Today is the first day I have felt cold in Paris on this visit. We are having the warmest winter since 1900, and thankfully we have left behind the felicitously named polar vortex, nonetheless the sun went in, the humidity went up and the 8 degree temperature felt quite chilly in the wind. I needed something. Hmm… flowers. One of my best memories of Paris in 2009 is my weekly visit to a florist at the foot of the market street Mouffetard where you could get 5 bouquets for 10 Euros. Yep, I do not lie. A house really full of flowers all winter long. This is luxury. Time to cross the Seine.
Florists abound and I took pictures as I went to give you an idea of how many pretty flower shops line the way to the Quartier Latin.
But alas, I found Mouffetard quite changed with many food stalls gone in favour of makeup shops and cheap boutiques. Ouch. One of the casualties of these developments was my little florist which had transformed into an empty cafe. Appropriately, it started to drizzle. Not every day can be triumphant, even in Paris. What to do? I set off for home, winding my way past the Curie Institut and other schools of the University of Paris, reminded of how much I like this part of town. Hunching against the wind I thought to stop into St. Etienne des Monts, my favorite church in Paris. Its soothing dim air and shafts of light were just the ticket. I lost myself in a sketch.
Making art is one of the few times when we want to lose ourselves. We become part of something outside ourselves, something bigger. Inspired by what we have seen, we are not taking, acquiring, planning or fretting. It is a kind of giving back to beauty.