Saturday, March 26, 2005

Seeing Red - The Passion.

A red painting on the canvas, red chiles in the market, and anger...It is the time of The Passions:

In the past two years the illness and death from Alzheimers of Marcel Bellon, our landlady Ginette's husband, forced her to cede the management of Julian's studio rental to her daughter Michelle. Julian's seven year friendly arrangement with Ginette turned businesslike with Michelle and now, it seems, it has turned nasty. We are angry and it is clearly time to go.

Not without, however, remembering with the greatest tenderness:

Marcel wandering into our house with an armful of flowers he had ripped from Crillonais gardens, asking me desperately if I was his wife and wanting to present his love-token to me; reaching up to hang out Egyptian cotton sheets while Ginette bent over to tend her garden, conversation moving easily between us, across class and culture, in the warm breeze; the umpteenth rendition of Marcel's 'J'étais garçon de café' story; reading (and simultaneously translating from Texan into Provencal) the yearly newsletter from our neighbour Bonnie over Ginette's home made walnut wine; Ginette assuring me we were 'impeccable' when the neighbours retaliated against Bach's fifth cello suite, booming 'chéri fm' at us at 6am; playing for Ginette from the bottom of my heart when she came - despite feeling uncomfortable with the class chasm - to hear me play at a house concert; a room in that house with fluttering blue curtains where a child was conceived but never born ....

Usually I am playing the St John passion at Easter, creating and entering the painful sounds of sacrifice, a ripped veil, of betrayal and of death, and then the joy of rising up, elation and release.

We exhale rather than 'draw' our last breath; In yoga we let go of tension as we breathe out; In music sound comes on the release from inspiration, and in tennis we spring back before letting the ball fly forward. In release there is no resistance and it is the only way to move.

In preparing to let go of the studio our in-breath has been tardy and full of fears but suddenly we are being propelled forward. Apparently it is because of a misunderstanding, but perhaps just because it is time. We are being fueled by anger, but anger is just energy and so long as we do not hold on to it, it can transform and help move us forward. Perhaps it is time for exhibitions in proper galleries. Perhaps things will flow even without the stream of relais-chateau style tourists passing the studio with credit cards. Perhaps things will flow more....?

So, this Easter I would like to say thank you to Ginette for something I can't explain, so deeply is it lodged in my heart. And thank you Michelle, for being the catalyst for us to move out, onwards and hopefully upwards.

And every day, of course, I give thanks for Bach, for teaching me the value of The Passion.


Blogger Morphess said...

God, you've made me cry again...

I am so sorry that things have turned sour. Your 'take' on it is absolutly right...thanking Michelle for moving you on to the next stage etc. Wonderful stories about Mr with his wild flowers and Mrs daring to come and see you play - it CAN be intimidating! Looking at Julians divine work I DO think it's time to start showing it somewhere 'serious'. Only wish I could see it hung.

Have I mentioned recently how much joy your writing brings to me? :-)

5:20 AM  
Blogger Antipodeesse said...

Ruth, your writing is sheer poetry, and so very moving. More please!

11:35 AM  
Blogger ruth said...

thank you antipodeese and morphess for your very sweet comments and for reading my mad ramblings and thinking they are poetry. you're the best!

12:41 PM  

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