February 9 2013
It feels like a minute ago that I was standing at my desk in New York covering this journal with French linen, making the holes for the elastic binder, gluing the edges down to the inside covers, then inking Book IX on the front. Now, in a little while, I’ll go over to my desk here in Bonnieux and cover the next journal and ink Book X on its front; Ten journals since March 1st, 2011 when we started this blog; 6 trips to Provence, 3 to Paris, 2 to Tuscany, 3 to England, and 1 to Los Angeles.
Inside the covers of this journal are housed a hurricane, a presidential election, the slaughter of 20 children, a lot of dental work, wonderful times spent with my daughter, an exuberant Christmas and a great celebration of Joel’s 50 years of photography, and yes, the publication of our Provence book which, while disappearing into near-oblivion, garnered some nice emails and more than that is the vehicle that brought us here, not only on our 8th trip to Bonnieux, but to these months of living here in peace and joy, to sharing the wonder of our friendship with Sharon and Paul which, although at 2 years may seem in its infancy, actually holds many lifetimes of kinship.
Now we spend our days allowing for death’s accompaniment, tapping us on the shoulder as it does at times throughout each day, its inevitable forefinger beckoning. We do not follow yet but, after the initial icy jolt of its reminder we let it be and allow for its gift which is the knowledge that everyday is precious only for what it is, not for how we spend it, but that we spend it guilt-free, without desire, ambition or the need for achievement of any kind save that of love and gratitude.
Sure, death isn’t the only outside visitor; regret whiffs at the door now and again, along with a waft of sadness. They deserve their place on the doorsill, for how can one live life fully without realizing one will never have lived to maximum capacity or kindness.
The afternoon is late. Joel is making a pot of Earl Grey tea between shooting still-lives. The fire is busying itself as fire’s do, burning itself up yet leaving us enough embers to rekindle the flame of this day.