November 23, 2014 § Leave a comment
I’ll say this: there are special places and they’re obvious. They’re storybook. They’re historical. And you’re lucky, really, to enter it. To eat it. I kept a food log during my time in Grandcamp-Maisy, in northwestern France. Those entries speak louder, more clearly, more articulate of how it was waking up and sleeping and just being there than the photographs do. Regardless, I took these. I look at them. Voilà.
November 14, 2014 § Leave a comment
I wake up and it’s pink. The sun rises in Normandy in jewel tones. No lie. Or at least it does on the mornings I stop and notice it. Like a cartoon character, I wear one outfit: white crewneck t-shirt, black v-neck sweater, boyfriend jeans, a beige cable knit wool sweater of unknown origin (from a thrift store in The Isle of Mull), work boots, a watch. I read a poem from a particle blue book. I eat breakfast which is a third of a baguette with butter and a homemade jam (rhubarb, raspberry, peach, red-plum, blackberry, snozberry) , black coffee, and one glass of raw, unpasteurized milk. I chat with the sixty-four year old woman who lets me live in her house and work for her. After breakfast, I open the door to the chicken (and two ducks) coop, where they fly out without flying. They’re loud. Then I do the same thing, but on a separate part of the property. I walk past the Billy goat named Bebe, through a series of wooden gates, past the vegetable garden, past four apple trees, past a green lawn surrounded by trimmed hedges (like every fairy tale I ever wanted), and I let two geese out of their home. They are also loud. There is a donkey in a field and donkey’s are gorgeous which is a thing I didn’t know. On Monday, it pressed its giant donkey head against a crumbling stonewall and stayed there for a long, long time. Which was both depressing and adorable. I pick the apples that have fallen overnight. I walk to the stable and climb a pile of logs and throw them down near a wheelbarrow. I do this one at a time because my arms are pretty weak and also because this motion, the selecting and throwing the logs, is beyond therapeutic. I wheelbarrow the wood to the house and I feed them to a cobalt-blue enamel wood-burning stove. If you think it’s impossible for a human to love a stove, you’re mistaken. It’s a really pretty stove. And then I do whatever needs to be done, which varies. There is no such thing as clean fingernails in my narrative now. And the day goes on and eventually I’m in the parlor reading or I’m running on the shore of a famous part of the coast or I’m listening to someone incredibly generous talk to me about her children, fabric, fisherman or I’m making tea or I’m staring at the stove. And it’s very, very nice.