The wind, that famous freezing Mistral, nearly stopped me from going to the brocante this morning: How dare it! How dare it creep in on a Sunday morning! It has all week to take advantage of the clouds, blowing them where ever they are appreciated. Where ever? Provence claims the crown for blue skies, often due to the Mistral. But I am not saying merci today.
As I walked from stall to stall, talking to the dealers that I have come to know, searching for the unusual, hoping the prices will be reasonable, buying bits and pieces for my brocante, foregoing practicality because the worn, used, cracked, torn whatever touches my imagination and the object before me soars into a story.
It doesn't make sense after all these years, why out of the thousands of beautiful French antiques that spread out faithfully throughout France every weekend, only a few of them catch my eye. Wait a minute, what I mean to say is that many things catch my eye, but why does one object make me go over and ask the price, and not another?
Is it my "sensitivity" hearing the object's story? Is there a cell connection? It fascinates me. The French antique dealers also question themselves about their attraction to one thing and not the other. Wondering why they nod, "Sensitivity. Seeing in three dimension. A connection." They say brocant(-ing) is a virus. Oh yes the brocante bug.
Down jacket, wool socks, scarf, runny nose, hair blowing wildly, hands so cold, gloves are not an options, they down let me "feel"... So into the brocante that I forget every problem or concern in my life. Instead, other stories fill my head and I am taken to a place I no longer live.
When I was young, it was riding my bike.
When I was a young woman it was praying in the monastery.
Later it was dancing. Boy did I dance. I meet Yann.
As a mother it was my children.
And throughout it all the brocante stirred me. The first old thing I ever bought I was 12. I bought it with my babysitting money. A hand mirror, a brown jar and a blue beaded purse from the 1920s.
French antique portraits.
Their story, our story, your story, my story, her story, his story...
At the end of the brocante day, I walked around with my cell phone and took random photos without looking at what might be in front of me. Then when I came home I put them on my blog.
I must admit those hand carved mother of pearl tokens (in the top photo) make me want to turn the clock back. Dang. Ding Dong me for taking random photos and not paying attention.
Random photos... as I walked back to the car to come home.
Long wooden table.
Two urns that don't seem to be that old.
An elephant, a cat, a happy face... on a silver tray.
Ding Dong! I should have opened at least one of these ring boxes!
Brother Mat are you throwing up?
Poor poor Mat! You don't even know. I have been praying for you. One day when you aren't looking the brocante bug is gonna bite your butt. Then you will kiss me for all these blog posts I have done over the years.
Another day in France:
Stories unfold, page by page, object by object, history to present day.
Without knowing how or why I listen.
A mediation of sort.
Giving me time to let it be, giving me time to accept what it is, to let go, to breath... to continue with my story and the stories of others.