It has been sometime, but I have been off the hooks and somewhat dispirited with stuff, little and large, however I feel a recovery is at hand. Observant visitors, obviously people without much of a life may have noted that a little retro editing, a pruning of the posts has taken place. Pruning, painful and goes decidedly against the grain but it's often a case of a rock and a hard place. So, kick it on and chase it up the lane!
I have been preoccupied lately with the notion of a sense of place, probably because I have detected the seeming lack of one in several of my friends and I think the current rising political tides lead one into the troubling questions related to place and belonging. It seems unlikely my present billet will fulfil this notion although it currently provides sustenance of a sort. In this rural environment a sense of place is a palpable thing, it's the continuity and it's the land. The abandonment of the villages, the emptying of the landscape, leaving the hunched, the skeletal old, the infirm. only encourages this sense of belonging as these remnants gather at the boulangerie, the pharmacie, the bar after Sunday Mass, all dusted by the generations and protective of their place in the face of modernity. There is some young blood about, it's not all hardening arteries, but it's a skeleton crew that remains to man the machinery.
In the past when that feeling of being adrift has pushed it's way into my day I could often find reassurance by seeking out some signs of life's continuity. This could be found in simple things, a repair to a dry stone wall, the replanting of an old orchard and more often than not it was to be found around churches and graveyards. It is the same here where the markers of faith abound, every crossroad has it's own Calvary.
Desvallieres is a fascinating man, a salesman for Jesus but so much more besides, go and admire the skill, the expertise, the artistry and catch the scent of devotion.
AGED AND AWKWARD