Note Archive: #beauty

Gargoyles


I mentioned in the Abstract Landscapes review that I visited Paris this summer. The second time in my life thus far, and a short trip, spent with a housemate who'd gone home for the holiday.

There are two loose memories from eleven-year-old me in Paris. One involves being terrified of falling between the stairs, whilst walking up the Eiffel tower. And the other, was of going to Notre Dame. This memory is incredibly fuzzy. Yet, it was the architecture that captured me, with that strange feeling of awe perhaps.

So this summer, visiting Notre Dame again was very much on the agenda. My first day in Paris was a tourist day. The day when I wandered the streets and the Seine alone, and covered all the tourist activities I could. Notre Dame was ticked off my list in the afternoon. I opted not to go inside, as much like last time, the queue to enter was hefty.

Outside Notre Dame, I ate an ice cream. I texted my mum, to tell her I was eating an ice cream. Then I sat for a while and listened to all the languages that passed by. Being outside the cathedral was enough. I walked again. I marvelled at the intricacy, and raised an eyebrow at the gargoyles. Most of all, I took pictures. I guess gothic art & architecture is something that I've liked for a while.

So, this is my postcard from Notre Dame. I'm glad I chose to visit again.


Gargoyles & Flying Butresses
An outside view of Notre Dame in Paris, August 2015.

Transitory

Moments of Awe
Various places in the UK, over the last few years.

Rock Salt


My friend Emma’s family have a house in Devon. It’s nestled away next to a quiet little cove, across the water from Dartmouth castle – and it is spectacular. Especially, as you’d expect in Britain, during the Spring.

The first year we stayed coincided with one of those sunny spells that climate change has probably created. After a few hours travel from Bristol, we found ourselves gazing onto a glorious sea view, lit up by sun rays as dusk descended. Beach House wafted through the air, and my friends alternated between sipping on drinks and scrambling across rocks. I stayed watching the waves, divulging my then frazzled emotional state into a furious pen scribbling over paper.

The Southwest and I have a small catalog of connections. From my childhood best friend moving at sixteen, to former housemates and futile crushes during university; the associations lie in amusing contrast to my landlocked Brummie hometown. It’s here that I wrote. Everything and nothing, in a little nook of South Devon. Emptying the metaphorical salt from my wounds, for the simple need to do so.

Once my pen ran dry, I stole an idea garnered from stories: I folded the sheet into a boat and let mother nature wash it away. It was a kind of private ritual I suppose; one of letting go. After that, I noticed the blue glint of the neighbouring rock. The dark cracks shooting across a shallow pink one. The curves and crevices, and the strange beauty in barnacles upon a crab. Both country and city have their quirks, but the therapeutic qualities of nature are unmatched for many.

My ink-soaked paper boat probably (hopefully) disintegrated after a few days, but looking at these images transports me to that moment. It reminds me that thoughts sometimes need to occupy a space, before they can begin to disperse. That perspective is useful, and that choice is really everything.

Saltwater, in reference to Beach House, can be a cathartic action when required.


By the Sea
In the South Hams, Devon