I would often be up and sitting at the breakfast table by 6 am. Paris only seemed to start to quiet down around 2 am ,and then began to resume it's daily rhythm by 7am.
This seemed to be the routine, regardless of what day it was.
Following a cup of coffee, and some baguette with apricot confiture,
my days usually started early...partly because I was looking forward to seeing new things, and the extreme heat and humidity didn't let me sleep too well.
Quite often, I would write in my diary anything I thought was interesting.
Sometimes I made sketches of things in the room, or just sat admiring Joe's work that was pinned to the walls.
Joe had a good classical music collection, so I would always be playing albums to soothe my soul and break the silence.
Chopin and Mozart are two of my favourites...especially Chopin though. His music has a soulful edge to it that always touches me.
Music transports you to distant places and times...as all art does if it is successful. |
As Picasso said, “Art washes away from the soul the dust of every day life.”
One of my very pleasant discoveries was the Eglise Saint Eustache on rue Montorgueil, near the entrance to the ancient market area called Les Halles.
It was only about a fifteen minute walk from Joe's house to the church, and it was worth the walk.
I came upon it quite by accident when I was out for a stroll. The little folding map of Paris I always carried with me showed many of the important sites that you could see, so it was very valuable to have.
The Eglise Saint Eustache is a magnificent church built between 1532 and 1562. In front, facing south toward the Sein is a beautiful man made water feature.
People sit here and admire the church, the sculptures, talk and enjoy more quiet surroundings. This was the church that Mozart chose for the funeral of his mother.
There is nothing like trees and water to make you feel relaxed...most other people would agree I think.
The prominent sculpture was a very large head carved from stone, and lying on its side.
Of course it was a tourist attraction.
While I was taking a picture of it, a petite, elderly French woman approached me and asked if I would take a picture of her in front of it...which I did.
Then she insisted on taking one of me beside the big head, which was very kind of her.
|It's these chance encounters with other people that make traveling such a rich experience.
It was extremely hot and humid once again...about 32 degrees celsius, the air was white and very little breeze stirred the trees.
Even the birds were quiet.
I entered the church and it was so beautifully cool and quiet.
The ceiling was constructed of very high vaults, and at the far end of the church was the altar and a large statue of the Virgin Mary.
Tall candles flickered in the low light of the church and a woman knelt, praying quietly.
I sat peacefully on a well worn wooden bench at the back of the church just trying to take in all that my surroundings had to offer.
The relaxed and calm feeling I had was very welcome, and I stayed there for almost an hour.
Then I decided I should move on and have something to eat on my way home.
As it turned out, I returned to this peaceful sanctuary many times.
It was truly an oasis in the middle of a very sizzling Paris.
© Blair T. Paul, all rights reserved
Edited and posted by: Chris MacFarlane Photography