Elephants and Paris

Elephants and Paris: The Art of Seeing, Listening and Understanding

“Je vois, que vous pourriez voir aussi.” 

(I see, that you could see also.)

Two very prominent things are being shown to me this year.   1) Elephants, and 2) Paris.

It’s been intriguing to follow these two trails. Images of elephants appear continually over the course of time which I write about under “Victory Parade.”  (scroll down)  And the topic of Paris was brought to my attention in meeting people who were either going to Paris or have gone. Just like elephant images continue to pop up, the Eiffel Tower is everywhere when you’re dialed in to “see” it!  Someone recently referred to this as “winks from God.”  I do believe these serendipitous confirmations are indeed “God-sightings” and most recently had this experience with a place called Gallery U, located in Red Bank, NJ.   On a side note,  a few more elephant images were photographed along the “uncertain” path toward Gallery U.  Loving all the “ele’s!” (see Victory Parade)

“The problem with certainty is that it is static; it can do little but endlessly reassert itself. Uncertainty, by contrast, is full of unknowns, possibilities, and risks.”

During a recent visit to Gallery U  where the above photo was taken, I met with Robert Langdon, the Gallery Manager, who provided an overview of the space and unique mission.

“Gallery U represents a part of Universal Institute Rehab, which services individuals with traumatic brain injuries. The Gallery is a vocational training program for people with disabilities which provides a way for them to get back into the work force. Universal Institute also offers a unique art therapy program where some of the artwork is handcrafted by the clients.”

In touring the rear of the space, I “see” it stamped on the wall in the back room …


I shared my encounters with Elephants and Paris in our conversation.  Of course he  immediately stated that I should go to Paris!  Maybe it’s time to update my expired 1970’s passport.  Anyway, in conclusion to our enlightening discussion, Robert offered an opportunity to show work at the Gallery.  Select pieces will be on exhibition at Gallery U in the near future.  It’s a pleasure to support their vision, develop and build upon new relationships.  Assuredly, I will meet wonderful and fascinating people as well as enjoy good art.

“Every day you are creating and forming relationships. You never know where you will go, who you will meet or what relationships will be formed.”  (Serendipitous Events by Jessica)

Please find below, a recorded effort in progress of “Paris-related” sightings along with all the “Ele’s”(in Victory Parade below).  Perhaps these serendipitous encounters occurring in the midst of daily living are synonymous with what a grid is to a good drawing (not that I can say I ever used one). It may very well be one of God’s innumerable ways of providing perceptible aid in ensuring the accuracy of our steps taken by faith in order to compensate for how blindly we often travel. Plus I get to write about it.

 “To write it out is to work it out.”

“Listen quietly within and let God’s wisdom gently turn your thoughts over and over until the questions become answers, the doubts become newborn faith. You will see that everything has been and is working for your good.”

Brian Fox Krawczyk, Founder of Genealogy, LLC. peaks my interest about Paris at the my opening exhibition in the Oyster Point Hotel, April 2012, “All Things New.” 

During a brief conversation with friends Gary and Jodi at church, I mentioned the sightings of “Elephants and Paris.” She excitedly reveals the Eiffel Tower dangling from her purse and actually shares revelatory information about “Lucy” the Elephant (see Victory Parade)-   8/5/12

“Paris Then and Now” found among a pile of discarded books at the local recycle center, one of my favorite places to go after a mission declutter. I love the whole idea of creating order out of chaos.   8/8/12

Barnes & Noble Bookstore  8/12/12

“The Fading Art of Letter Writing”    8/29/12

The following is in response to an article I just read online by an author in Paris.  It’s about the lost art of letter writing.   Not only do I love writing, but I’ve personally written letters over almost a 40 year span to a dear beloved friend in Illinois.  We were once college roommates at the University of Tampa in 1972.  I only knew her for 4 months, yet we remained “pen pals” for 4 decades.  I have the sweetest memories of anticipation and excitement in receiving a delivery from the faithful mail man.  Inevitably, her flowery and frilly choices of stationary filled me with joy and delight, which were a form of artistic expression in and of itself.

We both loved art.  However, I anxiously wanted to write back and record the initial emotions so I reached for the only thing on hand… boring notebook paper,  and very often disregarded the lines to sketch something like my latest hairstyle.

So… this post is dedicated to you Chris!… and sadly to the end of an era of sharing those bountiful years of our lives, emotions and everything nonsensical in between.  We were allowed to be kids, giggle and scribble, privileged to bless and encourage, transparent to cry and complain.  We lifted each other up.  We grew up together and found God through life and “letter.”  We actually believed we’d be reunited one day on Oprah!   It’s a story of God and love, suffering and beauty, sincere story telling; all collaborated into what is sadly becoming the “fading art of letter writing.”

Ironically, after months of not hearing from Chris, I received a letter from her youngest sister Lexie.  My heart sunk in that moment. It was dreadful news about Chris.  She had died after a battle with lung cancer over a year ago, the only thing she had never written me about.  I am convinced however, that some aspects of her illness may have been the sweetest time of her life.

Suffice it to say, I have not saved 40 yrs. of handwritten letters, though at times I wish I had. However, a few managed to survive.  This sums it all up:

In the flow of all Parisian sightings, please read this article from the NY Times written by a Paris-based journalist. Here’s an excerpt and link to this short but poignant article about writing letters, which dates all the way back to Luke who wrote letters to his friend Theopholis which became The Gospel of Luke and the book of Acts, to Abraham Lincoln, Jane Austen, Mark Twain, and Vincent Van Gogh to mention just a few.

The Fading Art of Letter Writing


Published: February 3, 2011

PARISThe envelope arrives with the address painstakingly handwritten and the stamp with the Queen’s head always evenly placed in the top right-hand corner

Sitting here, savoring the imminent arrival of the next letter from my mother-in-law, I wonder what will be the legacy of the digital letter-writing age.

Catherine Field is a journalist based in Paris.

More sightings:

A gift from a friend in a grouping with my sculpture of an elephant. January 2013

Feb. 28, 2013, I just discover this scene below via the internet.  I’m slightly embarrassed to say that I had no idea it even existed. It blows me away…

…more of “Elephants and Paris.”

Paris – Musée d’Orsay: Jeune éléphant pris au piège

Emmanuel Frémiet‘s Jeune éléphant pris au piège (Young elephant taken with a trap) from 1878 stands 3.6m high outside Musée d’Orsay. Foundried by Antoine Durenne, it was commissioned in 1877 for l’Exposition universlle de 1878, and belonged to the gardens of the first palais du Trocadèro (Trocadèro palace).

The Musée d’Orsay (The Orsay Museum), housed in the former railway station, the Gare d’Orsay, holds mainly French art dating from 1848 to 1914, including paintings, sculptures, furniture, and photography, and is probably best known for its extensive collection of impressionist masterpieces by popular painters such as Monet and Renoir. Many of these works were held at the Galerie nationale du Jeu de Paume prior to the museum’s opening in 1986.

© 2010 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / ADAGP, Paris…Peter Dubreuil, Eléphantaisie, 1908. Toned matte-surface printing-out print.

I stumbled upon this incredible painter from Paris on facebook.  Master Painter extraordinaire!  Salvatore Verniti!

  La Tour Eiffel illuminée

View over 500 works on his site-   http://www.verniti.com/index_uk.html

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