Tuesday, August 27, 2013

I traveled back into the alps for an exquisite concert last week - to Gstaad and the Lauenen chapel where texture and daylight stir and splinter, and candles warm stone walls at nightfall.

Surrounded by people, I was alone; enfolded in music, I sat in silence. 

I climbed the ancient stairs to watch while his fingers made art on white keys. His mind was in a place I could not access as the masters within him resisted being conjured up on such a lovely day - his intensity to force their hand imposed a saturation within that quiet place such as I have rarely felt.

What is art if not the sound of a consuming soul?

Sunday, August 18, 2013

It was one of those summers middle aged women talk about in self-help books; where the kids have grown and gone off to camp and they find themselves alone with their laundry, their jobs, a dozen realizations that life has passed them by; where you lay the damn book down halfway through and decide to dance to Lyle Lovett in the kitchen just to keep from crying on the bathroom floor.

They grow, you know. One day they go out to play and it isn't just down the street, it's to southern France. You ring the dinner bell and three instead of six sit down to eat.

It's an age-old game, nothing new. There isn't anything anyone can say in a bestseller that will make it any easier. No one is wiser - no one knows better - no one has it figured out. It's the same for each of us, and it will be the same for those after us. 

That is the thought that has made it bearable. I walk with my daughter to the end of the street of an evening just to look out over the fields. She dances in the moonlight; her hair glows; our bare feet pad along the asphalt. 

It was the same for each of us. And it will be the same for those after us.

Tomorrow school starts again, which surprisingly means they're still mine for another year. :)

Monday, August 12, 2013

The quiet hum of diligence pervades a farm high in the hills of Bernese Jura, where the green fields of Switzerland still bring forth milk and meat products - many of which are organic - and local farmers genuinely care about what goes into them. For one producer in Grandval, the profession is an art form, the daily grind a strategy.

Read Here: Family Business

Thursday, August 1, 2013

We have a fetish for old shutters. 

The Russian - who spent years of his childhood on a farm in relative poverty - does not really get that. Loving something old and rusty seems an existential oxymoron to him; you work hard to provide a home that neither leaks nor lets in thieves, and then you drag the dilapidated home to decorate it.

The Dreamer - as he calls her (and not necessarily with any amount of affection) -  spent years in the city. She likes comfort and ease (no camping, please) but finds something beautiful in the ancient.

The Russian and the Dreamer went to church on Sunday. They pulled up and parked in the lot, joined the service-goers in the courtyard for a cool drink (cool being artistic-license in this case. The Swiss do not drink things cool - room temperature on a 104° day is quite appropriate. Be grateful you have something to choke down.)

They looked around. The Dreamer fidgeted.

"Is it the courtyard?" he asked. "It's too clean for you, isn't it?"

There was not a leaf in sight; not a bit of anything on the ground. Clean to the point of obsession; mental-illness clean. 

He smiled.

I am a lucky Dreamer. I married the Russian. We have old shutters and leaves on the ground. He is willing to betray his roots. ;)