Saturday, April 28, 2012

I was too tired to write last night as you may have noticed. This was bound to happen eventually. It stays light here until 9:45 PM so I usually don't get home until 8:30 or even 9. Yesterday had its interesting quirks. My guidebook described the Catacombes as the admin. center for the French Resistance ( as some of you know an area of supreme interest for me) so I had to go to see if it felt familiar, tho this was not a place I would generally visit. The French built a maize of tunnels deep underground (one descends a narrow winding staircase with 183 steep steps to get there)  long ago to serve as a great cemetery and moved the remains of dead Parisians from all over the city here. Long tunnels of walls of bones and skulls and endless twists and turns. And yes, it felt familiar. I was also quite glad to get out of there! I could feel the palpable fear there (not from the dead and not my own).
Then wandered around Montparnasse which was not wonderful. Wanted to eat at the restaurant favored by Hemingway and friends but it had become quite posh. I began to feel my first sense of urban burnout when I found myself in the lush, tree-filled beauty of Luxembourg Gardens and felt completely renewed. I realized I just have to stay away from the main avenues and walk on the side streets which are quiet and full of all kinds of charming buildings. Finished up at Sacre Coeur. Wherever I am, I am always drawn to this high point in the city, as are many I am sure. I sent all my love to the souls of the Resistance, incarnate or otherwise, and prayed they are free of whatever horrible trauma they incurred at that time at the hands of the Germans. I lit a candle for them and felt sweetly complete.
Outside the church, the equivalent of a huge party. Musicians playing at different levels of the steps and people just enjoying Friday night and the forever view from that place.     

I guess I finally got the photo thing figured out. Not too hard after all. This is the only photo of me on my camera, but Marjolaine has some and will send them when she gets home. She has a definitely superior camera.
Today was all magic. Rain rain rain but the light was beauteous. Started off at the Orangerie with more Impressionists plus Matisse and Derain and Redon. It was not too crowded so I could really hang out with each painting and sink into the brushstrokes and color. Bliss for me. The Orangerie has 2 huge water lily paintings donated by Monet. He asked that they be hung in round rooms painted white, to emphasize the relationship between the universal and  nature and create a place of meditation. I was blessed with a beautiful recognition of how his paintings reflect the thin "line" between the realm of Light and the realm of form. His forms are barely there, a soft dream of  Light. Color dissolving into Light and Light dreaming form and color. So wonderful. I was fairly ecstatic when I left! Then across the Seine in the pouring rain, on to lunch in the Left Bank and on to the Cluny, the medieval museum. I fell in love with the building itself as always with its endless sculpted detail, angels and cherubs and vines and flowers and vaulted ceilings. Beautiful tapestries, especially a whole room of unicorn tapestries. The lion and the unicorn as tamed playmates of the lovely lady and all sorts of other animals and birds at her beck and call. And the miraculously fine work from a book of hours. They must have painted and calligraphed with brushes with a single hair, as the Acoma Pueblo people do. 
Still raining so I revisited the Shakespeare bookstore, a decades old bookstore with books in English, where Hemingway, Joyce, Fitzgerald and others hung out, sometimes supported by its owner, Sylvia Beach. Still raining so I made a return visit to Notre Dame, just a few blocks away over the Seine.
Got stopped in my tracks by a place of prayer dedicated to Mary. What a spirit of sweetness was there. Closed my eyes and was present to her Light as it was abundantly there. Such intense sweetness, I had to weep. The service had started in the background with organ music and singing and I was transported through my heart and hers which were one in Light. I was there for quite awhile. I couldn't move. Came home wildy happy.  
Tomorrow more museums cos I have a 2-day museum pass.
Love to all of you, dear friends and my wonderful sister.   

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