I am a great believer in “l’émerveillement du quotidien” – the amazing marvel of the everyday, but there are also experiences we have which are far from everyday, which profoundly influence our experience of life.
Great, truly great, Art, is one of those far from everyday experiences for me.
A visit to the Musée de l’Orangerie in Paris is one of those. So unique, so astonishing…..sadly photographs won’t capture that experience and me telling you about it won’t either, but if at all possible, at some point in your life, if you have the opportunity to visit, DO!
There are two oval rooms filled with Monet’s paintings of the waterlilies in his garden.
When you stand in the room your field of vision in every direction is filled with them. It is as if you really are IN these paintings. A total immersion experience.
Here are some photos I took. First of all two taken using the panorama function on my iPhone, then a couple of close ups of details.
Far from everyday, but another way to counter “dis-enchantment” with enchantment.
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If you choose to look for beauty you can find it very easily. There is so much beauty in this world.
Setting an intention is a good way of raising your level of awareness and increasing your chances of making what you intend transpire.
Why not try today? A simple thought or affirmation will do. You can write it down or just think it.
I am going to see beauty today.
Beauty, it is said, is in the eye of the beholder. Look at this image here. Do you agree it is beautiful?
For me, the image itself is beautiful (if you agree you’ve already started seeing what is beautiful today)
I see beauty in Nature every single day. This cherry blossom is gorgeous for me.
But I also see beauty in creation – in art, architecture, design and so on. Look at Notre Dame from this angle. Isn’t it beautiful? Isn’t it an astonishing creation?
And finally, look at them in relation to each other. Such different kinds of beauty, the one enhancing the other.
When you look for beauty, and you see beauty, and you contemplate beauty, how does that influence the quality of your day?
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On the Pont de l’Ardevêche in Paris lovers fasten a padlock to the bridge, or more likely to other padlocks padlocked to the bridge, then they throw the key in the Seine.
It sounds a bit silly, or like a fad, but when I walked onto the bridge, and I saw the immensity of it, every single lock the physical marking and declaration of the love between two people, I was deeply, and suddenly, moved.
It is beautiful, not in an artistic way, but in that way in which we humans make the important invisible visible.
I thought of the loving wishes hung on temple trees in Kyoto, similar, but very different……
Then I turned and saw Notre Dame, that incredible cathedral of great beauty, and I kneeled down and took this.
How many ways to make the important invisible, visible?
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Recently when I went to Paris I discovered a magical cinema – La Pagode.
You can see some of the photos above.
I went to see a movie in the main auditorium which is called the “Salle Japonaise”.
There is often something magical and enchanting about going to the movies, but it seems to me that most multiplexes take some of that magic away.
The physical spaces where we have our experiences definitely colour, or even determine, the quality of the what we do there.
How I wish I could find more truly magical cinemas like the Pagode!
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In my A to Z of Becoming, one of the K verbs is KISS.
What makes us human?
There are many answers to that question of course, but it strikes me that art is one of the answers. Why art? For me, partly because art is an act of creation, and I think creating is at the heart of becoming. But also because I think art enchants life.
It seems to me that there is a lot of dis-enchantment around, so I’m exploring the ways in which we can re-enchant our lives.
Art can rekindle the magic in our lives. And, wow, can human beings create art?!
I was lucky to be in Paris last week, and popped into one of my favourite places there – the Rodin Museum. The main building is being refurbished just now but many of the great works were on display including “The Kiss”. I don’t know how many times I’ve been to the Rodin Museum but every single time the work astonishes me. That these soft, flowing, sensitive and sensual forms can be carved out of a block of marble! Really, it takes my breath away.
And look at this kiss. What a kiss!
Sometimes I think words aren’t enough…..art and kisses……words can’t substitute for either.
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Sometimes, rather than the big, in your face, can’t miss it experiences grabbing your attention, it’s the little, subtle ones which are really the best.
See Sacre Coeur peeking over the end of the street?
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This is a passageway.
It runs from the Rue du Rivoli through to the main entrance to the Louvre.
Wow! If you’re going to make a passageway, you may as well make a grand one!
Life’s a bit like that…..or it can be. The best bits aren’t just being here, or being there. They can be inbetween, on the way (sometimes known as where you are right now!) …….don’t miss it while thinking about where you were and where you are going to be all the time!
Becoming not being…..
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