The south west of France, its countryside has been our wandering
The south west of France its countryside has been our wandering since mid September. Our roots a tiny stone cottage in a small hamlet in The Department of Le Lot close to La Dordogne River that we thrice a week at least journey to explore a village or back road within a 20km distance from our home. Actually Rignac is nicely placed in the coloured green belt of The Causse just a two hour walking saunter from spectacular Rocamadour. The Causse a limestone plateau is mother to a landscape of gnarly oaks that at this time of year are reluctant to defrock its leaves preferring to change their colour from leathery brown green to a walnut golden hue. The glorious evening light casts magic blurring the golden shimmering light softening stony dry ground to shadows of mauve, silvery greys, deep indigos. Early morning the mist inhabit low places blotting out nut grooves, sheep fields and places I will never know.
Within the wild, massive stone farm houses, barns, stone walls are heaped in a jumble of perplexing beauty. I yell ‘stop’ just so as I can leap out of the car and photograph its strange rugged essence.
There is a remembering here of dimensions slightly out of sink with our reality. Odd people that speak with a clip, sometimes a furtive glance, sometimes welcoming, but mostly suspicious. They have thoughts about us the outsiders. I wonder them, then dismiss as nothing I can do to dissuade the foreignness of my presence. I breathe in my centre and plow through inhabiting this other world and it’s charms for the moment.
This is the flux I am suspended in while living for this month in its ancient history. Strangely it is the land that calls me first. It’s wildness yearns me to a walkabout, thoughts to scramble up and away into its realm. Instantly thoughts of a viper licking the air in anticipation of the pungent aroma I would probably give off.
I have strange thoughts of my wild escape, or at least a hike into this compelling spectacular remoteness my fascination with untrodden places. Clair Basler a beloved French artist beautifully said "everyday my vision looks for something to believe in".
Fascination with ancient stone edifices scrabbled in remote places including barns, houses, stone fences sometimes 5feet high that twist through landscape are each an endearing presence. They take massive strength and years to construct. I am no stranger to hauling, helping to build structures it actually thrills me to have hands on sweat work to create with. But this ancient stone material and its size daunt my desire. It upsets me, as I realize my strength is no match for the artisans of the past. I want to own it, love it, inhabit it, work it. I am quite literally obsessed with imaginings of living here.