Notre Dame de Paris, 2019

Just logged on and the first thing I see is news that the Notre Dame is burning. Apparently the towers will be saved but the roof and the beautiful spire are gone. God knows what’s left inside, but I fear that the magnificent garouilles [gargoyles] may have been lost with the roof.

I know it’s a strange thing to mourn something so small as a gargoyle, but when I was twenty-one, I visited the Notre Dame, climbed to the top and saw those gargoyles for myself. Touched them. Marvelled at the artistry. Fell in love with them. I even bought a plaster gargoyle from the hawkers down below and kept it for decades until it finally broke.

Love happens because it happens, and I’ve always loved the Notre Dame and those gargoyles.

I know the cathedral will be rebuilt. I know it will be even more beautiful in the end, but…it won’t be my Notre Dame any more. I shudder to think how much pain the people of Paris must be feeling right now.

Je vous aime





About acflory

I am the kind of person who always has to know why things are the way they are so my interests range from genetics and biology to politics and what makes people tick. For fun I play online mmorpgs, read, listen to a music, dance when I get the chance and landscape my rather large block. Work is writing. When a story I am working on is going well I'm on cloud nine. On bad days I go out and dig big holes... View all posts by acflory

16 responses to “Notre Dame de Paris, 2019

  • Widdershins

    Even when it’s rebuilt it will never be the Notre Dame, it will now and forever be the re-built Notre Dame. 😦


  • D. Wallace Peach

    I watched the news yesterday and my heart broke. Your right that it will be rebuilt beautifully, Andrea, but it will be different.


    • acflory

      It’s funny that I believe in ‘change’, at an intellectual level. I associate it with renewal and growth, yet when something I love changes, I realise I want it to always stay the same. I guess it’s good that they managed to save as much as they did. :/

      Liked by 1 person

      • D. Wallace Peach

        Great observation. I think “things” develop an aura over time, absorbing the energy around them – particularly a place like Notre Dame. So when we lose them, we lose their soul. That part is what hurts so badly.


        • acflory

          Yes! I know the Notre Dame is a place of worship, but I’ve only ever seen it as a place of beauty; humans investing stone and glass with their hopes and dreams. I hope the survival of the bell towers means that the building still retains something of its soul.

          Liked by 1 person

  • cagedunn

    I was amazed at the crowds of people who gathered to pray, all silent, all staring at one thing, complete focus.
    I am so glad it wasn’t an act of [the other]. At least with an accident, we can all focus in the same direction, towards reinstating the thing we love, and not lash outwards in anger …

    Were they gargoyles or grotesques? I’d always thought grotesques, but I haven’t been there …
    the gargoyles are water spouts, the grotesques do all the other jobs of a gargoyle, but don’t shed water from the building (I think – used it for a story once).


    • acflory

      Yes. That is the one tiny ray of hope. And yes, Gargoyles. The Notre Dame had/has/will have both gargoyles and grotesques again. I guess what I love about gargoyles is the blending of form with function. The pic on the post wasn’t a gargoyle, just the first thing I found during a quick search. Didn’t have the heart for more. I hope that the effort to restore/rebuild the Notre Dame will bring people together. The world has had enough divisiveness for a generation.

      Liked by 1 person

  • MELewis

    Thanks, Meeka! I also felt a strong connection to those gargoyles. I share your hope that all shall be restored. So sad to see so much history lost but a timely reminder that despite all the change in our world, we are still vulnerable to accidents.


    • acflory

      In our news tonight they said something about the statues and? gargoyles being saved as they’d already been taken down. Fingers crossed that it’s true.

      I think we [humans] take comfort from the supposed permanence of our structures. Maybe that’s partly why it feels as if the rug has been pulled out from under our feet when they fall. I remember feeling sick at the sacking of Palmyra too. Beautiful things should be immortal even if we can’t. πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  • dvberkom

    Devastating. I went there in 2005. Climbed to the top to see the gargoyles and an amazing view of Paris, like you did. Saw the destruction this morning on my phone and teared up. So unbelievably sad.

    Liked by 1 person

  • davidprosser

    And that glorious stained glass window. So sad. We al share the Parisians pain.


  • Elizabeth Drake

    So, so sad. I saw it on the TVs in the lunchroom.

    It survived so many wars. Joan of Arc saw it. It survived Napoleon. It survived WWI and WW2. It’s 900 years old…I am so very sad.

    Liked by 2 people

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