Friday, February 27, 2015

The possibilities of Provence



There are two houses in this village that fascinate me in their state of disuse.


One, my favorite, is definitely abandoned and I find it baffling as it exudes a distinctly happy air.


I can clearly see the laundry being put out to dry on the window's line, I can smell something sweet baking in the oven...even if they are just phantom memories, not my own.


And the other? Well, I am not so certain. While the many scales of paint date to a more recent era, it somehow seems far less lively than its counterpart. I have never heard the front door slam nor seen a light left burning to brighten up the night. But perhaps it is inhabited, only very quietly so. The oldest resident in the village is 105 years old and his home also seems quite subdued despite the thin trail of smoke rising from the chimney. Regardless, I always want to sling my arm around the proverbial shoulders of these houses if only I could.


For I find them quite beautiful, ragged tooth gaps and all. 


I can feel the stares on my back from my fellow villagers as I lean in close to put their details into my lens. Their confusion as to why I would choose such forlorn ministers to study amidst other proud ambassadors is practically noisy. "Why isn't she photographing 'Le Chateau'?" I lean in closer and keep coming back.

***

The sun is setting and I have just brought the dogs back in from their walk. But I head back out towards the closest house, the abandoned one, to try and answer that question. A window on the top floor is open to all seasons and the iron horseshoe above the door is hanging the wrong way down. And yet...there are possibilities within this house and the other as well. I think that is as good of an answer as I can define. For me, there is more of the essence of this heart-achingly beautiful region amidst their histories than what any self-conscious mansion could provide. With its rough-shod and yet enduring charm, how I love the possibilities of Provence.

***

And we all need possibilities, yes? I have mentioned the amazing Ellie from Have Some Decorum before and it delights me that so many of you now read her regularly. Ellie has ALS and recently asked if we would be willing to sign a petition asking the FDA in the States to approve a new treatment for the disease on an accelerated basis. If you would care to sign the petition, you may do so: here.


Have a wonderful weekend...

28 comments:

robin said...

Those are some colorful abandoned houses! Makes it easier for me to see their possibilities! I love the concrete step with the mosaic patterns, and especially the glimpse of the mosaic floor through the tooth-gapped door. And I love the idea of seeing possibilities - so positive and hopeful! Thanks for going exploring - we always benefit from your adventures!!

RebeccaNYC said...

Beautiful beautiful photos, as always. Perhaps you should suggest an exhibition of your photos of the town to the Marie, so that the townspeople can see what you are seeing!

Bill Facker said...

Evocative photos .. stimulating questions regarding past life within solitary, weather worn, encrusted abodes. These shots reflect your respectful, intelligent, inquisitive, and creative sides, Heather .. excellent, simply excellent. Great work!

Aloha,
Bill

www.Kauai-to-Paris.com

George Snyder said...

oh yes, we all need possibilities, please. xxxxx

French Basketeer.com said...

I love to imagine the story of these homes, au fil des ans....and I wish they could talk too...they are life, and you have captured their essence so perfectly in just a few clicks, Heather! Have a beautiful late winter weekend in Provence!!

Rowan said...

I agree with Rebecca's suggestion. If only they could see what you see!
Thanks too, for the reminder about the petition for the drug to help those with ALS. Every signature helps!
Cheers, Deborah

Rowan said...

I agree with Rebecca's suggestion. If only they could see what you see!
Thanks too, for the reminder about the petition for the drug to help those with ALS. Every signature helps!
Cheers, Deborah

silkannthreades said...

Such lovely old places. :)

simpleimages2 said...

Looking at your photos, the absence and neglect, I felt that tug on the heart, a yearning like yours, to hear voices and laughter of children at breakfast, conversations of the parents and friends during certain gatherings. What were their stories.What happened to them. The “possibilities” can unfold with time.

Karena Albert said...

Doorways and windows of homes have always intrigued me,I think because of the wonder that lies behind. You have captured the beauty of these homes Heather!

xoxo
Karena
The Arts by Karena

Glamour Drops said...

So very beautiful in their decay - as long as they don't decay so much further that they actually deteriorate beyond repair. That hole under the door looks quite perfect for a mouse or a cat to pop in and out - so perhaps it isn't abandoned by all life - but just by human life.

Heather Robinson said...

Thank you Sister! Miss you and Love you...

Heather Robinson said...

My first thought was, "If only Rebecca knew how tiny this village is, she would giggle" but then I thought, "Hey maybe she is right!"...

Heather Robinson said...

Mahalo, Bill! Even if I think that you give me more credit than I deserve. ;)

Heather Robinson said...

Excuse a little American slang but: "riiiight?" ;)

Heather Robinson said...

Merci Andrea! Thank you for all of the cooking inspiration on ig as of late. :)

Heather Robinson said...

I agree, Deb. I hope that you had a nice weekend.

Heather Robinson said...

They aren't the grandest but I like them. :)

Heather Robinson said...

Absolutely, Edgar. I know that some of these closed up houses are tangled up in inheritance issues but oh how I wish they had people living in them!

Heather Robinson said...

I think that you would enjoy a walk through this village, Karena. No two doors are alike!

Heather Robinson said...

A very good point you have there, Virginia! I do worry about the first house though. I wish that I could go in and shut that open window at the very least...

Loree said...

Heather, I thought of you yesterday. We drove to a part of the island we do not visit very often and came upon some houses ... some were abandoned; others were being restored and, I couldn't help peeking in and imaging the people that used to live there. And as I pressed my nose to a particular window, i thought to myself, Heather would be doing this too. On a different note, I will definitely sign that petition. My uncle is also afflicted with ALS.

Gillian Longworth McGuire said...

This is SO the style I love. There is something so much more beautiful about the layers. I love how you see (and share your corner of the world)

Stephen Andrew said...

Do different areas of Provence have different blues? As in different shades that are indicative of that town? Maybe that is a stupid question but I feel like ive noticed towns tend to pick a shade of blue and stick to it. I love the color in the shot. It's almost like an emerald and turquoise blue.

Heather Robinson said...

Loree, I am so very sorry to hear that your uncle has ALS. I really do hope they find a real treatment soon...through reading Ellie's blog I have come to understand what a horrible disease it is...

And yes! Most certainly I would have been exploring and how fun would it be for us to be doing so together? The cameras would be snapping away, I know that much...

Heather Robinson said...

Bah, you mean just like Iove how you see and share YOUR corner of the world? Oh, ok. :)

Heather Robinson said...

It isn't a stupid question at all because it is absolutely true! And while I have no idea as to how the various shades are selected, I do know why it is blue as that is believed to be a color that keeps mosquitos (which can be brutal here) and other insects away here in Provence. In our current house, there is a very faint limewash of blue around the ground floor windows and my friend that I mentioned in the email has blue ceilings in both of his houses.

I Dream Of said...

Love this post even more than I thought it would. I really believe that some homes have souls. It breaks my heart to see so many of the older cottages in our neighborhood being ribbed down to replaced by giant monstrosities to maximize the lot and to satiate the current popular desire to have more room for "stuff". I have to avert my eyes when the bulldozers come it, digging their teeth into the wood and plaster, as if they are gobbling flesh and bones. All the memories and happenings - a child's first steps, a birthday party at the dining room table, Christmas morning - gone into the air a day... I am glad at least that your abandoned souls still have hope. That someone may reclaim them and bring them back. I absolutely understand your fascination... and just love your photos. Like portraits of a lonely, elderly person who just needs some love.

Hope you are having a lovely week, Heather! XOXO