Thursday, 1 September 2011
I had cooked too much couscous. Some neighbouring folk were chatting and kids were playing. The air was warm and the sky darkening to allow that visual harvest of stars which is such a joy away from the cities. Here in Charentes regular folk can see the show. In the UK few people live in the countryside and the urban poor are not encouraged to look up - except to the bosses. There was wine to finish from the curry night and we set about the endless task of re-arranging the affairs of men over an impromptu meal of "N'importe quoi pimenté". In France you can always be sure of a conversation. In the first few moments Capitalism was defeated as were religions and communism. Soon enough we were in the furrows and the SOIL. If ever you find yourself somewhere deep in a French philosophical tangle - get out your spade and turn over some manure. It's a show stopper. Once you tie your beliefs and actions to the power and thrust of the land you have raised your tricolore and you are marching in step. During the meal the name Pierre Rabhi emerged and I realised that I had never heard of him. He appears to have been and to be still influential in France in the "back to the soil" movement which more critically appears to me to be about getting back to simplicity. He has created the expression "une insurrection des consciences" (revolt of the conscience) against the unsustainable values of our hi-tech world. He's an interesting guy. I can't find any interviews etc in English but here is a link to him talking in French.
Everywhere you see those wretched signs proclaiming that "La Rentrée" is upon us. As always in the commercialised world it means that you're supposed to be buying stuff. The UK equivalent is "Back to School". All manner of sexy satchels and cutie calculators fill the shops. I just feel so sorry for the kids as the shades of the prison house start to darken their dreams. Even now as an adult the thought of the classroom and its cruelties evokes the dread of tyranny in the heart of the powerless. It's like those advertisements for sausages where a grinning pig carries a steaming banger on a fork. Bon courage les enfants.
The above old French picture is in a similar vein.
Emma thinx: The naked furrow is already stitching the robe of Spring.