Poet, Playwright, Workshop Facilitator
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Welcome to daily nature photo and creative writing blog, #NewThisDay

Welcome to my daily nature photo blog

Writing from My Photo Stream ~ Kelly DuMar


#NewThisDay Writing From My Photo Stream

Fontaine des Mers

Place de la Concorde is at the foot of the Avenue des Champs-Elysées. Today, it is distinguished by the Obelisk of Luxor (3,300 BC and erected in October 1836), the prestigious hotels bordering it and the two monumental fountains (Fountain of the Seas and Fountain of the Rivers). Created in 1772, the Place de la Concorde was first known to have been one of the places of execution during the French Revolution. Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette (among others) were guillotined there. It was between 1836 and 1846 that the architect Jacques-Ignace Hittorf shaped the place to become the one we know today.

Day begins with my walk alone out of the flat into the sunshine and traffic of Monday morning in Paris. There is a rush around me, but I am not rushing away or toward anything here. I have no destination in mind - who needs one, in Paris? Every step, you look around, this is where you wanted to go and exactly what you wanted to see. Look, the river. Look, the cathedral, the clouds, the geraniums, pink blooms decorating an iron barred window of a brick wall. 

My husband is playing tennis, my girls are fast asleep. Where will I go? As it turns out, my feet head across the river. I walk up the right bank and find myself crossing the garden of the ambassasors; the gardeners are at work, watering, trimming, everything must be just so.

Soon, I am in the Place de la Concorde, enjoying the gush and trickle and spray, the sculpted beauty of the Fontaine des Mers. And then, I am in the Tuileries, with the gigantic Allium and the trees and the merry go round at rest, and there is no crowd, it's early, there's peace and quiet. Oh! My phone buzzes. A text. My daughter wonders if I will be bringing something for breakfast. And I am hungry myself, and happy to do so. Now I pick up my pace, cross back to the left bank, head toward home swiftly, toward the neighborhood patisserie, with energy, appetite and enthusiasm down the Quay D'Orsay, wondering what adventure we will all tackle together today, after croissants. It won't be a writing day, except for this, my blog, which is enough, if that's all there is. Because if I am not writing, I am thinking about writing. And I find this quote in an article in the New Yorker, by Henri Cole, walking along the Seine, and it gives me a metaphor, a mouthful, to think about: a gull catching a fish that is too big to swallow:

How do I write? I walk along the Seine, where I sit on a concrete bench and watch the gulls ride up and down on the wind. The river is gunmetal gray, with little whitecaps, and very moody. Walking helps me to clear out the cobwebs of the night. Suddenly, a gull catches a fish that is too big to swallow, and he or she must spit it out. This is a metaphor for writing poetry, I think. I want my poems to seem rebellious but also to be the servant of order. I want them to be definite, self-sufficient, and true in what they represent, like expressionist paintings.

. . . . We must either yield to it or struggle against the current.
— Orphic Paris, Part XVI By Henri Cole August 2, 2016

All photos and text by Kelly DuMar 2018 unless otherwise attributed

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