It’s beautiful because it’s messy.
29 March, 2009, 2:56 pm
Filed under: Lacoste, School, Transit

Lots to share today. ‘try to condense it for those with short attention spans (read: myself.)

Yesterday was pretty packed with activities. Woke up, threw some clothes on and barely scarfed down breakfast before boarding a bus to the open air market in Apt. The market in Apt has been happening for over 2000 years and takes place in the very same spot since the first one opened. All kinds of wonderful smells filled the air as we walked around. Fresh fruit, vegetables, all kinds of sausages and meats, lavender, etc. Also ‘found a table with many old comic books in french. ‘saw a Justice League and Superman comic that I thought about purchasing but decided to pass. The market itself was sensory overload, so I didn’t purchase anything there. Fortunately there are return trips scheduled. I was able to pop into a super market and purchase a towel in order to take a shower (remember… no checked in bag,) and some juice and a few snacks to keep in my room.

On our way back to Lacoste, we stopped at The Bridge Julien. The Bridge Julien was/is EPIC. It was built by the Romans over 2000 years ago and up until three years ago was still used for every day traffic. I guess someone finally had the sense to say, “Hey… maybe we should preserve this bad boy and build a newer bridge for road traffic?” So that’s what they did. Our group spent a good 20 minutes or so exploring the bridge and surrounding area.

We headed “home” and had lunch. Shortly after that we were given a walking historical tour of the village of Lacoste by poet Finn MacEoin. He was incredibly funny and knowledgeable and has written a book based on his experience here. He showed us the Chateau of the Marquis De Sade. Also, apparently, Monsieur Pierre Cardin owns several of the buildings here and shares a great deal of the responsibility for the renovation of the town and has put up a statue commemorating the Marquis De Sade. It began to rain and so we quickly concluded the tour but I definitely want to venture up to that part of the village again. The view was of course breathtaking… which is still kind of surreal.

I’ve posted a few pictures from the day on my tumblr

At night the school hosted a special dinner for us at one of the local cafes. The food was decent and the cheeses and deserts were phenomenal! Of course much wine was consumed as well. The staff seemed truly happy to have us at the cafe but I would not be surprised if they were laughing at us at the same time. Several of my classmates noticed the ring on my left hand and began to ask questons…

This is the part where I begin to wax pseudo philosophical. If you are averse to that sort of thing you may want to stop reading now.

A few of them said “That’s beautiful.. marriage must be amazing, etc.” And yes they’re right. Although they were slightly intoxicated I could tell that they shared in the fairy tale belief that marriage must be so perfect and blissful. I told them it’s beautiful because it’s messy. Like some other people in mine and Megan’s life, I got the sense that they believed that marriage was this thing that solved a lot of life’s problems and that it meant the end to a certain amount of strife. It is in fact the opposite. For me anyway… It is a constant struggle between my own selfishness and the need to show my partner the appreciation that she deserves. It is understanding that though we may not agree on every point and often have differing opinions we still somehow connect and our lives benefit from having each other around. There may be days when we would rather kill each other but more often there are the days when we lean on each other for much needed support. We did not necessarily immediately come to that point. In three years we have had to learn much about one another. We’re still learning. Probably will be for a long time. In spite of or even because of the hard parts it is worthwhile and we’re (hopefully) becoming better people. It’s beautiful because it’s messy.

So today after brunch (and the joyous appearance of my check-in luggage!) we took a walking tour of the Luberon Valley with photographer and all-around renaissance man, Andy Moxon. Here is the part of his spiel that struck me the most: He talked about how when we look out at the view from the village of Lacoste, we should not simply say “Oh my God, It’s awesome!” (yes, his words… which he spoke suspending his British accent and adopting a frighteningly accurate “American” accent.) Instead we should look at it “critically.” He then gave a brief and humorous account of the history off the valley and hills that surround us. He explained the events that have occurred over thousands of years… bloodshed, famine, abandonment, nature, etc. Everything and the way it was in its current state – the result of many purposeful actions. From land that had been farmed over and over to terrain untouched since the ice age. Walls built to protect from invading armies and used centuries later for the same purpose. Abandoned villages restored only to be abandoned again and restored yet again. Still it is easy to look out at see how “awesome” it is. It’s beautiful because it’s messy.


2 Comments so far
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I am soooooooo glad for you. Seems like you are having a wonderful time. I’m sooo proud of you.

Comment by mom

Glad to hear you got your luggage. I’m sure the French will appreciate you more with a fresh change of clothes. I liked your contrasting points about marriage and the valley. Good writing my friend.

Comment by Justin

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