My life inside an impressionist painting (updated Sept. 28)

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Reflections from my Parisian village….

Had a hard time reentering the Parisphere this year, so made a list of places to reconnect with the soul of France. First stop: le Musée de l’Orangerie to see Monet’s Waterlilies:

http://www.musee-orangerie.fr/fr/article/visite-virtuelle-des-nympheas

Yes, of course you can take the virtual tour via the link above and you can go there on a crowded weekend, walk through the oval rooms filming with your smartphone, and check it off your list of tourist attractions to “do” in Paris. That’s about how I did it the first time. Then I accompanied US friends to Monet’s home and gardens in Giverny (about two hours northwest) and crossed that off my list, too, but something kept pulling me back. I researched the best time to go to avoid the tour buses and found myself spending hours sitting by the lily pond under the willow branches, immersed in peace and beauty. Then I returned to see the waterlilies at the Orangerie, again and again, weekdays at lunch time, when it’s almost empty, sliding around the oval benches in the soft natural light, facing the panels with soft eyes until the colors imprinted on my retina and I could almost slip between the layers of flowers, water, clouds, and sky. I wanted only the sensual elemental experience, not an intellectual art-snob number, so I deliberately ignored all documentation.

This time I went on a Thursday midday, was almost alone in the twin spaces and finally saw that the exhibit is not a rendering of Giverny’s pond, but more freely interpreted to create loops of time, light, and overlapping worlds. Later I wandered into the deserted audiovisual room downstairs and had the film about how Monet created this place all to myself.  There is much more to say, in the coming days,  about how my vision has been transformed by Monet’s spirit, how I’m seeing my cityscape literally in a different light.

To be continued….. xxxxx Aliss

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