Sunday, September 25, 2016

LYON - Cours de la Liberté

    The front entrance of the Grand Temple de Lyon is located on Quai Victor Augagneur – a long & lovely street that runs along the Rhône from Pont Lafayette to Pont de la Guillotière.  Around back on the much quieter Cours de la Liberté are the clergy's residential quarters.  It was there that I – the atheist in the church's attic – would enter through a large wooden door and ascend a winding staircase to my living quarters.  This ascent was a daily & dreaded demonstration of the thermodynamic principle that hot air rises, with cool street level air giving way to a reality-altering curtain of heat.  Outside, activity in the neighborhood – the city's 3rd arrondissement – mirrored this principle of verticality.  Calm, grey mornings that hosted more pigeons than people in little Square Jussieu would rise up into evenings that drew throngs to drink in riverbank bars under molten copper sunsets – a ritual of altitude in reverse, tracked through a fever gaze.

Son rêve d’Hollywood et d’un rôle de princesse scandinave rescapée des flots lui revint brusquement en tête au moment d’entrer dans le passage bruissant, qui l’avala.

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