Tuesday, October 28, 2014

No filter - Arles



Last week, Remi had a lunch meeting in Arles so I invited myself along. Not for the lunch itself - of which I partook before leaving the house - but for the ride back into the amazing town that we lived in from 2005 until last July


It was, surprisingly, whip winded cold due to the arrival of the Mistral. Still, I was delighted, as nothing wipes the sky clean like those head-rocking gales.


Everything is illuminated. The light comes in like a side-winder and then pulls back with a long scrape so every last detail is in relief


I know Arles so well that on instagram recently, one of my friends there posted a photo of a closed shutter against a pink wall and I knew exactly where it was located.


Because I have had enough time to go off the beaten path...


...until even that has become familiar.


But here is the thing. Blame it on the Mistral but I felt that my eyes had been wiped clean too.


Those filters in my head of, "Oh, that is too touristy..." "I can't photograph the Roman Arena all the time..." "that is too obvious a shot..." "I have already taken that before..."


...were just...gone.


And so I walked around, giddy with my camera cupped in my hands...


...feeling like a greedy monster grabbing at all that I could.


"Gobble, Gobble," she said and it ain't even Thanksgiving...yet.


But I am giving thanks. 


For the light, for the monuments, for all of those years...


...of being able to take in such beauty, both ephemeral and yet utterly enduring, everyday.


It was - and is - such an incredible gift. A light to a light.

Did I find myself missing Arles? I did. And I do. I know. But I have already established that I am a sentimental fool with my heart in many places. So that, is that. 


And the (hopefully) good news? That hunger that comes after a long sleep made me snap and snap and snap. You would have thought that it was my final visit to that old town and not just a random opportunity. So I have many, many posts-worth of photos for you. The bad news? My dear little Canon G12 started acting up that day (in revolt?) and is now not working at all despite my desperate shufflings through the manual. Eeee. To be continued...

24 comments:

  1. Eeeeee!!! Camera not working?? Bad camera, bad!! But he went out with a bang with those photos!!! I can totally see your fresh eye/perspective in these photos!! I love the new perspectives and subjects, after having lived there for NINE YEARS!! Isn't it amazing what a little time away can do? Plus I especially love the idea of how the voices in our heads can limit us. This is what I'm trying to do with Buddhism, meditation - get the discouraging, negative voices out of my head and try to replace them with openness, curiosity. Like Rimpoche says (and David and I quote, often with his accent): increase positivities, avoid negativities, tame the mind! At any rate, I love these photos, and I love that Arles is still near enough for you to come back and mine for gold!

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    1. Thank you Sister! And I always appreciate your awesome perspectives on what you see here. Have a great day... I love you...
      PS. I could totally hear Rimpoche saying that in my mind. :)

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    2. p.s. I hope your camera is really not dead!!!
      p.p.s. Rimpoche especially draws out the part: "taaaaaame your mind"!!
      p.p.s. I love you, too!!!!!!!!

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  2. Ahh, seeing the familiar in a new way (as you noted on Instagram) is a gift — and in fact is a topic I will be posting on later this week You have captured the gorgeousness as thoughtfully as always. I can feel the windswept-clean of your surroundings. Sadly, my little G-12 seems to have a problem as well, one that does not make it unusable, but is annoying, and that my in-house mechanic has also been unable to remedy. I hope you can fix yours. Either that or Santa better come early this year.

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    1. I don't know if Santa will be coming at ALL this year Judith, let alone early but Remi has a Fuji SLR that he doesn't use anymore that could be cleaned up if need be...which that in itself is a gift enough!

      Looking forward to your take on this topic. :)

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  3. I do the same, strolling through my city(a bit more far away than yours) and picture everything what I already did many times before ..but never get bored.And yes, I'm sentimental and a bit homesick . My zoom is not working so I need a new camera too.

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  4. Lovely, lovely, lovely, Please don't stop taking pictures of Arles whenever you visit. You always show us new things. Hope you get your camera working again.

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    1. So far no dice and I am beyond freaked out! But thank you for the compliment - like I said I have many more to share... :)

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  5. You had me at "partook" .. such a classic and under utilized word ... truly "old school". Beautiful shots and excellent descriptors of poignant memories, Heather.

    Healing thoughts for your ailing Canon.

    Aloha,
    Bill Facker

    www.kauai-to-paris.com

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    1. Mahalo, Bill. I grew up reading the classics so some of those words are still stuck in my brain - just as sometimes I use the British spellings of words like "colours" instead of the American ones!
      Hope all is well with you in Hawaii...

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  6. How odd HEATHER my CANON whatever.......isNOT focusing today!Made me so mad as the cat is sleeping on top of a narrow pillow.........MY camera is old.Yours is PRETTY NEW!!!!Hope you can fix it!
    ARLES, looks beautiful..........hopefully, one day YOU can drive me through it!!!
    XO

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    1. Oh my! The streets are so narrow that they make driving a challenge even for experienced drivers...I would be afraid that we would end up IN the Rhone River!!!

      And yes, you are right (and probably remember when I was shooting with my old camera) it is way too new to be having problems already...hope yours straightens up too...

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  7. Lovely photos and the words that accompany them - I can almost feel that clear cold wind under the hard sky. Such amazing light.
    Yikes to camera troubles.

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    1. Yikes is right. And you would have a field day with this beautiful light, Lorrie!

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  8. The clarity of your new view is wonderful. Your little camera was excelling itself. Do hope it can be fixed. Re the lost comments of the post before last; I doubt you are being hacked because since last week, I have had to prove I am not a robot before being able to leave a comment on your site. Do you have to do the same when you comment on my WP blog?

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    1. No I don't, G. But I am the one that put the word verification back on for my blog as there were others losing comments as well. I am sorry about it...I know that it is a pain...but I know of too many people (on blogger and not WP by the way) who have had troubles as of late...

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    2. Oh, I though it was a system wide thing because suddenly all the blogspot bloggers I follow require verification. It's not a problem for me.

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  9. Artists and travelers return to the places they love. The roots are too deep to pull out completely.
    Something new is always discovered,you have fresh eyes again.The photos are wonderful.
    The Mistral doing its magic.Everything has its own lifespan. Cameras not exempted.
    Please don’t be sad.

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    1. Not sad, just a little freaked out as we can't afford to replace it and I really loved this one - it is not an SLR but not a pocket camera and great for blogging as it is small enough to not cause attention. We shall see...and thank you for the compliment. :)

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  10. I so love looking at your photos, they capture the beauty and simplicity of not only nature, but the beauty or a rusted door knocker, a chipped door and so much more.

    Thank you for sharing! I am looking forward to more.

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    1. Merci, Elizabeth. But really there is so much beauty all around me here that all I have to do is point and shoot!

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  11. How lovely, Heather. I am back on the streets of Arles with you, wandering the twisting and turns, reveling in the brilliant blue sky over head and marveling at the patina of peeling shutters and old stones. What a gift to be able to see an old friendly place with brand new eyes! Thanks for taking us with you and sharing the beauty you found.

    On another note, I have a sick feeling in the pit of my stomach just thinking about your camera! Hope it's okay. I DROPPED mine last month (right before I left for NY no less), it landed on the lens, I thought it was dead for sure. But Mr. H. came to the rescue, figured out it was just the filter that was broken took things apart, replaced the broken piece and I was good to go. Here's hoping that your little photo friend just needs a rest. Crossing my fingers! XX

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  12. Once again your photos transport us there with you...I can feel myself in every picture Heather!!

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