Tuesday, September 4, 2012

The weight of a cricket


It is April and we have run away.

My smoky bones are filled with fatigue, one that is older than last night's half-sleep. Heavy and somber, I breathe into the starched pillow, sink into the unfamiliar futon and listen. The rain is calling, whistling, sighing as it comes down. Ben, my Golden Retriever is staring at me. I roll over to avoid his gaze.

We have rented a tidy vacation cottage in the Var region to escape the Easter bullfights in Arles. The tension, the drunkeness, the ugliness that accompanies them is louder than the stomp of flamenco in the streets. My companion Remi, a professional photographer, is out working but I can't move. My nerves have let down, yes, all the way down. Time taunts me with its looseness.

Ben pricks up his ears and soon I hear the crunch of the car's arrival. I count the moments that it will take for Remi to arrive at the door, pulling myself up to the edge of the mattress in the interim. He bursts in, glistening with more than the rain. "You have to come see this!" he practically shouts with enthusiasm. "I have found the most amazing place, you won't believe it." He regales me with a tale of discovery while I systematically create and reject various excuses not to go back with him, to stay right there in my non-comfort zone. None of them work.

Soon we are heading down a dirt track to a mysterious red rock mountain towering over Roquebrune-sur-Argens. A blush of a blur pulses in my mind's eye. Remi pulls over, reverses and stops. He gets out and still I wait, still I am unwilling. Again, he tugs at me with his call. I know the sounds of his voice, that beautiful voice that pulled me across an ocean. He has seen something that is worth moving for.

I nearly slip over the moss as I make my way into the small valley that dips down before rising again. Clutching at my camera strap, I find my balance and look up. I am in a field of irises, their purple so profound, their petals bedecked with drops like the unreasonable tears that I have felt clinging to my heart. "Maybe they are diamonds instead," an inner voice whispers. Then I start to focus.

Just in the simple act of seeing, something shifts slightly. With the acknowledgement that beauty surrounds me, a door starts to crack open. The shape of the irises,  their bended elegance, draws me in until I spy perched on one ever so lightly, a bright green cricket. His antenaes stop wiggling under my gaze but he does not flee. I slowly lower my face towards him. He is not alone. Nor am I. Inexplicably, I am filled with utter joy that expands to shake the clouds down. How giddy I become in remembering that hope repeats. What a fool to forget. My clock starts ticking at twelve. Anew, anon. The scales have been tipped and all with the weight of a cricket.







Today's post is for the "By Invitation Only" series. The current theme is "cycles." One of the definitions of that word caught my eye: "a permutation of a set of ordered elements in which each element takes the place of the next and the last becomes the first."

To read the posts of the other wonderful participants, please Visit Splenderosa.
And as always, thank you for being here...










58 comments:

  1. Hello Heather:
    To everything there is a season and to each is allocated a special joy.And how we are enchanted by this tale of discovery and the thought that as Autumn just peeps over the horizon, we shall be anticipating the turning of the year once more. Again, the cycle of summer will be complete and with building excitement we shall wait impatiently for Spring once more!

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    1. Yes, everything just keeps on turning, doesn't it? Whether inside or out, a long cycle or a short one.
      Bisous to you both sent airmail to Budapest!

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  2. 'That beautiful voice that pulled me across an ocean'... Heather, in that sentence you have said so much... and all that needs to be said...

    Perhaps it is because I have the privilege of knowing you in person that this sentence resonates... I am not sure... I suspect it is just a perfect grouping of words for you and your life...

    Bravo, a lovely, lovely post... xv

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    1. Thank you so much for this Vicki and I hope that you know that I feel the same way about getting to know you too...And I love that you pounced on that one phrase--yes, you understand it perfectly!

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  3. An eternal cycle - The wind moves the clouds away, and after rain there will be sunshine again!

    We all should keep this in mind, on "dark" days when our mind and soul might be overclouded. And when we go out open minded we will enjoy the beauty of life and in nature, just as you do, Heather.

    Tres amicalement, k

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    1. Merci, Karin--it seems like our "cycles" have much in common finally!
      Bisous to you, Scratchies to Oskar...

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  4. You have a beautiful way with words and your talent brings us beauty and joy. The joy of discovering something new in every detail of life. Keep writing...

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    1. Thank you so much, Francine. Coming from someone like yourself that gives so much inspiration, well that means a LOT. Off to dive into your post now...!

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  5. Magnificent...you do have such a way with words...had me hanging on every one. Thanks for the loveliness. XO, Mona

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    1. Thank you for stopping by Mona and also for the wonderful perspective in your post!

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  6. Such a beautiful post, Heather...'that beautiful voice that pulled me across an ocean'....so tender, so loving...I've no more words...
    Catherine
    xx

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    1. Merci, Catherine. So wonderful to know that I have a new virtual yoga buddy!

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  7. Heather, I logged onto Blogger this morning -- the kitchen, quiet. I felt that overwhelmed feeling I sometimes sense when I take a quick browse over what everyone has posted since the last time I was here. Your opening paragraph drew me in. I can hear your voice like I can hear the voices of accomplished authors. I certainly heard the crunch of Remi's car in the driveway, felt the weighing and rejecting of excuses. I applaud you for rising and following the love you have already followed into this worthy space of discovery.

    Things rarely weight what they weigh, do they?

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    1. No they don't, Suze. Kindness, for example, can have a mighty impact for such a feathery word. Thank you with all of my heart for your incredible support, especially as I was worried that this post would be met with *the sound of a cricket*.

      Now, may I please have a second helping of molé?

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    2. Your posts, all, go down so smoothly, Heather. Beautifully, beautifully done.

      As for the mole, my mother makes it with chocolate and a smidge of peanut butter. Sounds kitschy but it is sooo delectable -- like dessert and dinner rolled into one happy, unassuming tumult on the tongue. You would love it.

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    3. My folks lived in San Diego for over twenty years so I was lucky enough to have a few "authentic" moles--I am crazy for them. Well, anything that has that sweet/salty or sucre/salé thing going but seriously? Chocolate with peanut butter is the original plus all of those spices and a kick of peppers (which is why I don't make it myself, can't find the right kinds here) and I am in Heaven! I will be craving this now...

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    4. Hey Heather....for a very good mole that DOESN'T, for once require 100 ingredients and the time/patience posssessed by the nuns of Santa Rosa Puebla, go to David Lebowitz's book "The Sweet Life in Paris". I expect you can also search for the recipe on his very fine & extremely popular blog.

      Given your yen for "that sucre/sale thing"?....did you know that the justly-admired Dori Greenspan (whose cookbook "Around My French Table" won this past year's James Beard Award for Best Cookbook) has just opened, with her son, two cookie-stores in Manhattan.....both named "Beurre et Sale"?

      You're far more likely, I know (from your own confessions), to buy Dori's cookies than to make a mole containing only 30 ingredients rather than 100.

      In any case....both are awfully good.

      Level Best as Ever,

      david terry
      www.davidterryart.com

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    5. P.S. David's recipe is adapted to what's available in France. Like you, he's found that he can't "find the right kinds here".

      ----david terry

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    6. Thanks so much for the nudge, Dr. Terry, I loved his book but was too busy laughing at his brilliant observations at the time to think of the logistics of any of the recipes! Will give the mole a looksee.
      Hope that all is well there with you, Herve and the pack.
      xo,
      H.

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  9. The imagery of your words are equal to that of your photos; an excellent piece, Heather! And a perfect way to usher in the fall season: with a reminder to find the beauty that is out there waiting to be discovered.
    xo
    j

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  10. Oh, what a beautiful post -- I felt like I was right there with you in the moment of discovery. And that bright green cricket! Adorable.

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  11. Gorgeously described as always, Heather. Your words bring me to another place, another season. A purple puddle of iris blooming in my mind's eye. Just lovely. XO

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  12. What a stunning piece of writing. That "something that shifts" - how I long for it. It's been years.

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  13. I was there with you taking in the beauty of the irises and smiling at the cricket. Strange isn't it the things that make us smile? So inconsequential sometimes and yet, they may alter our whole mood.

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  14. Lovely post, Healther. What a treat it must have been to see those iris; thank you for sharing them with us!

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  15. I agree with all that compliment your talent for writing....and the flowers are beautiful. I too rented a place in Var once. There is magic in those hills!

    Thank you for visiting my blog...Neat that you saw yourself in the little redhead!

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  16. Hello Heather

    What a beautiful story you weave here. The scene with the iris's and dewdrops is enchanting. In Ireland it was always considered a lucky omen when a cricket lived in the hearth.

    Thanks for the beautiful story

    Helen xx

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  17. Sometimes opening our eyes lets us open our hearts. Pure poetry Heather - just lovely. And wonderful imagery to match!

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  18. "hope repeats" oh yes indeed, how beautifully put. As the whole story is. A work of art, your words are. You take the simplest, tiniest thing, like this, and turn it into a thought of wonder, of wisdom, of appreciation. How I do adore the way your mind works, my clever and wise friend. xx

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    1. Those two words were the key to the whole little story!! Virginia, you are so wonderful. I really have sucked in your kindness and support like a sponge. And I have a lot more quiet in my life than most folks--it gives me plenty of time to focus on the small things. :)

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  19. Beautifully written Heather. The cycle of life.. and the story repeats itself. To see that life is full of colors {not just black or white) and paying attention to detail.. following your heart and finding joy in the simple things.. that's what life's all about! Your photos are perfect :)

    leslie

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    1. That is gorgeously put Leslie, thank you. And I agree with you, I don't think that there is much more to aim for than that!!
      And I appreciate the compliment about the photos, they are some of my favorites that I have ever taken.
      xo,
      H

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  20. Thanks so much for your visit and for leading me here to your beautiful blog.
    You're right! How is it that we haven't yet "met"?
    I'm sure to be a regular visitor here, and hope to see you often over at my place.
    xo,
    pamela

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    1. Oh hooray! Just the sight of Edward's sweet face in the Member box will make me smile EVERY SINGLE TIME that I see him there. :) How we love our puppers.
      xo,H

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  21. "...and all with the weight of a cricket". That's why I adore and love you so much Heather for being YOU . You write in pastels even deep purple. No lines, just the gentle whiffs of color...

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    1. You are so wonderful, Natalie. Merci beaucoup, beaucoup. How I wish I had the funds to pop up to Paris when you were there--so close yet so far!! Next time...

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  22. Did I tell you my last gift from my SON and his girlfriend GIULIA was a box with words written on top"A SWEET SERERNADE FOR YOUR SUMMER SOIREE"Inside the box it held 100 crickets!!!!!!!!!!They sing tonight as I read your post and think WOW.........

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    1. That is BRILLIANT! Oh my that made me smile. I see creativity runs in the family...
      Bisous,
      H

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  23. Following through this day of yours was blissful. Blissful because I can feel how you were feeling, and I know that feeling. A creative person can truly find profound perfection in life's simplest things, like these crickets & these irises. Brava, Heather, this is so thoughtful and well done. This is the reason you belong with our group, By Invitation Only, you add so much we could not do without you. xx's

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  24. Heather, Your life is a continuous adventure! I love Remi and your discovery and the images are perfection of nature.

    What I see in this post is also that sometimes we need another's encouragement to pull us out of our depths of fatigue and loss of any energy whatsoever.
    As I do not have a Remi in my life right now; I am so grateful for the encouragement of all of my dear blog friends and family to heal and thrive!

    I am here for you always.

    xoxo
    Karena
    Art by Karena

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    1. Karena, I am so deeply touched by this, thank you, friend. And yes, we all need a helping hand at times--it doesn't matter who provides it. I never cease to be amazed by the true jolt of energy that such sincere comments as yours give me.

      As always, sending my Best to you as you keep moving forward...
      Bisous,
      Heather

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  25. Oh, Heather that was such a beautiful piece you wrote. You really know how to capture a moment and retell the story, making us readers believe we are with you in that very moment.

    You truly have a gift.

    This is why I love your blog, living through your whimsical experiences, and seeing beauty the way you do.

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  26. Oh my goodness...those words....they became part of me. Perfect.

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  27. God Heather you can write! I am so envious sometimes of the way you can paint a vision with words. You have a wonderful gift my friend and I love it.

    XX
    Debra~

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  28. Your painting with photographs and words is deeply touching and pervasively inspiring. Thank you, Heather. With admiration, Leslie from Portland

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  29. Heather beautiful and thought provoking post I am imagining they are diamonds not tears clinging to your heart :) the colour in these pics is amazing mother nature we love her!
    Carla x

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  30. Thank you so much ladies! I hope that you all have an idea, even an inkling of how moved I am by your kindness and support.
    Very, very grateful...

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  31. Oh, Heather. I am speechless. How do you know so well what's in my heart? A truly, stunning piece of writing that illuminates what those of us who live in our hearts battle with, feel, cycle through. I've felt it all. And seen the diamonds as well as the tears.
    Merci mon amie,
    Aidan xo

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    1. Now that moved ME to tears.
      Gros bisous, Aidan. So very happy that we are a part of each others lives now...

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  32. Your post is so beautiful Heather, I love it!
    Have a nice evening!
    Hug from Lene

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  33. Lovely, lovely post Heather.
    Indeed, the very nature of 'Hope' repeats itself, doesn't it.

    Beautiful photos too!
    xx
    SP

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  35. I had to sit with this piece for a while. It demands that you take the time to read it slowly. Moving slowly, looking closely, focusing on those tiny details are sometimes the things that help us move from despair to joy.

    The star of this piece is a cricket, but it reminds me of "The Summer Day" by Mary Oliver, which features a grasshopper. You can hear Ms. Oliver read it here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=16CL6bKVbJQ

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