Saturday, March 7, 2009

Spring in Paris by Margot Justes

Any time is a good time to go to Paris. Rain, shine, hot or cold, Paris never loses its charm. But spring is a glorious time to visit; in fact Charles Aznavour sang a song about Paris in May and because it’s almost spring and we’re going on a journey. Let your imagination soar, cross the Atlantic and voila-we’re there.

Picture yourself standing at the Place de la Concorde; looking straight ahead to the Arc de Triomphe standing guard, the Champs-Elysees beckon, walk up that grand tree lined shopping Mecca…but wait, rather than throw yourself into the jostling tourist crowds, there is gentler, quieter introduction to Paris. One, I promise won’t disappoint; more introspective, passionate and exquisite. Romance pure and simple, after all we’re in Paris.

Go to the Rodin Museum, walk, take a cab, the Metro, anyway you see fit, but get there.
Even before you enter the intimate museum, you can get a glimpse of the treasures within through the glass wall. Yes, a glass wall allows you to see the backs of the Burghers of Calais. Can you think of a better enticement?

Enter through the old doors and you’re in Rodin’s gardens, visiting his home. The Gates of Hell, the massive portals greet you coming in and going out; it is a portal as no other.
Inspired by Dante’s Inferno, they are magnificent. An endeavor that took almost four decades, bears an unforgettable semblance of chaos-Rodin was thought to believe that hell is not only a place for the dead but the living as well. The agony, will to survive, beauty, horror-it’s all there for you to see.

Wonder through the gardens, sit on the bench in front of the Thinker and strike a pose. He’s there in the elements right in the midst of the gardens. Stroll further and meet Balzac. Sit down in the outdoor cafĂ© and sip a delicious cup of coffee, listen to the birds chirp and look around you-treasures abound. The Burghers of Calais await your visit, an incredible sculpture depicting men willing to sacrifice their lives to save their village. The heartbreaking sorrow reflected in their faces is simply astounding.

For me the urge to touch and savor a piece of sculpture is always there, whether it’s smooth and flowing or harsh and gnarly, doesn’t matter, I just feel the need to touch. But it wasn’t till I was introduced to Rodin’s work that I saw passion portrayed with such force-agony with such poignancy-hope and survival with such strength.

His work moves me beyond the norm…each sinew, rope, muscle is so well defined-his mastery of reaching the depth of emotion pulls me in and tugs.

We’re by no means done with Rodin, next week we’ll go inside his home.

Till next Time,
Margot Justes
A Hotel in Paris ISBN 978-1-59080-534-3
Art brought her to Paris, then a stranger’s death changes her life.
Missing ISBN 978-1-59080-611 1
Heat of the Moment ISBN 978-1-59080-596-1
available on


Anonymous said...

What an awesome post! Never been to Paris, yet that really invokes a sense of being there. Well done and definitely enough to tantalize a reader to check out that book!

Margot Justes said...

Thank you so much for the kind words. It is an incredible museum and my ultimate favorite.

Morgan Mandel said...

Well, I guess Rodin won't be able to object if we visit his home.

Paris sounds enchanting.

Morgan Mandel