• Violent Expulsions: My Day with the Martyrs (or, Vomit with a View)

    Thursday, January 4, 2018 0 Permalink 0

    The photos are of the Chateau de Montségur, the "seat and head" of Catharism's last, tragic, inspiring holdout in the fall-winter-and-spring of 1243-4. When the siege ended and the 200 Parfaits and Parfaites within finally surrendered, they were given two weeks to recant and reconvert to Roman Catholicism or be burned alive at the stake. Instead of ...

  • Mirror World

    Monday, December 25, 2017 1 Permalink 0

    Tonight we are home from a brief sojourn just two hours to the north of where we live. It's the best country, in my opinion. La Corrèze is the home of fairy tales, and the bravery of la Gaillarde in wars since history began, and truly incredible food. It is also strikingly similar in both landscape and ...

  • Lo He comes with clouds descending

    Thursday, December 7, 2017 0 Permalink 0

    Today is our Fifth Anniversary of living in this house, and this morning, like a renewal of vows between us and this place, we woke to a beautiful gift: A silver landscape. During the night, fog and low clouds pushed in from the East along the river, and as they froze, like a sea of ice ...

  • Freezes like tiny hammers

    Friday, December 1, 2017 0 Permalink 0

    In fall there is the expected seasonal stained-glass pattern of autumn leaves, orange-and-red. There is rust. There is ochre - the bright and distracting display. But there are so many other colors also which our habitual imaginations exclude. The successive freezes expose them like tiny hammers shattering the glass of tradition so that we can see ...

  • Cold snap

    Thursday, November 16, 2017 2 Permalink 0

    Amble, pre- The years pass with dizzying speed. It's already time for the first hard frost again this morning. We have been here in this one place for so long now that the moment becomes melded with the memories of the 4 or 5 or 6 first frosts before. I cannot keep all the years straight, and ...

  • Smoky Mountain Trails

    Monday, September 18, 2017 3 Permalink 0

    We learned several things about our current selves and our place in the world on the trail this last full moon: We are too old to hike 20 miles a day on rugged terrain carrying 60-lb packs. We were more sedentary than planned, and there are many more photos of fungus than mountaintop vistas for ...

  • One half of August

    Friday, August 18, 2017 0 Permalink 0

    Hard times, they say, but I can feel a change coming, and it's not just fall. I feel a revival. I feel a birth. We cleaned out our closets completely this week and were honest for once about what works and what does not. We took 26 bags of clothes to the goodwill bin, and then ...

  • La Charente-Maritime

    Thursday, July 27, 2017 0 Permalink 0

    It finally came - my second visit, technically, but the first time I really knew something about what I was seeing. Now I know why this region warrants singling out as its own region. I will be back many times, as often as possible: La Rochelle, Saint-Jean-d'Angély, Cognac, Angoulême, and of course a picnic with my ...