Time out of time– discovering Lisbon

  The thing I remember about leaving the Algarve is the morning light striking the car hard and bright as I drove along a ridge line. It was a secondary road that roughly paralleled the autoroute. In my mind I was trying to make peace with leaving. It had been an intoxicating mix of coastal light, stone and sand, cactus and pine. Cultures crossing in pretty old villages. The occasional palm tree or Moorish ruin. Desert stars. It was bright blue and dusky beige, warm and relaxed. Along the drive there were a couple of fine old hill towns, scattered villas, …

Time out of time

It’s been a daydream of mine for a long time– to find a little house to rent in France and stay there long enough to become chummy with the butcher. This was the year I finally did it.  I rented a cottage on the grounds of the restored 15th century Chateau de Lerse in the southwestern region called the Charente.   Though I thought I knew what to expect I did not know how truly rural and agriculturally focused France could be. I believe the grounds of the chateau were the quietest place I have ever been.  The fine old …

Vagabonding

Before I settle down to a summer’s work it’s good to do a little gypsy roaming.  I just had a great break from my routine, exploring Provence.  At first I enjoyed the companionship of wonderful friends at Le Beaucet in a  delightful country home. We saw the sights, enjoyed the regional foods and wines, and were expertly guided, tended and fed by Mary James and Xavier (www.maryjames.net) . In my journal I made a list of sounds and sights and smells that were especially vivid.  And of course, tastes.  There were many.  It was a sensual feast from morning until …

Home

It’s been a quiet week of work,  so quiet I lost track of what day it was by Thursday.  Looking for a hook to hang a story from, I’d  resigned myself to not writing anything this week, it seemed so mundane.  Later I realized that the reverse was true. It was a  week lived on the highest plane.  It was a week spent as an artist.  Nearly all my hours were wrapped around a painting I’d started last week.  It was a reflection of the intense beauty of the land around here, plants growing exuberantly, the sky deeply blue, the …