Saturday, December 24, 2016

Wishing you a Merry Christmas (with a little help from some Paris light). . .

 A few years ago, as I posted much earlier, we were pointed to St. Pierre church in Montmartre by a lovely woman dining right next to us in a tiny Paris restaurant. One of the oldest surviving churches in Paris, it has been much reconstructed over the centuries, and benefited in the 1950s from the addition of wonderful new stained-glass windows. The photos in that earlier post were of those windows and the coloured light they cast in spring.
 We hadn't been back since, but earlier this month, with only three days in Paris, we decided to make the long walk across the city and up the hill to Montmartre, hoping the sunny skies would afford a good view but mostly hoping that the sunshine would splash brilliant stained glass colour around the church's dark interior.
 And so it was. . . . (Yes, I know, the photos above are very similar -- I include them all to indicate my frustration, my repeated attempts to capture what I was seeing and experiencing, to emphasise a gap between what I've managed to capture and what it was to be in that ancient space, seeing those colours in their full richness. Even a much more skilled photographer with a much better camera would be frustrated, I wager.)


 Still, even with all the limitations of my camera, my photography skills, I hope you can see how uplifting are these windows. And I  truly hope you can see from my efforts to capture them for this post, how much I appreciate your presence here, how much I value this community.  Because yes, I thought of you and of wishing you Merry Christmas as we walked through the church following the coloured light show. . . .
Right about now, as I write this, in Paris someone will be adding the Baby Jesus to this crèche in Èglise St. Pierre in Montmartre, and Christmas Eve will be followed in not so many hours by Christmas morning.  Whether we're still nine or twelve hours behind that clock or perhaps hours ahead of it, we're surely all moving from the sometimes frenzied preparation of the season into the reality of whatever Christmas day brings for you. I wish for all of you that that reality might include a joyous celebration of it with loved ones! For those of you who must weather sorrow at this time of the year, I wish you strength or company or comforting memory to help you through. For all of us, I wish that we might use the Spirit of the Season to be mindful, to move from the world's bustle and struggles and darkness into the Light wherever we might find it, if only for a moment's Peace. . .

Merry Christmas, all of you!




18 comments:

  1. A lovey post from a beautiful church. Wishing you a happy Christmas with your family. Barbara x

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  2. A beautiful church! Enjoy your first Christmas in your new home!

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  3. What beautiful light! Inspiring (and I'm sure it was difficult to capture in a picture) but your words made up for it! Merry Christmas to you; enjoy your time with family. Lyn

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  4. Staggering beauty, history, and opportunity for reflection - of every kind. Hallowed and holy are words that comes to mind. And continuity. Thank you for these beautiful photos. I wish you and yours a very merry holiday. This new year let's toast to it together somewhere.

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    1. Absolutely! I'd like that! And the toast could be with hot chocolate after a walk ;-)

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  5. Beautiful light and photos!
    Merry Christmas,enjoy your holidays with your family
    Dottoressa

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  6. Love this view inside the church in Paris...
    a peaceful place to take shelter in these troubled times.
    I hope you have a lovely first Xmas in your new home and that your family will be close.

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  7. Thank you Frances for this lovely post. Merry Christmas to you and the family.

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  8. The light and color in the ancient gloom--beautiful and much appreciated!

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  9. Merry Christmas Frances! What spectacular windows. xo

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  10. Thanks for sharing these beautiful pictures Frances ...and for your daily advent pictures on Instagream ..I've really enjoyed them.
    Wishing you and your family a truly wonderful Christmas,
    Rosie

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  11. Oops ...instagram! Excuse typo ....I'm lying in bed hoping for a good nights sleep! Hope you sleep well tonight as well!
    Rosie

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  12. The light cast by stained glass is magical and your photos capture its ethereal beauty perfectly. We're awake in the early hours not because we have excitable children but rather because we have yet to learn that more than one glass of wine of an evening now has an insomniac effect on us. There's a seven ages of Christmas sleeplessness to be written... Happy Christmas, Mater, from a stormy West Country.

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    1. Okay, you have dibs on the title: Seven Ages of Christmas Sleeplessness ;-)

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  13. Although you may be frustrated by trying to capture the beauty of the church, it was evident to me.

    A very Merry Christmas to you and yours.

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  14. A beautiful post. Thank you, and a merry Christmas to you!

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  15. What you've captured here--the colors and light--is extraordinary! I can only imagine what it felt like in that space...the echo of your steps, the stillness, the smell of the stone. Merry Christmas to you, Frances!

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  16. Beautiful; I hope you and your family have a lovely holiday season in your new home.

    ceci

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I'd love to hear your response to my post. Agree, disagree, even go off on a tangent, I love to know you're out there, readers. Let's chat, shall we? I apologize, though, for the temporary necessity of the Word Verification -- spam comments have been tiresomely numerous lately, and I'm hoping to break that pattern.

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