The date above the door is carved in a distinctive script, "1553." I have to think about that for a moment. This beautiful doorway has been here for 461 years. As hard as I try, I can almost bend my mind around that fact and yet not quite. Newness and the space of time are relative, especially if it is true what Stephen Hawking is touting, that there are no Black Holes (thank you Laoch for the link).
Perhaps best then just to skim on the surface of pleasing beauty. Most certainly as I am still escaping to the warmth of a November sun, all while shivering (literally) at my desk as the temperatures dip into a playful late January curtsy outside my window pane.
Remi has been out of town since Tuesday and time has been lolling like shadows. It is funny how much we are each other's clocks, I tend to forget.
"Are you lonely?" my Mom asked the other day on the phone. "Oh, no. No, not at all," I responded.
As I talk to Ben and Kipling far too often, I haven't even had the surprise of hearing my voice spark out loud late on in the day...
...but rather have used this extra, spongy space around me to rethink and reboot a bit.
The words "Have Faith" sprung to mind on the morning of Remi's departure. They didn't have such a literal form but were more of a suggestion to believe that the cup is half full, not empty...
...and that there is still much to learn, to discover, to try.
That said, I have finally, gently dipped my toe into the world of Instagram. Now, as a professional photographer's companion, I am usually staunchly against such sites that have the ability to sell their user's images as royalty-free (which is also why I am anti-Pinterest, to read my thoughts about the subject, click here). But I am enjoying seeing the quick glimpses of the lives of my friends around the world. I get it. And besides, the quality of the images that I am taking on my ancient iphone 3 are not exactly sellable material!
As I mentioned on Instagram, I have also been eating differently as I am cooking only for myself and that too has been "food for thought." This means that I have been really enjoying my vegetables and feeling the better for it.
Remi and I actually stopped buying industrial meat last year. When we go up to Banon, we stop in at an excellent butcher (located just behind where this last photo was taken) to stock up on pork and lamb that was raised by local producers under the best of conditions. We freeze the extras when we get back and then parcel them out sparingly over the next few months. The taste is incomparable to the grocery-store equivalent and so a little goes a long way. In French culinary culture, it is a big shift to go towards a flexitarian or "meat as an accompaniment, not always the main ingredient" type of thinking but it is working for us, even if the changes are taking place gradually.
In thinking about the date on that 16th century door, I can wonder how the people of that time ate on the other side of it as well. Simpler, I am willing to hazard. Sugar and meats were certainly a luxury as they were prohibitively expensive.
I don't want to just sleepwalk through the preparation of our meals (nor the perpetual presence of a baguette on our table, even if this is France) and have come across a few articles about the "hows and whys" of our diets lately that have really caught my attention:
Mark Bittman's "Sustainable Resolutions for your Diet" in the New York Times - here
The Head Butler's interview with Dr. David Perlmutter, author of "Grain Brain" - here
Photographer Carla Coulson's dietary treatment in response to being diagnosed with Graves Disease (plus many interesting health links) - here
My friend D.A. Wolf's fun but insightful piece on how to rethink weight gain - here
All of them make good sense to me and so I thought that it might be of interest to you as well, despite it not being the typical Lost in Arles fare. What do you think? Have you made any dietary shifts over the past year or hope to in 2014? Any thoughts or information to share? No matter what, I know that I hope to find a workable, pleasurable balance for this is the "stuff of life"!
And on that note, I'll leave you with a quote, provided by Edgar at simpleimages2:
“Not what we have but what we enjoy constitutes abundance”.-Epicurus
I love that.
To listen: WBGO . They are currently playing Louis Prima-esque tunes, helpful when dancing around trying to stay warm - including, in a truly laugh-inducing coincidence, the Little Richard tune that the lovely Vickie Lester spoke of only yesterday here.
May the rest of your weekend be full of much abundance and joy...