Welcome to Cal's Cosmos

Allow me to roll out the red carpet and usher you into my world--the world of writing. I am a blessed man; a man blessed with the enjoyment of creating worlds on a lifeless sheet of paper or a blank computer screen.

You'll find many things at Cal's Cosmos: information about my long and passionate love affair with writing, my views on literature, my musical heritage and thoughts on current events.

Please, come back often to see what's happenin' on Cal's Cosmos.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Christmas in Paris --

Christmas in Paris is a unique experience. I'm sure you've realized by now that I carry a strong degree of partiality regarding anything Parisian. I call Paris the birthplace of my soul as a black man. I first went there in the late fifties while serving in the Army in Germany. Paris was a place where I could eat or drink at a cafe table next to a white person. A place where I was looked upon as an equal-- a rarity in that time period.

During my year in Paris, in '68-69, I spent hours with my nose pressed against the windows, taking in the bright lights and various Christmas ornaments as if the decorations were painted by Picasso's brush. I can no longer think of Christmas without thinking of Galleries Lafayette, an exclusive department store in an old opera house. Its architecture takes one's breath away. The stained glass dome rises above floors lined with gilded banisters around its balcony walkways. The day I took Vonnie there, she just stood, gazing up at the spectacle. "It's beyond beautiful," she whispered, as if in awe of the sight.

Parisians gather outside store windows to gawk and praise the artistry and imagination used. Women in long wool coats, scarves draped stylishly around their necks, wearing heels--always high heels--speak their lilting, rapid-fire French. A Frenchman or Frenchwoman would never be caught on the streets in sweatpants or baggie jeans or, God forbid, white sneakers. That's just so American, after all.

As in my beloved USA, the French President throws the switch on the Christmas lights decorating the cherished Champs-Elysees. This tradition is also hailed with cheers and clapping as is the lighting of the Nation's Christmas Tree in DC.

Christmas is the time we celebrate the birth of The Light of the World in Bethlehem so many years ago. How apt that lights are one of the most popular decorative items used. The symbolism is most effective.

Yes, Christms in Paris is an experience. For Paris is one of those cities that wears her year-round charm like a bright silk scarf. No wonder she lives up to her nickname: The City of Lights.

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