Saturday, April 21, 2012

Bonjour, mes amis (et ma soeur), and thanks again for letting me know you are enjoying this. I do have photos but need to get home early enough to have the mental clarity to figure out how to insert them!
In the meantime, I have forgotten to share one of Paris' most special gifts. The food!! Oh la la. Every time I taste French food, I feel like Meryl Streep playing Julia Childs in Julie and Julia, exclaiming in ecstasy. The presentation, the creativity, the freshness and of course the tastes and all so healthy! I almost feel inspired to cook better when I get home, almost. . . And the restaurants themselves, so warm and elegant and asthetically pleasing at the same time. Beautiful dishes. The French cover everything with flowers. And I don't know where they got a reputation for grumpiness. Everyone is extremely cheerful, helpful and fun!
OK! Sunshine again, so we did some parks, starting with a big one, Bois de Bologne on the west side of Paris. Acres and acres of thick thick woods in spring green, two big lakes and flower beds that are like the most beautiful paintings I ever beheld. Nooks and hidden places that some gardener created in a state of ecstasy. A play rehearsal in the Shakespeare Garden. Artists playing music everywhere in Paris on Saturday. . .especially the metro.
Off to L'Eglise Madelaine, dedicated to Mary Magdelene. Apparently in France there is a general, if quiet, understanding that Jesus and Mary Magdelene married and had 2 children. So, the church has a huge sculpture of their wedding ceremony. . .and the scuplture on the main altar is of Mary (not Jesus) surrounded by angels and looking very pregnant. Who would have dreamed of such a wide acceptance of this idea? (I hope I am not offending anyone. . .) It was the first time I have ever walked into an old church/cathedral and been filled with joy immediately, undiluted by all the history in the place. Perhaps because it is filled with the feminine spirit and the spirit of love. As I sat there, I felt that Mary Magdelene was born as Christ's equal, the feminine aspect of Light and that she fled to France after his death not only to protect her children, but to protect the essence of his/their teachings, which was totally about love, the path of the heart, and of course finding the kingdom of heaven within. . . not about dogma
Then off to the Latin Quarter where hundreds (maybe thousands) of people were strolling, filling the cafes, talking and laughing. Then wandered along the Seine (I would be happy to see the river every day forever) as the light changed toward evening. So soft and glowing on the clouds and trees a nd buildings. I have no good words yet for the evening light, but it fills me with quiet joy.     

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