Cakes and Cathedrals

Dear blog friends, Haven’t been able to post this week, hosting visitors, long conversations with long lost friends, sharing my favorite places. More thoughts taking shape about the soul of France, how cathedrals and cakes are holographic alphas and omegas of the traditional French experience, the first, centuries in the making, centuries standing solid, the second, sensual and ephemeral, but with the same love for graceful architecture, story-telling in images… More to come, love xxxxx Aliss

(Bakery Benoist, 29 avenue Secretan, Paris 75019, tel: 01 42 40 23 86, and rose window in Chartres Cathedral)

Thank You France


Emerging from election stress and heavy weather… This is where I wanted to be the day after  Macron was elected, immersed in the light of one of the great souls of France at Giverny…May 8th is a national holiday here (V-E Day) so the place was packed with French and international tourists, it was rainy and cold, but this living masterpiece, wonder of the world, was still perfect. Thank you France xxxxxx Aliss

Sanity Savers 12: Point Zero

Point zero

Photo: Jean-Jacques Breton, Paris à vos pieds, editions Parisgramme, Paris 2013, p. 106. (Scan and color-adjustments, Aliss Terrell)

Embedded in the cobblestones in front of Notre Dame Cathedral is this marker, the starting point of all main roads leading to French cities and the endpoint used for measuring their distances, the very heart of the country. DSC03304The cathedral itself is a visual encyclopedia of French culture and history.DSC03305

Beside the main altar stands a 14th century statue of the Mother. No matter what tradition you come from, she is the incarnation of compassion enfolding soul,  reminding me of Kwan Yin, (Guanyin) the Buddhist bodhisatva, sometimes compared to Mary.

DSC03307I’m grateful to have this sanctuary nearby, to sit in silence, in candlelight, sending and receiving love through this portal, always, but especially in times like the ones we are living.

To be continued xxxxx Aliss

Sanity Savers 10: Noticing


(Noticed this tree noticing the first flowers)

Leafing through The Great Work of Your Life (see previous post) for quotes I want to share about Dharma as our soul’s highest calling...

Stephen Cope refers to the Gnostic Gospel of Saint Thomas, “If you bring forth what is within you, it will save you. If you do not bring forth what is within you, it will destroy you.” And he adds a codicil of his own, “If you bring forth what is within you, it will save the world.”

“How do we discern our dharma? How do we discover the magnificent inner blueprint?… 1. Trust in the gift, 2. Think of the small as large, 3. Listen for the call of the times…” (p. 23)

In the background I notice Kate Bush on the radio,

“And if I only could
I’d make a deal with God
And I’d get him to swap our places
Be running up that road
Be running up that hill
Be running up that building…”

Back to Stephen Cope, “The first encounter with dharma is very often like falling in love. When we see our dharma–smell it, feel it–we recognize it. It is chemical. Undeniable.” (p. 141)

And, “Having first named and claimed our dharma, we next begin to systematically organize all our life’s energies around our calling. The dharma gradually becomes a point of radiance that focuses and unites our life force. Our lives begin to move into orbit around our vocation.” (p. 89)

“When a person is devoted to something with complete faith,” said Krishna to Arjuna, “I unify his faith in that form.” (p. 103)

Let us notice what we love in our world, in our times, follow it with complete faith and run up that hill, run up that building…

To be continued xxxxx Aliss