Friday, August 23, 2013

Suspended in amber


For various reasons, it has been a bit of the Summer that Wasn't. No visits to the beach with sandy puppers in tow or rosé-drenched apéro's in a flowerly bower. In a certain sense, we knew it would be so--it was in the Planning as Remi is knee-deep, slowly pushing a three year long project into home, leaving me a loopy amount of time to reason and read. And so I have been taking in the words, taking in the words until I am full and restless. Quand c'est trop, c'est trop.

In this lull of in-between, I have let myself get trapped in amber, like a prehistoric fly. In my emptiness, I have built up a routine to create structure in all of this floppy space. A very relaxed version of métro, boulot, dodo. Dullness weighs my body down and thoughts cease to swing. Yes, there are elements of routine in Arles that have a perfume of gorgeousness about them but if I am not seeing them, well, I might as well be sleepwalking anywhere. Luckily my camera can rearrange my focus when I cannot.

The streets of Arles are solid but also shady and shaking. I have lived here for eight years now, quite some time for a nomad like me. I walk them in patterns and loops, where the dogs lead, I follow. That too can be dulling blind until the light shifts and on the wall in front of me and an angle aligns or a sign is revealed, one that I had somehow never seen. A bit of magic and blink are the must of these little gifts. It is a moment that inevitably makes me smile and snaps the amber quick to set me buzzing free.










"I rather would entreat thy company
To see the wonders of the world abroad,
Than, living dully sluggardized at home,
Wear out thy youth with shapeless idleness."

--The Two Gentlemen of Verona, William Shakespeare


So no great adventures for the moment, friends, just little, local ones.
Thanks for being along for the ride.
Have a wonderful weekend.


45 comments:

robin said...

Your little local adventures are big ones for us! Yes, the end of summer leaves me feeling sluggish, too - a good time, as you have demonstrated, to try to look around me with fresh eyes! Thank you for another beautiful post about your beautiful town - wish I was there to take it all in with you!

Laoch of Chicago said...

It's nice to have some dogs as company. They make excellent companions and friends.

Jackie and Joel Smith said...

We too have had a summer at home. . .built ourselves a new flower garden, this week I started canning some of nature's bounty. . .on a few occasions I have thought we should be traveling, doing 'something', but then again it is good to have 'down time'. It makes me appreciate the adventures so much more when they begin again. Hug those puppers of yours, drink some bubbly and definitely keep these wonderful posts coming! Happy Weekend! xo J.

I Dream Of said...

Aren't the little local adventures sometimes the best? I think that the quiet, the slow times, the times when you can do nothing but be still, are the ones that lead to the most growth and change in our lives. And now that I've been to Arles, I don't think I can ever tire of your gorgeous detail shots. I feel like I understand your point of view so much better now that I've seen the light on the textured walls and the shadows on the cobblestones. Enjoy these last days of summer, Heather. There will be time for grand adventure another day. XOXO

Marsha Splenderosa said...

No one could do amber better. Sometimes we must just sit and await something wonderful.
It will come, Heather! xx's

simpleimages2 said...

I thought the green one or the soaring spire against the blue sky means "snaps the amber quick to set me buzzing free."

I'm learning to take photos from different angles from yours. I like the contrast and 'texture'.

Jayne Ryan said...

Hi Heather, the light and perspective that you are capturing in the 'local' moments will play out with a wonderous sense of distance for another human sometime later, someone in time will look on with wonder...what you do is create art in the midst of time.. you can't know where it will land but do it you must! Your heart is on the page, and we need that...Thanks for sharing!

Judith Ross said...

Oh I love this image, "suspended in amber" so beautiful. And yes, I agree with Robin that your little local adventures are big ones for us! Tell us, what have you been reading?

George Snyder said...

Beautiful post, Heather. We all have them - these periods of waiting, down time, being on hold. I wish I could say I always relax and enjoy the break from whatever it is I think I should be doing instead, but sometimes it's not easy. Intellectually I know I will sooner or later kick back into gear, move forward, get on with it, but in the pause I find myself getting nervous. It's an old habit I guess.

In any case,you could not be in a lovelier place for a little time out. Enjoy! XXXXXXX G

helen tilston said...

Hello Heather

Your use of amber displays the light of Arles so beautifully. Wishing Remi success in his project. I admire your patience. Meditation can help somewhat. There are some meditation tapes on you tube, I favour Deepak Chopra.
Helenxx

Rowan said...

It seems that in your moments of restlessness and loneliness, Mr Shakespeare has stepped in to keep you company! Perhaps he was hovering in the shadows when the image came to you of being suspended in amber! A beautiful word image! And beautiful images of colour and shadow made real.
You have your own work separate from Remi. We all love receiving it and wait for the next one! Perhaps there is a book waiting to emerge from your work, of photographs with your poetic musings scattered amongst the images...
Cheers, Deborah from Melbourne.

Jenny Short said...

It's funny you speak of amber. We have lots of dragonflies in our garden now in Holland looking for the pond where their ancestors were born but no longer exists. Enno dug it out a few years ago. Still, they come and I sit and watch then circling in on the sunbeams of late afternoon. I am restless, too. I wonder if the garden is enough anymore for a Tumbleweed? Your shots are beautiful. xo Jenny

david terry said...

Hey Heather?....

Not entirely beside the point?...

I went to an Episcopalian college (Sewanee; The Univesity of the South)which has always been rather famously, and quite self-consciously, anachronistic in many ways.

I was once at a dinner in Charlottesville (seven hours north and a considerably less affected place) where someone, having learned I was a Sewanee graduate, said "Oh, I just LOVE Sewanee! It's like the 'old' South..encased in amber!".

Another, less sentimental guest, rolled her eyes and said "I don't know about that...it's more like 'encased in aspic'....on an afternoon that's getting hotter by the minute".

Presumably, I don't have to explain the humor ofthe second comment. The woman was RIGHT, by the way (in the years since, the University has done all it could to rid itself of potentially embarassing, self-conscious nostalgia for the Confederacy)

Lovely posting, by the way.....

----david terry
www.davidterryart.com

silkannthreades said...

Earlier in the year, when my life was very 'sluggardized' and the weather was dreary, I bought a pair of amber earrings, a necklace of amber beads and two amber rings. The amber seemed to hold all the warm, golden goodness I wanted from the world and the earrings caught whatever light there was, and danced. Amber, like your photos, makes me feel happy, as do your visits to my blog. And even though being sluggardized is dreary, I have to smile at such a wonderful word. Gallivanta

Pam said...

heather your photos are breathtaking...and leave me feeling guilty for not visiting the south of france as planned! we ended up staying on martha's vineyard instead..i have no regrets as it was a wonderful for summer however, who gives up the south of france?? i will get there.
and we've never lived anywhere longer than 5 years..i'm always wondering where we'll be next.
best of luck to remi and his project!
xo

teamgloria said...

lovely lovely lovely

especially that stonework and the ironwork lamp

gorgeous.

thank you for the quick trip to arles.

enjoy the musings in your head ;-)

Jo-Anne said...

What a beautiful post ... and the quote from Shakespeare is perfection. Sigh ... thank you for this.

Karen Albert said...

Dear Heather,
In your wanderings, as the light of the day changes, you seize the magic for us!

xoxo
Karena
Featuring:Artist Anne Harwell

Mumbai said...

Why rove into the distance when the good things are so close? or...Sometimes we think we must find the better cherries in neighbors garden. I hope my translation is understandable.

Sara Louise said...

I feel a bit like you. I know that summer has happened, but now that we're on the cusp of it being over, I don't feel like I've gotten enough out of it. It kind of whirled by without me noticing. I'll be savoring these last few weeks x

Heather Robinson said...

Thank you so much, Jeanne. It was so fun watching you see all the details that I love here! And yes, a good reminder that sometimes we need the quiet times to grow--I will take that to heart.
bisous

Heather Robinson said...

Your photos are already gorgeous enough as they are, Edgar!

Heather Robinson said...

I wish you were too. Missing you my beautiful, talented Sister...

Heather Robinson said...

I would be lost without them, Mr. Laoch.

Heather Robinson said...

Thank you Jackie--it sounds like you are making the most of your home time, how lovely. :)

Heather Robinson said...

Oh Jayne, that really is such a fine, fine compliment and I thank you sincerely for it--I will reread it on days when I need an extra push to keep going. Merci!!!!

Heather Robinson said...

If you say so, dear friend, I will believe it.
xo

Heather Robinson said...

Hmmm...The Museum of Innocence, Flight Behavior, Bird by Bird, Blossoming n Provence, In one Person, The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society and Annie Leibovitz's At Work (amazing).

Heather Robinson said...

Nervous is the perfect word, George. I am not at all at ease as I should be during this quiet time. Will do my best to breathe and enjoy what is right in front of me.
Gros Bisous.

Heather Robinson said...

Thank you for the suggestion, Helen. Doing yoga has been helping but I will most certainly look into your suggestion as well and pass on your kind wishes to Remi.

Heather Robinson said...

Merci Deborah, I really appreciated that and went back to work on going through my photos--my goodness there are a lot of them! And I actually had a photo of Remi's in mind for the image--a very long time ago he photographed exactly that--some sort of prehistoric insect trapped in amber!
And yes, when in doubt, best to consult a little MR. Shakespeare. :)

Heather Robinson said...

Thank you, Jenny and what a beautiful image of your dragonflies looking for what once was. Have you read "Flight Behavior" by Barbara Kinslover? If not, I highly recommend it! How wonderful it must be to have a garden to putter around in...

Heather Robinson said...

No, of course you don't have to explain that comment but how I wish that I could be so witty in the moment! I always think of such remarks two minutes later, when the conversation has moved on...

Heather Robinson said...

Being sluggardized is dreary! But having such lovely places to visit like chez toi is a true boost, dear G. How lovely that you bought a few portable suns to carry around with you, what a gorgeous idea!

Heather Robinson said...

Thank you, Pam, I'll pass that along! And of course, you will get here, it is only a matter of time and that you had a lovely Summer is all that matters...Yes, we are both restless after being here eight years, an eternity! I know that you understand.

Heather Robinson said...

Well, if I won't, who will? ;) And Arles was known for its ironwork and woodwork in the 18th and 19th centuries, so we have gorgeous examples of both everywhere.

Heather Robinson said...

You are very welcome--good to wrap your mind around a little Will, isn't it?

Heather Robinson said...

Merci chere Karena but it is the light that is magic! I am just pointing and clicking... :)

Heather Robinson said...

It most certainly is and what a lovely expression. Far more apt than the typical, "the grass is always greener on the other side."

Heather Robinson said...

I know that you will make the most of it. :) For us, it has been all work and no play. Hopefully, we will get a break up your way sometime soon, it is much needed!!!

Judith Ross said...

I loved Annie L's "At Work" too. We were lucky enough to have her work exhibited right down the street from us at the Concord Museum and we attended an event practically in our own back yard where she shared the stage with Doris Kearns Goodwin.

Jeanne Henriques said...

You could not have said it better Heather...I think you could start the first page of a novel with that post. I would be eager to see what follows next. Here is something I just posted on Facebook...we seem to both be searching for words at the moment..

"There is a pleasure in the pathless woods, There is a rapture on the lonely shore, There is society, where none intrudes, By the deep sea, and music in its roar: I love not man the less, but Nature more" — George Gordon Byron

attached to the following photo...

http://lacalaveracatrina.tumblr.com/post/46940488100/painting4life-wanderer-above-the-sea-of-fog

xx

PS...I have been remiss in blogging this summer and am just catching up. I missed your Birthday!! Happy Belated Birthday wishes my friend.

...and a recent favourite you might enjoy...

http://youtu.be/HoRkntoHkIE

Mumbai said...

Heather thank you...you always encourage me to leave a comment. Month ago I was so
shy and insecure because of my English.

Heather Robinson said...

Oh gosh, your English is far, far better than you think it is!!! Write away...I always appreciate your take on things, M.

beautycalypse.wordpress.com said...

Your pictures break my heart with beauty, Dear Heather.