Fridays a la Francais: Saturday, June 8, 2003

>> Friday, April 8, 2011

The best thing about today was that I got my camera back.

It's been a very long day. Today was La Fete de la Cabannes (Festival of the Cabanas), a gathering of local farmers, artists (both professional and amateur), and people from the town for the sake of getting together to have a good time under the pretext of making art by constructing creative looking "cabannes". There were probably 250 people there at any given time.

With vague and different versions of directions floating in my head, two and a half hours later I made it to the location. Unfortunately by the time I got there I only had a couple hours before a van came to pick us up, and I used that time to sketch the 30 heads assigned for my class, so I think I saw a couple of cabanas from afar. To top off the long walk, after I walked all the way up the steep dirt trail that accessed the festival, I realized I didn't have my camera with me! I prayed to God that it would be safe and promised I would put my info with it. So I ran back down to check the spots where I was sitting, and thanks be to God, a young man had picked it up for safe keeping and gave it to me! Oh the relief!

Up the hill I walked and eventually made it back home despite the fact that we had a flat tire and had to change it with funky European tools. On top of everything, to start the day as I was walking back home from the Echomarché, I dropped one of my bags, the only bag with a glass jar in it, and made a mess of my other groceries. When I got home, I realized that I had left my house keys in the bag I was going to take to the festival. To pass the time, I decided to pet the cat, which then decided to bite and scratch my hand. Oh la la, as the French would say. A nice lady from the flower shop offered me a bag to carry my soggy groceries and a rag to wipe my hands which was nice. It's just one of those Shel Silverstein days. Perhaps tonight I'll sit in the tub.

It was interesting watching people at the Fete. It was like I stepped back into the middle ages. The first sound I heard as I entered the grounds was a hand accordion being played. It was a very simple song but reminded me of those movies portraying those old European festivals that the poor townspeople had. There was a table that sold a variety of drinks. I got a great big bottle of water for only one euro! People were enjoying visiting one another. Couples were very lovey dovey. There is no myth or stereotype that the French are lovers. Children played half-naked in the stream, and it's sad to think that that would be an issue in America. People milled around the cabanas looking and enjoying a product of what it means to be French: to live well and full; full of love, family, art, good food and drink and the company of others to enjoy those things with. They also had barbecue pits and food stands, and dogs a-runnin' rampant and free to bark at whatever.

On my way back, I rode with a nice girl named Yelena who is from a country that used to be the former Yugoslavia. She is one of the Pont-Aven School of Art interns and is here for one year on a grant that lets her make art and have her own studio to paint. I wonder what it would be like to live a whole year in Pont-Aven?


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