City lights

//City lights

City lights

Out and about in Paris these past two days, joining the flow of humanity along crowded boulevards.
This « holiday » time instills a particular energy in the activity of the city, everyone out seeking, with an eye to buy, although mostly they are not buying for themselves. How extraordinary! All this commercial frenzy so that people can offer gifts to someone else!
Under the glittering, luminous spectacle of the « Grands Magasins » here, the sidewalks were packed last night. I watched the people watching the lights, a display that is at once modern – powered by electricity – and ancient, timeless — a human fascination with light in darkness.
Something about the scene touched my heart, something pure and unknowing that transcends the mercantile mania. As if we are by nature drawn to light, to the awakened aspect of our being.
Even if that wasn’t what the crowds were « watching » last night…

By | 2015-10-02T15:51:31+01:00 décembre 11th, 2011|Textes|3 Comments

About the Author:

Enseignante Zen et poète, Sensei Amy “Tu es cela” Hollowell est née et a grandi à Minneapolis, aux Etats-Unis. Arrivée en France en 1981 pour étudier la littérature et l’histoire, elle y est restée, s’installant à Paris, où elle élève ses deux enfants et gagne sa vie en tant que journaliste. The Zen teacher and poet Amy “Tu es cela” Hollowell Sensei was born and raised in Minneapolis, but came to France in 1981 to study literature and history and has lived in Paris ever since, raising her two children and making a living as a journalist.


  1. litle lake 17 décembre 2011 at 20 h 42 min - Reply

    25 years ago i buyed a very good Nikon with the ambition to make pictures of what i saw. I tryed one vacation in Venice. Not one photo was what i had seen… I have a good visual memory. And in 2 weeks i realised as good as my technique could become it would always be a lie – a lie to capture "the truth"…

    Even more i hated to take them. As if it stood between me and what was there. I felt i had "not been there". So the Nikon ended extremely soon in a beautifull "armoir" in the livingroom – were for me from then it belonged.

    And even when my visual memory is good – images fade – they disapear quietly –
    – and that is exactly how it is supposed to be – making space – for the unknown

  2. Tu es cela 14 décembre 2011 at 11 h 31 min - Reply

    yes, trying to "grab" the sun going down with a camera is a reflection of our desire to "grab" the moment in all its many forms and in an infinite number of ways.
    but it is a "lost cause," as we say, for the sun can never be "grabbed," it just keeps on escaping. fortunately, because if it stopped escaping, our life would stop, too.
    taking pictures, we often miss the moment that we were seeking to fix as an image. too bad.
    that said, photography is a beautiful illusion, a marvelous art, that can powerfully remind us of the magnificent impermanence of all things.

  3. Hugo 14 décembre 2011 at 6 h 11 min - Reply

    have been thinking also on that a few times regarding our attraction to see the sunset. the other day was sharing this moment with many others in luang prabang, laos, and thinking how wonderful that we still, after so many centuries, stop to witness the light going down, the sun saying goodbye. but also at the same time all were trying to grab that moment with their super potent photo cameras. can we grab the moment? can we grab that sun? the next day there is another chance at least to try.

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