|Cimetiere du Pere Lachaise (forgive the lack of accent marks), Paris, France. January 1999.|
In Paris, statues are plentiful.
The celebrated ones are put into museums or public squares for throngs of international art lovers to behold. I've been lucky enough to visit Paris on more than one occasion, and I can't say that I've seen a bad statue in the entire city. Of course, I'm no expert on what makes one worthy of being put on a pedestal and cordoned off with velvet ropes. You can disagree with me and I'm okay with that.
My favorite one is the statue of the lady above. I came across it one sunny afternoon while exploring the outer arrondissements of Paris, shuffling through this famous cemetery filled with cobblestone paths, the graves of Jim Morrison and Abelard & Heloise, and some of the most extraordinary statues I had ever seen. After taking a few shots with my camera, I stared at her for a while. She looked real and my eyes made assumptions about her tactile qualities. I let my mind wander further, and imagined an actual woman walking over to the pedestal hundreds of years ago and assuming that pose of mourning. She's been standing there since the day of her loss, stuck in her agony, not able to move, moss-ridden and delicate. No matter how much time has passed, the hurt has not lessened. It's her constant, and perhaps the constant of other creatures and living things surrounding her. They bend and move to her grief.
The parallel to my current situation is pretty obvious, and it seems that I truly am stuck. My husband Dave sees it every night when he heads up to bed and leaves me to sit alone on the couch. I'm frozen, unable to get past certain thoughts that keep me awake. And everyone around me bends and moves to my pain.
It's getting easier to deal with the outside world, and I'll soon spend some time with friends. But I can see that I still have a long way to go. The moss is beginning to grow on me.