Alone #writephoto

Inspired by Sue Vincent’s #writephoto prompt

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Mist has invaded the valley below, a diffused light veils the details of the landscape. But where am I? Where is this cliff? Is it day break, or dusk? Should I know this place, how did I get here, and how long have I been here, watching how many sunrises?

Finally, the real question arises from the clouds my mind appears to be surrounded with: where are you? The silence is total, this may not be my world, but what is it? Have I lost you, forever? A deep desperation creeps into my soul…

Close to me something, someone, stirs. So, I may not be alone?

“Another nightmare my darling,” you are saying, in the calm voice that always settles my fear, “You’re too hot, I’ll get you some water, and make coffee. You know it’s these drugs, a side effect, soon you’ll cope without them… And, by the way, I am here, you are not alone!”

Enchantment

Weekly Writing Prompt #100

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He found her story enchanting, and the way she was telling it to him a real treat. The fire in his mind was a mere flicker, for the predator within him had long given up: his life was now just about beauty, art, and good stories. So he would write, what he heard, and what had inspired him.

She, in turn, was playing with his mind, yet another victim of the wicked witch.

Picture: Fisherwoman, Odilon Redon, via fleurdulysfleurdulys.tumblr.com

Le grand homme de la nuit

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The park is immense: we leave the car near the house on the lake, where the couple lived, and where, we can imagine, Hélène planned her acquisitions. We walk around the house, a structure that inspires solid wealth, and a longing for a bygone age. The sombre bricks reflect in the water, children have left their bikes against the steps that lead to the wide terrace. We follow a narrow path that serpents on what must be, in winter, a very wet land. The ground is soft but almost dry, despite the recent torrential rain. The path takes us to a square building, in the style of the house, which encloses a well. Nearby we leave the main track to circle around a small pond covered with lilies: a beautiful toad meditates on one of the larger leaves, impassible. But we want to see the museum and the famed arboretum. Most visitors are cycling and we feel somewhat ashamed of driving.
The sculpture garden closes at four thirty, so we decide to go and see the Van Gogh gallery first, then visit the garden – a museum of modern sculptures and installations. Hélène had good taste, and a large (they say “unlimited”) budget. She bought Van Gogh both before the painter had achieved fame, and later. His early work is astounding: Van Gogh painted peasants in his native land. The Potatoes Eaters show the rugged faces and hands of a poor family, lunching under the light of a small petrol lamp. The beautiful Dutch white coiffes contrast with the dark garments. The profiles are almost medieval. The collection is an amazing treasure trove. We recognise some the best known paintings, the postman and his wife, the village main square at night – the stars in the Mediterranean sky! – the light of Provence. Hélène bought many avant-garde paintings, Seurat, Picasso, Monet, Mondrian… An hour goes by and we haven’t seen more than a third of the museum. You say that we ought to visit the garden, and then come back to see as much as we can before closure.
This is an enchanted place: the sunlight bounces across the green lawns, and lits the sculptures scattered over open spaces, reflecting in small basins, or part hidden in the trees. You guide us through the maze, and we watch, mesmerised, the variety of inspirations and forms. There is la femme accroupie de Rodin, there the columns of the Sacred Grove

Later, you walk back to the museum, as I continue to explore the garden.
I retrace our steps, and discover more hidden treasures. It is there, a little away from the main path, that I sense him. He stands, in the shade of a large tree, on a block of stone so that his small size is not immediately evident. As I look up the reptilian face, taking in the short arms, terminated into powerful triangular wings, and the cruel hooves, the sun disappears behind a dark cloud. The face is inscrutable, the enormous penis, half erect, exudes menace. I dare take a first picture that turns out blank, then try again, this time more successfully. I read the legend, “Le grand homme de la nuit”, and the name of the artist, Germaine Richier (1904-1959). I can no longer hear voices, nor the laughter of children playing on the grass. I feel the malevolent presence, and ask myself, was Germaine his victim? Suddenly I feel the need to move away from le grand homme.

I walk back to the museum, and look for you. “Did you see anything interesting?” you ask. “It’s a delightful place, and we must come back for another visit…” I reply cheerfully.

Inspired by a visit to the Kröller-Müller park and museum, near Arnheim, Netherlands

Germaine Richier (en français)

Messenger #WritePhoto

Inspired by Sue Vincent’s Thursday Photo Prompt

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I know he will come, one day, or, better, one beautiful evening, a calm, unhurried flight punctuated, at dusk, by the black birds’ song, and, even, if I am lucky a nightingale’s.

They know me, they know I admire them, and they keep looking down at that fragile, elderly silhouette, on my walks. Time is soon, of that I have no doubt, for I have seen the signs. So, one of them, I am sure, will be the Messenger.

When time comes I will welcome the Messenger, if not the message. After all, I had a long life.

The Man Who Feared His Past #WritersWednesday

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He dreamed of speeches he may have made, once, as a much younger and more confident man, to audiences he held in awe, of intractable dilemmas he would have resolved, in another age, perhaps another world: what he feared most was his own past. Long forgotten antagonists were reappearing, more menacing, whose names he could not remember, but he knew, how much it had cost him, then, to chase them away.

And, now, they were back, vengeful, demanding, seeking retribution, wanting him to pay for what he had imposed on them, for his treachery, and for being, now, the mere shadow of himself.

It was as if all those distant years were coming back to him, forcing him to replay, to prove, again and again, that he was still able to fend off the Enemy. Like so many tentacles from the depth, voices he did not want to hear, questions he did not want to answer, faces he had thought forever forgotten, all, were surrounding him, insisting, clamouring for his undivided attention, and perhaps, apologies. He was drowning in his own memories.

In the middle of the night he was seeking a lone friendly face, a long lost friend, but only saw the hordes of maleficent creatures from his distorted life. In the morning, grateful for the dawn, he asked himself: is this hell?

 

Image: The Appearance of the artist’s family via Marc Chagall, via https://artist-chagall.tumblr.com/

Au Luxembourg #5Words

Weekly Writing Prompt #96

 

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She appears lost in thoughts,

Perhaps about the poor poet,

He who immortalised her…

We do not know where

She now lies, in peace.

Here, the card says “Laure”,

But he knew her as Laura,

So that there is a doubt,

As to whether she was the one

Who inspired him.

Here, in a press of children, of tourists,

She dreams among the queens,

And the senators,

Until her fall

 

Photo: statue de Laure de Sade, dite de Noves, par Auguste Ottin, Jardin du Luxembourg, Paris (Honoré Dupuis)

Twilight #Writephoto

Inspired by Sue Vincent’s Thursday Photoprompt

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We stood at the edge of the woods, as our star was disappearing behind the hills, a move so swift it surprised us. Here, in the open, the air was much cooler, and you shivered a little as we watched, in awe, the waves of mist rising from the valley in front of us. The power of the spirits was palpable, and soon the white sea was engulfing the tips of the trees, masking our path.

Your pale, elfin face just visible in the deepening darkness, you looked at me and smiled, silently saying: “It takes two ghosts to be amazed by twilight!”

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