Palais du Louvre and Returning to Myself

It’s 5:40pm and I’m sitting in the Louvre courtyard in a nice shady spot. The Pyramid is directly in front of me and is catching the still-high sunlight and sparkling, as it does. The light everywhere is gorgeous and the sun has got me quite warm and sweaty! I have a light sweater on and it must come off for a little while.

I was just praising my decision to bring comfortable yet attractive-enough shoes. Black flats. A must. Always. Although my feet are warm and starting to swell, they do not hurt. What a great, GREAT thing!

Ah, better without the sweater!

A breeze is rifling my skirt and the pages of my journal as I write. The light mutes with cloud cover then brightens. I love not rushing to go anywhere. I love resting and writing. I love my telephoto lens which allows me – shy little me – to grab expressions and interactions which would disappear if I were closer to my subjects. There are four who have joined my shady spot and I don’t blame them at all and I am not hampered as I usually am by their proximity, but instead am glad of their company.

One of these who has joined me is a young mother with a dark ponytail and a baby in a pack in front. Mom lifts her face to the warm breeze and closes her eyes. Baby turns his head and smiles directly at me. That was my sweet gift for sharing this space, I think!

My rest rejuvenates me and I take another walk through the Tuileries with perfect cumulus light and my cool, cool, cool wide-angle lens on my new Canon 5D Mark III. (I love, love, love this camera.) This is the first trip I’ve taken with this camera and I am getting plenty of fun practice out of it. I’ve not used a full-frame sensor camera before and so have always been a bit short-shrifted when it came to wide-angle shots. But, I see that my go-to wide-angle lens, my 17-40mm f4, was made for a camera like this and this photo capturing all three sides of the Palais du Louvre is proof:

Palais du Louvre

The sunny, gorgeous day, with those fluffy cumulus clouds, certainly didn’t hurt the shot either! (Although tempted, I will not wax poetic about the soft breezes or the architecture or poor headless Marie-Antoinette. But I am sorely tempted. A day like today begets poets.)

Continuing on, at the intersection of Rue de Rivoli and Rue de Castiglione, with cigarette hanging from his lips, a tour bus driver, in a huge empty tour bus, swings his rig into the intersection and turns right. So this is what it feels like when a massive wall moves rapidly toward you!

I have returned to Paris. I am healthy and free and happy. It’s not like I’m thinking, though, “Ah, finally, I am here. I can be alone with my thoughts. I can write. I can read.”

No. It’s more like I have arrived at a place where I can hear my soul whisper, “Oh, hello, Renate. I see you have been attempting with exceeding longing to be patient until you could come away again and I see you have now returned. Well, welcome back to yourself. Let’s take a walk then and just see, hear, smell, and taste a few things. Let’s take the time to write about mommies who savor fresh breezes, and babies who give gifts without even knowing they do, and about behemoth busses and their drivers with cigarettes dangling from their mouths. Let’s learn. Let’s remember. Let’s just be for awhile…”

Yes. I have returned to myself.