“In space there is no horizon,” the captain declares, in her intelligent voice, as much to herself as to the duty crew.
You look at me, with the calm eyes of one who knows: soon the captain will read the instructions, and we will ready ourselves for the long voyage, but only us two know how far we will travel.
Everyone is getting on with their tasks, without haste, as our fragile vessel continues her journey through the night.
… The alert bell rings: an elegant blue hologram floats in the air, and the captain calls the crew to attention.
“I have to communicate to you the new direction we are now to take: we are not turning back, we continue to Epsilon of Cassiopeia, which means over the time horizon, through hyperspace”: the crew falls on their knees, in prayer, you, my love, hold my face in both hands – over the horizon, for us, means eternity…
I see your little family, slowly following the narrow track on your journey,
And I admire you, your beautiful silhouette, the narrow shoulders, and baby Lama in her cot.
This is a long route, but you are safe, for, secretly, the mountains are protecting you.
Here, behind the clouds, there is no shelling, no bombs, no beating:
You have left this war far behind, and are making your way to a new world of Peace.
Also inspired by the tragedy in the Ukraine and Novorossiya
It is like diving into Rabelais’ s writing, following the Gargantua, or perhaps meditating on Monsieur Montaigne.
What is there to say, about Armagnac?
The grapes, the sand, les jeunes filles en fleur, during the harvest…
Yes, it’s Monsieur Proust in a bottle!
Image: Ernest Hébert (1817-1908), Ophélie – 1876
We look at the map: in front of us runs the long road, above the shore, bordered by legendary harbours, and wildlife reserves.
Here Saint Laurent O’Toole came from green Ireland, and blessed the town where he now rests.
Here William took his future young bride, fair Mathilde, to the altar, and then, with his men, sailed across the sea to defeat Harold.
In the middle of the forest is the town, built by Gallo Romans traders and soldiers, for, in this country, there is no gap between the splendour of Rome and the new kingdom, between Caesar and Guillaume.
In the wide bay, flows the river Somme: the map shows on its banks the small crosses of the immense military cemeteries, where our grand fathers fell in infernos of fire and steel…
Image: memorial to William and his wife Mathilde, in Eu (Normandy)
© 2014 Honoré Dupuis
It’s a taste that I like to try, remembering those long gone days.
I had already walked, carrying the thirty kilos rücksack and the machine-gun, for more than fifty kilometers.
The training was tough, and the war not far away.
Three peppercorns and a bar of chocolate.
A para’s ration.
I thought I recognised him: the steady gaze, the strong hands, the broad shoulders, now a little stooped. Of course he had changed as all of us, all of us still living that is. The long untidy hair was in sharp contrast with the close-shaven head of my memories.
The shabby civilian clothes did not compare with the stiff black uniform he he had worn with pride, then, before the fall. The black uniform of assassins and torturers.
Behind us children were playing, one of the old clocks chimed. The shivering sound reminded me of the present: the war was over, the city was now free.
And yet, it was inhabited by ghosts: those of the traitors and their victims.
If you could split your time…
Your past is both frightening and inspiring; along those avenues and in your museums lie some of the darkest secrets.
We remember, yet, often, today’s visitors are blissfully ignorant. Your beauty has survived the worse hours of Europe’s long history.
Those ghosts are our constant companions as we walk your streets, kiss in your parks, dream awake in the midst of your present…
We love the hopes and courage of your people. And the souls of those who died to keep you free.