Monday, April 23, 2007

Collecting twigs

What if you could visit Paris, just for a little while? C and I did today through a movie, "Avenue Montaigne." A story about a young woman who comes to The City of Light from the provinces to check out the big city. Through her waitressing at a café in a posh, artistic district, we meet others: a professional concert pianist and his wife, a famous soap-opera star, a newly-widowed art collector, and his son. They are all in life transitions, and their stories unfold before us as they struggle with their decisions.

We loved it; it was just what we needed on this rainy Sunday in The City of Trees. Views of Paris, the Eiffel, cafes, the magnificent Theatre des Champs-Elysees with its wonderful staircase (Stravinsky’s "Rite of Spring" was first performed there). And seeing people for whom art and music is entwined with love and life. Powerful scenes: When the pianist slips away from the formal orchestra rehearsal and instead plays for patients at a local hospital. When the elderly Jacques tells how he and his wife were "like beavers building a dam" against the dullness of everyday life by collecting artwork, "twig by twig" until they had amassed an incredible collection they lived with each day until her death.

Now, on to a new week of creating and collecting twigs…

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The many great gardens of the world, of literature and poetry, of painting and music, of religion and architecture, all make the point as clear as possible: The soul cannot thrive in the absence of a garden. If you don't want paradise, you are not human; and if you are not human, you don't have a soul.
--Thomas Moore

America is my country and Paris is my hometown.
--Gertrude Stein

With an apple I will astonish Paris.
--Paul Cezanne

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