Doing It Rodin Style


Walking around Paris on my own with nowhere to be at any particular time enlightened me with unexpected imperturbability.  I moved out here to be in the country.  Two thousand five hundred scenic pieces of trees and sky.  Yet, I had no problems getting back to “go mode” in the city most people think of when you say you’re moving to France.   I spent about thirty minutes each evening by The Head, a large concrete head that is no doubt famous, which sits next to what was once thought by me to be Notre Dame.  It actually sits next to something that looks like Notre Dame like many other Notre Dame-like churches around Paris.  I realized later that Notre Dame itself is the Notre Damiest of them all.  I’m sure I’ll be enlightened as to its name in the imminent future.  By the church that isn’t Notre Dame, were two dudes playing jazz.  An upright bass player and a guitar man with an amp.  Those guys had a wonderful time playing or practicing their work while a gaggle of tired tourist sat in the park resting their feet as dusk falls.  The metro riders briskly walked past The Head to get to Châtelet, the metro stop with many options.  After listening to the jazzmen for a while, I’d pack up my book and pop on the iPod.  The musical selection of choice for walking around Paris is Philip Glass, Koyaanisqatsi.  It’s like living your own music video.  Nameless faces, in a rush to get somewhere important, couples giggling flirtatiously over drinks, traffic stopping and going and stopping and going.  An entire city there to entertain you as you walk from The Head to get a bite to eat.  After being in the country for six months where one can walk from home to park and see nothing more than an old mare and a barking dog, the city becomes more surreal than this city girl remembers.

But this isn’t what I really wanted to address.  What I saw in Paris was a lot of art.  A pain au chocolat cannot be thrown anywhere in Paris without hitting some art.  It’s everywhere.  No museum pass required.  I’m usually drawn to paintings over the rest, but after a visit to the garden at the Rodin museum (for a Euro!) I began to enjoy sculptures much more.  And that Rodin was pretty good at that stuff.  The curves, the positions, the sensuous movement emoting from a still object, the … hold on .. is that pigeon poop?  Was bird feces part of Rodin’s vision?  The guy works hard on this beautiful work and a bird poops on it.  And then it was everywhere.  No statue could be viewed by me without searching for the poop.  It became Where’s Waldo, the bird dung edition.   At last I found a statue untarnished by any foul movement.   Then, there it was, carrying on in the garden of Rodin as though no one could see them, but we could.  Sure not everyone acknowledged it.  Others may have looked passed it, but they were there, doing it and showed no compunction.   Naturally I took a photo, how could I not? Environmental players dancing on the art of yesteryear creating a momentary Farside Cartoon of today crossed my path and I had to shoot.