Much happiness to all of you in this season, and the New Year.
Much happiness to all of you in this season, and the New Year.
Saint Germain des Pres Church, located in the village of the same name developed 15 centuries ago, built “in the shadow of its influential abbey” per travelfranceonline.com that provides a fascinating history of the abbey and church that I’ll let you read at your leisure. Fascinating Romanesque structure, it being one of the oldest in France, the abbey being founded by King Childebert I in 558AD. The Sunday Traveler will leave the history readings to you for now, and proceed with a photo tour of the indoor and outdoor public garden, discovered on my last day in Paris. The garden contains a few vestiges of the Gothic Chapelle de la Vierge that will be shown in the photos below. So let me take you inside first; the interior of the church is being restored, with plastic drop cloths hanging to close off portions where work is going on (and you’ll note some of the hanging curtains that protect from the dust are art in themselves; and the interior has a low light level that only adds to the feel of the antiquity of the church. The friend who I accompanied on this trip to Paris is an artist who was in awe of the colors used; please visit her blog as well at The Creative Epiphany (www.thecreativeepiphany.com). So let’s go inside now
I’ve lightened up some photos to show detail, and I returned to the church multiple times at different times of day, in hopes of better light coming in through stained glass windows, but we had few days of sun while we were there.
Here, in these multiple circular chapels around the back of the church, one can see the antiquity; stone walls, carvings, and sculptures dating back to when?
The French, never content to just let something be ugly…The hanging curtain to cover some plastic drop cloths
The beauty of the textures found, especially in peeling paint on columns, was enough to make me believe that not everything should be restored
This photo was really lightened up to show detail, but in its darkness, it was gorgeous. I’ve just read on the Travel France website that there will be a Mozart concert here on December 29th, I get chills to think of how this will sound in this structure…and an urge to jump back on a plane and go back for this.
And now let’s step outside to the little garden on one side of the church
The possibility of the age of these bricks and carvings took my breath away, to think of the hands that put this all in place
Paris has so many churches, I explored only three during this trip that was all too short; there is something about the cathedrals and churches of the places that I visit that help me feel and see the history of the city and its people.
Merry Christmas to all of you, wishing you all the happiest of holidays. The Sunday Traveler will be off preparing for our family Christmas eve next Sunday. Hope to see you back here to join me for a visit to the Louvre week after next.
Rodin’s The Kiss. Being in the Rodin Museum in Paris gave me an opportunity to try to ratchet down photographically to the essence of this sculpture. As a whole, it is absolutely stunning
But to take away from the whole, as hard as that was, made it even more beautiful
to see limbs, muscles, the nuance of a body, was an exercise in removing the “extraneous”, as a sculptor does until he has the image come forth out of a block of stone.
Taking away to see the essence in photography is not easy at times.
Where do I begin? The beginning you say? It had been 50 years. The Sunday Traveler was returning to Paris with a different set of eyes, maybe even wiser eyes. Eyes that have seen so much in the ensuing years. Yes, older and wiser eyes. I am grateful to have said yes to this opportunity (the beginning of wise). A week in Paris at the beginning of the holiday season with a friend who was given this gift as a birthday present from her daughter. In life, I’m beginning to realize that just showing up, and going along for the ride is pretty much all you have to do to find a little happiness.
Coming in to Paris in the morning, we dropped our stuff at the hotel and took off to explore, with a goal of the Eiffel Tower as major attraction number one for the day. We walked in order to stave off jet lag, and to see the city up close and personal. No need to worry about jet lag, the biting cold and dampness, in addition to the excitement of being in Paris, was enough to straighten us right up and keep us going all day.
Streets, cafes, statues, it was wonderful to walk on these historic streets
Shop windows filled with seasonal flowers and plants with reflections in the windows that made me spin around to see behind me.
Looking into some of the shop windows gave me the feeling of being a little girl at Christmas looking through the shop window and dreaming of having these sweets on the family table, of going in with a hand full of pennies that had been saved, plunking them down on the counter, and asking what that would get me.
The day’s target was reached at last. I’ve seen so many photos of the Eiffel Tower over the years, and to finally be standing here taking my own photos seemed like a sweet dream.
We wandered back to the hotel, but first stopped in to a little cafe to warm up and celebrate a birthday. The birthday girl was very hungry.
The Sunday Traveler is staying put for a little while now, and will be back with many more photos of Paris in the coming weeks.
I’ll be away again for a couple of weeks. I hope to return with a camera full of photos to share.
San Antonio at night
What began as a one week trip turned into a three week sojourn. And here we are, dwelling on days filled with friends and memories of the city that I used to call home. The Sunday Traveler had been in San Antonio not too long ago, and there were posts on that trip, so I will simply tell you that I arrived at the right time for Dia de los Muertos this time, and will show just a couple of photos of the costumes; there are many more on my Instagram page, and can be found at angeline.am
There was a wonderful weekend of celebrations in the old town of San Antonio, La Villita, with altars for the ancestors now gone, costumes, and great food to be enjoyed by all. Music, good times to celebrate death, as is the Mexican culture and custom at this time of year, and to remember our departed loved ones with happiness and joy for their lives, and ours with theirs.
A one day road trip to visit my husband’s hometown, Laredo, Texas, was made with the good friend who I stayed with. The land along the highway to Laredo is so Texas, with ranches, open land with grazing cattle, and a blue sky and clouds that seems to go on forever
Another day was spent at one of the San Antonio Texas Missions, San Jose. The early missions were unwalled communities, but later were encircled by walls due to tensions of the mission residents and northern tribes. Basic Spanish models were used and modified as necessary.
Travel to be with good friends is one of the best kinds of trips one can take periodically.
While the Sunday Traveler was in San Antonio, quite an opportunity presented itself for another trip that was very unexpected, coming out of left field, to join another friend on a little junket to Paris for her birthday. What does one say to this kind of opportunity? I learned that one says yes. The trip is eight days out, and preparations are in full swing for this, as well as Thanksgiving.
The Sunday Traveler will once again be taking another break from the Sunday postings until my return home. Until then.
In a wonderful Hawaiian book written by Pali Jae Lee and Koko Willis, Tales from the Night Rainbow, a story is included that I’d like to share here, hoping you won’t mind a bit wordier post than usual for the minimalism theme. It seems to connect with my subject matter here on Monday mornings.
“Each child born has at birth, a Bowl of perfect Light. If he tends his Light it will grow in strength and he can do all things – swim with the shark, fly with the birds, know and understand all things. If, however, he becomes envious or jealous he drops a stone into his Bowl of Light and some of the Light goes out. Light and the stone cannot hold the same space. If he continues to put stones in the Bowl of Light, the Light will go out and he will become a stone. A stone does not grow, nor does it move. If at any time he tires of being a stone, all he needs to do is turn the bowl upside down and the stones will fall away and the Light will grow once more.”
Release the stones. All manner of stones. Make room for your Light. See what’s important.
Simple perfection in its mystery.
A very good thing to do when in Hawaii is go on a photography tour with a guide who is a photographer. Along with the food tour the Sunday Traveler took on this most recent trip to Oahu, this photography tour with Blue Hawaii Photo Tours was incredibly rich in opportunities. The guide, and owner, Marie Turner, drove us to scenic spots and, the best part of this tour for me, was that Marie took me and my camera in hand and gave lessons and pointers for settings; after four years with this camera it became my bff. It was also very fortunate for me that there was only one other person on this all day tour with me, so we both got a lot of individualized attention. A day made in heaven!
I’ll just take you on a little tour of my own that took place over the ten days I was on the island; I also have been posting many photos over on Instagram, and I hope you’ll join me there as well.
In another life I hope to come back as a surfer
Or maybe just come back as a kid living in Hawaii playing in the water all day.
I’ll be revisiting my Oahu trip again with you, probably as Sunday Snapshots, after I return from another two-week adventure (happy face). In the meantime, you know where you can find me (Instagram). I come up for air there a lot, just like the Hawaiian Sea Turtle, or honu as they are called in Hawaii.
Aloha, and as always, thanks for traveling with me.
Walking the path seeing the decay and crushed. Focus on the whole, the one thing that appears to call out to your eyes. Let all else recede.