Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Bonjour, mes amis!
Thanks to those of you who have let me know you are enjoying this, because it is a discipline to write regularly. On the other hand, it helps me remember what I am doing.
Yesterday, we spent more time contemplating with the French queens in Jardin du Luxembourg. Quite fun! Then lunch (alas, the first failure in French food. . .kinda yucky). Kathryn & I went to explore Montmartre in a more thorough way, following the guidebook instructions for a change. We found Van Gogh's Paris residence. . .the one he shared with his brother. An interesting neighborhood. Sleaze mixed with an art energy that holds on. This was the same block where the first cancan place existed and the famous Chat Noir, artist hangout. The buildings were beautifully preserved and maintained: the intricately carved balconies with potted geraniums, big windows, leafy streets winding upwards always beckoning you to explore and explore. One could feel what a thoroughly social and delightful place it was to live at the time of Van Gogh.
Climbing and zigzagging upwards towards the magnificent heights of Sacre Coeur, we found more enchanting places. . .Place d'Abesses, a cobblestone enclave with merry-go-round and the only Art Nouveau  church in Paris (maybe anywhere), a whole new take on stained glass. Rosetti in stained glass. Kathryn had a wonderful communion there with St. Theresa de Lisieux, whom she prayed to as a child. Winding and climbing more through cobblestone streets and gardens, we came to a magical spot, where Picasso and others (Modigliani and others) had their studios, many in this one building that was designed like a rabbit warren.  Fabulous views of the city there and such a sweet feeling. Around the corner, more 19th century studios. What a wonderful feeling this area has. The center is a cobblestone circle, with maple trees scattered throughout. Around one more corner, and we came to the home of Erik Satie. What fun it must have been to have all these brilliant beings as neighbors!
Finally, to Sacre Coeur, which continues to feel like home base for me in Paris. It feels like being held in God's heart when I am there. And with that strength, I go out into the world and bring that love with me to share.
Finally, an evening boat ride on the Seine, and watching the lights ofParis come on, a magical time of day, light on the buildings, light on the water, dancing, the Eiffel Tower all lit up sending its beacons over the city.
Sorry I can't seem to transfer the photos here. . .

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