I’m about to squeeze this hulk between solid stone buildings that have withstood two world wars and four hundred years of seasonal change, love and laughter in the Aveyron. I’m not the first. This is the through road between wheat fields on high and the ancient moulins along the river that ground the grain to fine flour for the communal bread ovens. Tractors, horses, wagons, and more recently cars and the occasional truck have traversed this route. Today I’m driving the old Mercedes.
I’ve been in Europe for six months now. Hitching my way around France and Greece, meeting the strange, the interesting and the humorous along my way. Striding with backpack or pedalling the tiny trails that connect villages. I don’t drive cars. I’m on the wrong side of the road, the wrong side of the car, and I’m trying to brake with my right foot on the pedal. Sure I have been granted a temporary French permit to drive, but do I really want to exchange a life of adventurous travel for the easy option? I will decide after I have safely parked the car on the wild and wintery hill-top back at my friend’s house.
I hold on to the notion of solidity,
Though nothing is ever secure.
I release my expectations,
Then everything is sure.
Each stone has a story
And I am blown away by them all
My resolve didn’t waver. I want to get back to Europe, in spite of the ocean paradise I’ll leave behind in Australia.
It was now 11.55am and the consulat general’s office closed at 12.20. I wasn’t about to wait another month for a new appointment so I firmly grasped the paperwork and rushed out the door with directions to find a Justice of the Peace and an office supply outlet. The elevator plummeted 26 floors to ground zero.
By the time I reached the pharmacy, it was was close to 12 noon. This lead turned out to be futile but the woman kindly suggested that I might find a JP in the tall building with the revolving doors. So I retraced my steps. I found a chartered accountant on the fifteenth floor. He was busy but I wasn’t deterred. Pleading has it’s place. By 12.05 I was out of there and hit the pavement running. I still needed updated bank statements. I had fifteen minutes left.
One drip at a time. Will it all fall into place?
I am the muse, the photographer.and the scribe.
Which came first? A reasonable question.
The answer remains mysterious.
Ethereal as the twisted trees in a silent forest.
Shadowy as a room painted with sunlight.
Fluid as a heartbeat felt beneath my naked breast.
I’ve been working on this project for a couple of years now and excited about it’s birth into the world!
Nothing is too deep, too difficult, too impenetrable. Well that’s what I’m telling myself as I apply for the artists’ visa in France.
Thanks for the photo Tia Fereti
I did not cry when I heard the news. There was nothing more after Henri died. Another postcard handwritten with care. ‘Je t’apprends une mauvaise nouvelle’. This time it was Adele. They arrive from time to time, sad news from another life, another time, to pierce my new world. I close my eyes and dream of the fields where I planted and reaped friendships dear enough to be family as the old people return to the soil.
Roget and Adele, France, 2014
Henri Jambart, France, 2010