Life is unfortunately under appreciated.
Today was so full I would be kicking myself in the face if I didn’t get it all posted now. And if I could actually kick myself in the face but I don’t think I’m quite that flexible.
We started out our day with going out to breakfast! Two other girls and I went to a nearby bakery where I treated myself to a croissant, eternally ruining those Costco ones for me, and pain aux pommes, which is just a pastry with apple. SO GOOD. Did I mention I had a caramel éclair yesterday, too? Good thing we’re walking so much otherwise I’d definitely be packing on the pastries. Following our morning adventure, we had a lovely meeting with the Murphy’s, sharing details of what we did yesterday and listening to recommendations from the other students. We also have a prayer and spiritual thought every morning and since I volunteered to share a thought with the group, I have decided to share it here as well.
I believe it was Sunday night that I was downloading the program onto my laptop as to transfer pictures from my brand new camera to my computer more easily. But, as luck would have it, it wasn’t working. I was trying to get it to work for over two hours and just continued to escalate further and further into a deep frustration. Tired, sore, and frustrated, I thought to myself, screw it, I’ll try again later. I got into bed and tried to calm myself before reading my scriptures. I said a prayer, asking that I could be open to what I could learn from the verses and that I could eventually figure out my computer drama. I started reading where I left off, in Mosiah chapter 24 (in the Book of Mormon, in case that confused anyone who isn’t LDS). I’ll share with you verses 12-16:
12 And Alma and his people did not raise their voices to the Lord their God, but did pour out their hearts to him; and he did know the thoughts of their hearts.
13 And it came to pass that the voice of the Lord came to them in their afflictions, saying: Lift your heads and be of good comfort, for I know of the covenant which ye have made unto me; and I will covenant with my people and deliver them out of bondage.
14 And I will also ease the burdens which are put upon your shoulders, that even you cannot feel them upon your backs, even while you are in bondage; and this will I do that ye may stand as witnesses for me hereafter, and that ye may know of a surety that I, the Lord God, do visit my people in their afflictions.
15 And now it came to pass that the burdens which were laid upon Alma and is brethren were made light; yea, the Lord did strengthen them that they could bear up their burdens with ease, and they did submit cheerfully and with patience to all the will of the Lord.
16 And it came to pass that so great was their faith and their patience that the voice of the Lord came unto them again, saying: Be of good comfort, for on the morrow I will deliver you out of bondage.
Soo, my thought process? “Okay, so tomorrow my computer is going to work and I’ll be able to get my pictures on it.” I hope you laughed there because I certainly felt ridiculous that that was my very first thought. But sure enough, the very next day, it worked. It wasn’t even a big deal, or even a burden at all, but the Lord knows it is important to me. Even in our little frustrations, we can turn to the Lord and He looks out for us.
After the meeting we rushed to the metro to get to the Pantheon. Yes, the Pantheon. It is massive, and I still feel as though that is an understatement. There was a Jean-Jacques Rousseau exhibit temporarily there too so we were in for quite a bonus. A few statues and paintings I really enjoyed were…
“Jean Jacques Rousseau dans le parc d’Ermenonville” (statue)
“Esquisse d’un monument a Rousseau” (statue)
“L’education d’Emile” (statue, what true education looks like)
“Les cendres de Voltaire a l’interieur du Pantheon” (painting)
“Monument edifie aux Tuileries a la memoire de Rousseau” (painting)
“La sarcophage de Rousseau expose au Pantheon” (paintings)
The Pantheon has a lot of tombs of fancy and/or important people, like; Voltaire, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Louis Braille, Victor Hugo, Emile Zola, and my personal favorite, Alexandre Dumas.
Seeing his name in the stone literally took my breath away (it's the lower one). He is the author one of my all-time favorite books, The Count of Monte Cristo. A picture is worth a thousand words but you’re probably sick of reading so much, so I’ll start trying to add pictures now to help you along. Here are three of the Pantheon, the first two on the inside and the last one of me outside of it in the courtyard.
We left the Pantheon to stumble upon Eglise Saint Etienne, or the Church of St. Stephen. It was full of stained glass, beautiful artwork, and the architecture was amazing.
I’ve recently decided gothic architecture is my favorite. I was skeptical about liking it at all but oh how Paris has changed me.
On our way to Musee l’Orangerie, we found a little shop, Amarinno, with some of the best ice cream I’ve ever had in my life.
Again, good thing that I have to walk EVERYWHERE, otherwise…I don’t even want to think about it. In l’Orangerie, we saw Renoir’s “Two girls at the piano” and Monet’s “Boats at Argenteuil” and “Nympheas (Water Lilies)”. Other pieces I really liked that we saw were Derain’s “Arlequin et Pierrot” and “Roses dans un vase” (really, really liked that one), Picasso’s “Grande Nature Morte”, and Utrillo’s “Eglise St. Pierre”, “Rue de Mont-Cenis”, and “Notre Dame”. I found I rather enjoyed the majority of Utrillo’s pieces and noticed that a lot of it looked like, or had in it, gothic architecture.
I mean really, how can you not fall in love with her?
My favorite piece that we saw in l’Orangerie would have to be Monet’s “Water Lilies”. It is an eight piece work, taking up the walls of two large oval shaped rooms, that, if you were to look above them, connect together to look like an infinity sign, or ellipses (I really hope that’s the right word, otherwise I just look really dumb. Hopefully you just know what I mean). Around the longer sides of either room are the longer paintings, one on each side, and the same idea with the shorter paintings on the shorter sides. The whole thing had shades of purple, blue, green, pink, all very soft, deep colors. It was vague on where any objects actually were in the painting, giving it a misty look, as though you couldn’t see that far into the gloom. I loved the way it was set up so you could look around the entire room and still find more to see. I wish I could’ve taken pictures but we weren’t allowed to in that museum. Google it. Enjoy it. It’s beautiful. I think what really got me in that piece were the weeping willows—those are my favorite kind of trees (Yeah, I have a favorite tree. Maybe it’s a Northwest thing).
We finished fairly early and had time to come back to the hotel for a couple hours before reconvening to head to the Musee les Arts Decoratifs and (drumroll please…) the Louvre.
We didn’t see much at the Musee les Arts Decoratifs because most of it was closed off for a jewelry showcase of some sort. All I could tell from that is all of it was really, really expensive.
Except for this random wall that was just in a hallway in between two different exhibits.
The rest of what was available was knick-knacky or really shiny, so, of course, I just looked at the shiny stuff. We went through a room with the label of “galarie des bijoux” where there was a lot of fancy jewelry and antique looking accessories. Other than that, that museum just had a lot more stairs than I wanted to climb. Alright, another drumroll.
THE LOUVRE. There is so much artwork crammed in that place, it is ridiculous. I got as many pictures as I could without being too touristy. The unfortunate thing about the Louvre, I would say, is just how much there is in there. We saw the Mona Lisa, Venus de Milo, the Wings of Victory, and so many other wonderful pieces of art. I wish I had had more time to appreciate all of it, but like I said, there is just so much it is overwhelming. We made our rounds to about eight specific pieces for our classes, those being; David’s “Oath to Horatii” and “The Sabine women halting the battle between the Romans and Sabines”; Watteau’s “Return from Cythera”; Boucher’s “Diana leaving Bath”; Girodet-Trioson’s “Entombment of Atala”; Gericault’s “Raft of the Medusa”; Delacrioix’s “Massacre at Scios” and “The Death of Sardanapalus”. After going through there, I would say that eight years would just not be enough.
More pictures will come. Eventually.
There ya go.