We walked and walked, stopped for wine and food, walked again, stopped for beauty products, walked some more…I got back on Saturday toned and smelling of French cosmetics.
It was great. (Pictures forthcoming this week, I promise.)
Courtesy of our buddy Hemingway, here’s another Paris quote. (I know I’m always promising and not delivering, but this comes as part of a longer passage at the end of A Moveable Feast which I will indeed quote here someday. If I come back.)
There is never any end to Paris, and the memory of each person who has lived in it differs from that of any other
(The image is of the hotel where Papa Hemingway would write, when he lived in Paris. He would walk over from his flat in the mornings. The French sign says something along the lines of, ‘Paul Verlaine died in this building January 8, 1896. Born March 30, 1844.’ Vive the internet!)
A Bird came down the Walk—
He did not know I saw—
He bit an angle-worm in halves
And ate the fellow, raw,
And then he drank a Dew
From a convenient Grass,
And then hopped sidewise to the Wall
To let a Beetle pass—
He glanced with rapid eyes
That hurried all abroad—
They looked like frightened Beads, I thought—
He stirred his velvet head
Like one in danger, Cautious,
I offered him a Crumb,
And he unrolled his feathers
And rowed him softer home—
Than Oars divide the Ocean,
Too silver for a seam—
Or Butterflies, off Banks of Noon,
Leap, plashless as they swim.
Actually, it won’t be a full week, as I leave Friday to see what everyone’s talking about. If the blog doesn’t resume the week of the 22nd, we can all safely assume I decided to stay and start my novel. Here’s what Willa Cather (of all people!) has to say about it:
“Paris is a hard place to leave, even when it rains incessantly and one coughs continually from the dampness.”
Yes, it’s been busy today, so we can all be glad I keep a record of these passages as I find them. (And yes, that is a James Thurber drawing of a dog. That’s a particularly brilliant detail our old buddy Salinger adds.)
This is from “A Young Girl in 1941 With No Wast At All,” Salinger’s short story originally published in The New Yorker:
She was a beautifully, a perfectly, gray-haired woman in a long sleeved evening gown with Thurber dogs in the pattern. She was wearing a pear-shaped diamond ring and a diamond bracelet. Just on sight no one very sensible would have laid bets on her background. She might, years ago, have walked very erectly across a Broadway stage, with an ostrich fan, singing A Pretty Girl Is Like A Melody, or something similarly ostrich fan-ish. She might have been an ambassador’s daughter or a fireman’s daughter. She might have been her husband’s secretary for years. As only second-class beauty can be identified, there was no way of telling.
I ran across a quote from the Upanishads yesterday which echoed one I found last Chirstmas from Makarios the Great, who was apparently an Egyptian monk. And the drawing’s by Leonardo. Pretty far-ranging blog, I’d say.
The little space within the heart is as great as the vast universe. The heavens and the earth are there, and the sun and the moon and the stars. Fire and lightning and winds are there, and all that now is and all that is not. –The Upanishads
The heart itself is only a small vessel,
yet dragons are there, and lions,
there are poisonous beasts,
and all the treasures of evil,
there are rough and uneven roads,
there are precipices;
but there too is God and the angels,
life is there, and the Kingdom,
there too is light, and there the apostles
and heavenly cities,
and treasures of grace.
All things lie within that little space.
–Makarios the Great