I’ve been in Dublin for a little over two weeks now, and I am completely in love and film development is crazy cheap and this hobby of mine is going to get out of control this year.
As a Christmas/New Year’s/Getting-In-To-Grad-School gift to myself back in December, I got a Pentax Spotmatic film camera off of Le Bon Coin and I absolutely adore it. Here are a few pictures from around the region, namely Pezenas (my town), Castelnau-Le-Lez, Mèze, and Montpellier. (These are pictures of the pictures taken by my digital camera woops).
I am pleased enough with surfaces — in fact they alone seem to me to be of much importance. Such things for example as the grasp of a child’s hand in your own, the flavor of an apple, the embrace of friend or lover, the silk of a girl’s thigh, the sunlight on rock and leaves, the feel of music, the bark of a tree, the abrasion of granite and sand, the plunge of clear water into a pool, the face of the wind — what else is there? What else do we need?
—Edward Abbey, “Desert Solitaire”
Here are some surfaces from my incredible week WWOOFing with a (very) French family in the countryside at their chèverie (goat farm/butcher). The cast is: V, the goat farmer, T, her husband and the butcher, t, their three-year-old son, and M, my fellow WWOOFer originally from Lyon.
- Showing up nervous about letting the family know that I’m vegetarian only to be greeted by a pig cut in half and hanging from a tree with three grown men laughing around it. Unwittingly showing up on the traditional “tueaille,” or annual pig-killing/eating day/festival, and immediately deciding to tough it out and eat meat for the week
- Being plagued with abdominal pain from said meat every afternoon
- Walking through the forest alone singing to myself and taking pictures all afternoon/ every afternoon while listening to the birds sing and the church bell from the village below keep time until V calls in the goats and their bells mean to go to the chèverie for the evening’s work
- t clasping my hand to take him back to the house at the end of a day and, after nearly 24 hours of hitting me and throwing caprices, saying “je t’aime“
- t farting on my lap while I read him stories
- Petting Miel (“honey” in french) first thing every morning until, by the end of the week, he recognizes me and comes running and squealing for me every time he sees me
- One of the farm’s workers bringing a month-old puppy to the farm to play with a living-room baby goat and letting him lie on my chest to nap
- Passing the time just after every lunch with bowls of coffee and reading the quotes about happiness from chocolate wrappers to each other
- A baby goat being born and forgotten in the snow. Rubbing him with a towel for two hours to heat him up. Getting to feel life slowly creep into his small and lifeless body, starting with his humongous ears perking up
- The sadness on Christmas Day when, while babysitting the farm alone while everybody is away visiting family, the same baby goat dies after having just spent the afternoon cuddling my lap like a cat
- Watching a baby goat take its first breath. Also on Christmas Day
- The acute boredom that comes with only understanding and expressing the surface of conversation in a foreign language day in and day out with little to no perception of nuance or depth
- Getting to see the Alpes from afar
- Giving a cat a piggy back ride along a country road
- The smell of the wood-burning heater
- Whittling away the scraps of meat and fat (in the end, 1.2kg’s worth) left on the remains of a pig carcass all evening with T and M, talking about how caring about cooking is a metaphor for enjoying the road to the greater ends in life
- Taking long sunset walks with Laslo the dog
- Staying up till midnight on M’s last day on the farm talking about how to find happiness in the world (and how crazy it’s becoming) through groups of people that give us a sense of community and remind us that we are not alone
Pézenas has been treating my lil’ digital camera really well lately.
Good Colorado River Music
Memoirs from an Honors trip to Yuma and Mexico to study Colorado River restoration:
“Can I just sit and not pee?”
“Tomorrow morning we’ll just have blue dark skinny time.”
“Ahn-drea. It’s a hard ahn.”
“Your watch–that’s analogue–won’t change with timezones.”
“We’ll just be wet little urchins.”
“So, are you cousin Jackson or brother Jackson or…”
“Well, I’m Lizzy.”
EH and Me
“All moms are people. All babies are grandpas too.”
“If you love the sauce so much, why don’t you marry it? Like give it a ring and make the cashier an undercover priest?”
“That child looks like chocolate.”
“Let’s reconvene white supremacy.”
“You’re not a butthole; you’re a sphincter.”
“You’re an appendix. No one notices you till you explode.”
“Guys, we met Shannon yesterday.”