My memories of life on the plains are becoming vague now. Our primary motivation for leaving was to search the mountains for authentic sound. We were musicians, you a singer and me a string player. We specialized in medieval music.
Our performances were plagued by endless speculation about what the music we were playing had actually sounded like at the time it was written, 1000 years before. We were both certain that here in the mountains, where the Troubadours and Cathars wandered, we would find practical exponents of this authenticity.
Our lives on the plains had been a race to earn and be successful, of grueling practice to keep ahead, with little time for anything else. But here there was a slowing down of the eye and ear, and we had easily slipped into a more reflective mode.
We harvested things endlessly in our strong arms and stout baskets, sorting and storing, managing our nourishment. Such simple activities brought us close to the earth, and allowed our city hearts to open their tight buds.
An afternoon in full sun underneath the walnut trees collecting light brown nuts like planets. Filling the baskets and then sorting them into ripe and unripe, small and large, their beautiful dryness was irresistible to the fingertips. Wild cherries, shiny baubles of blood, picked in pairs loping down from tough stems. The locals said you could only see your true face in their shine.
There was watercress in the river, as the mountain snows first melted down into the Otter Pool. We had to reach down to the roots to cut it slightly above so that the crop would continue. Then, in the hot kitchen it was transformed into peppery soup and the crunch of salads.
This mountain life busied our long fingers in nature’s hair, and gave us closeness with our creations. It was the life medieval musicians who lived free from concepts and criticism not as fugitives from nature as we did on the plains.
I went on.
“But it’s not all those incredible things about coriander that matter to me really. There is something deeper that comes through the taste, something ancient and persuasive. It’s so fresh, such a meaningful taste, full of sunshine.”
You were quiet, the evening book opened across your lap. You lifted the glass to sip, took the wine into your mouth, held it there, and then swallowed it with a curious noise. You stroked the nose of Judy, who as usual sat close to you, then took another cigarette and lit it.
The room was an illuminated ship in a dark sea now.
This is the 4th of 7 moments which open my Cathar book ‘Veil.’ Join me tomorrow for the 5th moment.
This book ‘Veil’ is available at:
Author page: http://lulu.com/spotlight/Veil_linden415 +
Images courtesy of Mariko Kinoshita and megapixyl.com – all licenses at email@example.com