Above the Baltic
Between Saint Petersburg and Paris
Where is the sky
Where is the sea
Imagined arms in first position
A ballet beginner
Embracing a ball of light:
I’m not a nationality
I’m not a passport
I’m not a language
A political party
A family member
A marital status
A skin color
A job title
A news cycle…
Maybe a visitor
A soul in a body
©Aliss Valerie Terrell 2019
Reposted from March 2017*
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. The cathedral itself is a visual encyclopedia of French culture and history.
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.
I’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
*Photo: Jean-Jacques Breton, Paris à vos pieds, editions Parisgramme, Paris 2013, p. 106. (Scan and color-adjustments, Aliss Terrell)
On our way to the UK in May…
See you there? xxxxx
Excited to share “Margaritas at Midnight” my first music video as DIRECTOR (AND singer songwriter) 🙂
Recorded with the British band Rough Score, guaranteed tequila buzz with bluesy lounge beach music…true love, shamanic dream or cautionary tale?…
Includes DIVINE margarita recipe demonstration 🙂
Here’s the link:
Now on i-Tunes
And Apple music
When I despair about news of the environment, I think of visiting Mount Greylock, in western Massachusetts, and seeing pictures of its transformation from industrial wasteland to green paradise, all the more amazing because this was launched by a group of businessmen:
“Mount Greylock is the highest natural point in Massachusetts at 3,489 feet (1,063 m). Its peak is located in the northwest corner of the state in the western part of the town of Adams (near its border with Williamstown) in Berkshire County. Although geologically part of the Taconic Mountains, Mount Greylock is commonly associated with the abutting Berkshire Hills to the east. The mountain is known for its expansive views encompassing five states and the only taiga–boreal forest in the state….
By the late 19th century, clearcutting logging practices had stripped much of the mountain for local industries that produced wood products, paper and charcoal. Along with this came devastating forest fires and landslides. Following a fire on the summit, a group of local businessmen concerned about the mountain incorporated the Greylock Park Association (GPA) on July 20, 1885, and purchased 400 acres (1.6 km2) on the summit. The GPA also undertook long-needed repairs to the Notch Road so that carriages could access the top. Aside from shares to fund its operation, the GPA charged a 25-cent toll for the carriage road and a 10-cent fee to ascend the iron observation tower (built 1889). These fees are equivalent to $9.53 in present-day dollars. …..
Additional support came from the Massachusetts Forestry Association’s initiative to advocate for the establishment of a state park system, and to make the case point, fight inappropriate development of the state’s highest peak, Mount Greylock. The principal argument for making the mountain a public reservation was to protect the Hoosic and Housatonic River watersheds from erosion due to recent trends of deforestation (particularly noted on the Adams side). Another concern was to preserve it for the public rather than private and exclusive enjoyment. On June 20, 1898 Mount Greylock State Reservation was created, with the stipulation that the state add to the original land (to ultimately total 10,000 acres (40 km2)). With this acquisition the first public land in Massachusetts for the purpose of forest preservation was created, later to become the state park system….”
Worth the pilgrimage, all the more because the location has now been immortalized in the writings of J.K. Rowling as the site of a North American wizardry school…
To be continued xxxxx Aliss
This oasis was unexpectedly entrusted to my sole care this week. Ice cold turquoise water, partially shaded morning and evening, full sun at midday.
My job: cover it at night, scoop out unfortunate bees, dragonflies, the occasional frog, ants, spiders, debris…and swim between T-storms.
First time ever to have a pool all to myself.
No need to do laps…just play in the water, any stroke or combination of moves that feels good, watching clouds and flowers mirror in ripples across the surface along with endless random mental reflections.
This is when answers to lingering questions bubble up from my deep…how to dance within certain tricky social circumstances, a better way to phrase that sentence in my writing, a thank you note to send, wishes, intuitions about future stages of my life… Unscheduled, unstructured moments are when I receive what I can only describe as signals. As if my being needed an opening in my chatter with the world to synthesize and report back, the way information sometimes comes in dreams…
To be continued
Even before Les Bleus won the World Cup soccer championship, sailor stripes were a thing here, but now they’re The Thing. This summer, if you want to feel French in every sense of the word, go with stripes. Sleek mini shift versions are taking the streets, blue and white Place Saint Sulpice (above) or red and white waiting for the Bateau Mouche Square du Vert Galant:
Long and short sleeved tees make a fresh statement on everyone— young or mature, female or male, slim or less so:
They’re available everywhere, but if you want the real deal, made in France with Fair Trade cotton by a company founded in the epicenter of the marinière, that sponsors music festivals and the beautiful replica of Lafayette’s ship, l’Hermione… go with Armor Lux.
Their Paris store 16, rue Vavin 75006 Paris (Phone 01 44 07 00 77) is slashing prices right now and until August 7th:
Check out their website for prices on every possible item imaginable for the whole family and the home. You’ll also find info on the history of the brand and its commitment to sustainability.
For the backstory, pictures and folklore (originally worn by Breton “onion johnnies” peddling garlic and onions across the channel in England, it became part of the official French Navy uniform and then sexy androgyne high fashion thanks to Coco Chanel, Brigitte Bardot and Jean-Paul Gauthier, to name a few…) see:
Or if you’re not ready to take the plunge, Have a drink at a sidewalk café and people watch and count stripes 🙂
Happy Parisian Summer!