Bags of Stone

Walking to the Louvre today (not to go in, just to walk) we passed huge canvas bags of square stones (like 3′ x 3′ x 4′, the bags that is, the stones were about 8″ square each), down in a dirt floored courtyard below the level of the sidewalk.  We stood under the great glass pyramid, then walked through Le Jardin de Tuileries to the Place de la Concorde, then over the Seine to the Left Bank, looking for Les Editeurs, a cafe I wanted to visit.  Trying to understand how we (as in David and me specifically) got to where we are right now, or were right then, looking for a cafe in Paris as we walked down the Boulevard Saint- Germain past one chichi shop after another, as soon as we got to the cafe I started to draw a map of our lives since we first met.  It was a mess, but a good mess, happy and sad and intense and loving.  Looking for a wine bar we’ve been trying to visit since we got here (only 2 days but it’s been closed both times we’ve tried) we ended up at Ma Salle a Manger because David asked a man leaving a gallery next door about a good place to try different wines and perhaps eat and that’s what he recommended.  Ma Salle a Manger was excellent for both, but best of all was the big piece of white paper in the middle of the table, meant as a place mat/table mat of sorts over the red-checked table-cloth, but perfect for making the map bigger.  Well oriented and well-educated by the charming sommelier well-versed in the wines of southwest France, we walked back to our apartment in the Marais by way of Notre Dame and the Ile de St.-Louis, noting other interesting looking restaurants on the way.

“Should we plan our day tomorrow?” I asked David at one point during dinner.  He smiled and said, “No.”

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About Grace Mattern

Grace Mattern is a poet, writer, mother, grandmother, partner, friend, family member, gardener, triathlete, hiker and for 30 years was the Executive Director of the NH Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence. She resigned her position at the Coalition on June 15, 2011 in order to concentrate on her writing, while continuing to engage in the movement to end violence against women as a consultant and advisor. Her chapbook Fever of Unknown Origin was published in 2001 and her full-length poetry book The Truth About Death was published in 2012.
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