The hardest thing to convey is how lovely it all is and how that loveliness seems all you need. The ghosts that haunted you in New York or Pittsburgh will haunt you anywhere you go, because they’re your ghosts and the house they haunt is you. But they become disconcerted, shaken confused for half a minute, and in that moment on a December at four o’clock when you’re walking from the bus stop to the rue Saint-Dominique and the lights are twinkling across the river — only twinkling in the bateaux mouches, luring the tourists, but stil … — you feel as if you’ve escaped your ghosts if only because, being you, they’re transfixed looking at the lights in the trees on the other bank, too, which they haven’t seen before, either.

It’s true that you can’t run away from yourself. But we were right: you can run away.

Adam Gopnik, from his book Paris to the Moon, a memoir of living  a few years with his family in the most beautiful city on earth

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