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Gothic Pilgrimage, visiting the great French cathedrals.

                                Grandeur of composition, nobility of silhouette, perfection of proportion, wealth of detail, infinitely...

December 30, 2011

Auld Lang Syne

Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
and never brought to mind?
Should auld acquaintance be forgot
and days of auld lang syne?

~Robert Burns

Nostalgia, a longing for things past. We all feel it, and it seems to play a larger role in our lives as we get older. Which makes perfect sense because the older we get the more we think about yesterday and eventually there are more days in the past than in the future.

It is late December just after Christmas and the new year is fast approaching. The Holidays are full of nostalgia. Who can forget being a child and…? Traditions. No matter how rotten a childhood had been people prefer to recall "the good old times."

Writing and thinking of  time has made me wish for Doc Brown's Delorian time machine. I’d just love to have one. What nostalgia!

 Happy New Year.

December 4, 2011

Leap of Faith…

. . . a “seasoned” post.

While most "seasoned" posts will feature many best wishes not to mention popping champagne corks, throngs of revelers, and rising plumes of stars cascading across the night skies, Frenchtoast in true contrarian fashion, has chosen a quieter way to pay tribute. These images capture a simple and sparse loveliness that hold a special appeal for me. When I first grossed the countless bridges of Paris as a young boy, I could not have known that it would prove to be symbolic and seminal in ways unimagined.

For one, their histories have always intrigued me, I view them as passageways uniting the old with the new, or the familiar to the unknown, there is something in their majesty and bearing that always softens and soothes.

Perhaps it comes from the nostalgia for the places they evoke, or maybe it’s nothing more than the secret little thrill that terrifies and excites each time you cross over water, canyons, or death-defying precipices. Like taking a leap of faith into the unfamiliar and unknown.

So this year the bridges of Paris have come to mean not only the ending and beginning of things, but the continuum engendered, despite obstacles, failings, and thunderous doubt. Having crossed, I feel what can only be likened to a crush of sentimentality, fellowship, warmth and gratitude over the bonds created, the connections forged, and the ideas shared over incalculable miles with friends from places that beckon in their intrigue and humble in their enormity at what these insignificant little blogs of bits and bytes can elicit.

Our thoughts in creating these blogs, was to do little more than send a bit of grace into a world hell bent on doing its damnedest to diminish and blunt. The idea of establishing a sanctuary, a refuge of words and images, where friends gathered and a genuine love of aesthetics (not to mention an expertly made cocktail or two) thrived, where something as inconspicuous as a bridge, for example, could take on new meaning or, as Mona observed, “lull and lift,” leading from the lamentable misery of what surrounds us day to day to a more
secluded spot untroubled by the woes of the weary. I remember reading some time ago of an idea that has stayed with me: that one is rarely, if ever, catapulted into failure, but instead, quietly and senselessly, nudged into it.

Might that idea be reversed? I can’t pretend to know, but I had a bit of time to try. Our blogs are that effort. To any of you they reached, whether through — a piece of whimsy, a glimpse of art, a story of redemption, a whiff of indescribable beauty, a sampling of impeccable style, a breeding long since lost, and a semblance of a class only vaguely remembered; or a quip, a photo, a sonata, a perfectly turned out phrase, or the constellation of a well-ordered room along with the imperfect plan that created it; an experience shared, a memory revived, a piece well placed, a meal well served and an unnatural aching for a bridge long since traveled — it has all resonated from here and I am the richer for it.

Where will the bridge lead? I do not know; although it is understood that it is more in the traveling than the arrival. As to the destination?