Saturday, April 27, 2019

Notre Dame

Like everyone else, we were saddened to hear about the recent fire and destruction at Notre Dame. I was reading little pieces folks have written in to the New York Times. One resonated with me. The author preferred the back view of Notre Dame. I guess I do too. The only photos I have of Notre Dame are from the back.
I dug deeper into our files trying to find a front view but only came up with a picture of the kids sitting on a wall to the side of Notre Dame. The kids, eight years old and younger, are hot and disheveled after a summer day spent walking around Paris. They sit on a wall, concentrating and sketching Notre Dame. I remember how we used to travel with sketch books and home-made scavenger hunts for things of interest. Those days are long gone. I am sad for the loss of the sacred cathedral but oddly and selfishly, I am also sad about the loss of those sketch pads and little kids who are excited to tour cathedrals.
The Notre Dame fire occurred a few days after our own Notre Dame experience, albeit not in France. In a burst of musicality, Tori joined the pit orchestra this year, performing the musical The Hunchback of Notre Dame at the high school. She practiced for months (and played the soundtrack at our home for months). We enjoyed seeing her play, watching all the talented kids sing and dance and felt moved by the beautiful stage and performance. The fire was just a day or two after Tori’s last performance. When she was telling me about the fire, I kept thinking it was some sort of prank related to the musical until the sad news sank in.
Tori, currently taking Art History and well versed on cathedrals, is taking the long view. That Notre Dame has been destroyed before and rebuilt and all will happen again. Don’t get her started on Hagia Sophia! When we lived in Europe, I read the kids books about cathedrals and understand that they all took hundreds of years to build. I suppose there is a sense that something massive and made of stone and in a holy place since perhaps ancient times would survive. And if it didn’t, what sort of chances does anything else have of surviving? But the bees did. It was nice to hear that the bee hives on the roof survived. The rationale was that bee keepers have moved bees with smoke blown into hives for centuries. If the kids were still little, and still listening to me, I can see the bee project we would do. A book, a craft, a honey snack. And sketch books!


Post a Comment

<< Home