Friday, April 8, 2011

Walking Stories VI

All around the mulberry bush, the monkey chased the weasel...

We were once again outside the Cathedral St. André. I released the toddle to chase pigeons, chatted with the mom of a sixteen-year-old who got misty-eyed watching the baby and soaked up the sunshine. 

The cathedral is really the center of the town. If you want to meet up with someone, the rendez-vous is often at "Pey-Berland" the name of the cathedral tower or at "hôtel de ville" the city hall and the name of the intersecting tram stops. You can see the twin spires and the golden Virgin and Child from many points in town. 

There are two trams that pass with lots of people rushing in between them. There are several cafés with chairs and tables on the parvis, which are often filled. The largest shopping streets of Bordeaux are on all four sides of the massive church. 

Young people hang out and eat their lunch on the benches. School groups regroup in the open space. Cigarettes are lit while folks wait for the tram, beers are shared between friends, people sip a café before parting. Beggars sit at the front door and wander among the luncheaters. Business men walk past in small groups. Moms with strollers cut across the tram tracks on their way to the park. People doing a manifestation against work conditions parade while blowing horns and yelling on megaphones.  

But who goes inside Saint André Cathedral? Who thinks of it as a church, built to be a place of worship to God? Bah...Il n'est pas mort depuis longtemps? Hasn't He been dead for a long time?


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