3 days in Lyon


Reflecting about momentarily falling out of love and lack of inspiration.

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Lyon, France - Rainy sunset on Saint-Georges
Lyon, France – Rainy sunset on Saint-Georges

In early October, my brother came back to France from Belgium, and stopped by Lyon to visit my father. It was the perfect opportunity for me to take a three-day weekend and go back to my family home and enjoy the beginning of Autumn there.

As always when I go back to my hometown, I take most of my photography gear with me in hope of capturing some beautiful moments and share them on the web. However, quite surprisingly, I couldn’t find any inspiration on the first morning I spent in Lyon. I must say I was pretty tired : I had slept in a not-so-comfy sofa the night before (despite my being 6″4 only, I don’t fit in every sofa), I had had a long and tiring working week, and to top it all, the weather was to windy for the rivers to be calm enough to create any reflections. So I just took one “uninspired” picture while crossing Place des Terreaux (see below), and then went home with some croissants and pains au chocolat et à la frangipane (almond cream) to thank my sister and her friend for hosting me.

Quite honestly, this uninspired and almost sad stroll in Lyon reminded me of the time when I left it for Paris : at the time, I just couldn’t see anymore the cheerful city I see almost every time I come back there since I’ve settled down in Paris. And yet, it is really a beautiful city that I love and that deserves to be loved. But there are some times you just forget about why you love some things, and you can’t do anything about it.

Quite interestingly, I had the opposite experience lately. Some days ago, I went to Boulogne-Billancourt to meet a client whose offices are one street aways from where I used to live. I remember I never really liked Boulogne-Billancourt, and always said it to whomever was not too bored yet to hear it. However, while I was on my way to my meeting, and as I just walked past the entrance of what used to be my home, which was bordered with colorful trees, a lot of good memories came back to me, and I found myself missing the city a lot. I have some great memories there, and I guess they’ll never leave the city now.

As I grow older, I tend to realise how tricky my feelings can be. It’s quite awful how I can momentarily forget about what I love in something, and then realise later I’ve made a mistake. Or how I can ignore how lucky I am to be in a certain situation, and then later regret it when it’s gone. But fortunately, I can learn from my past mistakes, and become better at recognizing what turn out to be fleeting feelings.

On the day I left Lyon, the weather was far from great : it was windy, cloudy, and it sometimes rained hard for ten to twenty minutes. But I didn’t want to leave the city with just one “uninspired” picture. So I took the time to walk across the city again, fill my eyes with curiosity once more, and inspiration came back to me. I didn’t find any new place to photograph. Actually, I took pictures of places I’m used to photographing. Yet, I felt I didn’t want to leave the city again. Sometimes, it doesn’t take that much to bring back that little sparkle in your eyes !