28 April, 2011

Kickball and Catholics

Yes, I will admit it – there have not been enough blogs this month. But please do allow me an excuse. I have been spending even more time on writing my book – the purpose of this move, as you know. And of course I have been very busy simply living a fabulous Paris existence.

Yesterday I played kickball with a group of Americans and Brits. After having taken the Metro to the outskirts of Paris we walked 20 minutes to a large field of overgrown grass in the center of a massive park. Before divvying up the teams we sat down to enjoy a picnic. The 50 members of the group broke into smaller sub-groups like one may see in a high school cafeteria to enjoy lunch. Each picnicker contributed something different: brique cheese, crackers, pasta with crabmeat, homemade tartines, chocolate crisps and wine of course.

Finally managing to get motivated we formed teams and began the game.
The Brits required the Americans help, this game being literally foreign to them. They caught on quickly to this version of America’s pass time. After an hour of rowdy play we ended our game. 11-6, my team won! This thrills me and satisfies my intensely competitive nature.

Then, out of nowhere we heard thunder and the clouds closed in. Thanking the unpredictable weather of Paris for allowing us sunshine for the game we packed up the empty Tupperware, half eaten blocks of cheese, wine bottles and beer cans. I made it to the Metro just before the clouds gave way to the rain.

Leaving the metro back in the city the ground was dry and the sky clear, the rain having missed my part of Paris. I marched upstairs, forfeiting the luxury of the elevator, then settled in for a relaxing night. I am reminded I have to water my seeds.

Anyone who knows me is aware that I do not, by any stretch of the imagination, have a green thumb. But a perfect Parisian terrace like mine deserves some foliage. I had enlisted help from my Thad during his visit last week and together we planted seeds of Thyme, Rosemary, and Sage. I figure they aren’t alive yet so I can’t kill them. But I must remember to water the seeds if I want them to grow. A seemingly simply task one would think. Not for me. I needed a way to remember. So I made a deal with myself that I would think to check on the seeds when I miss him. This seems to be working so far as I already see a few green buds popping through the soil.

Now I just hope I don’t OVER water them.

Last Sunday was my first Easter Sunday in Paris. Upon my father’s request and my desire I attended, sort of, the Easter Sunday mass at Cathedral Notre Dame. The line to attend the mass resembled a ticket line for a Broadway show instead of a religious ceremony. The hopeful worshipers wore their Sunday best in the line that wrapped around the watchful eyes of the gargoyles on the spires above. I found it so strange that during the 45 minutes I stood in line I heard not one person speaking French while waiting to attend the French service. The parishioners must tire of the tourists invading their space of worship. It is a house of God turned into a tourist attraction. I justify my presence however by the fact I am a Paris resident.

After the long wait the long line starts to move, slowly at first then at a rapid almost sprinting pace. Suddenly the Broadway like queue has become a pushy rushed entrance to a rock concert. Wow, people really wanted in. Bodies pushed against bodies, shoving each other even. God must either be thrilled at this turnout of eager Christians and their determination to attend the mass or terribly disappointed that they have come to observe it as an attraction rather than a way to hear his word. I am guilty of both on this day.

Once inside I see what all the fuss is about. It is majestic, the choir rejoices and their sound fills every corner of the chiseled stones. In the center of the Cathedral the pews are filled with those who were in the front of the line while others stand in the aisles. But the periphery, where it is difficult to see the Priest even on the many televisions set up intermittently, is bustling like a farmers market. There are hushed voices and cameras flashing. I will admit I was a bit ashamed to be standing amongst the chatty edges of the service. It, to me, seems disrespectful and downright rude to chat whilst a service is in progress. Maybe that is just the Presbyterian upbringing in me.

I had to squint my eyes to the bright sun upon exiting the most frenetic service of my life. I then went to treat myself to an Easter croque monsieur which, incidentally, turned out to be the best one I have had since moving here. It was a perfect Easter meal if I must miss out on Lox, Stock and Bagel, which my family would no doubt be enjoying 9 hours from then after their church service.

Leaving you now with the promise that the busy few days ahead of me will be shared with you in a blog early next week.

1 comment:

  1. Hello,
    Do you know if the kickball meetings are recurring ? I would be happy to join :)