"According to the legend, during the crusades the knight Bozon de Blacas was held prisoner by the Saracens; he vowed to hang a star over his village of he was able to return. No one knows how the star was originally hung there." via wiki
"Above the town, between those two rocky mountains, a gold-painted star hangs on a 225m-long chain suspended between two cliffs. Its origin, according to a legend popularised by Provençal poet Frédéric Mistral, lies in the 10th century; the original star and chain have been replaced several times since then. The current star is about 50 years old. Ten years ago it fell after the chain snapped, and was rehung using a helicopter." via wiki.
A golden star,
thousands of years later,
it is the first thing you see,
and the first question you ask,
"How did they get it there?"
Where does my golden star hang?
Does it inspire others, as the one Moustiers inspired me?
Those were the questions I thought about...
Finding meaning in my everyday, listening to the symbols that present themselves to find my way.
How do you find your way?
My friend Ruth from Rubanesque has a shop this summer in Lacoste which features her handmade one of a kind jewelry using antique silk ribbons from her family's historical silk ribbon company, plus treasures she has collected from the brocante.
The delightful combination of Ruth, her craft and creativity, plus Lacoste made me jump with excitement. The opening was more than I imagined, and my imagination is off the charts. Ruth's shop is in the town square next to a cafe, a church, lavender and in the shadow of the Marquise de Sade's castle... dream land made real. A perfect place to be reborn without every leaving ones soul or shoes.
Inspiring roots. Blooming without end.
Ribbons, lace, fabric made with gold and silver is notably: "noble" thread.
Cotton and linen threads were consider common used for practical purposes like work shirts and aprons. Noble threads were only for the wealthy and used for finery, pleasure...
I love how Ruth used old French black and white postcards throughout her shop to highlight her jewelry. The above French postcard depicts a young woman a field worker. In her hand is a sickle used to cut lavender. She is wearing a cotton dress with a provencal scarf. Tucked within her straw hat she has layered ribbons and flowers to resemble a crown.
Ruth combined several pieces of antique ribbons, sequins and bobs to create this choker piece. Hand sewn, can I say noble workmanship?
Dressed in white air thin muslin, sitting uncomfortably on mistletoe the maiden waits to be kissed.
Pure silver thread on wooden spools.
Each marked with its weight and thickness.
Old things waiting in line to become reborn.
Mourning bits and bobs.
Museum pieces. Gold thread lace.
Ruth's creation is next to a postcard of a young woman creating her art.
Now and then.
Today and tomorrow.
Forever creating, dreaming becoming,
living an artful life.
The cardboard holds samples of different colored, tinted silver and gold threads.
Hair do please don't.
My mother use to "fix" my hair everyday when I was a child.
I wasn't keen on it.
I preferred the -- come what may look.
My mother use to say, "You have to suffer to look beautiful." In which I woud respond, "I do not want to look beautiful." One of my favorite memories is saying that exact same thing to Chelsea when she was a little girl... though her response is what I have held true:
"I am already beautiful!"
Where are you unfolding your beauty today?
The parade with the Provencal marching band passed by our town today.
Afterwards there was an aperitif at the town square.
I went to Annie's house.
Opened her window. She leaned over the window sill to hear the music, and to listen to the mayor speak.
Annie is home! That is the reason for my celebrating this holiday!
Thank you for your prayers and good thoughts!
And the beat goes on!
In France the World Cup is a big deal. Every bar, and I daresay I am not exaggerating, had a TV, and some had more than one. In our little town four screens were set up. Food and drinks served. Tables popped up and a party began.
From the cheers and groans I don' think one team or the other was favored.
Two TV screens, one on each side of the road.
I loved how the bar across the street was called
We watched the game at the other bar caused it served Paella and Crepes.
World Cup ends and the Tour de France fills in.
Yellow Jersey will ride by my Belle Mere's place in the Alps.
Motorcycle trip might be in order to watch it live.
Chelsea came home for the weekend. Driving home from Marseille we traced along the foothills of Saint Baume. The Super Moon rose to greet us. It was as a glowing ball of wonder and took our breath away.
Without stopping, we watched the super moon dance, weave, then it peeked in and out behind the mountains.
How did that enormous surprise hide itself behind the foothills?
Wonder and awe.
Something old, something new.
I took a photo claiming it, "Ying and Yang."
The trees became a paint brush, dipping in the faded light, then splashing what it had against the sky as we rushed by.
With my daughter.
My friend Allison, who is twenty years younger than me, and whom I have known since she was seven, leaves tomorrow. I am going to be a lost duck, I mean cigalle without her!
The other day while we were driving around Provence Allison asked French Husband If there was a leader of the cigalles that told them when to sing?
French Husband responded, "No. They sing when they are hot."
Allison was hoping for a more elaborate answer, or at least a tad bit of conversation since I was fast asleep in the car, so she continued,
"Okay, but how do they know when to all sing at the same time?"
French Husband looked at her oddly, as if the answer was so obvious, or should I say his expression seemed to say, "Duh," when he added,
"Because they are all hot."
Since that moment that has been the "EXPRESSION" we go to, the memory that has circled our conversations, the one thing we say over and over again,
"Duh, they are all hot."
All at once.
A matter of fact.
Why do cigalles sing?
Because the are hot.
Why do we drink wine?
Why do we go shopping?
Why do we go to the beach?
Facts about Cigalles:
"It's the males who make the noise to attract females to the tree where they are sitting (they are remarkably adept at camouflage). They produce the sound by contracting and relaxing tymbals, ribbed membranes inside their stomachs."
But actually, as French Husband would say:
"They are hot. Period."
"The cicada is the one of the world's loudest insects, recording sounds of up to 120 decibels. The males have to "switch off" their hearing organs while they sing, in order to avoid going deaf. Below 22 degrees Centigrade, the resounding sections of the diaphragm lose their elasticity."
Again, they sing because they are
I must admit I like the sound of the cigalle sometimes, but not all day long.
Small doses yes, all day long no.
"Provençal myth has it that the cicada was sent by God to disrupt the peasants' endless siestas and stop them from growing too lazy."
"The Ancient Greeks were equally keen on the cicada, which they regarded as a symbol of Apollo, the god of music and of the sun." Via www.marvellous-provence
Nevertheless, French Husband speedy response fits here too..
"SUN equals HOT.
They are all hot."
"Apart from Xenophon, writers who celebrated the cicada include Homer, in the Iliad and Plato, in Phaedra's, which relates that cicadas were once men who became so enthralled with music that they forgot to eat and drink and their bodies wasted away." via www.marvellous-provence
Yeah, well that certainly isn't cool.
Looking out from the top of Lacoste. Do you see the lavender fields in the distance?
A fountain once of practical importance, now simply admired.
Whenever I see a cat I think of my niece Marie. Today was no exception.
Quaint corners. Stone paths. Flowers pots galore. Picturesque. But few locals.
Once upon a time in France there was an extra tax for each and every window in your home. To avoid extra cost, the French stoned in some of their windows.
The original, "Must Dash", I mean
Hand forged iron hinge.
Lacoste in Provence is a hillside village. Cars are not allowed inside the village.
France in the early summer is a royal feast for the senses. And though it is old, it never grows old for me. The color of the season surprises me over and over again. Oh that Provencal blue sky against the golden wheat! It is the first time isn't it? Do I smell baked bread? I know I do.
The earth soaks in Provence: Thyme, lavender, rosemary, fennel and certainly the Mistral stirs it... then with ease, pass the rocky clay soil the vines send their roots down... and wine flows with the scent of it all.
Pleasure under my feet and above my head.
French Country wealth.
How is your summer unfolding?