I’ve always dreamed of visiting a french Flea Market , so when I went to Paris last month, I made sure to save an afternoon and go to the Marché Aux puces de Saint-Ouen because of my fascination for old, vintage items and my natural curiosity to find out about the history behind objects.
It was a cold raining day in Paris, the gray sky was the ideal backdrop to the colorful display of items, some hanging outside the stores, some peaking outside sitting on tables.
As I started to walk around, completely fascinated with all the beautiful, rusty, unclaimed and forgotten things, most quietly hiding so many stories of love, despair, tragedies and misfortune, I began to wonder: Can objects be the carrier of stories, like a time capsule? When someone purchase them, are they aware of the lifetime of moments they have witness ?
A beautiful vintage kimono hanged on a textile stand. Who was the lady that first owned it? Did she love that piece so much that she kept it and worn it only for special occasions such as when her lover came to visit? Or was it an ordinary piece that wrap her tired body after hours of work , when she sat quietly in her room, lonely, watching the streets of Paris and dreaming of a romantic future?
So many beads, faux jewelry, pocket clocks, odd objects … where did they come from ? Who owned them ? How did those ended up here ? So many questions had my curiosity racing.
There was such a mixed display of intriguing things. Paintings done by artists who never made it to stardom. Silverware that passed by many family generations, careful cared by maids. Antique furniture that was once part of a household daily use. Timeless pieces and fragments of history.
And then more and more intriguing objects … pipes, old photographs and books, broken dolls and lamps sitting on tiny stores that looked like from a old book . All surrounded by a mysterious energy.
The afternoon went by fast. There was a sad moment of realization that most of my questions were to be left unanswered. I was totally in peace with that .
The sense of gratitude of visiting this place was overwhelming and to have emerged myself in so much history , in search of stories had fed my inner child for now. My curiosity was tamed and my eyes were full of beauty.