Thursday July 7th – Paris, France

Today was the morning to take a walk into the Museé Rodin and its gardens. You can see the entrance at the far end of the Boulevard des Invalides, a typical Parisian street scene.

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The air was perfect and the sun was out. I took the underground Metro to the Rodin House, a refined and very elegant place to call home. I had excellent directions from Maéva and felt like I was already getting a better understanding of the intricate workings of the Paris subway system.

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Once I took my seat on the train I was admiring the couture of a gentleman sitting next to me (Rémy). I complimented him on his buffalo plaid scarf (very similar to a shirt Emerson had when he was about five). Emerson and I had a conversation yesterday about how to tell the difference between a male and female scarf. As if there is one…anyway, Rémy smiled as we talked and showed me the label with his beautiful French manners. I probably could find the scarf in a department store. We exchanged simple small talk and Rémy handed me his business card. The train stopped. I was going to get off at this stop so I reached in my bag to give Rémy my business card but the train door shut and pulled away, so I missed my stop. Oh well, I’ll just get off at the next station and backtrack.

I wished Rémy a lovely life on this overwhelming summer day in Paris.

As I made my way to the Museum I noticed that in Paris people really do kiss on Main street, just like in the Joni Mitchell song (“In France They Kiss on Main Street,” from The Hissing of Summer Lawns album, back in 1975).

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I made my way to the Museé Rodin and decided after suspiciously eyeing the long waiting lines in the hot Parisian morning sun that I would just walk through the gardens and the cafe.20160707_042413

I was still researching the flowers of Europe for my coloring book. At lunch I had a beautiful salad (“Androméde“) with smoked salmon gracing the lettuce accompanied by a simple glass of French white wine.

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I then continued my excursion into Rodin’s garden where I was privileged to see many of his sculptures, such as The Shade (1904).

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Rodin was influenced by the works of Michelangelo. Rodin used anatomical distortion, a new sculptural technique that was his own invention.

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My favorite sculpture in this garden was that of the French naturalist painter Jules Bastien-Lepage (1848-1884), the foremost expressionist of painting in action.

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Clearly Rodin captured the image of the artist as the “inspired observer.” There were many other pieces of works, such as the “Monument des Bourgeois des Calais” (Bronze, 1886). This particular statue has a figure who appears to be walking with a backward twist, a graphic representation of the inner suffering of the Hundred Years War (1337-1453).20160707_053541

Another great piece in Rodin’s Jardin was the famous “Gates of Hell” (1880-1890).

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It was built and designed for the entrance to a Museum of decorative arts (abandoned in 1889). It was inspired by The Divine Comedy by the Italian poet Dante Alighieri (1265-1321). Rodin also sculpted a much larger version of the figures featured at the top of the triptych known as “The Gates of Hell.”

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The several figures represent the tragic nature of human passion, despair, afflictions, and horror. There is also a version of this bronze piece in the Rodin Sculpture garden at Stanford University in Palo Alto, California.

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After visiting the many wonderful sculptures in the Jardin I made my way towards the Seine River that is the aorta of the City of Lights. Enveloped by the 70-degree weather (21-degrees Celsius), it was a perfect day in Paris.

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My ankle was feeling its best in days. Maéva gave me Arnica cream to help with the swelling.

I have to count my many blessings. I walked down by the river and just enjoyed watching people on the street, young and old.

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Residents and tourists, all moving along at their own pace with their lives in tow.

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I made my way back to Maéva’s apartment, but she was out for the evening with an old friend from Barcelona. Neat.

I had dinner, worked on this blog, and retired by 11:00 pm. I was woken by the noise from the street of revelers who were celebrating the win by France over Germany, putting them in the finals.

This day of July 7th was simply beautiful in the magical Jardin of Rodin and seeing the Seine River.

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