There is an old gypsy woman with a mouth full of gold teeth who sits on a street corner selling wild flowers near my apartment. Last night as I was walking home she was holding up bouquets of lilacs that I couldn't pass up. The price she shouted to me was very reasonable, but when I got out my wallet to pay her, the price she demanded magically doubled. Gypsy magic. I told her I could not buy the lilacs at this price, and began to walk away. She changed her tune.
So now my apartment is filled with aromatic lilac fragrance - not to mention a great still life subject. It was a beautiful day today and I opened my living room windows to let all that air and light in, set down the lilacs, and got to work.
In other news, this morning's fruit tarte:
Breakfast has become a holy experience. It changes your attitude to eat something that's made with that much care and artisanship. Yesterday I saw these fruit tarts in a 'patisserie' window walking home, and I couldn't wait to come back and get one in the morning. I could hardly sleep last night in anticipation. Sad but true.
This afternoon I made a pilgrimage to the Sacre Coeur (Sacred Heart) Basilica in Montmartre.
Montmartre used to be home to many important Early modern artists, progressives and Bohemians, like Modigliani. There are still lots of artists here, but touristy ones. Montmartre is unique because it is situated on top of a butte (mound of land) so it provides a stunning view of all of Paris.
The bad news: you get up there by climbing hundreds of steps. The good news: Burned off the fruit tarte.
This is my second time visiting the Sacre Coeur and it is a marvel - it has a Byzantine style interior with mosaics covering the ceilings and walls. I arrived just in time for Vespers (evening prayers) and there was a choir of nuns chanting Lenten meditations from the Psalms and other scriptures - in French. They sounded like Angels - I wanted to stay there forever. It held my heart and mind aloft - amazing how music and art can launch you into the presence of the Indescribable.
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