

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