Bon Jour… Today I need you help finding a certain Frenchman in Paris, France.
When I traveled to Paris and the South of France in January of 2018 for my first time, I had one of those quissential Parisian moments with a handsome artist named Jonas. I met him as I walked from the Sacre Coeur steps down the cobblestone lane to the square where artists roam offering to paint your portrait. This is the famous Place du Tertre where Picasso, Renoir, Chagall and Monet sat up their easels in the 1920s and lived nearby. Located in the Montmartre District of Paris. I did not know what to expect, as an artist I was just interested in hanging out with some other artists and experiencing the joie de vivre.
Flash forward two years to today, Christmas time in the cold San Francisco Peninsula where I write this by the lights of the blinking Christmas tree. I am reading this great book called 7 Letters from Paris: A Memoir, by Samantha Verant. Loving all things Paris, I highly recommend this story to you. The main character, Sam, meets Jean-Luc in a Paris cafe and spends one night and day exploring Paris, falling in love. He writes her seven love letters begging her to write back, but upon her return to the United States, she ignores them as she is not sure what to say, and believes she will never see him again.
20 years later she is going through a divorce and remembers the letters. She digs them out of a boxed envelope and posts them on her blog with her story, to find Jean-Luc and reconnect. I won’t spoil the story any further. But this gave me an idea. If you are a faithful reader of my blog, you will know that God has promised me a French husband, my first, who I hoped to meet on my trip two years ago. All I knew was he was an artist, and perhaps lived in the South of France.
Enter Jonas. A tall, handsome man, with a cap on his head and a tight jacket against the 40 degree winter weather. He had his scarf tied in such a way that only a Frenchman could do! As I passed him on the cobblestones, he called out to me, “Madame, you have such beautiful light in your eyes, may I draw them?” I smiled at him.
“I am sorry, monsieur, but I already had my portrait painted and have only lunch money left, and I am very hungry.”
“I will do it for free, I want to capture the light in your beautiful eyes.”
Knowing this would cost me money, I laughed and agreed. My stomach could wait.
Jonas sketched my eyes, then full face, in brown charcoal as we talked. I asked him how he felt working in this famous square as an artist with those famous before him.
“When I reach way down into my soul and think about it, it stirs me and is very fulfilling”
“You are very lucky to be here and I am blessed to have you draw me.” I peeked over his paper and he pulled it away from my eyes.
He admired my all purple outfit and said, “You won’t find anything in this color here in Paris. Maybe a soft pink in the spring.”
“Yes, I see that all the clothing in the stores is black, brown or gray. I dress in the colors I paint.” We spoke some more about his art, then my art, which I showed him on my iPhone, and when he was done, he leaned over and kissed me on the cheek. I was pleasantly stunned!
“Here, in Paris, we kiss four times,” he said, and he proceeded to kiss me on each cheek. I blushed while a huge grin spread on my face. I almost fainted on the cobblestones. His kisses were so passionate, like none I had experienced. I was spellbound.
“May I take our picture to remember you by?” He agreed. A passerby snapped the picture with the Sacre Coeur church in the background. He looked expectantly at me. I wanted to ask for his card, but my thoughts raced through my head. I am leaving tomorrow early to travel by train to the south. We would only have tonight and I must pack. If I see him, I know I will want to have an affair with him, as I know French men are the best lovers. What if he is just a typical Frenchman looking to pick up the easy American woman? Oh, Lord, help me remain faithful to you and the man you have promised me.
“Jonas, I will remember you and this day forever, but I must say goodbye. Disappointment registered on his face. “Au Revoir Jonas.” I slowly turned away.
“Au Revoir, Miriam.”
So you see, I, too, want to reconnect with Jonas like in the story, who may indeed be that promised one I left behind. I have searched the internet and cannot find him, only a mention of another portrait by a customer of his. I do not know his last name. He has shown his art through many venues in Paris, including galleries.
If you believe in second chances, will you help me by clicking LIKE and SHARE this post to your Facebook friends and other social media contacts? Share with your French/European friends? Share with any media/press contacts? Let’s see this blog post go viral around the world back to that little cobblestone square in Montmartre, Paris, where the girl with the light in her eyes remembers his kisses.
Merci mon amis-
Reach me at: Miriam Sarzotti
Message me on Facebook, Miriam Sarzotti Author and Artist
I live in San Carlos on the San Franciscan Peninsula and hang out at Peets Coffee.
on Laurel Street. 650 454 4210