La Bruyere wrote about the Court of Versailles that from the distance it looked resplendid, but the closer you got, the uglier it became. Taking his observation for an advice, I always try to get right next to whatever it is I try to examine. And what do I see? Beauty is just an over-simplification. And some very complex people are usually responsible for it. And this is why it is so frustrating. There is still a desire to probe a little deeper, to penetrate to the idea…, maybe even discover a secret? But peeling away the surface layer by layer doesn’t get us any deeper, not any closer.
Yesterday I went to a meeting with Hercules in the Park of Chateau Versailles. I have postponed this for a while. It’s a colossal statue and it gives me an inferiority complex with its anatomic exaggerations. So, I approached it, slowly meandering, and then lifted my head when I was already directly below it. Wow! How many fig leaves do you think it takes to cover up the Little Hercules? I counted at least three. Figs or grapes? The bundle made me think of the Greek cuisine, dolma being on my mind for some time. Who had put all these leaves there and why? The first person on my mind was Madame Maintenon. I thought of her adding a leaf after leaf, never quite satisfied with the result. The awful things that are done with pleasure are still good for something.