From Paris, Walking With No Destination in Mind

If you read last week’s post “Trying Too Hard To Be Lovable? Stop” the title of this post will have deeper meaning.

While in Paris recently, we made two discoveries while “walking with no destination in mind.”  I think some of our most lasting trip memories come about when we don’t have a set plan and end up at an unexpected destination.  I wonder if it’s because the memory is stronger when our senses are more awake when we are surprised by a sight, smell, breeze, sound, or taste. When one or more of our senses awaken, a memory is left in its place.

Stepping outside the courtyard of the museum and home of artist Eugéne Delacroix, we came upon this square.  Three tall trees with skinny trunks reached up to the sky with leaves that looked like giant hands.  The branches formed a canopy of green light and quiet serenity. We were mesmerized by the huge leaves.  We’d never seen such trees. If you know what kind of tree it is, please let us know, as we would love to know. Surrounded by bustling streets, the courtyard was as quiet as the inside of a cathedral, where we were the only worshipers.  We won’t forget it.

Later, still walking along, we came upon the Eglise St-Germain-des-Prés, the oldest church in Paris. It dates to the 6th century. We were intrigued to learn that the tomb of French philosopher René Descartes (1596-1650) is here.  Natalie had been reading about various philosophers and explained to us that Descartes was considered a “Rationalist.”  You’ll probably recognize one complex idea Descartes encapsulated in a few words: “I think; therefore I am.”  Here are a few more of Descartes’ quotes to ponder: “An optimist may see a light where there is none, but why must the pessimist always run to blow it out?” and “Whenever anyone has offended me, I try to raise my soul so high that the offense cannot reach me.” Here is one that maybe needs to be painted on school buildings:  “It is not enough to have a good mind; the main thing is to use it well.”  We had to really look to find his tomb amongst the many small chapels that surround the main nave, but we finally found his name.

See "Renati Descartes" at the top of the middle plaque

If you would like to know a bit more about Descartes’ fascinating and dramatic life, read the “Biography” portion at this wikipedia linké_Descartes


Try going on a walk with no destination in mind.  Was there something that tickled your senses?


    • TwointheMiddle

      Andy, Thank you! They even have a wonderful name! I looked them up and found other photos . I wish I could have one in our garden. If I lived in Paris, I would want to live in an apartment facing the Place Furstenberg on the 2nd or 3rd floor, depending on American (3rd) or European (2nd) floors, at eye level to the tops of the trees, so that I could set up my chair by a window and look at them.

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