Originally posted by the same author on November 16, 2015. ALL THINGS PARIS. NOWADAYS.
That part of the RH advertisement gave me a way to indulge in soulful furniture, even at what cost.
The invoice posted 2015 November 13. The day RH delivered an artisan-crafted, Vintage French Fluted-Leg Extension dining table. A purchase —wooden furniture made from drifted, weathered oak.
“Timeless”, my daughter prodded me to buy them. Her love for Paris is reflected in her regal photographs and purchases from the city.
A framed evening shot of the Eiffel Tower displayed ostentatiously in a corner or our living room celebrates her precious work of art. On her 5th trip to Paris, she purchased mini-Eiffel Tower keychains, CDG (Charles de Gaulle airport) coasters, and crème-coloured, linen table napkins. All Paris in its essence.
Many of her book collections and Artiese dreamy, romantic, timeless photos were French-inspired. These are charms of grace and composure—a historical remnant of indulgence and perseverance.
But personally, my purchase was made by my sentiment that is attached to the dining table—the driftwood that breathes stories of ages unknown, a reclaimed remnant of fragments from nature.
And I remember Tatay, whose love for carpentry was equated with his passion for life. With his bare hands, he could sense the grain of the Philippine-grown Narra lumber from end-to-end; he revered the shaved wood for its bark’s furrows and grooves –graciously polished by wind and rainwater.
When I saw his impish smile, it was a growing pride in his own simple work of art. Hewn from massive timbers of narra, its exposed nicks and knots celebrate the wood’s earthy appeals.
The wood’s natural colour of yellowish brown came out polished and cultured.
“This wood is resilient to elements”, he acclaimed with pride. “It darkens with a fine shine upon extended exposure.”
During that early, impoverished, relentless time of earning a living, his work was about creating a legacy. “This furniture will outlive you…a classic for all time,” he added.
He embraced that sense of discovery in his creative pursuit. He would ask me to find the extraordinary in the ordinary, the new in the old.
He taught me the uncommon perspective of an unyielding drive to live happily. Years after, these lessons would allow me to see the possibilities and potential of any ordinary object: lessons about resilience with grace; and fortitude in battered spaces.
On the evening of the same date, November the 13th, it was announced around the world, in real-time, that Paris was under attack.
A repulsive news that devastated people who care about life.
Revolting with a putrid scent.
As of this writing, 3 days after the gruesome mass murder, its death toll stands at 160—incidental people were murdered– victims of savage thoughts, idealistic presumptions, and darkened perspectives. Hundreds still injured; 150 specialized counterterrorism raids across France; thousands of people making their comments on social media and showing their support by sympathetically changing their FB profile with Paris tricolour flag of blue, white, and red.
I can only sympathize. The history’s natural course of a vicious cycle of war and peace will never end. Domino effects of blind, blinding, blinded ideologies. ..
I still dream of visiting Paris’ charm with or without the threat of terrorism.
I still nurture the American dream of progress and economic evolution.
Because I am here living the Canadian dream of peace and fortitude.
Paris and the world will, however, overcome this prophesied timeline…
My father was right when he talked about his narra furniture. While he gave it to me as his legacy, he said “…this is resilient to elements. It darkens with a fine shine upon extended exposure.” It must be an aphorism for fortitude.
This Fall season, days grow shorter, but looking past the dim sky of clouds, I still see the world in a new and inspired light. I am at peace with the world. Even as I daily tune in on CNN and CBC, and gorging on their “real” news and a few perceptions, I am not consumed by worries and grief.
For inside the Church of Christ, there is peace and hope. Our membership in this true church fosters my faith and my hope of salvation.
Come what may.
We will stand our ground with graceful resilience; breathe fortitude in battered spaces and peaceful even at the noisy edge. Like my father’s narra.