by Armando Ortiz
I’d gone to visit my friend, Scott, and sat on the couch, talking about personal matters –former lover contacting me, my current emotional state, and my overall state in light of many other concerns. Then I asked what he had been doing. He’d been watching some YouTube videos on the breakdown of Greek gods. I saw listed there before me, Mars meaning Ares, God of War. Then it hit me like a flash. I am an Aries, and was born in March. I’d just returned from a trip to Paris, and there visited Sacre Couer in Montemartre, where the church is located. Montemartre means the mountain of Mars. I had returned to that spot a second time before leaving the city the next day, to see the sunset. I’d read about its history in passing but never really made the connection. That last day though, I saw the clouds gently move and separate, like cotton candy being stretched with one’s fingers. The sky slowly turned champagne, rose and as the sun slowly sunk became a dark zinfandel.
I told Scott that I was born in March, under the Aries sign. To make things more provocative I also mentioned to him that the constellation next to Aries was Persus, which was an eerie coincidence that my first name was Percy. I was a bit surprised to realize that Montmartre was my mountain. I was mostly taken by Sacre Coeur’s white washed dome and pillars. It was one of the newer basilicas, one a hundred years old, but being that it was on top of a mount, it gives great views of Paris. You can also see the imposing church from the Eifel Tower and other parts of Paris, so if it wasn’t the tower it was the church on mount mars that oriented me and in many ways reminded me that I was in Paris.
|Eiffel Tower at a distance|
On my first visit to the church I’d wandered its streets and taken a multiplicity of photographs on my phone. I saw foreigners with “selfie sticks” trying haphazardly to take pictures of themselves. What has happened with asking a stranger for a photo? Not that I went out of my way to offer help. Many faces from different places around the world sat on the steps and just gazed out looking at the city, talking, laughing, and contemplating amongst friend, with an occasional sip of their beer or wine. Some people even had picnics happening in the grassy area of the stairs that lead down to Place Saint-Pierre. All was well on top of mount Mars, and for a person born in March under the Aries sign, things couldn’t have been better.
|Sacre Coeur at a distance.|