i don’t really watch sports, and i don’t really have a home team. i love my great lakes region and my country but don’t automatically assume it’s the best place on earth just because i was born there. i mostly want everyone to win. but through five trips to the languedoc, this occitan cross has increasingly grown on me. i don’t respond to knights and crusades and heraldry. i am not particularly religious. but everytime i see this cross now, the symbol of this humble and beautiful place, i think to myself. yes. go team.
we’ve been spending a lot of time at the beach this trip, because we have a son who has discovered fishing, to his father’s delight. i spent our last “fishing” trip dodging waves near the end of their reach, walking slowly from rock deposit to rock deposit, scanning the ground just in front of my feet. i was looking for a collection just like this, with stripes, and curious formations, and holes. as i put the composition together, i realized that i had also unthinkingly picked only rocks within a small range of size. i wasn’t deliberately thinking about how the rocks would lay out later, but instinct must have guided me, because, it’s easy to see now, the whole thing falls apart if the elements of the arrangement are out of scale.
beach rocks from Sète
yesterday i posted a symmetrical pattern of the backsides of telline clams. today i’m posting a random but not quite chaotic pattern of the insides of telline clams. walk any mediterranean beach, and the little glints of lavender you see are shards of these shells. they are beautiful inside and out.
this is in some sense the aftermath of a meal. these shells are tellines, tiny clams from the mediterranean, which we ate for lunch on a sunny terrace in november, an experience that still feels surreal to a pair of minnesotans checking their wintry feeds from home. when lunch was over, we started arranging the little double wings into patterns on the table, and when it became clear that this was going somewhere, we rinsed them clean, and i brought out some of my white still blog paper, and let my very patient husband with slight ocd tendencies go to town.
throughout the hills behind our village, there are vestiges of the shepherds and goatherds who used to live their lives with their flocks. there are walls made of dry stack stones, and there are beehive-shaped dry-stack stone huts where they would wait out the weather. the huts are called capitelles, and they still dot the hillsides. building a stone structure without mortar is a painstaking and frustrating process, if this tiny, unfinished wall of sea-smoothed terra cotta tiles is any indication. i can’t imagine building something taller than me, that i would feel unafraid to spend the night in.
beach tumbles roof tiles (pierre sèche)