Sunday, November 29, 2009

Versailles in Golden Light

To proclaim that the chateau at Versailles can be disected into a singular element sounds like a discredit to one of the marvels of the world, but I think it can be done. Well, at least for me, the interior can be brought down to the element of light. Reflected light, refracted light, light in many other forms and it's function. It's function was to do more than illuminate a room, it was all for the illumination of it's creator, The Sun King. It seems all the gold in the world is at Versailles, in it's rooms and on it's roof. Even the gardens have gold touches. It is very easy to see it all as overkill, egotistical and ostentacious (and it is) but digging deeper, for me, it seems to symbolize that flicker of golden light on a cold grey day, or the idea which comes to you at a moment's notice. It is the light of searching for knowledge and the soft light which can only happen over a candlelit dinner with a loved one. I once said to someone that the 18th century exists in eternal candle light. The gaslight for the next century had a different mood altogether. After the Revolution, the candle was snuffed out forever and I am reminded of this everytime I walk through the Hall of Mirrors. One revolt and it was all over.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Family and Paris

At the moment, my mother is visiting Paris for the first time. She always wanted to come here, going back to when she was a child. It has taken her some years to make the trip here happen, but as they say "Life Happens". Now that she is here in Paris for a visit, I am anxious to know what she really thinks of the city, the people, the attitude and the ambiance. Each day I ask, 'What do you think of the place?' only to get the same reply, "I'm still taking it all in..." I can understand this feeling. If you have never been to Paris and relied on the ideas, films and perceptions of such a place, the reality can hit you in a favorable or unfavorable way. I asked my mother if she was ready to go back home and she exclaimed "NO!" So, I guess this is good. Playing tour guide is a real job and I never realized just how much I remember about this city. I will fill you in on the outcome of her trip and what, if anything, I have learned.