"All the world's a stage, and all the men and women merely players."  --William Shakespeare

Entries in Maenads (2)


Rites of Spring

To watch us dance is to hear our hearts speak. --Hopi saying


Spring has arrived, fickle and schizoid here in Paris. One day summer, next day winter. Sometimes one minute summer, one minute winter.

And with spring comes hordes of tourists, and the ubiquitous buskers. And photographers to chronicle them; in this case Paris Play's staff photographer trying out a newly refurbished 35mm 1.8 prime lens on the Nikon. 

Good Friday, time to honor the death of the god, who, in the case of the Christian faith, will arise just a few days later to taste the chocolate bunnies. The cycle of death and rebirth, a staple feature of myth and religion, also calls Dionysus, precursor of Christ, to mind.



This Carnaby Street-influenced Dionysus unsheathed his guitar (a later variant of Hermes' lyre) at the plaza in front of Notre Dame and quickly drew a small crowd. They began, as Maenads have since time immemorial, spontaneously dancing, much to his delight.

And they grew wilder.

And wilder.

All this within thirty seconds.



Of course, it is illegal to busk, and to break out in dance, in front of Quasimodo's cathedral. Years ago, when we were young and looked like this, and similarly gathered in Vina del Mar Park, the small downtown square in Sausalito, California, the city fathers had an easy remedy: they closed the park to ANYONE for the next thirty years. A generation. That'll teach those hippies. And their children.

Here in Paris, they don't close the Notre Dame Parvis, but they can stop the dance.



Lest we seem to demonize the officer in question, seconds after giving the busker the bum's rush (he left politely, as did the Maenads), she was back to graciously performing one of her other duties, advising a pair of tourists how to get from point A to point B in this radial and confusing city. Good cop/bad cop all in one package. Another daily Paris Play.





Pan Speaks: (News From the Mythosphere, Part Two)










And here's The Waterboys song, The Return of Pan (with thanks to Steve De Jarnatt for the multimedia reference).