Saturday, May 4, 2013

Faces of La Fete de Gardians




Remi and I were talking about what qualities we seek in a friend these days, at this age in our lives. And he came across a word that I loved, vrai or "true."

I think that the same could be said for many of the faces seen at the recent Fête de Gardians in Arles on the First of May. There was something about their traditional costume that made them more themselves. Especially as they all seemed so completely bien dans leur peau, good in their skin.

And that is as true as it gets.















38 comments:

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    1. It was interesting to see how transformed so many people were...I thought they were all beautiful too!

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  2. You are one of the truest. Thank you.
    I love all the photos, too.
    A xo

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  3. We saw something similarly "vrai" in Varazze, Liguria last Sunday at their annual Corteo Storico celebrating St Catherine of Siena, the patron saint of the town. (I'm planning to write a post about it one of these days but my photos are not nearly this lovely.)

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    1. Oh! Remi covered that story many years ago! It sounds AMAZING. Lucky you to have seen it!!

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    1. As festive as an event centered around a Mass can get!

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  5. and they look true to their age...from the young boy to the older lady...in itself such a wonderful thing...

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    1. So beautifully said--none of the blurring that we all do these days...

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  6. There is so much movement in these shots, H. Beautifully done.

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    1. Thank you, Suze! I was frustrated and missed a lot. This was the limit of what I know how to do technically speaking but I am learning and it was good to try!

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  7. Heather we were in St Remy 2 years ago when they had their parade ..... It was wonderful as u say to witness the history and the memories that everyone carried in their faces! It was obvious this was what formed their belief and culture ... It was special to witness and be a part of - quite unexpectedly!!

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    1. Oh how fantastic that you got to see that Wyn! I know that trip was influential for you and your work. And yes, it is in their genes and their pride (which can drive me crazy in everyday life) was on fine display here...

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  8. Lovely expressive faces... I do love that they are so inspired by their traditions... xv

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    1. You know as well as I that women work for months and months on their costumes. Isn't that lovely? I once had an Arlesienne couturiere show me the guide book for every tiny detail of the costumes--it was really impressive.

      Hope you are relaxing today! ;)

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  9. Quelle glorious Fete!

    Felt like we were there, just to the left of the church by the market square sipping a citron presse at bistro au coin!

    Lovely evocative picture essay.

    *wavingfromLA*

    tg xx

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    1. Merci, ma belle! I am not as courageous of taking photos of people as you are...so this was a good start!

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  10. Dear Heather, it is interesting to see how the qualities we want in our friends HAVE changed over the years, More important are truth, trustfulness, caring through good times and not so great of times, etc. Your photography says so much!

    I hope you will visit soon.

    xoxo
    Karena
    Art by Karena

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    1. I did! and what a lovely post! Thank you!

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  11. I can “hear the rustle and the horses neigh,” “the drums beat out a Provençal tune of old”, “swish of silk” and see the “shine of satins”.

    I see a glimpse of the 17 century through your eyes. And what a display of colors and enigmatic backward and side glances.

    Thank you Heather.

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    1. I am so glad you enjoyed it, Edgar. Yes, there is something of the "out of time" here--a theme which you touch upon often too.

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  12. such beautiful shots. lucky thing, living where you do.

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    1. Honestly NN, on days like today I have to say it isn't all bad... ;)

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  13. How lucky for you to be able to be there for the Fete de Gardians. I hope to make it there in the future. Your pictures are beautiful and expressive. I am going to share your post on my facebook page.

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    1. Oh thank you Michel! That is so very appreciated!!!

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  14. What precious shots of memorable faces. You did a wonderful job Heather. I can't wait to read your answer to my questions no matter where you decide to post them.

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    1. Hopefully here later today, Loree with a link back. Because I DO appreciate the thought...!!

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  15. Hello Heather

    What an uplifting and beautiful fete. Your pictures capture the essence of the day
    Wishing you a week of beauty
    Helen xx

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    1. Helen, I am always so grateful when you wish me a week of beauty. Thank you and I wish the same for you!

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  16. Dear Heather, SPeaking of "true"?...one of my dearest, longtime friends (I've been staying regularly at her old house since I was 24; she's 78 thesse days) told me, about a year ago, that all she values in friends these days is "loyalty and a sense of humor".......adding "When you get old, you'll find those are all that matter."

    Of course, this is the same woman (and I should emphasize that she was raised in the middle of Washington, DC power-elite circles) who said she going to vote for Mike Huckabee for President a few years back. I was predictably appalled and, of course, asked why in the world would she do THAT?

    She calmly replied "Because I like to be amused in politics nowadays....and he amuses me".

    As good a reason as any other, I suppose......


    -----david terry
    www.davidterryart.com

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    1. David? Are you not sleeping well? This came in at what would have been an absurd time to be awake. At least for me. And I had insomnia all last week, so I do understand.

      But yes, Remi and I have been talking about this a LOT lately. This being France, I hadn't even dared enter "a sense of humour" into the equation but your friend is so right...

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    2. Don't worry too much, Heather....but the fact remains that I haven't slept more than four or five hours straight in at
      least twenty years (neither has my father, and nor did my great uncle or grand father).

      We happen to lead lives in which we can do this.....sleep when you're sleepy, go straight to sleep the moment you WANT to sleep (all the women in the family hate this ability of ours), and generally not WORRY about sleeping....but, then, we don't have to contend with issues such as crying babies or 9-5 jobs.

      I generally sleep from about 11 or 12 at night until 4 or 5 in the morning....and I take a two hour Or less) nap each afternoon.

      I know.....you won't be surprised to hear that I fit RIGHT IN with the schedule in Andalusia and Barcelona (we go there each Spring; I love the regios). I loathe places (which are mostly hosueholds with children) where folks expect you to eat your dinner at 6 or 7...which is an appallingly UNGODLY dinner-hour, as far as I'm concerned.

      I'm lucky; I'm married to a man who underwent three residencies (epidemiology, internal medicine, and obstetrics...and I kid you not). So?... Herve (after years of working 10-day shifts at hospitals and clinics in France and Africa) is quite cheerfully accustomed to sleeping when you can and how you please.

      It's a good thing, of course, that we don't have children. It wouldn't work out.....at least not for the kids, I expect.

      In any case, Herve ad I are both accustomed to waking up in the middle of most folks' "night" and finding the other baking a cake at 4 am, or writing emails.

      Since I work at home, I can take a nap (short or long) whenever I want. His secretary is a truly frightening dragon-at-the-gate....so he can also take short naps when he pleases....a good thing, since he also has to field teleconferences with folks in places such as Thailand, where they don't have white-people time (as we say here in progressively-minded North Carolina).

      It's 8:20 pm here....and I was just thinking I would go to bed...one of the things the women in my family most resent is that the men wake up,,,,and we're ABOSLUTELY AWAKE AND READY TO GO GO GO!!!!!

      Avuncularly as Ever,

      David
      www.davidterryart.com

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    3. David Terry, David Terry...*shaking my head in wonder at you* Well, the Maestro up above certainly broke the mold when he made you, my goodness gracious. And yes, avuncular is the right word indeed for you tell it like it is!

      I have done quite a bit of reading over the years about sleep (having dealt with insomnia for over twenty years now) and am always fascinated by folks like yourself, the living proof that no, not everyone needs eight hours. And as I imagine you already know, there were more than a few geniuses in history that thrived on the same sleep patterns as yours. To each his own.

      I know that when I can make peace with being awake in the middle of the night, I do delight in the beauty of it. All of that time and space just for me...

      Lucky you to have found a man that doesn't need eight hours either, nor enjoy eating the early bird special...
      xo,
      h

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  17. i couldn't put my finger on it but i think that actually what is unusual about these pictures is that the people are quietly proud of their history and culture. As you might know too well, i can't really imagine a festival akin to this in England. It would either be a kooky renaissance festival that no one takes seriously or it is a play. quite refreshing to see this actually!

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    1. Hooray! You so nailed it, N. There is absolutely nothing of the Disney parade in this, it is very, very seriously done with ZERO irony. And their sincerity is what makes it especially beautiful.

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