Thursday, March 09, 2017

Espace Dali

The next day, and also my last day in Paris, started much like the first. I went to the same cafe. I ate brunch which ended in a French apple tart, I wrote until the battery on my computer died, and then I went back to my hotel to dump my computer and change. I bought a dress specifically for traveling in Paris for it made me feel very french. It was white with pink strips. I wore my over-sized glasses and checked the map I got for free on the train. I could find nothing to do.

I asked the Googleplex and it suggested Sacre Coeur and Espace Dali. I wondered on this thing called Espace Dali and wondered if it had anything to do with that artist Dali. To my amusement, it was actually a Dali museum, so I decided that would be the thing I would do with my day. By this time I had managed to find an ATM that would allow me to get some cashy money, eliminating the trouble with my credit card, and proceeded then to find the bus I needed.

On the street corner I waited idly, with my camera well hidden, eyeing the dark men who were eyeing me from door frames. I still don't really understand what that was all about. The bus came and took me up and up and up, winding roads, cobble stones, all the way up to the top of the mountain that would allow me to find Sacre Coeur, the big old monastery on the hill. It was somewhat late, but also early, but it didn't matter, there were already throngs of people on the hill. I decided to keep the edifice as my second destination, with my first being the Dali museum.

To my pleasure and delight it was indeed Dali, who had spent a number of years in Montmartre, painting and sculpting. The things I don't know. For some reason, though I'm rather familiar with his vast catalog of paintings, I had no idea that he was also a prolific sculptor. Inside the small Espace Dali was the largest collection of his original pieces along with some of his rare lithographs for stories like Alice in Wonderland and apocryphal works from the bible, and illustrations of ancient Greek Myths.

Ah, the sensation of being surrounded by three dimensional Dali. I spent almost two hours in a museum that barely had a collection of 100 pieces but time there seemed so vital, so fast moving, so impossible to hold. Like the spindly legs of one of Dali's space elephants transporting crystal obelisks for the faithful to worship, so impossible, so real, so probably when cast in bronze and placed in front of me. I wanted to worship there. Lie down on the floor and just be present in that space and time, melt like the sculptures of clocks around me. I finished with the knowledge that some of the pieces still get cast and with some effort I might someday own my own piece of Dali. It will be Godiva with Butterflies which I think is the closest thing to visualizing my life that I have ever seen.

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