For many years I have kept a small photograph from the 1950's beside my bedside of Notre Dame.
It comes from a set of touring photographs that you would buy as souvenirs of your travels. I do not know how it came into my possession but I have always loved looking at the pictures, black and white of course. I imagined trying to find the exact spot they were taken. The one I had framed I love because it looks majestic, lonely and rather magical. With the boat in the foreground an ever open invitation to cast off for adventure.
On this trip to Paris, I visited my picture and explored behind the scenes. I too joined the ranks of people that walked, talked and gawped their way around one of the World's iconic buildings. I marvelled at the tenacity of the gargoyles. I felt small in the presence of time, a mere flicker of the candle light at the Altar of Mary. This building has seen significant events including the French Revolution and the Second World War come and go and still it is there in all its Gothic splendour. As we sat on the riverboat, I realised that I was in my photograph now, so onto the deck I went and positioned myself to imitate the image. Not bad, not perfect but enough to tick the box of the 100 places to visit before you die.
So my picture frame is empty. Why is it that when you have what you always wanted, the goal posts move?
New contenders for its place are waiting, filed away somewhere in my house of props. It is the small things in life that spur you on.
I have given up trying to be perfect, it is impossible, the goal posts shift. If I wait for perfection I will never do anything. Why do nothing when you can do something. So non- perfection can be a stimulus, it can lead you on a journey of discovery. Big plans are for other people. I like to keep it small , low key , careful observation and research can lead to wonderful experiences and small pleasures. So back to my writing, reading and photography.
As they say , the Devil is in the detail.