Still More Evanescent: Paris Day Trip

Today self and her niece Irene went on a one-day tour to Chateau de Vaux-le-Vicomte and Chateau de Fontainebleau. The guide’s name was Laurence: she was great.

Chateau de Vaux-le-Vicomte came first. OMG, that estate is just fabulous. It’s privately owned. The main buildings are open to the public; no sign of the family that owns the place, but hey, imagine giving birthday parties there! Must be soooo fun!

At some time in its fabulous past, the estate was in the hands of the same family for eight generations. The last heir murdered his wife so he could be with his mistress, was convicted and imprisoned, and committed suicide in his cell, a year later. Payback’s a bitch!

His chef invented the praline.

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A Photo Shoot Was Happening at the 17th Century Chateau de Vaux-le-Vicomte! Self was so woke!

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Windows, Chateau de Vaux-le-Vicomte

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More Windows at Chateau de Vaux-le-Vicomte: Self took so many pictures there that by the time the tour arrived at Fontainebleau, her camera battery was exhausted. Ugh!!!

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Other Takes on ‘Evanescent’

“One day they’ll be painted over, completely erased . . . “

— Krista Stevens, explaining this week’s Photo Challenge on The Daily Post

The evanescent is powerful: whether it’s a fleeting moment of sunshine in London, or the moment just before the seeds of a dandelion are scattered by the wind, or the delicacy of woodland fungi, or a collection of bird shots, or a moment when sun pierces the cloud cover around Aoraki/Mount Cook, or a 10-year-old photo of New York’s Grand Central, one never forgets the moment that is captured.

Hats off to these six bloggers:

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

More Evanescent: Big Bus Tour of Paris Great Moments

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Heritage 3: Lunch in the Tuileries

It was a gorgeous day!

Self strolled down the Champs-Elysees. She saw a shrine on the sidewalk, draped with French flags and flowers. Oh. So that’s where the policeman was shot.

She bought a salad from a brasserie and decided to eat in the Tuileries, right in front of the Musee L’Orangerie (where the Monets are) but she did not bother lining up for a ticket. She hates lines.

Instead, she sat outside, watching people:

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The Tuileries, Monday Afternoon: Is that a Brancusi? Or a Picasso? Or a Henry Moore?

The wide avenues were alive with strollers, and the trees were so green:

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And guess what she saw, over on the other side of the Place de la Concorde:

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Iconic: 22 May 2017

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Heritage 2: Film Maven, Paris While Cannes

Self was last here in 2012.  She’s declined every opportunity to return, until now.

Look what she encountered around the corner: a film festival running in conjunction with Cannes. The movies are in English, with French subtitles. Perfect.

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Her Dear Departed Dad worshipped Orson Welles, and movies in general. He passed on this HERITAGE to self.

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Self didn’t know until today that it is the 70th anniversary of the Cannes Film Festival:

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Self is a film nut. She takes advantage of every opportunity to attend film festivals, wherever in the world she happens to be: Edinburgh; Ojai, California; Cork, Ireland; Palo Alto; San Francisco.

One day, perhaps, she’ll write a script based on one of her stories.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

More Reflecting: Seeing “Mayerling” Last Night

The Daily Post Photo Challenge this week is REFLECTING.

Can self just say she arrived sick and barely able to keep upright. But damn — the Royal Opera House!

Seeing it for the first time was — awesome.

Plus, the adjoining bar/restaurant: All that glass! All that light!

Perfect for this week’s Photo Challenge!

Before the start of the ballet, self dashed to the bar to order some hot tea. She wound up sharing a table with an American woman, a ballet aficionado who has season tickets to the New York City Ballet and watches “thirty ballets a year. At least.” Self confided that she wasn’t feeling well and might leave during one of the intermissions.

And the womans said: The pas de deaux in Act III are spectacular. Don’t leave.

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The Bar at the Royal Opera House, 8 p.m. Saturday, May 13

And then, the interior of the Royal Opera House itself:

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Waiting for the beginning of Kenneth Macmillan’s beautiful, stunning ballet, “Mayerling”: Saturday, May 13

More of the Royal Opera House Bar. At intermission, self went up an escalator to the “Bridge” over the bar, from which she got a jaw-dropping view of Covent Garden, at 8 p.m.:

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Center Top, the “Bridge”: A side escalator takes you to it, and from there you can see all of Covent Garden. SPECTACULAR. Especially at sunset.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

#amreading: Kristin Dimitrova

Self has read this collection before: it’s in the Blue Room of Café Pardiso.

An Old Mesopotamian Legend About Gilgamesh, King of Uruk, Who Wanted to Become Immortal

— by Kristin Dimitrova

Wanted to;
could not.

— from Dimitrova’s collection A Visit to the Clockmaker (Southward Editions, 2005), translated from the Bulgarian by Gregory O’Donoghue

#amreadingpoetry: Liu Xia

Before you go into the grave
Don’t forget to write to me with your ashes
Don’t forget to leave your underworld address

quoted by Liao Yiwu in his introduction to Liu Xia’s collection Empty Chairs, the bilingual edition (Graywolf Press)

Now For One of Self’s: “The Lost Language”

This was published many years ago, in a magazine called Isotope.

Published in Utah and edited by a poet, Chris Cokinos.

It joined together two things: science writing and creative writing.

You would find, in the same issue, a play by a physicist, a nature essay, a poem by a mathematician. That sort of thing.

Self loved it.

Chris Cokinos, what are you doing now? Know that self considered Isotope a very noble experiment.

Here’s an excerpt from the story they published, which became the title of her third collection. It’s one of those hybrid things: part essay, part memoir, part myth, part short story.

The Lost Language

Filipinos once had an ancient written language. If I were to show you what the marks look like on a piece of paper, they would look like a series of waves. Or like Egyptian hieroglyphics. Like the eye of the Pharaoh I saw in my old high school history books.

The language was written on tree bark. Epics were probably written in this language, but I don’t know what they are. My ancestors are shadowy people. Shadows.

When I was a little girl, perhaps eight years old or so, my mother gave me a book of Philippine legends. The legends were mostly about beautiful maidens and enchanted animals. But the story I liked best was about Hari sa Bukid, which means King of the Mountain.

Read the rest of this entry »

Moments: Musee de l’Orangerie

This week’s Daily Post Photo Challenge is EVANESCENT.

What is fleeting, what is most evanescent.

Look at the pictures she chose to take at the Musee de l’Orangerie. Instead of waiting for people to clear out of her photograph, they became part of the moment. And that was even before she found out what this week’s Photo Challenge was.

Moments. That’s all she was interested in capturing this afternoon. Apparently.

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Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Evanescent: One Afternoon, Paris

  • This week, show us a moment in time that holds meaning for you.

— Krista Stevens, The Daily Post

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Self’s Favorite Paris Hangout: The Tuileries Gardens

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Bus Stop In Front of Notre Dames Cathedral

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From the Eiffel Tower

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

#amreading “Salt” from Joan McGavin’s PASSING ARCADIA CLOSE

Rivers fascinate self.

Here’s a poem about rivers from Joan McGavin’s second collection, Passing Arcadia Close (Oversteps Books 2017).

Self met Joan 2012, in Hawthornden.

SALT

by Joan McGavin

The changing taste of rivers
told me where I was heading.
How could I fail to swim faster?
I’d hugged the coast for hours,
kept the lap of landbound waves
to my right, where the tang of fresh water
mixed in with salt would flood
the roof of my mouth
at each estuary.

At night I dozed in the hammock between waves
or beached and slept away from houses
but within earshot of tides.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

FAMILY: by Anna Moi for Air France Magazine

Early 1960s. The “war” was the Vietnam War, which pitted the North, where Moi’s parents were from, against the South, to where they fled:

How long does it take for a mother to read Alone in the World and The Story of Perrine to her child? My mother read to me almost every evening, because my parents went out only three or four times a year, and never had guests. It was wartime, but that doesn’t explain it — war had only just begun and nobody imagined at the time that it would last some 15 years and that we’d face shortages of everything, especially freedom, the basic freedom to move around as we chose.

This sense of frugality was something my parents were born with, just as others live with a heart murmur or an irregular heartbeat. It was the region of their birth, the North, that had triggered this simmering anxiety.

At bedtime, my mother would decide on a number of pages, but I would beg her to carry on, and she was always happy to continue the story of Rémi the abandoned child or of Perrine Paindavoine, an orphan searching for her family . . .  From one episode to the next, in those days before TV series, I traveled from one family to another, and from town to town, in the comfort of knowing I would fall asleep sated with emotions.

HERITAGE: “My” Globe, Last Night

  • This week, share a photo that channels a living tradition, whether it’s your own or someone else’s.

— Ben Huberman, The Daily Post

This is her second post on HERITAGE. She deleted the first one, pictures of the Imperial War Museum. For the first time in forever, that post got 0 likes, go figure.

Self watched (last night) a kickass production of Twelfth Night, directed by Emma Rice, who’s departing the Globe after just two years at the helm. As a tribute to Ms. Rice (who famously told the Guardian two years ago: “Being childlike is underrated. It takes commitment.”) Self thinks this would be an appropriate time to share why she loves the experience of watching a play at the Globe, so much:

It’s so London. And London is a city absolutely buzzing with energy. Especially at night. Every year since her first Globe play (2014’s bloody Titus Andronicus), she watches at least one play at the Globe.

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Last Night: Heading home in a cab after watching “Twelfth Night”

At intermission, she heads straight for the wharf. This is the view:

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The Thames, Seen From Behind the Globe

It is an essential part of her Globe theatre-going experience.

Self still remembers her first sight (up close) of the Millenium Bridge. Her jaw dropped. She had no idea — no idea — that London had become this cool place. That was the moment when self fell in love, really fell in love with the city:

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The Millenium Bridge connects the South Bank to Saint Paul’s.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

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