With Love from the Louvre

Paris. The Louvre.

Molly and I were frantically following our frenetic roomate who wanted to shove everything from Paris into every orifice of her body.

We were…getting tired.

Who appointed the roommate leader anyway?

Quiet dark places held a certain allure.  We paused at an opening on the stairwell.

“What’s is this place?” Molly said.

“Don’t know.  Looks like they’re fixing things.”

“I wished I could work there.”  Molly said.

We gazed down at the conservancy that held all the broken things of the Louvre: statues in disrepair, paintings that needed a touch up…Everything here was quietly waiting to be on display.

Everyone else was crowded around the famous exhibits; of course, the Mona Lisa – who Shawn Duffy recently photographed in his most excellent photo shoot of Paris.

But Molly and I were quiet.  Content to be among the unformed, the broken.  The energy here was waiting to be born.

When I travel I like to be around the unknown.  The funky.  I’m not good in tourist traps.  I get irritable.  I want to get to the essence of a place. And here was this weird, quiet place.

The weird quiet place is the unknown.  It is all the little creative bubble blips you get during day that rise and pop continually into your stream of consciousness.  Some of them will never be born, and some of them have been born and are in a state of disrepair.

The Louvre’s bastard children.

Since we only have so much energy – what are you going to do?  You can’t birth everything…you can’t fix everthing…

Sooner or later you have to focus your energy.  Your precious creative children ask to be born.  And attended too.  But, unfortunately, there is only room for some of them…unless you want to chop of you head and save it for the cryogenic future – but that’s not what I’m getting at here…

You need to focus on the projects that have juicy passion.  Like Brett Legree is doing with his excellent memoir of his wife Cathryn.  Things that you will attend to and take care of because they add meaning to your life.  And if they add meaning to your life they will resonant strongly with others.

So pick your babies that you will nurture and feed and let fly.  You decide.

I can’t.

Photo Credit: © Ellen Wilson

Views: 0

20 thoughts on “With Love from the Louvre”

  1. Great post Ellen! I’m with you… I start to get irritated in tourist-y places, too. I want to see the “real” location I’m visiting… I want to watch the locals do what they do. I could do that for hours.

    Oh.. thanks for the link, too! 🙂

    Shawn’s last blog post..Haunted by a shot I didn’t take

  2. Thanks Ellen. That is a perfect way of describing my memoir. I believe it will be my finest accomplishment in life, besides helping Cathryn to raise our children. It is something I can – must – work on daily.

    Your words today remind me of one of my favourite places on Earth. Karekare, in New Zealand. I could spend an eternity there. The blackened sand, the sound of the waves, and the smell of salt on the breeze. Nothing else.

    Brett Legree’s last blog post..practice what you preach.

  3. “But Molly and I were quiet. Content to be among the unformed, the broken. The energy here was waiting to be born. ” Beautifully written and anointed with incredible imagery and deeper meaning. Must absorb and come back later with a coherent comment. My gosh, you’re talented!

    Karen Swim’s last blog post..A Post About Nothing

  4. Oh, going to Paris and visiting the Louvre is one of my lifelong dreams. I have wanted to travel to France since birth. I also have a big crush on New York and am itching to go there as well.

    By the way, “roomate who wanted to shove everything from Paris into every orifice of her body.” is one of the best lines I’ve read in a while. Great post Ellen!

    Melissa Donovan’s last blog post..How I Launched My Freelance Writing Career

  5. @Shawn – I think many of you pictures capture the “untouristy” places. You have some great shots! And a great website, too. I think I can learn a lot from you.

    @Brett – If you say your memoir will be one of your finest accomplisments in life, I’m sure it will be. And I know you want to live in New Zealand. I hope you get there. But you’re persistent, so I wouldn’t doubt it.

    @Karen – Thanks for that. And I know your saying that because it’s true and your not just my friend! Ha!

    @Matt – I make it a goal when I travel to get off the old beaten path. It’s getting harder and harder. It’s easier if you live in a place for awhile, but obviously that can’t always happen.

    @Melissa – That line just came to me, as these kind of lines will come to a writer. But then I hesitated writing it, thinking, oh, that sounds nasty. But it was real, and juicy so I left it. It was the editor at work trying to make me sound “nice.” You can spend literally days in the Louvre, it is that big. You will have to go! I haven’t been to New York yet either.

    Thanks for the comments everyone. When I get some more time I will stop in and visit everyone.

  6. One of my little travel secrets is that whenever there is something hugely popular, I often stay away and go for the lesser-known attraction.

    For example, go to the North Rim of the Grand Canyon instead of the South.

    Or hike the 9th highest peak in the Adirondacks and not Mt. Marcy.

    Or see a block buster movie two weeks after opening, on a Monday night.

    Or, in your case, the Conservancy at the Louvre.

    Let all the yahoo crowds fight each other to see the “big thing”. Meanwhile I’m enjoying the “little thing” which I’ll often have all to myself

    And as a result, I’ll enjoy it more.

  7. @Ellen and Melissa

    I saw New York for the first time 7 years ago. It totally blew me away…definitely worth seeing.

    Hard to believe, though, that the metropolitain area is equivalent to 1/3 of Canada’s entire population! I’ve never seen such a dense populated area.

  8. @Ellen, I love it when those lines magically appear. Oh, and I can totally relate to questioning whether to leave the suggestive stuff in a piece of writing. So many times I’ve hit the delete key, thinking I was being too racy but you know what? People love it! Heheh.

    @Friar, All I can say is I am jealous and one day I really hope to get to the big apple. I’m in awe just thinking about it!

    Melissa Donovan’s last blog post..How I Launched My Freelance Writing Career

  9. @Friar – Good travel advice. You are a well traveled soul. Or should I say, sole. London is very crowded, also. I don’t like to be in large crowds to long or I get really drained.

    @Melissa – That’s one of the best things about being a writer. Those little inspirational bursts.

    @Darren – The Mona Lisa is nothing like I expected. It seems so tiny. I like back rooms like this where no one goes. I like the energy in these places.

  10. @Ellen,

    I believe we will get there. I’ll be working on it a bit tonight. There’s a real tie-in with your theme here. I like that New Zealand is really off the beaten path. You can just go about your business there, do your own thing. You can go to a beach, and see absolutely no one there for hours.

    The picture on the About page on my blog – we were at that beach for three hours. Not a soul joined us. Amazing.


    Brett Legree’s last blog post..viking fridays – words of praise.

  11. @Brett

    There are still places like that around here. I was at a beach in Nova Scotia two summers ago. It was miles and miles of emptiness. Compared to just a few hours south (in Maine) where it’s a total zoo.

    But those empty places are getting fewer and farther between. In Canada, you have to keep heading further and futher north to lose the crowds.

    (Or visit New Zealand, like you did).

  12. @Brett – It sounds weird since we never met, but I would miss you. Well, Mike and I can come and visit in New Zealand. Canada is not that far away. Windsor is only 2.5 hours.

    @Friar – It’s funny like that in Canada, once you get away from the cities you don’t see anyone. It’s nice. Many Americans won’t venture past their borders.

  13. Ellen

    I love the States, but I find it INCREDIBLY crowded on in the East.

    But when you get west of Chicago, and start hitting the great plains, into Nebraska, the Dakotas, and then into the Colorado Plateau (Utah, Arizona), it’s HUGE and incredibly empty. Some parts are just as isolated as the Yukon.

    Canada is beautiful…I love the lakes and forests. But the U.S. has some pretty awesome geography we dont’ get (Yellowstone, Grand Canyon, Zion, Bryce Canyon, Arches, Mt. Rainier, etc).

    Friar’s last blog post..A Break from the Cube Farm…

  14. Friar,

    The East was settled first, so that’s why there is that problem. Of course the Spanish came in the South and West, but they weren’t big farmers so weren’t in a constant search for land.

    Glacier National Park extends into Canada. I hear the mountains on that side are better. Whatever “better” is. Mike’s grandma told him that. You know how these things go. He said, she said, lalala.

    The American West is interesting with its wide open spaces. I would like to go hiking in the Pacific Northwest. Mike and I are kind of going back and forth between going to Isle Royale, MI and somewhere out West in September when everyone is back in school. The best time to travel, I think.

  15. Ellen

    Not that Colorado and Montana aren’t absolutely beautiful, but if you want to see the mountains (with all the jagged rock and huge icefields), the best in North America are the Rockies in Alberta.

    Especially between Jasper and Banff. That has got to be the most beautiful stretch of highway in North America, hands-down. It blows away Glacier National Park.

    And you’re right..a great time to go is after labor day. But be prepared, you might have to dress for the weather (some trails might start to get dusted with snow).

    Friar’s last blog post..Great Moments in Bad Retro-TV

  16. @Friar,

    I agree. Canada is good for that (the solitude) – the only thing that doesn’t appeal is that as you have to go further north for that, you end up with more snow and longer winters, and no work (unless you’re self-employed). No country is perfect, of course. NZ just is more compatible with what we want, I guess. It is small (so easy to get around), weather is nicer than Canada for most of the year, and you’re never more than 180 km from the ocean, no matter where you are. Negatives – very remote, so family / friends are hard to see. Prices of many goods are higher. I guess it depends on what you want.


    It’s not weird, I know how you feel. I’d miss a lot of people – people I’ve met in flesh & blood, and people that I only know via electrons – so far. The thing is, living on the same continent in the same general vicinity (i.e. one day’s drive) means it would be easy to meet. I think we’ll get to meet someday. Of course you’d be more than welcome to come and see us in NZ…

    But I know what you mean. I’d miss you too.

    Brett Legree’s last blog post..best laid plans.

  17. @Friar – That is quite a long drive up to Banff for us. But I’ll keep it in mind. It sounds very nice. I’m sure not many people venture out that far. Hell, then we can skip over to Hudson Bay, eh!

    @Brett – Well, let us know how it’s coming along. It sounds like you have been working full steam ahead in that direction. You and your family deserve the best.

Comments are closed.