Friday, March 26, 2010

Nous Sommes Arrives!

Look at the beautiful keyring to our room.., everything here is done with such style..

We arrived safely in Paris after a long 9+ hour flight. A little weary, as no sleep was had on the plane, but we found some energy once we got to our hotel, a charming place called "Hotel St. Jacques," tucked away on a little side street in the 5th Arrondissement. We are very happy to find out that we are centrally located to many popular tourist destinations. So, as soon as we checked our bags in, we took off on foot and found our way to the river Seine, walked along it for a little ways and came upon the awe inspiring Notre Dame.

When we went to check out the Cathedral, we were amazed at the crowds of people/tourists? pouring in by the the thousands.

We observed a priest saying mass, all through the thousands of people entering and clicking their cameras, saying prayers, lighting candles for loved ones, buying rosaries, and talking.

I felt "held" by the majesty and the peacefulness of the building, despite the throngs of people, it didn't seem to impact the sacredness and presence of the place at all.

Tomorrow..., Porte de Vanves flea Market, and a sight seeing around Paris by Segway...

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Count Down to Paris...

Spring Flowers - Pike Market, Seattle

Well, we're getting down to the wire here, we leave on our trip this coming Thursday... (yikes!) I've realized that creating lists only works if I take them out of my head and put them down on paper!

We will be in Paris for a total of 3 days.., and England for 5. I am taking my laptop computer, and if all goes well, I will be blogging as often as the schedule allows.

I'm looking forward to all the photo opportunities..., I want to bring Paris and London and all the other places in between to you, via this blog:)

I found this Haiku about Paris in the spring and thought it most fitting..



Travel Haiku - Spring in Paris
By John Tiong Chunghoo

Paris spring
street by street we explore
the city like a flower

Paris spring
slowly but surely the city
blooms in us

Paris spring
foot by foot
we explore the city

Eiffel Tower spring
the city lights up
our dreams

Eiffel Tower spring
the city spreads out
like our dreams

They say springtime in Paris is the stuff of songs, daydreams, and romance novels. And there is a heavy dose of truth to that. Cruise the Seine river, admire art at the Louvre and the musee d'Orsay, and see the quintessential Parisian sights of the Arc de Triomphe and Notre Dam. Enjoy a good book and coffee at a cafe on the Champs Elysees, have a picnic of fresh bread and cheese at the Tuileries garden or take in a dinner show at the Moulin Rouge. Cap off your trip with an evening ascent up the Eiffel Tower to witness the City of Lights in full glory.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Brave New Artist

I like to think that Carol Lord had to be born with her amazing creative gift, and her" stick to it " determination (a good combination for any budding artist hoping to make their mark in the world.)

I met Carol through her husband Michael, (he too is a talented artist - an emmy award winning composer and musician.) We met Michael when Caelin and I decided to take up race car driving a few years ago. Which ended in Caelin taking up racing as a serious hobby (within 3 years he won the pro 3 championship,) and I decided that rather than be a racer I wanted to be support person/cheer leader for my sweetie - good decision:)

During the many weekends that we spent racing that first summer, Carol and I got to know each other well and while the men stood outside in the baking heat with their heads under the hoods of race cars, scratching their heads and discussing such things as "slip differenentials,"... Carol and I busied ourselves in the "race support vehicle," (a comfortable air conditioned r.v with lovely things like stove top and refrigerator where I would prepare food and cold drinks for the road warriors.)

When not being support crew we would do fun stuff - paper collaging. Our tools of choice, glue sticks and scissors, old magazines.

I thought I knew how to collage but when I saw what Carol was doing with her old magazines and papers I was intrigued..., I'd never seen anything like what she was doing. Her images made from torn and cut up recycled papers were so different from anything I'd seen before. She had style that was different and unique.

From then on, whenever I went to the races, I would have to go hunting for Carol, usually I would find her locked away in her and Michaels RV, papers and magazines spread out amongst racing gear and tools...

Clearly Carol's art was becoming something BIG in her life, whenever I saw her she had a serene glow of fulfillment on her face... She confessed that she could happily spend all day doing her art..., and did..., often.

That's how "it" happens isn't it? Quite by happenstance Carol discovered her passion. She discovered that she has a gift to share with the world. She is a talented artist with her own unique vision.

Now she is taking that vision out into the world, which takes heart and a willingness to be vulnerable. She has just opened a small booth at Pikes Market in Seattle where I know that others will soon recognize the love that goes into her wonderful unique paper paintings.

I think the world is ready for more Carol's in the world...

Do you have a passion, that nurtures and fulfills you?

Sunday, March 21, 2010

A poem that reminds...

"Casablanca" Lilly from my garden, summer, 2009

I want to share this poem with you. Once again I've chosen from David Whyte's collection called "River Flow." I love this particular poem, to me, it stands out. His words speak of authenticity, of how to take the first, sometimes painful first steps to following the heart.

Rhythmically he pulls the reader's focus in with repeating the words "start close in" and "start."

His urging is gentle, but sure. He doesn't suggest climbing a whole mountain at once, instead, he shares wise words with us,..."Start close in, don't take the second step or the third..."

I am reminded of the task I have given myself, to write everyday for a year about "love" and the many forms it takes in this life, and I wonder at times, if its possible for me to do. When I read this poem over, its a meditation that helps me focus on just the here and now, and reminds me to "start close in..."

David Whyte

Start close In,
don't take the second step
or the third,
start with the first
close in,
the step
you don't want to take.

Start with
the ground
you know,
the pale ground
beneath your feet,
your own
way of starting
the conversation.

Start with your own
give up on other
people's questions,
don't let them
smother something

To find
another's voice,
your own voice,
wait until
that voice
becomes a
private ear
to another.

Start right now
take a small step
you can call your own
don't follow
someone else's
heroics, be humble
and focused,
start close in,
don't mistake
that other
for your own.

Start close in,
don't take
the second step
or the third,
start with the first
close in,
the step
you don't want to take.