Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Return redux - Brittany

The moss, the trees, all of it
It's really just pictures tonight, because the wonder of night and deep happiness have made us eager for bed and rest. To come back is now so thick with memory, so present in so many ways all at once, that I really do understand that phrase about one's heart swelling with emotion. There is love and loss, and deep yearning, and a familiar that goes to the slightest beloved detail. Our love for this place and for our friend in it expands evermore - there is this feeling of great good fortune in being able to return unto such a place and into such a friendship; and there is this feeling of anticipation. Whatever it might mean to be curious about the familiar, that is what we are. Maybe (late at night, well fed, glad), that is one of the ways of understanding love: a curiosity, a joyful eagerness to know, about the familiar.

And still, there are many things to get to know. Eleanor has been reading the France Horrible History for her French History (we thought we'd start there before Michelet) and has really gotten into two topics: Olivier de Clisson (nicknamed the Butcher, all around early 15th-century badass) and the Cathars (she has a bone to pick with the medieval Church about the whole matter). We kept it a surprise for her, but Olivier de Clisson is buried (within a pretty fantastic tomb) right here in Josselin at Notre-Dame du Roncier (translated I just found out as Our Lady of the Brambles). So here is Eleanor peering down at her cranky, bellicose knight, across 600 years of history. Tomorrow Brittany awaits again, as it does, with an insistent calm in the face of our perpetual joy.

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