Tuesday, July 20, 2004

A Path Thru the Louvre

Est-ce que vous parlez Anglais? I asked the woman behind the desk.

I promise, it was one of the only two times during our trip that I started out a conversation asking if they spoke English. But I knew I didn't know the words I needed to know to ask what I needed to ask.

She said yes, and she clearly did speak English. Very well.

I told her we had a 13 year-old son, and asked if there were some brochures we could use to map out our path.

Yes, she said. And she took out a brochure from the display case (right in front of me) and opened it up.

I will show you a path that will be perfect for him.

She circled the spot on the map where we were, and she drew a line thru Egyptian antiquities to Venus de Milo.

Et Victoire de Samothrace? I asked.

Of course, she said.

So her line extended up some stairs to the landing where Winged Victory stands. And from there, down a long hall to the Mona Lisa (of course) and from there around a long, long loop to the end of another wing where the Dutch Masters are and Vermeer.

I thanked her profusely. She said, You're welcome with a smile on her face and such sincerity that it made me stop. ... But not for too long. Because we had a path to follow.

In the end, we didn't make it to all of them: too many pieces of art, too little time. But we were wise to limit ourselves, because we only had three hours and...

The Eiffel Tower was calling.

Trip to France - Day 3

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Goodbye Nani

There was a white rose on the table on the hill at sunset looking out over the lake where my grandmother used to sit. A white rose and baby's breath looking out the window.

The sun, as it set, glowed its orange-red glow and descended into the trees on the far side, making the waves on the water sparkle and dance, throwing a doubly warm radiance on that spot on the hill.

She died this morning, my grandmother did. After a long descent of her own, she has left.

But that sun and that glow and those glimmering waves will not. Nor will the sound of her laugh echoing thru the woods and across the water from that point upon the hill.

Good bye, Nani. You did good.

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