It is often said that we do not appreciate something while you have it and only appreciate it once you lost it. It seems as if the reverse is true as well. The past two weeks I truly realized that we as a family missed out on because of my work. Being in a medical practice with unlimited after hours takes away so much of your family time. I am not only talking about not being at birthday parties and prize givings at school, but just not being present emotionally because you are worried about a patient or distracted by a phone call.
We are so fixated on money and possessions. If somebody owes you money it can lead to a loss of friendship or bad feelings. Money is like water, it tend to flow away without us noticing. And we can always make more money if it comes to that.
We should be jealous of our time. We have just so much. Once this moment is gone, we will never have it again. We should be more selfish with our time and more careless about money. I hate it when people waste my time. On the other hand I appreciate it most is somebody is willing to spend their precious time with me. Use your time well.
Some time ago I read that, if we reach the age of eighty we will have 24 280days at our disposal. Today I have less than 8 900 left. That feels like nothing! And we do not even if we will be privileged enough to live that long, or will be healthy enough to enjoy those days! We must start to appreciate every moment. Today!
Another wild goose chase today. Fortunately not all my fault but that is another story. We ended up going to the Pierre Lachaise cemetery. It sounds funny but it was such a relaxing quiet morning. The cemetery is green with huge trees and shade. I love the slightly run down feeling one experiences in a place like this. Everything is slightly overgrown, moss covered and slight decay. I think one can spend a long time there and take incredible photos.
On the banks of the Seine is beautiful second hand bookstores or rather book stalls. Every time I pass them I am so thankful that I can’t read French fluidly ( yet). So far I can manage with the help of a dictionary, but I will get there.
I woke up this morning to soft sunlight shining on the leaves of the trees outside my window. The leaves are starting to change colour already. Autumn is coming. Across the river the bells of Notre Dame is tolling, telling us of the dawn of a new day.
I start my day in front of my easel. Doesn’t this sound like heaven. I can hardly believe it is actually happening to me.
After breakfast I take my drawing book and pens for a few sketches. First place to sit is across the road in the garden of an old palace.
The renaissance garden is beautiful and sparrows come to see if there is any spare food for them. The temptation is huge to get a book and spend the rest of the day here reading.
The local church is Saint Gervais. What a great feeling to have this whole big building just to myself.
I can spend hours in front of stained glass windows. There is magic in the way it can transform light.
Both old and new windows are great to admire. They appear totally different but I still prefer the old ones.
One of the sculptures, the Pieta is by an unknown sculptor but as beautiful as the one Michaelangelo carved. I end up drawing the face of a Maria. Piece and quiet reigns.
After that I walked in the streets, admired the architecture, bought groceries and drew some more. As I said: I think I am in heaven.
Saturday evening is time for the weekly organ recital in Notre Dame. This time we sit right up front, between the two rose windows The organ notes of Bach, Mendelsohn and Bossi rain down on us…
Rain brought some relief from the summer heat. We woke up to a cool fresh day. I started with a little painting. After breakfast I bought some much needed paints.
I am getting used to minimalist living. We have everything we need. Just enough. We arrived with 20 kg of baggage each and that included a lot of our books and our last exchange students’ last belongings which we returned to him.
Two pairs of trousers, a few shirts and a pair of shoes mean you do not have to choose what to wear. Two of everything in the kitchen means you must wash dishes now if you want to eat later.
The small flat is easy to keep clean and neat. We are convinced by the media we need more. We live in a wasteful consumer world. We need experiences and time for quality of life. Possessions become burdens. I hope I can implement this in my life when I return home.
Our first stop today is the Museum Victor Hugo. He lived in the beautiful Place des Vosges, which merits a visit. We know Hugo as the writer of stories used in films and musicals like The Hunchback of Notre Dame and Les Misrables.
To my surprise I learned that he was a prolific artist who left behind 3 500 sketches and etches. He was also fond of making and collecting furniture.
We ate a wonderful lunch at the Manche Enfants Rouges.
That evening we attended a recital in the Notre Dame of soloists and organ, 13th century to modern work, the highlight Caldara’s Stabat Mater and Bach Magnificat.
We went home humming…
I woke up to a beautiful soft grey Paris summer day this morning. I could hear cars and pedestrians passing down below in the streets like the heartbeat of a city.
We arrived late yesterday afternoon and was booked into our light and roomy bachelors flat in the first floor of the Cite des Arts on the bank of the Seine. We are a stone’s throw from the magnificent Notre Dame cathedral. We unpacked and had our first Parisian dinner at a street cafe and bought some stuf for breakfast before settling in for the night. Ready for a new adventure. With lights off came all the dark thoughts in my mind. “Do I deserve all this?” ” Am I good enough?” “What if..?”
But this morning early I woke up with: Yes! Lets go!
I was out at first light. This beautiful city was still sleeping. All tourists still in bed! Crisp morning air, wet pavements and beautiful old buildings greeted me. I was on the Ile St_Louis. The Seine floing softly around the little island. Little shop windows is like windows into secret worlds, each one beautifully decorated.
I always love doors and handles as well. They facinate me! What lies behind each one of them?
I went home for breakfast. we visited the vibrant Marche D’Alegrie. It is a fruit market with beautiful fresh fruit. Smells. noise of venders shouting and peole buying add to the experience. We rush of home with our loot for lunch.