Thursday, November 4, 2010
Paris, cemeteries, Morrison v. Chopin.
I didn't make it to the Louvre. I love art museums, but the Louvre just seems completely overwhelming. I did go to Pere Lachaise cemetery on All Saints' Day -- a most holy national holiday -- and visited graves and mausoleums all dressed up in a sea of fresh chrysanthemums and tourists. It was beautiful, but I actually really like visiting cemeteries, especially in places where the tombs are so old and dramatic.
We did the obligatory visit to Jim Morrison's grave, which I found more amusing than moving. It wasn't hard to find -- just follow the group of high 19-year-old backpackers through those cobblestone pathways and vôila! Don't follow the old women with brightly hennaed hair, or you'll end up watching them cry at the tomb of Edith Piaf.
I liked The Doors when I was 11, and I spent plenty of time transcribing and playing Ray Manzerek's keyboard parts. To this day I can play the keyboard solos in "Light my Fire" and "Riders on the Storm" from muscle memory. But honestly, I never thought much of J-Mo's lyrics (and much less of his poetry), and his grave wasn't exactly a pilgrimage for me.
More important to me was a tomb a few graves over, where, much to my surprise and gratitude, there was a much larger crowd. Frederic Chopin -- or F-Cho, as you might know him -- is probably my favorite composer, despite never having written a gem like "Peace Frog." His nocturnes make me swoon to this day.
Oddly enough, I discovered Chopin right around the same time as I discovered The Doors -- during middle school. J-Mo I first listened to because that Oliver Stone movie came out while I was in the 7th grade. F-Cho I first heard because of a terrible V.C. Andrews novel I read that same year. The heartthrob character Troy (the Heaven series) played Chopin nocturnes in his little cottage beyond the hedge maze, and I remember buying a book of Chopin nocturnes just so I could soundtrack my pleasure reading. Thankfully, I think the better of the two musicians stuck with me, and I was very happy to see many more mourners and hundreds of candles lit at Chopin's grave than at the security-laden grave of Morrison.
Sorry I didn't write more from Scotland or Paris. I was kind of busy gallovanting in cathedrals and graveyards and eating stinky unpasteurized camembert. Mmmmmmmm.
Did y'all see that video of the turtle with a straw up its nose? It made its way around Facebook about a year ago, and it has haunted m...
Gooooood Monday morning, y'all! I'm writing from the Norton Cancer Institute where, for the first time in months, I'm able to ac...
They say it takes 21 days to form a habit. Well, I've been taking a yoga class 6-7x a week since January 4, and guess what ... I feel be...
All that boasting about my newfound daily yoga practice yesterday, and I skipped this morning! But I was helping my mom take a 3-hr test tha...