Again, I waited until another friend of Elena's had come to the apartment. Once he arrived I was out, and headed toward the Olympiade station. Boarded and got off at Bercy. I switched to the 6 train and got off at Montparnasse central station. I found a Starbucks, had my usual frappuccino and a small salad. It had no salt, but I didn't ask for salt, so I ate it anyway.
I was going to quickly ask someone if there was a bus or a train to Chartres, but then I saw up on the departures, that there was a train leaving at 14:09pm to Chartres.
While walking through the station, trying to find the ticket booth, I heard some banging on a piano, so I went to search. I found it, and played some… there was a family near bye, and it seemed like there were twin girls around the age of 5, who became very curious about my playing. One came to sit on the bench next to me, and immediately began to strike up a conversation with me– in French. She chatted away with big smiles, big eyes and at one point we just looked at each other, maybe we were having a French staring contest… She kept asking me questions about the piano I think, because she kept pointing at the keys… but I broke out all the French I knew, and answered "Je ne parle pas Francais!"
She was biracial, and had beautiful frizzy hair, and big black eyes! In no time the other twin came by as well. A fight broke out as to who was going to sit next to me on the bench. Pulling, hitting, yelling, it was a scene from my childhood. In the end, the other twin got to sit next to me, and the first twin gave up and walked toward her parents. I finished playing — trying to play music between the fighting that was happening, and concentrate while being jostled about on the little one person bench. After I was finished, I got up and they continued to fight who was now going to play!
I had a lot of trouble finding ticket booth to get a train to Chartres. But I finally found it, and missed the train which was going at 14:09. I almost cried because I wanted to go so badly, and thought I had to wait till tomorrow, but then the lady reassured me there was another one in an hour. I don't think it showed that I almost cried, and if it did, that's life. I cry a lot, you'll get to know that about me, if you hadn't already known… Now I'm waiting for the 15:06 train to Chartres.
I arrived well on time and from a distance I could see the cathedral. I got excited! As it rolled up to the station I was curious what I would take away from seeing this great masterpiece. I got out and followed the famous crowds– up the hill I went. I got a bit lost, but followed some back streets up to the cathedral and wondered if I was allowed to walk along these private roads that I found. As long as it brought me to Chartres, that's all I cared about. I couldn't find the entrance until I went all around the cathedral. Into a small wooden side door, and immediately I smelled incense! It reminded me of the Sunday services I attend too rarely back in NY.
In I went, and I was engulfed by substance. By a substance that had been through so much. I looked above me and saw darkness and color. The windows were enormous and full of clarity. Many of the windows had a blue that I had never seen in my life. I can't compare it to anything, as I had never seen this blue before. One window in particular that I observed was Mary, with Jesus. It was on the south side. She bore a blue cloak the color of small alp flowers. Not a sky blue, not an aqua blue, no blue I had quite seen before. I felt guilty taking pictures, but I wanted to remember a little something from this experience. I lit a candle for 2€ for anyone who has lost someone close to them.
I sat myself down and just watched as the large rose windows slowly began to make sense, and in that sense came alive. With every minute I was there, I didn't want to leave. I felt more and more in tune with this special place. I also felt like a tiny tiny being within this larger than life being. Some people prayed, some people took pictures, some people sat, but while walking around it more and more I came to see new things, new details, new colors and new architecture. I walked around it again and again… Something I never saw before when I have often gone into other cathedrals, was the fact that the most holiest place within this cathedral was surrounded by many statues and acted as though it was a barrier for the most divine. We weren't allowed inside that space. And I understood so well.
I left after about 2 hours inside. The white stone paths around the cathedral blinded me as I came outside into the daylight.
I then walked about the small town of Chartres. It was darling! Stores, cafes, bars, stores, everything! Made the 18:30 back to Paris.