Lord of the Frogs

Saturday, January 20, 2018 4 Permalink 1

A soulsearching post in which childless idealist Yours Truly finally encounters first-hand the much-discussed phenomenon of Bullying Tourists can't be patriotic I have never lived in any other place in which I feel such a full-throated accord with the dominant cultural values. Shout it from the rooftops: Liberté-Egalité-Fraternité ! And better, Solidarité. Solidarity. France is far from perfect, ...

That time Cees ran toward the bombs

Sunday, January 14, 2018 3 Permalink 0

Oh the stories that man could tell. Harrowing tales of gay bravado and Southern Living past, more than a few pointers on matching accessories to suits, and a long list of sexcapades from an era in which most of the players were long dead. I never doubted that he embellished some of those tales, and was ...

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 ...

Desolation Consolation

Sunday, November 12, 2017 0 Permalink 0

Grande Crue On Monday 03-03-30, a major disaster struck our region, which I have written about before in these pages. A spring flood swelled the Tarn River, but the debris in the water was more than usual, and that debris collected against certain railway bridges which then acted like dams. When those accidental dams finally burst, walls ...