a brief reprise of summer

Hello. A month ago to this date I went got on a plane at 6 pm EST to fly to Europe. Tomorrow marks one month of my sejour en France. Can you believe it’s been exactly a month? I certainly can’t.

Fall is officially upon us now and it is no longer summer. Last week was frigidly cold with mornings starting off in the high 40s and slowly rising to the low 60s (ok, maybe my definition of cold is skewed from my experiences with DC summers) but this week has been absolutely lovely. Yesterday after work I “stumbled” upon a park not 15 minutes away from my office near the Stade de Gerland (soccer stadium of Lyon). I saw the point where the Saone and Rhone meet to become the Rhone that eventually makes its way to the Mediterranean. I sat in the park and walked up the river, ending a lovely day.

But this post is about today. Today after work I went up to the Vieux Lyon area (the old part, with the cobblestone paths and the roman ruins) and went into the Cathedral Saint-Jean, built between the 12th and 15th century. I expected to see the typical beautiful church that Europe is so renowned for, but instead I saw a beautiful exhibit of contemporary art enhancing the old church. Kim En Joong, a famous artist known for his juxtaposition of the Eastern and Western Arts, had created an homage to Saint Irene. The Cardinal Philippe Barbarin and the Institute of Art, Culture, and Faith had invited him to display his work here, and wow, what a sight it was.

Cathedral Saint-Jean, Lumieres de Lyon

There was a guest book in the Cathedral for people to sign. I flipped through the pages intending to see what people thought of the exhibit but instead found that I could not read very much of it. Certainly many of the entries were in French and some were in English, but there were many other entries in Italian, Spanish, Chinese, Arabic, Japanese, and so on. From what I could read, opinions were split on the art – some were amazed at how they thought the modern art added so much to the Cathedral while others were astounded at how this exhibit was defiling a holy place of worship.

What do you think?

Tomorrow I am off to Marseille for the weekend. Sadly, the French do not have Columbus Day so Monday is not a holiday for me, but I am so excited to go down to the Mediterranean. To those of you in the US of A, have a fabulous long weekend. I miss you all.

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