We all have little fantasies that get us through our days… I hope it’s not just me.
One of mine, not the one where I’m a pirate, is that I am French.
It’s not a goal, those are attainable, it’s a fantasy, like being a pirate. I mastered pirate, the language, decades ago. Avast ye, yo heave ho, give no quarter, no prey no pay, aarrr… thar’s no aye in team!
Almost 4 years ago I moved on, to learn French, mostly in my (Japanese) car, with audio books. I am not going to pretend I’m fluent in French, like I am in Pirate, but if we don’t have goals we don’t have a purpose to wake up in the morning, n’est-ce pas? (is it not?)
I drink out of a coffee mug that says Paris, while wearing a bedazzled “Paris” T-shirt.
I speak seulement (only) French to my dogs, they all understand my French. I know I need a French Bulldog, but one of my dogs is a Brussels Griffon, and oui all know French is a language spoken in Brussels, (home of the Brussels Sprout). My neighbors think I’m nuts. C’est lavé. (fuck them)
I have photoshopped one of my dogs into a picture of the Eiffel Tower.
Last week, on the vegan birthday cake my daughter baked me, were the words « Bon Anniversaire, Maman » and she played Happy Birthday in French, on her phone. We did not sing along, because we knew not how.
Speaking of my birthday, I’m old. I’ve been trying to read Albert Camus’ “The Stranger” in the original French. I pulled out my high school copy of the book in English to help me.
I got to the middle of the book and found a coupon, for mini-pads, THAT EXPIRED IN 1982.
So, I’ve painted a self portrait of a delusional middle aged (people can live to be over 100), woman who is emotionally detached from reality. That’s me, so what?
Today I’d like to discuss yesterday’s fire at the Notre-Dame de Paris (Our Lady of Paris).
I consider myself fortunate to have visited Notre-Dame. Over 4 million annually have walked through the doors. I imagine the despair I felt, was felt far worse by the people of France.
*Photo Credit: Francois Guillot
The picture of the spire falling, engulfed in yellow, orange, and red flames, the sky clouded with black smoke as ravens flew over head… it was watching the end of civilization.
The history, not the catholic faith, is what led me to visit Notre-Dame. The fear that the building, after surviving 850 years: the Nazis, the French Revolution, etc, would be destroyed, and no future generations could add “see Notre-Dame” to their bucket list, was heartbreaking.
The bright side came in the afternoon, surprising word that “all the artwork” was saved.
*Photo Credit: Georges Gobet
Then late last night it was reported, that enough of the structure survived the damage, that it may be rebuilt.
*Photo Credit: Christophe Morin, Bloomberg news
It is not a total loss. The intricately carved,walls, the flying buttresses, the Gargoyles, much of the artwork, and the towers were saved.
*Photo Credit: Marcel Kush, Zuma press
Maybe we can have nice things.
If the planet survives the renovation, this fire will be added to the long list of all she has survived, part of Notre-Dame’s history, and many generations to come will walk through those doors again.