Of course the trip did not go as planned. I was very late. Therefore, I was in a rush and I had to run to the station, buy a ticket, get a sandwich, and board the bus. All which seems simple but isn't in a foreign language.
Once I made it to Vernon, it is another twenty minute bus ride to Giverny. Then I found out that you must walk quite a distance to Monet's house, with many confusing signs trying to lead you into their own tourist traps, wait in a long line, and then be trapped in the gardens, which are large for a family's home, but small for hundereds of peope to be visiting at the same time.
It was not solitary, it was claustrophobic.
I tried to imagine Monet painting, tried to imagine the gardens without the people, and without the perfectly trimmed plants lining every walkway. Instead I saw a garden somewhat like the one Marie France has at our house in Rouen. Messy, unkempt, cluttered, but exuberating natural beauty.
At the museum, there was a discription of how Monet had to fight for the gardens. As a parisen, he was an outsider in the tiny town of Giverny, and when he decided he wanted to plant water lillies (a japanese plant) the locals were up in arms. Eventually he won, but after many years, and not without some manuvering.
The entire place spoke of a man who knew what he wanted, spent many years getting it, and finally created endless masterpieces within it. This got me started thinking about space.
Space. Obviously his solitary space was not created for hundreds of people. Before he began painting, he began imagining a beautiful space. A place for his children to play, for his wife to take refuge, and for him to unlock the beauty he saw within the world. Space shapes our imaginiation, our human interaction, and our concept of the world.
Beauty is everywhere, one must only find their solitary space in which to appreciate it. I look forward to finding mine in Paris.