Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Lonely in Louvre

Odd post this.

This lapsed blogger finally found himself in Paris this past weekend where he stole precious time for Louvre and Versailles between heavy swatches of work.

At Louvre, three icons were on the wish list.

Of course, the Mona Lisa -- much too small and locked up with too many people all around her.

Then, the magnificent Venus de Milo. Just like one had imagined having seen a cheap replica way back in the innocence of childhood.

But most important, the law codes of Hammurabi. Few people around, fewer still understanding its colossal significance. There it stands, lonely in Louvre, like a rock.

Have concluded the ancient is far more interesting than the medieval. This is a change of heart -- had not felt the same awe of the distant forbearers while in Egypt many years ago. This rethink must be, what Eliot called, one of the gifts reserved for age.

Mona Lisa and Taj Mahal feel ridiculously pretentious now -- come look at me, how clever I am, how gifted, how very metrosexual! In contrast, those who chiseled out the law codes in Akkad or moved the Earth to shape the Great Pyramids and the Great Wall, or those who invented Zero were surely the real men among men.

Then, Versailles -- where Marie Antoinette lived at the end of one metrosexual age and the beginning of another. Impressive in a profoundly gaudy sense -- no wonder the nouveau riche are drawn to it as a venue for their children's weddings!

The best part of being in Paris was watching the local Portuguese celebrate their team's world cup victory over England. Seemed like the entire nation of Portugal had congregated at the Arc de Triomphe. Then France won -- Champs Elysees overflowed with emotion and libation. Fascinating stuff.

Odd post this. From a lapsed blogger and political junkie. Now, returning to hibernation.


Ojo Chino said...


I occasionally check back here to see if you resurface. Do you have a blog of your own? Many of us followed Jaffna over to CN and read Frog in the Well and Doubting G.

Where have you wound up? I know Publius was looking for someone to cover India?


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