Sunday, April 28, 2019

Irregular Carrots

As children we quickly develop standardized images of things. An apple is roundish and red. A carrot is long and orange...except when they are not. One of the delights of going to the farmers market is discovering yellow-green apples with brownish-red speckles, or red, yellow and purple carrots ranging from short and stout to thin as asparagus stems. But even at the farmers market, some things get relegated to a discount bin. Last week, it was the carrots that were too odd or unattractive to go in the usual bags. Some looked like half-formed animals with tails. The two-legged ones seemed distinctly human. I am pretty sure that there is a children's story waiting to be written about these carrots, explaining what happens when they come to life, then scurry out of this bin.

Sunday, April 21, 2019

Artist Sketching Notre Dame

Some years ago, we spent a week in a small hotel near Place St Michel. Notre Dame was an ever-present sight and an orientation point as we explored the crooked medieval streets of "our neighborhood." We had the luxury of going inside on a whim to view the stained glass windows in the morning and in the afternoon, enjoying each window when it glowed the most beautifully. We watched tour groups gather, then march into the cathedral and marveled at chic women in high heels, bicycling across the cobblestones of Place Parvis. One afternoon this gentleman sketched the flying buttresses of Notre Dame. Oh how I wished to join him on that fine sunny day. Now the scene is different. The story of Easter is one of triumph over death. I hope that Notre Dame de Paris will somehow be reborn.

Sunday, April 14, 2019

Photographing the Cherry Blossoms

The people who take photos during cherry blossom season fall into two distinct categories: those wielding cell phones and those loaded down with big cameras with heavy lenses. The phone-wielders tend to be more interested in taking selfies than actually looking at the cherry blossoms  I like to follow the big-camera guys. It’s fun to watch them check out every blossom-laden branch. They are happiest when a memorial or monument is perfectly framed in artistically drooping branches. Here’s to the folks who are keeping the camera shops in business. May all their photographs be in focus.

Sunday, April 7, 2019

Cherry Blossoms and Kimonos

The cherry blossoms have been at their peak bloom this week. Crowds of people wandered along the too-narrow path that circles the Tidal Basin. Some arrived ready to have their photos taken, dressed in pink, or white outfits, carefully chosen to harmonize with the blossoms. No one looked as good--or as appropriately dressed--as the two young women in kimonos. They strolled along, chatting with a friend on the phone, sharing the views of the blooming trees. For a minute, I could pretend that I was in Japan. It was delightful.