Death by Museum



I seriously think I may have been trying to kill myself.

I did three museums today and almost, no, I did not, but almost, ended with the Louvre.

But I reigned it in.

When I swapped Metro lines and changed at Palais-Royale Musee Du Louvre, I just changed trains instead of going up into the museum.

Thank God.

I might have gone museum on some tourists.

From here on out I am going to leave the big gun museums to the tourists on free days.  It was a little too much.  I got overwhelmed more by the crowds at points than I did the art.

That being said, I got art fever.

Standing in front of  La Naissance de Venus, I must have flushed over and trembled audibly.

Yes, an audible tremble.

I felt as though I was being strummed, I radiated in front of the piece.  I could have stared at it for hours, except I had some one, a tourist, and hey, yes, I know, I am one too, even if I am trying to live here, I am a bit of a tourist, but yes, a tourist, explaining to his girlfriend the meaning of the work.


Can’t we just stand here, quietly, in awe.

Can’t you see I am in awe.

You have peed on my art moment.

I moved off.

The fever hit again in front of a small triptych of Seurat’s post Impressionist pointillism paintings.  Three different angles on a woman, so small, so glorious, my face is flushing from the remembrance of the colors, the shadow on the woman’s thigh, the purple crush of light against the chin and the way her foot, turned out just so, captured by rose petals of tiny pointed paint dabs.

I was stunned.

Then a Japanese boy pushed me, literally, shoved me out-of-the-way.

I am sure it was an accident, but it was the last straw for this lady.

I walked out of the hall and went back down the escalators.

I had already had a full as full can be day.

“Have you lost weight?”  A. asked me at dinner tonight, at a cafe in the St. Germain neighborhood.

I smiled, probably, I have walked a lot lately.

Plus, I stopped the cheese, dropped the dairy, and have not had pomme frites in quite some time, hell considering how much I walked today, it was probably noticeable.

I already know my legs are going to be sore in the morning when I get up.

I walked a pant size off today is what it felt like.

I eschewed riding my bike this morning to the Sunday morning commitment I have.  I knew I was going to go to the museums.  I did not want to hassle with the bike, taking off the seat, securing it, and locking it in one place for too long.  Plus, it was misty wet and I did not feel like slipping on the cobblestones.

When I left the spot at 1:15pm.  I had intended to walk down Rue Commerce to the outdoor market that runs along the Metro line.  I planned on grabbing some fruit, apples, maybe a piece of cheese, or a sausage.  I do not know if it was the crowd, my feet, or what, but nothing caught my eye, nothing called.

I left the market and decided to walk along the Trocadero and go to Musee Branly, which is right after the wrack and ruin and the fractious crowds of the Eiffel Tower.

The best thing about the museum was the gardens, I walked in, the art was not my style, and I went back out to the gardens.  The rose arbor, despite being long past its season, still had a few roses clinging to it.


The rose hips were full and scattered across the metal beams and I stared up at the sky.  Off to my right the Eiffel Tower, across the way the Seine, and I knew, I was going to walk more.  I stretched my arms up and shouldered the bag.  Rose Arbor

Off towards the 7th and Invalides.

I had no desire to go to the Army museum, rather I wanted what was on the other side of it.

Musee du Rodin.

Invalides, from the Rodin Gardens

What I found the most amazing, aside from the white marbles in the main exhibition hall, was the profligacy of his work.

I had no idea how many pieces.  The sculptures kept coming and coming and coming.

Every where I turned, more.

The models blew my mind.  Looking at a small model of Cupid and Pysche with the screws and pins in a perfect miniature of the larger sculpture was astounding.

The white marbles also were astonishing.

I wanted to pet them.

They called to be touched.

They looked silken and stuffed with shattered prisms of light.

I saw a little boy duck under a rope and pet one.

I wanted to do the exact same thing, just trail my hand along the smooth rapturous flank of a sculpture, feel it sing to my hand.

I went through the front museum, the back exhibition hall, then the gardens.  It was a vast collection.  And I know that there are so many more pieces my mind boggled thinking about how much time he must have spent.


As I was rounding out my spin through the gardens a bus, double-decker, unloaded.

I fled.

I turned down a street actually looking for a market.

I was hungry and knew I could not tackle much else without a snack.

I had an apple in my bag and started with that.

Paris, to me will always taste like apple.

It will feel like sore legs and aching feet.

I turned here, turned there, but it is Sunday and I did not find what I wanted.

I did, however, stumble upon another beautiful church on my way to Musee D’Orsay–Eglise Saint Clotilde.

Saint Clotilde


The best thing about the church was the scramble of boys playing soccer in front of the doors.

It must, in fact, be quite the place to play.

I noticed a little something incongrouus on the church facade.

Soccer ball!




Apparently the saints like to get in a little football action as well.

I ducked past the game and headed out to a busy avenue.

I was not sure exactly where I was, but I was not so uncomfortable.  I was not exactly lost, I knew which way the Seine was and I knew which arrondissement I was in.  Despite not having my exact where about pinned, I felt that I would find my way.

I did.

The sign pointing the way to Musee D’Orsay didn’t hurt either.

I queued up, ate the second apple in my bag and let it sink in that I was getting to go again to the Musee D’Orsay.

I have gotten, in one life time, to go to the Louvre twice, the Centre de Pompidou twice, and now the D’Orsay twice.

I am truly a lucky girl.

I once had a boyfriend who wanted to go to every museum in the world.

He still lives in Wisconsin and I don’t believe he ever got out of the Mid-West.

But that aspiration rubbed off on me, just a little.

I went in.

I paused on the stairs as they opened up into the courtyard full of sculptures and I just took a breath.  Partially to let my legs rest, partially to breathe in the air, rarefied with art.



I felt the fever begin.

I shivered.

I shook.

I trembled.

I felt hot and cold.

It was not just the ache of my tired legs, but it was my heart being siphoned off into the air and sucked into the art.

I felt bombastic with art.


So when I made the decision to make the train line transfer instead of walk up into the Louvre, I think I may have saved the city from having to scrub my shattered self off the Delacroix.

I am still fevered as I write this.

Statue of Liberty Model

Flushed with the enormity of what I saw.

I feel like my eyes have been seared with art.

I went back to the Birth of Venus one last time before I exited the museum.

Then I sat down.

I just sat and let the art air fall upon my aching shoulders and vibrating heart.

I have been given so much.

So much love.

Clock Musee D'OrsayI am not wasting any more time feeling that I am doing anything wrong, that I made a mistake, or that I am wrong in being here.

I am exactly where I am supposed to be.

In Paris.


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One Response to “Death by Museum”

  1. NYC vs. Paris: The Many Statues of Liberty | Untapped Cities Says:

    […] Image by AuntieBubba […]

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