Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Signs of Spring

665 / 3000 words. 22% done!

Had an insight about ambivalence, genre and dreamscape vs. landscape and was able to relate these to ambivalence about Islam (Crusade in 1517; Alliance in 1525). Not too bad for a Wednesday with the kids - tomorrow, back to all-Triumphe all the time!

I don't know why it's such a pleasure to see a little girl open her first pistachio, but it is. She ate it with great delectation and pride - never mind the smears of "soupe orange" ("potiron" (pumpkin), carrots, orange, and a touch of curry - thank you, Knorr!). There are signs of spring all around (oh how I love her still-dimpled elbows!) and that's really what today is about. We've known and loved Josselin only in the winter, loving the resoluteness of the stones, the spectacle of the sky, and lush contrast of the ever-varied moss. But now we realize that Brittany is about to soften: that the castle's silhouettes will not be so rigid, framed as they'll be by weeping willows in bloom and greenery all around; that the river's flow will now reflect the colors of flowers along its banks; that the tree's dramatic outlines will be muffled by green leaves everywhere. I wonder how our dear megaliths will change, too. So - signs of spring:

Picking dandelions and "Marguerites" (daisies) at the Promenade (Louise's daughter was named Marguerite and Thenaud refers to her allegorically through daisies, dubbing them "des preciuses et orientales perles la marguarite" (precious and oriental pearls)...

Sniffing one's bouquet of said dandelions and daisies near what has become our favorite bench at the promenade (you can see those incredible super-modern windmills from there, and the church steeple)...

Daydreaming behind a bunch of daffodils at the Bois d'Amour...

Marveling at whatever this tree is outside the caste gate (and knowing that the castle opens this week-end for an Easter Egg Hunt!

I end with this absurdly heroic picture of Iris and Eleanor holding their flowers forth. Iris looks like an exemplary Soviet child in a Socialist Realism painting. Eleanor just looks like she wants you to sniff her dandelions already. We've had to explain the culture of gardens and flowers here (absolutely no picking of flowers bigger than your thumb ever anywhere ever!), so the girls are mainly focusing on "found flowers," dandelions and daisies. They might well make a dent in the city's dandelion population. Spring always makes me think that the human race was right to come up with rituals and celebrations to mark its arrival. The air smells sweet, the breezes are filled with possibilities, and all things seem possible.

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