Posted tagged ‘Versailles’

“History isn’t about dates and places and wars. It’s about the people who fill the spaces between them.”

July 3, 2015

Thinking I was smart, I went shopping early. Everyone else did the same thing. I was lucky a car pulled out before I went around the lot any more times as I was getting dizzy. I had my list and made several sweeps of the store. Standing at the cash register I noticed I hadn’t bought ice cream, the center piece of my dessert. I ran and got what I needed then waited while 6 bags were filled. It took 3 trips into the house. I thought my legs would give way on the second trip with a bag filled with bottles. Sweat running down your face is not a pretty sight. After everything was put away, I sat down, reached for the phone and tried to make a call. No dial tone. I checked, and I suspect it is my phone as the TV and internet are working just fine. At least I know I won’t be interrupted by phone calls.

The world has come to Cape Cod for the weekend. The line to get off the Dennis exit stretched as far as I could see. Luckily I was traveling against the traffic. I will probably have to go out later to get a new phone but until then I’ll prep for tomorrow’s gala dinner and 4th of July celebration.

I don’t remember how old I was when I realized the importance of July 4th. I guess it might have been around the fifth grade when I first had American history. I remember feeling quite proud that I lived near Lexington and Concord. I even got to go there on one Sunday family excursion. I remember standing on the Old North Bridge where the fighting started, the “shot heard ’round the world,” and imagining the smoke from the rifles. On Lexington Green all I kept thinking was here I am standing where some Minuteman stood.

All of my traveling imaginings started with that thought. Everywhere I’ve gone I’ve thought about who came before me. At Versailles I imagined Marie Antoinette walking through the halls, her dress swishing as she walked. I thought of Incas looking out the same windows I was looking out at Machu Pichu. The Tsar and his family walked through the Winter Palace and so did I. At the Old Fleet Street Tavern( which I think is really The Old Bell Tavern on Fleet Street. I seemed to have combined what and where). I wondered if Christopher Wren had stopped in for a nosh just as I had. Everywhere old I have gone, I’ve wondered.

“I discovered windows one afternoon and after that, nothing was ever the same.”

October 18, 2012

In the den, where I spend so much time, is the window to my world. From that window I can see a part of the deck and the backyard. At night the lights on the topiary in the corner of the deck and the lights in the back yard on the bottle tree easily draw my eyes. Both brighten the darkness. During the morning, especially this time of morning, I can see the sun shining through the leaves of the oak tree. In the summer the whole tree seems to sparkle in the light. Now, the lower branches closest to the deck are in shadow. The sun has changed position.

I am a window person. When I travel, I take pictures of windows. Mostly I take pictures from inside looking out and imagine the people who lived there looking out those same windows. In some places, the views have changed over time but in other places the views are exactly the same. I remember the view from the window on the landing in Dickens’ house. I imagined him stopping for just a moment to look out that window as he was going down the stairs, and I was thrilled to think I was standing where Dickens used to stand. Some Inca and I shared the same view from a house in Macchu Picchu. At Versailles I figured the king might have watched from the front window where I stood.

Doors have never interested me. It is the transparency of windows which draws me. I look out and watch the snow fall. I hear and see the rain as it pelts the glass. My garden in the summer is an array of colors, and I can admire it from the front windows. Doors keep the world away. Windows draw us in and sometimes draw us out.


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