I am back from Paris, an amazing trip. It has taken me a week to be able to write about it; first, because I've been busy with my baby daughter's college graduation and surprise (!) bridal shower. Second, because I needed my thoughts to stop fluttering around in my snow globe head and to settle.
I won't bore you with every place I visited; surely you know Paris has many sights to see. I will tell you that my two favorites were the palatine chapel, Sainte Chappelle and Monet's water lilies at the Musee de l'Orangerie.
The upper chapel of Sainte Chapelle is a room that is completely surrounded in stained glass - floor to ceiling, 360 degrees around. It was commissioned by Louis IX, the King of France, to house the crown of thorns and a fragment of the True Cross, which he purchased in the 13th century for a vast sum. When I stood in this room, it felt something like being inside a Tiffany lamp. The colored light was everywhere. I imagined what it must have felt like for Louie IX to go there and ponder great decisions.
The water lilies are almost completely abstract versions of dawn and dusk views of Monet's garden at Giverny: the reflection of trees and clouds on water. The magnitude of these paintings is daunting: six and a half feet tall and curved to arc completely around each of two rooms. I walked around each chamber, stopping to look at the view from various perspectives and, as countless others have, imagined I was seeing Monet's world through his eyes. I'm not exaggerating when I say that it was such an experience that I was dizzy from the realization of the masterful accomplishment. I assure you that once you enter the cool twilight of these impressions of garden ponds at Giverny, you will not ever want to leave.
More to come...