Monday, September 7, 2009

Turn, Turn, Turn

Marie Antoinette en gaulle by Elisabeth Vigee-Lebrun To everything
(Turn, turn, turn)
There is a season
(Turn, turn, turn)
And a time to every purpose
Under Heaven

A time to be born, a time to die
A time to plant, a time to reap
A time to kill, a time to heal
A time to laugh, a time to weep

A time to build up, a time to break down
A time to dance, a time to mourn
A time to cast away stones, a time to gather stones together

Marie Antoinette a la rose by Elisabeth Vigee-Lebrun
A time of war, a time of peace
A time to love, a time to hate
A time you may embrace, a time to refrain from embracing

A time to gain, a time to lose
A time to rend, a time to sow
A time for love, a time for hate
A time for peace, I swear it's not too late.

Marie Antoinette's personal "en gaulle" and professional "à la rose" guises as painted by Elisabeth Vigée-Lebrun.

Oh the Labour Day Weekend!! Not even New Year's Day can rival it as a time of transitions. The summer is all but over as children & young adults head back to school. The days are shorter, the temperature is cooler and those of us that are lucky enough to have taken a summer breather are gearing up for the next foray into our working world.

As usual, I have accomplished about twenty percent of what I had planned to do during my summer break. The house is a bit cleaner, the garden a bit tidier, my health a bit better especially since my stress level is a bit lower. My SL version of le Petit Trianon has grown (but just a bit!) and I'm looking forward to continuing with all of my projects through the fall and winter.

All of this put me in mind of Marie Antoinette and her eventual pursuit of a more private and simple way life. She would retreat to le Petit Trianon, just as we retreat to our cottages or our backyards during a "staycation", to enjoy her gardens and the company of her friends. She abandoned the restrictive court dress and heavy makeup in favour of white muslin gowns and simple straw hats, telling her visitors that "I shall be quite alone so don't dress up; country clothes and the men in frockcoats".

Thanks to two paintings done in 1783 by Elisabeth Vigée-Lebrun a visual comparison of the private and public Marie Antoinette is easy to make. Elena Maria Vidal has blogged about both of these portraits and their deeper implications at Chemise à la reine and Marie-Antoinette à la Rose .

I always hope that Marie Antoinette found both joy and peace of mind during her times away from her professional life at court allowing her to return rejuvenated, ready to tackle the mountain of tasks at hand. Come to think of it, that's also my wish for myself! May we all find pleasure in going forward as the wheel turns.

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