Tuesday, 19 July 2011

....on a tangent

G,day you two.....

....thought I'd post a brief note as an antidote to the "tourists" of the "blissfully ignorant" entry.
There was the day Mrs Wombat and I visited the Musee D'Orsay... but the staff were on strike so we popped around the corner to Musee Rodin. (Paris' a bit like that we found.)
I'll talk about this extraordinary collection another time 'cause this is a story about children.... or more particularly a child, behaving, well... I think, brilliantly.

We had become accustomed to seeing excursion groups of children from Prep to Senior High at places we visited.
"......Let's take the students to Villandry/ LeThoronet/ Louvre/ Musee Rodin for the day..."? (sort of tops any excursion I ever took students on.)
They were invariably well-behaved as were the the late Primary-aged students there at Musee Rodin that day.
I was looking through the collection and taking some photos and when lining up a shot of "The Crouching Woman" noticed a little girl sitting with her mother on window seats diagonally opposite. The girl was drawing intently. In fact, very intently. I think she was about seven or eight years of age and as she was staring past me to my left I put the camera down so not to distract her.
I wondered... how long she would be able to maintain her concentration?
Minutes passed, probably four or five and she was still staring at that Rodin she was drawing, checking briefly what marks she was making and returning her gaze to the sculpture in such a concentrated manner when a man, French (well he spoke it fluently), approached the girl and asked to see her drawing. Her annoyed look made me grin but she showed him her work and looked glad that he was satisfied and was moving on and then returned to her drawing in her former decisive manner.
A few more minutes later the girls mother looked up and saw me watching and smiled... I went over to her and apologising for not speaking French asked if her little girl was always so conscientious?
"No, in fact it's the quietest I've ever seen her... she's always running around ...very active".
We conversed a little more, I thanked her and returned back behind the Crouching Woman, photographed them all and moved on, too.
She was still drawing......

I wonder what impact that place had made on that little girl and how she might remember it for the future?
This little episode was just the tonic needed after the "tourists".
In fact we returned to the D'Orsay... it was open ... but decided that looking/jostling at a Degas work with 200 others was probably something he never intended and went and actually found a good French coffee!
A satisfying day.

Cheers, petals.

1 comment:

  1. G,day Shane, from central south coast UK. My gmail box has just lobbed up a copy of the comment you left on Penny Dreadful Vintages blog, in respect of her ‘Nancy Wake’ post. I’d forgotten I was still subscribed to this blog thread.

    Reading your – “..she's probably giving German Saints hell!”, concerned me for a moment, in so far as I was under the presumption that Nancy was still very much alive and well in her London care home. I’ve just now discovered the all too sad but ultimately, inevitable news, that Nancy Wake did in fact pass away yesterday.

    Civilised mankind has lost the presence of an extraordinarily, brave, resourceful and enigmatic woman. A true heroine and a warrior. One of many, who arose from those dark and ghastly war years to step up to the plate and help lead the fight against the spread of fascism. We owe her much, and as you rightly alluded to, if there are any Nazis lurking around up there who have somehow managed to deceive the keeper of the gates, well God help them now, cos she’ll soon smell them out, and they’ll be quickly and unceremoniously booted down to hell, for the rest of eternity.

    I’ve been reading and collecting stuff about Nancy and some of her fellow SOE combatants in France for a while, with a view to posting about her at a later date. Some of my own late relatives were also agents and members of the SOE, hence the keen interest from my end.

    I love your imagery here, whether it’s your take on street life or the rich and beautiful splendours of France, for which I am also a passionate fan, living just 60 miles north of the Normandy coast over here.

    A sad day concerning Nancy Wake, yes, but she leaves a great legacy for us to remember and better ourselves by, of which only a small and elite band of people can ever hope to match.

    My only other regret is that she’s not a thirty something younger woman of our time right now, because I’d dearly love to see her unleashed against so many of the corrupt and ruthlessly self serving bankers and politicians who are systematically raping and pillaging this current generation’s hopes and aspirations, out of existence.

    I’ll try and keep in touch.

    Cheers - Phil.

    (Forgive the length and size of this commentopic,– it’s all free!)