Nailed It — Monet

With crazy symptoms that burst forth and last for minutes, hours or days, the realization that it wouldn’t be wise to take an extensive exotic trip this summer sadly sunk in and settled in my heart. There would be no: hours of leisurely strolling through the streets of Venice, vibrant with the cacophony of voices and music; or resting under an umbrella on a chaise, snacking on brie and almonds with the rhythmic sounds of the Atlantic beckoning me; or marveling at the patterns in the sand made by baby turtle flippers. It’s not going to happen; in its place will be a trip to a different Club Med (Mayo Clinic) and maybe the SPAM museum or a really interesting Barnes and Noble.
      Not to be emotionally waylaid by my less than adventuresome summer plans, I painted my nails in the spirit of Monet’s The Water Lilies. The simple act brought back that summer day when I ventured out on my own, while my tour group visited Napolean’s tomb, to navigate the Parisian streets and subway to Musee de l’Orangerie. Later in the trip I bought a bottle of Jo Malone’s Orange Blossom Cologne to further solidify my sensory imagery of the trip, granted I can’t smell it, but I remember.

At Musee de l’Orangerie, I anticipated long lines but there were none, allowing me to waltz in with a sort of lightness that was in the air. It wasn’t the square stuffiness I had expected but rather grand oval rooms designed and dedicated to Monet’s paintings*: the shape of the rooms, the colors of the walls, the experience, was spa-like in its design.   

I sat on the benches and took it in; I had time. My mind wandered to: the history of the paintings, my trips to Paris, peace, how blessed I was, what other people might be thinking…how delighted I was not to be at Napolean’s Tomb.

Hours later I emerged from the museum, filled up and refreshed. I walked along the rue–sculpted trees shaded the bright sun–up to a street vendor and with the best French I could muster, ordered a Nutella crepe.

Perhaps my next installment will be The Sistine Chapel

*The oval rooms containing “Les Nymphéas” are remarkably fresh and stunning. One enters these rooms by way of a vestibule, an empty and small circular room painted in ivory white with a single, circular skylight. The effect is a washing of the eyes, removing the memory of the outdoor colors of the day, zero-setting your eyes to allow for the full-color impact of what is to come in the following rooms. 

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