We woke to rain this morning. It pounded on the terra cotta tiles and gushed down our tiny steep street. The down pipe from our neighbour’s house empties straight onto the cobblestones next to our front door. I shoved towels against the door to soak up the overflow.
I wrote at the dining room table which looks out to the Luberon Mountains. Even a stormy sky is mild here, a blanket in tones of grey, as if it’s being careful not to frighten the old ladies in the village.
By lunchtime it had stopped raining so we decided to walk along the ramparts and back into the village. I took my camera so you can come too.
These are typical houses in Menerbes. The pallette of colours permitted are small but give the village a unity that’s very appealing.
But it’s the archways, gates and doorways that draw me. Portals to the unknown. The fact of them existing at all heralds the idea that something important or extraordinary is through them.
Despite the threat of rain we followed a path which led out of the village. Trees covered in ivy that we couldn’t name closed in over us. Mushrooms or toadstools, we couldn’t tell the difference, bubbled up along the edges. Vine leaves had started to turn russet. We saw a lizard striped like a tiger we couldn’t identify.
Can you belong to a place if you can’t name the things you find there? Can you write about a place convincingly, truthfully, if you can’t be specific enough to make your reader picture then exactly? These are the questions I’m grappling with as I write. What’s interesting is that most of what I’m writing circles back to home.
We turned back and around a corner there was the village in front of us, across a small patch of vines.
We walked back through the village to our door. If you come tomorrow in the afternoon and I’ll show you the house. We’re off to the farmer’s market in Gordes in the morning and I’ll buy us something delicious for afternoon tea.
Thanks for taking me to France Karen. I feel as though I’m there with you, and a little jealous I’m not! You may not be able to name things specifically, buy I can see them clearly through your words, I also feel a sense of mystery, intrigue and adventure. Sounds like a place where I’d feel at home …. I wonder if I’d belong.
Your name is a good start, Maree! Very French. It’s a funny thing, our feeling of belonging. I won’t write about it now but my daily writing is exploring that issue. A story is developing there.
My grandmother was French!
Simply beautiful and entirely generous, Karen. What an absolute blessing to have the opportunity to explore such a rich and intriguing environment; and then to have some precious time to write about it. It seems you are making the most of every moment and then sharing it with all of us. Thank you.
It certainly is a privilege to be here, Di. It’s also fun for me at the end of each day to look over it and blog about what thrilled me. I feel by writing about it I’m doing a little ritual – a blessing that acknowledges and witnesses my time here.
Hi Karen I am so enjoying your Parisian adventure. Don’t you just love those arched gates that speak of hidden gardens and secret rendezvous. It reminds me of Italy I was there with George in 1999. I can just picture you stuffing towels at the front door, keep writing.lv Sue
I love the doors and windows and what they suggest too, Sue. I’m glad you’re enjoying the journey with me. Thank you for you kind words.
Magnifique! The photos are stunning and would look so good on a wall back home in your creative writing space. Hold onto those feelings for as long as you can! You might have just inspired me to pull out the old travel albums and print some for frames…
I’m glad I’ve inspired you to get out your photos, Jessie. I’ve thought about putting up a wall of a black and white photos in my study when I get home. You could spend a lifetime taking photos of wonderful things just in his village.
What a wonderful place Karen. I can’t wait to read all the rest of your posts. Finally had some time to go through them. Only because I’m off sick but hey, the photographs are cheering me up.
I’m pleased the photos are making you feel a little better, Debbie. Get well soon.