Still trying to stay away from the news, the places we are staying in don’t have CNN, so its all French. Feels good to be drifting in peace and adventure, I buy a New York Hearld once in awhile to see how my man Obama is doing, and if the USA is still in crazy-fear mode. Yeah, so I will have to come back and get a job, if I can find one, and ride it out, but till then I will refuse to worry, and still dig my little corner cafe here, and these little cups of espresso, and the Monet museum, Paris is a passionate city I can live in. Just walking around is fun. I love getting lost in a new neighborhood.
Get this, today I am at this old mansion, turned into a museum, it is now an Oriental museum with an incredible collection of Chinese, Tibetan, and Cambodian art and sculpture, largest in Europe, especially from Anghor Wat, rooms filled, when I notice this small photo and a caption, in French of course, it says,”This is the room where Mata Hari did her first provocative dance.” What! Uh! Greta Garbo. Mata (not her real name) married young, and moved to Java and studied dance and the Java culture, came back to Paris and became a courtesan to the French generals and later to the German generals, She danced in a way people had not seen before, a Java-tease kind of thing, she was a good friend of Isadore Duncan. Later she is accused by France of passing on secrets to the Germans, but never proven, she just liked sleeping with men of power. That is what is challenging and invigorating about traveling-the learning part. Last month I lived in the country outside this village where Joan of Arc, at 16 or 17 showed up, I had to read and understand that, and Richard the Lionhearted was buried there, so Hollywood doesn’t always get this stuff straight. Then I discover, you probably knew this, but the Arc de Triumph was built in 1809 by Napoleon to celebrate his armies victories, but before it gets built he is looses all his power. …well the stories go on.
The best and most discriminating art exhibit I have seen here is an all French pastel show at the Musee D”Orsy called “Mystery and Glitter” The French word just doesn’t translate well, it really means mysterious and magical light. Almost a religious experience, well..I guess it was one.
Now the work begins,
so many artists to be inspired by,
where do I begin this task,
open the book, wet brush,
baguette, wine, cheese,
so maybe its not a good poem,
open book, wet brush, begin.
When times get tough, I recommend coming to the country side in France. I got a job picking grapes, the whole first day was a learning experience.
The morning breaks, they served coffee and 1982 Cote D’ Rhone wine with nut bread.
At lunch, all 45 of us got fed by the vintner at long tables filled with great wine, toasts, songs. Picking in the morning, the workers were singing French patriotic songs, laughter, throwing grapes, everyone was so polite to me, helping me get the drill.
By the afternoon, after a 2.5 hour lunch with lots of wine, we went back out, a little slower, way more mellow, less singing, and picked till 5:30, then back to the chateau to de-stem (by machine) and fill the stainless steel tanks with our days work.
The night before we went to a small cafe late at night in Huimes, about the size of Marine on St. Croix-tiny, they were having a French “Rhythm D’ Blues” singer. “ All in french and so polite, “Je Suis Hutshi Kutchi Homme.”
Hey how is the election coming, and the economy? I am trying to stay away from the daily news right now, and enjoy the little morning cafe, sitting outside, drinking my expresso and trying to get a drawing in. We are making most of our meals, soups, staying away from horse meat, and frog legs, but I will give them a try.
This is the largest dolman in Europe, 75 feet long, 5000 years ago, this was used as an above ground burial chamber for 25 bodies, or more. Covered with earth, there are 1000′s of these in France alone. A megatlith, like Stonehedge is different, that is more of a monument, not a burial chanber. Its unbelieveable to walk through it and feel the 50 ton of stone all around…..
It is so beautiful here, like a middle ages movie set. Many castles nearby here, and the coolest little cafes everywhere. I’m getting some painting-drawings done, my goal. We are loving being here. Joan of Arc started here in this little town. We are living in the country about 6 miles from this town of Chinon 6000. Here’s a link to the map in Google. This internet cafe has a french keyboard with different placement of letters, impossible to type on. Driving anywhere on these little country roads through grape fields with stone chateaux on rolling hills, its all a dream……