Friday, November 11, 2011

What I caught in my net today

I was trying to explain to my french neighbour a few months back about how my time in France has taught me how to 'live'.  I wouldn't necessarily say that the lessons I have learnt can be solely attributed to my geographical location.  I put it down to a complex confluence of many factors and events.  Perhaps my age, perhaps the recession, perhaps the change from an intensely urban existence to an isolated rural one, perhaps the ages of my children, perhaps the change in work with which I'm involved in; the list could continue ad infinitum.

Today is a case in point.

It is Armistice Day.  The startling numerical purity of the date itself seems all the more significant.  In France this day is treated with reverence and care.  In the United Kingdom, a two minute silence is observed at 11am.  By contrast, in France today, we had a day free of routine, free of the rush and bustle, the shops were closed along with the schools.

I had time to reflect on hard fought freedoms and the gift of peace. The horrors of war are beyond my comprehension.  The only way to comprehend its presence in this world is because there are many other deeds that are worse than war that leave people with no option but to bear arms.

And so we kept the day simply and quietly as we could.  We cycled to the beach and picnicked in the wind and bluster.


I gathered empty mussel shells, stranded and stationary.  Perfect pairs, all slightly ajar.



Delicate wings, banded and striped with a fragile translucency.



I carried them home to photograph because the wind kept lifting and shifting them around.  They were ready to fly.

Broken Wings, Cari-Jane Hakes, 11 November 2011

I had time to remember.  I am humbly grateful.

Bonne Nuit mes amis.

3 comments:

  1. "The only way to comprehend its presence in this world is because there are many other deeds that are worse than war that leave people with no option but to bear arms."

    beautiful expressed about such a hard thing to understand. i'm glad you had time to reflect. i think it's necessary for us not to take the things we hold dear, for granted.

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  2. Like the UK, "Remembrance Day" as we call it here, is passed with a moment's silence. I was in Woolworths when at 11 am when it happened, and it was not observed with anything like the respect it should have been.

    The theme of poppies, and for me the poem of flanders fields and the story of poppies that goes with it has held more significance, and has me thinking of war and sacrifice much more than the moments of silence.

    There is a wall of poppies, hand made by gallery guests, at our local gallery. It is quite a beautiful transient exhibition piece....remind me to send you a picture of it.

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  3. Pamela - indeed indeed! And Andrea - the installation sounds beautiful!

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