l’art contemporaine et les legumes fraiches

by jemma margaret

Yesterday the sun never came out. Other pleasant things happened instead.

On Friday evenings when I am not otherwise engaged, I go to a French conversation group at the Centre Pompidou. The library there is open almost every day except Tuesdays and May Day. This week, when Liberation and Ascension had all other public libraries closed for Wednesday and Thursday, the wait to enter the Bpi (Bibliothèque publique d’information) was over two hours. Needless to say, I avoided that queue.

Last night the line was only 10 minutes long (this was clearly a residue from the past few days as usually Friday evening lines are non-existent). Usually during the “atelier” the moderator (a French librarian) chooses a theme and we “discuss”. Some people say hardly anything and others are veritably fluent. One woman is writing a dictionary between French and Lithuanian. Anyway, I most definitely fall into the former group, but it’s still good practice in listening.

This time though, we were broken into smaller groups and given a free tour of the art museum. Pas mal!

My favorite part was the Matisse sketches–I broke off from the group to have a closer look.

There is a contemporary (which means post-1960s nowadays) piece which consists of nylon stockings containing fragrant spices. I tried to remark on how the spices would probably lose their potency, but it came out something like “after many years the spices not much strong.” Later, when members of my group were discussing how they didn’t understand contemporary art, I told them: “Now, I have living friends who are artists. I have their works. This is contemporary.”

Welcome to how I speak French. People are remarkably patient.

When I got home I was delighted to learn that my Ruche is finally selling vegetables. With a bit too much enthusiasm I bought three bunches of nettles, a bunch of sorrel, a kilo of asparagus, a kilo of chard, a bunch of radishes, a wheel of cheese (small wheel), a bottle of apple cider,  and half a dozen eggs. Buying groceries online is exciting!

And this morning, the sun emerged, then it rained, but then it was a very lovely afternoon.