Bats - in St Savinien we have some very rare and endangered species. They live in the old quarry caves that pepper the town and also in our Préau (Charentais rustic car port/barn). Last night I sat in the garden being buzzed by dear little bats. Somehow the flap of their wings just inches from my face felt like a privilege. I just sat there, feeling the current of air created by their wings of stretched skin. It seemed like I was part of Nature. Then I went indoors to watch the world news. I felt that Nature was part of me and that I wanted to reject it. Kids under 10 years old out looting at 2am in Manchester UK. Tribal groups in Pakistan murdering each other when their enemy is poverty and lack of opportunity. I went back to the garden to see the bats and the stars.
Talking of stars - I woke up at 3 am and looked out of the window. In St. Savinien, Charente, 17350, there is very little light pollution. The sky at night in rural France is the most fantastic floor show. I remember it from mon enfance- before the cars and the madness of it all. Obviously it's just a dome with holes pricked in to keep us fooled. All the same, I had to reflect on the painting by Titian in the National Gallery in London of Bacchus and Ariadne (Check it out here). I won't bore you with the arty farty guff but it is a painting crammed with love and passion. Bacchus throws the crown of Ariadne into the heavens and above her it burns as an immortal constellation. If you're able - go and see it. IT'S FREE. You don't have to loot it or steal it. Several times a day you can get a free guided tour of selected works in the gallery. A deeply intelligent person will chat to you about the paintings. You will feel humbled and ashamed that you know nothing. At the end you will know more than you thought you could know. As a poor scum bag from darkest London with an average IQ destined for the honourless, wealthless drudge, I started to go see this stuff. It didn't change the world but it changed me. Educators! Stop just jumping the kids through the hoops, then turning your back when they fall. Batter and discipline them until they know what they are worth! Just remember all those free tours and the sweet folk who lecture to anyone- ABSOLUTELY ANYONE - are part of civilisation and a law abiding world.
And finally a few words about La Bise - this whole Euro kissing thing but also taking in the hand shaking thing. If you were young and you were expected to kiss older folk and expect them to address you in a caring yet senior manner would you then go and smash up their home/shop/car/business? I tell you - you would not! Parallel so called communities have no hope. Community means everyone. Not this community or that community -teenage looters, ethnic rapists and Nazis are communities. In France the word has slightly more meaning.......but erosion and diversification do their work here too. Kiss before you smash. - Vive La France.
Emma thinx: Search for your darkness and see the stars.