Thursday, November 20, 2014

Great Expectations and Leaks in the Frescoes of Versailles

“Suffering has been stronger than all other teaching, and has taught me to understand what your heart used to be.  I have been bent and broken, but … I hope, into a better shape.”  -Charles Dickens, Great Expectations

We packed up our day bags, cameras and corkscrews, funky cheese and funny hats and made our way to  Gare du Nord bright and early for the short train ride to Versailles.
“Heaven knows we need never be ashamed of our tears, for they are rain upon the blinding dust of earth, overlying our hard hearts.”  -Charles Dickens, Great Expectations

Strolled the grounds, picked four-leaf clovers, rowed the boats, fed some silly ducks...
“Love her, love her, love her!”  -Charles Dickens, Great Expectations

Toured inside and out... queuing in the madness of this luxury chateau.
“I loved her against reason, against promise, against peace, against hope, against happiness, against all discouragement that could be.”  -Charles Dickens, Great Expectations

Some days are all mixed up... walking room after room searching for a Napoleon Coronation painting while listening to Dickens on headphones gawking at room after ornate room of Marie Antoinette's personal Pottery Barn collection... and keeping one eye on my daughters who love nothing else but to run wild.
“You are part of my existence, part of myself.  You have been in every line I have ever read, since I first came here…”  -Charles Dickens, Great Expectations

And then I stopped and stared up and saw this fresco... patched in scotch tape, dripping raindrops onto my nose.
“There was a long hard time when I kept far from me the remembrance of  what I had thrown away when I was quite ignorant of its worth.”  -Charles Dickens, Great Expectations

Then somehow... it all made sense.

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