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..."
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...