Monday, October 1, 2012

Life Is but a Dream ?

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While wondering what to blog about today, this Sunday evening, (am becoming a Sunday blogger only???) not for very long though, as time seems to be in short supply these days, and never have time to think for very long about much of anything, before something else comes along, sweeping the stage of the previous act, and requiring attention and concentration, until the new subject becomes the old, getting swept away in the rapids of each passing moment, each passing day, and don't the weeks and months and years go faster and faster ? Becoming a blur. Is this what life is finally; a passing dream ? The illusion of things we hope to hold on to, but finally we hold on to nothing for very long, before it all slips away, merrily down the stream.
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But yes, wondering what to blog about today brought me quickly back to the subjects of reflections, and the ongoing growing collection of reflections over at James' place for reflections on the weekend... and the nature of reflections, those ephemeral minor miracles in light bouncing around carrying elusive illusions of images to alight in our eyes, travelling the optic nerve, and onto the movie screens in our brains. How utterly fabulous and magical.
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Reflections on water, reflections in glass, reflections on polished metal... who could have possibly dreamed up such visual phenomena ? Was just listening to Joni Mitchell sing Both Sides Now in a performance from 1970, and could listen to her all night, taking in the message that there are always more than one way to look at things, clouds, love, life, whatever, and don't miss the reflections off the odd reflecting pools we may come across in unexpected places along the way.
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It had never occurred to me until just now to type "Reflections" on Google Images to get a sampling of the 172 million results which that search criteria returns, some of them incredibly beautiful.
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So, this first reflection is in the hemispherical cover of a heating dish for posh hors d'oeuvres at the grand opening inauguration of the new luxury hotel in Chantilly, the Auberge du Jeu de Paume, built with funding provided by his Altesse the Aga Khan. It's been a construction site for the past two years, but finally now you can shell out from between 400 to 2000 euros a night to sleep here. Guess I won't be sleeping there any time soon.
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This next scene is one of several like this decorating a corridor in the hotel, modeled after the "Singerie", or monkey room in the Chateau de Chantilly, which is just a short walk from the new hotel. Note the reflections in the painted ice the monkeys are skating on...
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An old, (or new treated to look old ?) mirror in a lounge in the Auberge. Am not sure that the horse's head was actually solid silver, but one never knows in a place like this.
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The champagne was flowing freely...
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And all that just a stone's throw away from the Chateau de Chantilly, caught here in the setting sun, whose light was coming in on a downward slant, bouncing off a window, and reflecting all the more dazzlingly off the water and back to the camera, like a well played billiard shot. Sweet dreams...
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18 comments:

Lorrene said...

I like that. Life is just a passing dream. I hope when I wake up I can say, "That was the worse nightmare I ever had".

Owen said...

I hear you Lorrene, loud and clear !

Am just hoping the wake up call won't be too rude...

Carole M. said...

that first image is really wonderful; such a great setting!

English Rider said...

Chantilly is beautiful and you captured both reflections and refractions.

Peter Olson said...

So, now you are invited by Aga Khan! Well dressed up, after what I can see in the reflection! :-)

'Tsuki said...

Le château de Chantilly... Je l'ai visité dans les années 90, parce que j'étais allée voir le spectacle du musée du cheval...

Enfin j'avais voulu aller voir ce dernier, il avait été annulé, et à la place, j'étais allée visité le chateau de Chantilly. Très bien conservé, comme endroit, plus vivant que Versailles, je trouve. J'avais particulièrement aimé la façon brouillonne dont les tableaux sont exposés dans ses salles, par endroit il y en a tellement accrochés aux murs qu'on en perd son latin ! C'est delà que vient ma manie de décorer les murs de mon logement avec plein de trucs de partout.

Je me souviens très bien de ce cabinet recouvert de peinture 18ème singeant les humains enfin plus exactement la façon vivaient les riches humains (qui n'a pas tellement changé en 400 ans, entre nous), c'est une image qui est restée gravée dans mon âme au fer rouge. J'avais trouvé qu'il avait fallu au propriétaire des lieux une sacré humilité pour accepter de voir sa caste sociale caricaturée de la sorte.

Tu es comme un coq en pâte dans ce décor, cher Owen !

J'ai bien ton reflet de seau à Champagne, même si ce genre de mondanité me sort par les yeux.

Et merci pour cet autoportrait au cheval fougueux... Tu as raison, ce n'est pas de l'argent, mais un plâtre peint. Il s'agit d'une reproduction, la tête d'un des chevaux de Marly (sculpture monumentale place de la Concorde à Paris qui ouvre sur l'avenue des Champs Élysées), un thème qui a été très en vogue voilà quelques années.

Merci d'avoir partagé cette carte postale de ton voyage, et à bientôt.

Gwen Buchanan said...

Life as a reflection... I never thought of it that way before but that is it. changing, moving on, sometimes upside-down, and never something we can hold on to.
Your reflections are beautiful, I especially like the one in the rounded lid with the gathering and clinking of glasses taking place.

Red Nomad OZ said...

Is it just me, or does that hors d'oeuvres dish have an alienesque cast to its shape??!! Maybe I've had just a little too much of that free-flowing champagne ...

PS The only descriptive word I can think of for a male temptress is 'gigolo' but maybe that's too simplistic. It's all academic anyway, because I'm a female and therefore, by your definition, a temptress!!

Loved your comment!!

Pastelle said...

Les photos sont belles. Tes réflexions aussi, même si la traduction française automatique laisse à désirer...

Vite, toujours plus vite, toujours un nouvel intérêt balaie le précédent, qui pourtant nous avait retenu corps et âme...

Comment arrêter le temps ?

En images, tu le fais très bien.

louciao said...

"...--time that is a vigil with minutes like elastic, every tick loud and terrible and suddenly passing, snap, you dreamed it, and a dream is a journey that never happened."

(from Feed my Dear Dogs, by Emma Richler)


Steve said...

Love the sense of richness in your subject matter... lifts the old pecker in these austere times.

Nath said...

Très beaux reflets et jolie luminosité au château de Chantilly !
Bien vu les autres reflets... et beaux endroits prestigieux !
Bonne soirée :)

James said...

Reflections certainly are amazing. Your bottom photo is really beautiful but the top one is my favorite. You captured a fisheye reflection without using a fisheye lens. :)

Robert Geiss said...

... within a dream.

Thank you much for this wonderful journey to beauty.

Please have you all a good month ahead.

Catherine said...

great sequence - especially like the perfect symmetry of the final shot...

jeff said...

Life is but not beautiful !!!
Waow... qu'est-ce que c'est beau par ici... Certain qu'on y trouvera pas des scrounch scrounch dans ce beau monde ! ;-)
Amitiés cher Owen... Très belles photos en tous cas....

Stickup Artist said...

Mmm. Champagne. All photo shoots should include champagne. In my dreams!

The Chateau de Chantilly image is amazing, especially the sunlight hitting that one window and reflecting a starburst in the water. Talk about a perfect moment.

I'll toast to that!

Chef Files said...

Nothing say's 'I'm reflecting on you' quite like a horses head.

I tried it once with a pig, but it just didnae have the same class.