dayle in limoux

Dayle in Limoux – Day #37

August 11, 2022

Ruka d’koosha/Holy Spirit

Neshama (Hebrew: נשמה) is a Hebrew word which can mean “soul” or “spirit”. It may refer to: The Jewish notion of the soul.

‘Above the heart I saw a pyramid turned upside down. The triangle was made from the fire that is near quenched and the water from which all higher life springs through the imitations of the mystics. A symbol which I knew to be the symbol the Heavenly Source, the Creator, the Father/Mother, radiated from the top left edge o the triangle.

The symbol of the Heavenly Child, the Created, the Son/Daughter radiated from top, right edge of the triangle.

The symbol of Ruche d’koodsha, the Holy Spirt, radiated from the lower point of the triangle. At the same time, the whole triangle symbolized the three uppermost energy centers of the human being: the crown centre, brow centre and throat center.

Below the heart was an upright pyramid. This triangle was filled with earthy fire and the water from which transit life arises.

The masculine symbol radiated from the bottom, left edge and the feminine from the right one.

The symbol of Naphsha, the Higher Self, humanity’s connection upwards, the bridge to the higher worlds, radiated from the topmost point.

Within this triangle the human being’s lower centre of energy were presented, the root, sacral and solar plexus centre.

Both triangles slowly glided towards the heart.

The ★ with the ♡ was the sign of Marian Magdalene, the sign of the cosmic, feminine power. 

It was not until 1989 that I really began to recognize Mariam Magdalene’s rightful place in Christian mythology. My studies in early Christian and Gnostic writings told a story about a woman and a being that spoke directly to something deep inside me.’

[pp. 266-268]

[Love this book. It’s a trilogy in one hardback tome. This particular version is only available at the Rennes-les-Chateau book shop.]

A quintessential French evening with dinner and amazing wine and music with my new amis en France! So hot and so fun. ღ

The heatness continues, but! Look. Sunday. Happy Dancing. 80’s! 80’s is C O O L. :)

I so want to know the story on these tiles…so old, as is this building I’m living in. Did German soldiers march their boots across these floors when they occupied France and Limoux? The man who lived here before the current owner, was born in this home and lived here his whole life…90 years. He shared at the time of purchase that he remembers hearing their boots on the stairwell.

Read this story earlier today. How great the tourists left it in place, took a picture, and then reported it to the park staff.

The Sacramento Bee

Tourist at Little Bighorn battlefield finds piece of history buried in dirt, park says

[A Civil War General Service cuff button was found in the dirt by a visitor at Little Bighorn Battlefield Monument in Montana, the National Park Service says. National Park Service photo.]

‘A haunting bit of history was found by accident at the Little Bighorn battlefield where 263 U.S. soldiers — including Lt. Col. George Armstrong Custer — died fighting Lakota Sioux and Northern Cheyenne warriors in 1876. One of Custer’s soldiers must have lost a button 146 years ago, and it turned up Monday, Aug. 8, lying in the Montana dirt, according to the National Park Service. The battlefield is about 60 miles southeast of Billings.

Officials did not reveal where the button was found in the park, but note it counts as a battlefield artifact and “will go into the museum collection.” “These objects are still telling the story of the battle. If artifacts found on the field are removed or taken, that part of the story is lost,” park officials said. “The park is truly grateful for the visitors yesterday who reported the find.” “They did right thing. They left the button where it was found. They took a photo and reported it to park staff.”’

[full piece]

https://www.sacbee.com/news/nation-world/national/article264407946.html#storylink=cpy


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BBC

France firefighters battle ‘monster’ wildfire near Bordeaux

‘The blaze about 30km (19 miles) south-east of Bordeaux has gutted some homes and forced 10,000 residents to flee.

“It’s an ogre, it’s a monster,” firefighter representative Gregory Allione told France’s RTL Radio.

Strong winds and high temperatures are hampering the firefighting operation.

Sixty-five German firefighters have arrived from Bonn and others from Poland and Romania are expected in the fire zone soon.

“European solidarity at work!” President Emmanuel Macron tweeted.

France has nine water-bombing helicopters deployed and is also getting some firefighting aircraft from Greece and Sweden.’

Reuters

‘More than 1,000 firefighters backed by water-bombing aircraft battled a ‘monster’ wildfire near France’s wine-growing heartland of Bordeaux for a third day, with no let-up in blistering temperatures seen before the weekend.’

Visegrád 24

‘France has asked for help amid a wildfire-crisis. Poland just announced that it will immediately send 146 firefighters, 49 fire engines and other vehicles.’

Bonne nuit.

🌕

Dayle in Limoux – Day #33

August 7, 2022

To be a projection of higher value. As I begin this day, I am open to receive. May my mind stay open and may I not deviate from things that are pure (Cathar) and true. Beyond the illusions of this worldly plane. I surrender to you my doings this day. 

From Fr Richard Rohr, The Center for Action & Contemplation

‘In his book Coming to Our Senses, historian Morris Berman makes the point that our first experience of being alive is not through the visual or auditory experience of knowing ourselves through other people’s responses; it is primarily felt in the body. He calls this kinesthetic knowing. We know ourselves in the security of those who hold us, skin to skin. This early encounter is not so much heard, seen, or thought. It’s felt. That’s the original knowing.

Hopefully, our caregivers’ early gaze told us we were foundationally beloved. But when we inevitably begin to see ourselves through eyes that compare, judge, and dismiss, then we need spirituality to help heal the brokenness of our identity and our world.

It parts the veil and tells us that our primal experience was trustworthy. It tells us that we are beloved, whether we received that mirroring gaze or not. It reassures us that we live in a benevolent universe, and it is on our side.

The universe, it assures us, is radical grace.’

︶⁀°• •° ⁀︶

How do you dream?

‘In Bhutan, they dream of rainbows.

In countries throughout the world, even in countries where there are no snakes, the most common dream is one based on our (it must be) genetic fear of snakes.

But in Bhutan, they dream of rainbows.

The dreams might be consistent, but the way we talk about them clearly isn’t. Perhaps the dreams we remember and talk about have something to do with culture.

Conversations are contagious.’

-Seth Godin

︶⁀°• •° ⁀︶

‘It is fashionable to be pessimistic about humankind — look at the assorted messes we’ve got ourselves into, and the undoubted evil that pervades the whole earth: war, poverty, child abuse, slavery, drugs, corruption of various sorts, racism and sexism, bigotry, hypocrisy — the list is depressingly long. Finding it impossible to comprehend that a good God would be concerned with such a hell, the Gnostic developed the idea that there were two Gods, the evil one who ruled the Earth, and the good God who lived in Heaven. Undoubtedly almost every individual who has ever lived has had some experience of this life as living hell, but without necessarily adding to it him, or herself.

[…]

Free of priests, gurus and dogma, the progress of our spirit is, perhaps terrifyingly, nothing more or less than our own responsibility.’ [Shades of Emerson.]

-Lynn Picknett, ‘Mary Magdalene’

‘The imaginal realm is real, and through it you will never be separated from anyone or anything you have ever loved, for love is the ground in which you live and move and have your being. This is the message that Mary Magdlane has perennials to bring. This is the message we most need to hear.’

[…]

‘It is clear that Mary Magdalene knew a good deal about that realm. At that spiritual tipping point where “no longer the object of my affection, he has become the subject of my truth,” a new energy emerges: pure (Cathar) creativity and effortless action. This is the “spiritual procreativity” described by both the Gospel of Philip and the poet Rilke.’

-Cynthia Bourgeault

‘The Cathars left behind no magnificent church architecture, for they believed that the essence of Christ’s teaching was humility and an indifference to material possessions. The temple of God lay within us for He was approached through the heart.’

-Margaret Long, author

︶⁀°• •° ⁀︶

Went to a wonderful concert tonight for the community at Saint-Martin’s. The organist and the alto soprano were beautifully in tandem. And the acoustics! Those 12th century builders…they knew. :)

At one point in history, Saint-Martin’s was actually a cathedral. In 1316, after the Albigensian Crusade, Pope John XXII created a small diocese, centered here in Limoux.

╰ღ╮╭ღ╯


Reading in France tonight about the U.S. Senate vote today:

Senate Democrats pass $740 billion tax, climate and health care bill. [Axios]

Jeff Stein, White House economics reporter for The Washington Post, writing:

Biggest-ever climate bill: Massive industry clean energy money; $80B for EVs, heat pumps, home solar installation

Up to $7,500 to buy an EV — Up to $2K for heat pump — 30% off home rooftop solar — $840 for electric cooktop — Up to $9K for electric panel/home insulation

The planet continues to burn, and climate breakdown is painfully and frighteningly  real.

From VOX:

The Senate just passed one of the biggest bills to fight climate change, ever.
What’s in the “game changer” climate bill nobody saw coming.
by, Rebecca Leber

Aug 7, 2022

David Goldman/AP

‘After nearly 18 months of haggling and 15-straight hours of weekend votes, Senate Democrats passed the Inflation Reduction Act on a strict party-line vote on Sunday.

The bill contains $369 billion in funding for clean energy and electric vehicle tax breaks, domestic manufacturing of batteries and solar panels, and pollution reduction. It is the single most important step the US has ever taken to combat the climate crisis. And arguably, it’s one of the single biggest investments ever made on climate in the world.

If the bill’s policies work as intended, it would push American consumers and industry away from reliance on fossil fuels, penalize fossil fuel companies for excess emissions of methane, and inject needed funds into pollution cleanup.

The bill uses tax credits to incentivize consumers to buy electric cars, electric HVAC systems, and other forms of cleaner technology, leading to less emissions from cars and electricity generation, and includes incentives for companies to manufacture that technology in the United States. It also includes money for a host of other climate priorities, like investing in forest and coastal restoration and in resilient agriculture.

These investments, spread out over the next decade, are likely to cut pollution by around 40 percent below 2005 levels by 2030, according to three separate analyses by economic modelers at Rhodium Group, Energy Innovation, and Princeton University. The legislation helps move the US a little closer to its stated goal of cutting pollution in half within the decade.’

[Full piece]

https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2022/7/28/23281757/whats-in-climate-bill-inflation-reduction-act

And we can all do our part to contribute to the shift to save and heal our Gaia. We must.

YES! Magazine

“Earth repair is a participatory sport: a grassroots response to evolving global crises.”

While mainstream environmentalism has historically pursued either preservation or conservation, Schwartz’s new book, The Reindeer Chronicles (Chelsea Green 2020) explores a third option: regeneration.

She looks at community efforts to restore ecosystems the world over. “We’ve been trained to believe that finding solutions is a job for the experts,” she writes, but “Earth repair is a participatory sport: a grassroots response to evolving global crises.”

We may not know what the future climate is going to look like, and she acknowledges that not knowing is really hard. “But we’ve got to try,” she says matter of factly. “We’re here now … Just start.”

“There is no natural law that says profit must supersede other types of reward,” she writes. “The truth is, we are what we measure—or at least our actions are largely determined by how we gauge success. What if environmental healing, social engagement, and a commitment to the future governed our companies and institutions, and therefore our work lives?”

“We’ve all got places,” she says. “Places have their own ecological logic. Let’s do what we can where we are and learn from each other.” That idea of connecting with place and community is central to her worldview. “The ‘we’ who can address climate change is everybody,” she says.

“There is no one size fits all for climate action.” Schwartz says we need to protest oil companies and make art and grow healthy food and feed one another and, in her case, write—all using our respective skills to imagine a more resilient world.’

#

The Guardian

Photograph: SbytovaMN/Getty Images/iStockphoto

Clever use of water in the garden saves untold time and effort
You’d be amazed at how much time some gardeners spend watering

  1. Plant in the ground, not pots
  2. Use Mulch
  3. Water in the cool of the evening

https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2022/aug/07/james-wong-on-gardening-clever-use-of-water-saves-time-and-effort?utm_term=Autofeed&CMP=twt_gu&utm_medium&utm_source=Twitter#Echobox=1659858077

“At first there’s no path…and then someone bravely makes a step, and others join…just start.”

-Jacqueline Novogratz

🌏 ℒℴve

À bientôt.

Dayle in Limoux — Day #31

August 5, 2022

Marche

Esperaza

Mary’s Grotto

Dinosaurs

Rennes-les-Chateau

Visigoths

Books

Lepidolite

1163

:)

It’s been a day!

On this day, August 5th, in 1163, four Cathar men and a girl were burned for refusing to ‘repent’ after it was discovered they were living in a barn in Cologne and had not gone to church that Sunday. They were called out for heresy and would not deny their Cathar, or Good Christian, faith. So they were thrown into the fire. The story goes that some of the villagers were holding the girl back, trying to protect her, but she would not leave her Cathar brethren. She tore herself away from them and threw her body onto the pyre.

Burnings, you may be surprised to learn, had been very uncommon up to that point, and in the past had sometimes taken place at the request of noblemen for potlical, rather than religious reasons. After 1163, everything changed.

I’ll update soon! My phone went completely dead and it’s taking forever to charge, so I can’t grab my photos. I’ll be back…

(Did you know the first dinosaur eggs to be found anywhere on the planet were discovered in this region of Southern France? One of the many discoveries today.)

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Well, an update to the update. I just lost all of my edits…photos…text…two hours just 💨. Poof. Gone. Trying to recover, no luck. Not sure I have the energy to do this all again.

I think, without trying to re-create all my writing, I’ll post photos and give you an idea of the day’s exploration. My phone wouldn’t re-charge, tried outlets and cleaning portals…nothing. Knew I needed a new chord…travel with two or three! I only brought one. So I set out on a reconnaissance mission for a virtual life-line and with the help of a new acquaintance found the store without a sign or a street name. New chord, a charged iPhone, and now access to photos!

“And now that you don’t have to be perfect, you can be good.”

—John Steinbeck, East of Eden

 I’m finding myself drawn to mess, to darkness, to things that are loved to the point of shabbiness, or just wildly imperfect in their own gorgeous way. 

Present is living with your feet firmly grounded in reality, pale and uncertain as it may seem. Present is choosing to believe that your own life is worth investing deeply in, instead of waiting for some rare miracle or fairy tale. Present means we understand that the here and now is sacred, sacramental, threaded through with divinity even in its plainness. Especially in its plainness.

—Shauna Niequist

Wildly imperfect. My new mantra.

The day started at Saint Martin’s for some time with Mary Magdalene.

Then the marche with wildly imperfect sites and sounds and aromas and people. The Friday markets are the best…blocks of vendors and local foods. Although I reject fish and seafood as nourishment, I had to capture a photo of this sweet man’s Paella. He was so proud to share his creation. It looked amazing!

Found some more incense and then it was time to head for the bus with my €1…public transportation here is the best…and journey to Esperaza. There’s a church there I really wanted to see, dedicated to Mary Magdalene.

I was dropped at the stop and started walking. Finally found the city center, or place [pronounced ‘ploss’] in this sweet little village.

And then, the church!

So much history. I tried to open the door. Locked. Shoot. So I walked around the church and starting taking pictures…

When I walked back around I saw a woman who looked like she just left. What the heck. Tried the door. Still locked. But! The door next to it that looked like a storage closet was open! I was in. As my eyes started to adjust, that’s when I saw it. Mary Magdalene’s grotto. What. My Gaia. So so beautiful.

Mary is revered in Languedoc. For good reason. Will share more later. The history of the church in Esperaza is that it was built in the 1200’s, and one of the old pilgrimage routes to Santiago de Compostela passesd this way, through the mountains and on into Spain. The town lies in the very heart of Cathar country and intersects the sacred geometry in the region. I spent awhile inside.

The flooring! A want for my future French home.

☆☆•*¨*•.¸¸

☆☆¸.•*¨*•☆☆•*¨*•.¸¸☆☆

Then it was time to find a taxi and head back to the sacred space of Rennes-les-Chateau.

But.

No Taxi.

But.

Found a dinosaur museum!

In this sweet tiny village a dinosaur museum. Pourquoi pas? I mean, who knew the first dinosaur eggs on the P L A N E T were found in this region in Southern France? Crazy.

And this region at one time was more hot and humid than now…tropical, actually. Climate only a dinosaur could love. Also learned that the Ginkgo Biloba trees have been evolving for some 290 million years.

When I went back outside to remove my mask and breathe a bit, somebody sent in this pre-historic bug.

‘To the eternal happiness of all species.’

Found a new number for a taxi service and with the help from the attendants at the museum desk, went out to the road and wait.

Had about a 30 minute wait, so grabbed some Perrier and nuts out of my backpack, grateful for the shade of a beautiful village tree. And a sign. A sign that reminded me it’s my day. :)

Perrier, Blanquette de Limoux, and crème brûlée in the Jardin de Marie at Rennes-les-Chateau. For my birthday! Yep. I celebrated a birthday while in France. 

Joyeux anniversaire à moi!

Look closely and you’ll spot another ancient chateau. My heck. They’re everywhere here! The vibrations from Gaia pulsating with history and mystery.

I was able to join a special meditation located in the ancient Visigoth structures, from about 500 CE.

We had live music accompaniment, too. Beautiful. And transcendent. Talk about vibrations…

Then back to Mary Magdalene’s church.

‘She rests at last beneath the starry skies.’

There it is. Mary’s rose cross. l o v e. 🌸

Then it was back to the book store for more books. The young book shop clerk there is so kind and helpful. His name is Adrian. Wonderful softly-spoken sense of humor. It would be so fun to hang with the workers there, discover their stories and lives. I made a discovery through the books I purchased…more music dedicated to the Magdala. Quite lovely. From Ani Williams. Prolific catalogue of music.

Then it was time to call for a taxi and leave the Chateau.

Back in Limoux I had my new books and found a nice little table at the Grand Cafe there on the square, the Place du la Republique, with one of my favorite servers and had myself a yummy little birthday dinner.

Thanks to Hulu, DePauw University, my dentist in Coronado, a pharmacy on the San Juan Islands, and Delta Airlines for all of the birthday messages. :)

August 5, 1163. Will always remember now the young girl in Cologne. The day she was violenty forced to leave the earth, on the date I was welcomed in. jai

À bientôt.

🎈

Dayle in Limoux – Day #29

August 3, 2022

‘The stone with the Dove is to be found at Minerve, in Southern France at the site of an ancient Cathafortress near the region Rennes Le Chateau. It was carved by Jean-Luc Severac in commemoration of the 140 Cathars who were buried alive there in 1210 as a result of persecution by the Church of Rome. Elizabeth Van Buren writes about the Cathars in her book, THE SIGN OF THE DOVE:

“These people called themselves the Pure. They said that they were waiting the return of the Paraclete, the reign of the Holy Spirit. They were known as Cathari or Albigensians and were respected by the local clergy and the nobility, although they were considered unrealistic in their ideals.”‘

And when their numbers grew, and Catholic villagers started agreeing with their principles and apostolic living, the pope [Innocent III] had them brutally slaughtered.

[prioryofthewhitestone.wordpress.com]

The first image above depicts Cathars being forced to leave with nothing, not even fully clothed. The year was 1209. Word had reached many villages about the massive massacre in Béziers, so surrendered without a fight. The villagers in Carcassonne were trying to hold out in their heavily fortified castle (still gloriously standing today), yet their water supply was cut off from them, and they had to give in to the Inquisition.

The dove, in the second image, is a symbol of the Cathars, which is translated from Greek as ‘pure,’ which is how they lived their lives.

Maybe it’s the dove that had me thinking about Noah, and other Biblical stories about the Dove. I thought about the film Noah with Russell Crowe. I’ve only seen it once, in 2014, and thought it was brilliantly created by Darren Aronofsky who directed and co-wrote. Some powerful lines in the film speak to our issues today, like climate breakdown, viruses, and violence. Noah assures his grandfather that the end will come by water (purification), the grandfather was sure it was fire. Round II…fire. Grandfather got it right, Gaia is burning.

[Noah can be see on Netflix until August 31st.]

Other notable and timely declarations from Noah and his grandfather:

‘Men are going to be punished for what they’ve done to the world.’

‘The wickedness is in all of us.’

‘Everything that was beautiful, everything that was good, we shattered.’

Indeed.

I think I know why I was pulled to revisit the film again.

First day back out after a 10-day isolation. Hot. Very hot. Another heat wave is descending, like the fourth this summer. Everyone is talking about how unusual it is to be this hot for this long. The two women there were so kind and helpful, we communicated!, and they gave me some ideas since I hike everywhere I explore. I think I can make it to a sacred space that I visited once before, St. Salvayre.

Powerful, magical energy in this tiny hamlet with three houses and two farms. I was there a long while. The history is ancient with a Roman-type standing stone not far from the entry in this ancient church, again, party of the sacred geometry in the area. The church was built around the stone, still protruding from the earth. I hope to be there again in the next couple of days.

Not tons of energy yet out and about, and with the heat, pas bon. 98 today. Had to stock up on my water supplies, too. I drank a ton of liquids over the last 10 days; very little appetite.

No one is masking.

Infections are way up all over France. The woman who owns my building may be finally able to leave the hospital tomorrow after 11/12 days. Her sister and daughter are here now to assist her. She had to be put on a respirator at one point, and she has underlying medical conditions, too. My hope is that she’ll start masking…and her family. Long covid is causing major health problems now. In Italy, one of the heaviest hit areas for Covid back in 2020, now reporting massive numbers of diabetes along with heavy reports of neurological ailments. And…Monkey Pox. Those numbers are going up, too.

‘Everything that was beautiful, everything that was good, we shattered.’

We’re going to need a lot of doves.

Stay safe.

Mask.

Distance.

Bonne Nuit.

Dayle in Limoux – Day #26

July 31, 2022

Kentucky

The devastation, as many all over the planet are learning, is awful. It will take weeks, months, and years to salvage and re-build in Kentucky from historic flooding there; some will not be able to afford that privilege, having lost everything, and having so little to begin. My source from France has been following Appalshop. I have been connecting with them for years after discovering their work through research I was doing for my inquiry, being instantly connected to their purpose to not only archive and document life in Appalachia, but to teach and connect and serve. They do this lovingly through film and music, radio, video and other media. Their’s is an idea I deeply wanted to see emulated in many communities across the United States. I remember talking to one reporter specifically about it in Sun Valley, Idaho. Today, a note from them…

‘Dear Appalshop Community,

To say the past few days has been overwhelming would be an understatement. We have felt immense grief and sorrow, pain and fear, and a bone-deep dread of discovering the true toll of these floods on our building and our archive. But we have also felt incredible gratitude for all the love and support that has poured out on our behalf and on the behalf of our community.

Our recovery begins, and it will take weeks, months, even years in some cases. When the floodwaters first receded, we discovered that our apple tree that’s planted on the grounds beside our beloved shop was still standing with its young roots intact. Despite record floodwaters of over twenty feet, our little apple tree still stands, bearing fruit and hope.

Thank you all for your kindness and your willingness to come together for us and for the Appalachian community. There are no words to express how deeply we love and appreciate all of you.

“In the essential prose
of things, the apple tree
stands up, emphatic
among the accidents
of the afternoon, solvent,
not to be denied.”

– excerpt from “The Apple Tree” by Wendell Berry

In solidarity,

Appalshop’

They have also organized a flood support link:

‘Please continue to share our resources page at appalshop.org/floodsupport. We’ve managed to raise thousands in direct aid and get immediate help to so many folks in need thanks to our community, and the needs will continue in the days and weeks ahead.’

Before the flood.

‘Appalshop started as a film workshop in 1969, and 50 years later we’re still documenting and revitalizing the traditions and creativity of Appalachia.

We tell stories that commercial industries don’t tell. We challenge stereotypes with Appalachian voices. And we do it all with artists who are from and committed to this region.’

Two sweet rescue photos…wearing their little rain boots.

Sgt. Maj. Tim Lewis of the Kentucky National Guard escorts three boys to a helicopter for evacuation from an area inundated by floodwater.

Reportedly, crews have made more than 1,200 rescues from helicopters and boats.


I am testing again tomorrow. Hopeful for just one of those little lines. Still coughing and a sore throat, but the congestion is way better. I haven’t had an appetite, just drinking tons of fluids. If I could get money back on all my recyclables, I might be able to purchase a small Citroën. And today, the kindness of new acquaintances from Limoux who sent me a message saying they have some food for me they made, this cold tomato soup (vitamin C!), and an incredible Chile relleno casserole. Are you kidding me?! Yes! Please. Unpacking their goodies after they left them for me downstairs, the aroma, just looking at it (!) encouraged hunger pains. :)  Margot and Fred, you are the best French friends une fille Americaine could ever dream! It must have been mana because I thought I died and gone to heaven. It’s been a lot of days of pain (break, not pain) & fromage. This was welcomed and incroyable! Angels on our path.

Bonne appétit to me!

The woman who owns my building who is in the hospital with Covid is now conscious  and out of her coma. Her sister will be with her in Carcassonne on Tuesday and her daughter will be joining next week. Promising developments. She has been so ill. She was vaccinated, but not boosted.

~

Reading & researching lots about Languedoc…langue d’oc, the language of Occitan…John the Baptist…😳…and Lazarus, Cathars, Inquisitions, Gospel of John, more Cathars, Mary Magdaline, the Waldensians and Albigensians, pelicans and wisdom, consolamentum, Zoroastrianism, Manichaeans, Bogomils, sacred geometry, Gnosticism, D U A L I S M (a fan…big time), Descartes, Pope Innocent III, Evil, Rex Mundi. This: “Think how many turns the line of development of forces must have taken to come from the Gospel preaching of love to the Inquisition.” Indeed. And hasn’t stopped.

Reading about Pope Francis’ apology this week, begging forgiveness from the Indigenous People in Canada for the “evil committed by so many Christians.” He cited the cultural destruction and physical, verbal, psychological, and spiritual abuse of children in residential schools run by the Catholic church. Awful, awful history. All I kept thinking in context of this region I’m now living and the medieval history, is that his plea needs to go way back. Waaaaaaay back. Yeah, thinking of you Pope Innocent III and Pope Gregory the (not so) Great. How different history could have unfolded without the Council of Nicaea in 325 CE, and basically Roman Catholics. (The Pope is looking ahead to the 1700th anniversary of the Council of Nicaea, as a “source of unity between Christians.” Nope. Hard no. Christians and unity, kinda not a thing  (especially at Nicaea).

So many places to explore and map as Covid explodes and triple digits return. (Have you heard about the new variant beyond BA.5? They named this one ‘BA.2.75,’ nicknamed ‘Centaurus.’ Invades even more rapidly than BA.5. Yay.) We’re supposed to have a booster mid-September that battles the variants a little bit better than the initial boosters and vaccines. With so many people choosing not to vaccinate, as well as not mitigating behaviors, the variants are growing. I saw a clip of people getting on a plane in Amsterdam after seeing Pearl Jam, singing an Eddie Vedder tune…very cute…packed!…sitting on the tarmac, no ventilation…and all I kept seeing was 🦠 🦠🦠🦠🦠🦠🦠🦠🦠🦠🦠🦠🦠🦠🦠🦠🦠🦠🦠🦠🦠🦠🦠🦠🦠🦠🦠🦠🦠🦠🦠🦠🦠🦠🦠🦠🦠🦠🦠🦠🦠🦠🦠🦠🦠🦠🦠🦠🦠🦠🦠🦠🦠🦠🦠🦠🦠🦠🦠🦠🦠🦠🦠🦠🦠🦠🦠🦠🦠🦠🦠🦠🦠🦠🦠🦠🦠🦠. And no masks.

Some books to find after researching today:

Stalked by the plague, ‘The Maiden of All Our Desires’ follows a medieval abbey at a time when monastic life was a refuge for women, “Revolutionary women thinkers like Hildegard Von Bingen, Julian of Norwich & Sor Juana Ines De La Cruz.” Just published in February:

And this book from two researchers who made a discovery viewing a painting and decided to dive in on the backstory of enslaved people during Louis XIV’s reign,

I was able to sit in on a virtual presentation with art history professor Meredith Martin and historian Gillian Weiss as they ‘unveiled an uncommon picture of art and power in the dawn of modern France through a look at the depiction of slavery, in ship and artillery design, militaria, paintings, and prints.’ What’s fascinating is there is little known about maritime enslavement during this time. Love these finds. One of my most cherished research discoveries was made combing through the Archives at DePauw University in Indiana a few years ago, literally stumbling upon something I had no idea existed. Huge. Saving it for my book. :)

~

I have an idea…

Let’s meet for breakfast in Montmartre.

À bientôt.

Dayle in Limoux – Day #24

July 29, 2022

Very sad. The woman who owns my building, from whom I contracted Covid, was put on a ventilator overnight. She is not well. Her daughter who lives in the U.K. is making her way to France now. Friends and family are bereft. The rain and clouds, although welcomed, have given a backcloth to many saddened hearts today.

I continue to improve and isolate; was able to practice gentle yoga last night. I’m going to test again in a little while.

“Greater love has no one that this, that someone letdown his life for his friends.”

-Saint Martin of Tours

She waited a long while before her friends joined today. I wish I could have sat with her, there, on the other bench. And smiled.

Practicing presence. What a beautiful art.

Norman Lear, creator of iconic sitcoms like “The Jeffersons,” “All in the Family” and “Good Times,” turned 100 on July 27.

He shared a message recorded by his daughter, one of his ‘breakfast thoughts,’ centered on the joys of living in the moment…practicing presence.

“I guess my breakfast thought at the moment…is the moment…the moment between past and present, present and past, the moment between after and next. The hammock in the middle of after and next. The moment. Treasure it, use it, with love.” 

Not writing much today. My heart is too sad for my new French friend. Here are words to the song, her song, Joni Mitchell sang at the Newport Folk Festival with her revelatory journey back to the stage after learning how to sing and play her guitar again. She suffered a debilitating brain aneurysm in 2015 and retaught her self to play after watching her old videos. The last time she sang and played before an audience was on her 55th birthday. She’s 78. It was a moment.

“Rows and floes of angel hair
And ice cream castles in the air
And feather canyons everywhere
I’ve looked at clouds that way

But now they only block the sun
They rain and snow on everyone
So many things I would have done
But clouds got in my way

I’ve looked at clouds from both sides now
From up and down, and still somehow
It’s cloud illusions I recall
I really don’t know clouds at all”

Oh, but now old friends they’re acting strange
And they shake their heads and they tell me that I’ve changed
Well something’s lost, but something’s gained
In living every day.”

Stay safe.

Boost.

Mask.

À bientôt.

Dayle in Limoux – Day #23

July 28, 2022

Feeling the same is way better than feeling worse. Cough, congestion, sore throat, no fever, and isolation. I’m going to test again tomorrow. I read earlier that we can still have symptoms without shedding. In France, isolation for 7 days required; most epidemiologists I follow say the U.S. guidelines for 5 day isolation, not enough. And many believe 10 days before the virus is no longer contagious. I’m finishing day four. The woman who owns my building who was taken to the hospital is not doing well; she’s connected to many tubes, although I don’t think they have intubated her yet. She was taken to the hospital in Carcassonne. I am waiting to hear prognosis and overall medical analysis.

So, reading, researching, writing, and drinking lots of fluids. My only living contact today…

A French kitty! This is the first time I’ve seen this little guy, or anyone on this balcony. So sweet. Our only interaction seemed to be mutual admiration…:)…at least from this balcony.

And these folks. I love them.

They meet everyday and just talk. One woman showed up with her pocket book, too, à la Queen Elizabeth. Others will join and leave throughout the day, and sometimes, they just sit together in silence. One woman was leaned way over for an extended bit of time, and the woman sitting next to her simply rested her hand on her back. So sweet and tender.

In Limoux, on the Place de la République, known as a ‘square’ in the U.S., although surrounded by cafes, outdoor seating, I never see laptops or people walking around carrying ‘go’ cups. Cafe au lait in France, at least in this region, is for pausing, and talking, sharing. It’s quite lovely. F-2-F c o m m u n i c a t i o n. What a strikingly powerful concept. U.S. culture could use some tips.

My thoughts are with the folks at Appalshop in Kentucky tonight, crushed by the devastation of the flooding they’re seeing surrounding their community building and hub. They posted this image and note earlier:

It’s heartbreaking to see our building like this, and more rain is in the forecast this evening. Our hearts are heavy and with all of our community right now as we face down a long night and a longer recovery ahead. More resources here: appalshop.org/floodsupport

From Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear:

“This is going to be yet another event that it’s going to take not months, but likely years for many families to rebuild and recover from.” 

#Climate Breakdown

Heaven forbid anyone make a comment about a shifting climate–all the wackadoodles emerge. Speaking of which, did Sen. Joe Manchin wake up on a different side of the bed today? We’ll see how he feels tomorrow.

Someday soon, the rate we’re moving.

From Global Citizen today:

It’s Earth Overshoot Day. It marks the date each year when humanity has used up more natural resources than our planet can regenerate. For the next five months, every resource we extract is being borrowed from future generations.

Each year, Earth Overshoot Day happens earlier in the calendar. Humans are consuming more than the Earth can produce. We’re overfishing, overharvesting, and overdrilling – and it’s taking a toll on our planet.

We can give up, Climate Warriors. All actions, massive and minute, are needed.

Shhhhhh. I’ll let you know. Researching for when I can explore again.

Dusk in Limoux.

Almost finished with my latest Mary Magdalene book I picked up at Rennes-le-Chateau. Can’t wait to go back. Learning so much.

A beautiful and important life this man had. James Lovelock. I first learned about him in my studies a number of years ago. Brilliant mind, humble spirit, enlightened awareness.

English independent scientist, environmentalist and futurist. He is best known for proposing the Gaia hypothesis, which postulates that the Earth functions as a self-regulating system.

Here’s a definition of the Gaia hypotheses:

The Gaia hypothesis, also known as the Gaia theory, Gaia paradigm, or the Gaia principle, proposes that living organisms interact with their inorganic surroundings on Earth to form a synergistic and self-regulating, complex system that helps to maintain and perpetuate the conditions for life on the planet. [wikipedia]

“The idea that humans are yet intelligent enough to serve as stewards of the Earth is among the most hubristic ever.” -James Lovelock in an interview with the Guardian newspaper, March 2010.

Vérité. [Truth.]

The U.S. government dropped a website for heat information this week.

National Integrated Heat Health Information System

https://www.heat.gov

‘The website brings heat-related weather forecasting, as well as health and safety information.’

Appreciate heat monitoring and safety, pieces on #climateanxiety. But. We must #LookUp. #Gaia is pleading for our help.

“Everyone of us can make a small contribution. It doesn’t have to have a huge effect if you look at it in isolation. Because it’s the sum of all projects that will make the change.“

#ClimateWarriors

Posted by @akshatrathi–senior reporter Bloomberg News

People leaving their jobs to fight climate change.

On twitter he posted a thread showing numerous folks who have done just that. https://twitter.com/AkshatRathi/status/1552012598580809729?t=LGUtd-34M7hCjvnuzfdO4w&s=19)

“He quit Google to work on climate change. Now, he’s helping others do the same thing.”
https://www.fastcompany.com/90756666/he-quit-google-to-work-on-climate-change-now-hes-helping-others-do-the-same-thing

In July 2020, two former Google employees launched a Slack network for people who want to work on climate solutions. It now has more than 8,500 members.

‘If there’s so much shouting and screaming in 2022 about cutting emissions while keeping things running, imagine what that noise is going to be like as we get closer to the net zero target.’ Indeed.

Eugene Kirpichov

“The reason I’m leaving is because the scale, urgency, and tragedy of climate change are so immense that I can no longer justify to myself working on anything else, no matter how interesting or lucrative, until it’s fixed,” Kirpichov wrote in an email to colleagues. “I’d be lying if I didn’t say that I think others, who have the privilege of being able to do so, should follow suit. I like to frame the problem positively as ‘how much can we save,’ and every one of us can have a hand in saving something.”

From Grist:

Should climate change be my new career calling?

To paraphrase Naomi Klein, everything has to change. So where does that leave people like you?

https://grist.org/article/should-climate-change-be-my-new-career-calling/

If you haven’t had a chance to see the series Dopesick, with Michael Keaton and massively strong cast, you can still see it on Hulu. Incredible storytelling and acting about the opioid epidemic, how it started, and how it continues to destroy lives and families…communities…because of Purdue Pharma’s greed and the sociopathic Sackler family. Eight episodes. Watch for the breakout performance by Kaitlyn Dever as Betsy Mallum. Here’s the trailer.

I started watching it with no idea what it was going to be like–completely knocked out. It’s based on the book written by Beth Macy, ‘Dopesick: Dealers, Doctors, and the Drug Company that Addicted America.’

Just the other day I came across this animated short film about the power of addiction, the immediate highs, and then, the crash. It gives an understanding of addiction. It was apparently released in 2014 and is being revived by users on TikToK. It’s called “Nuggets” by Andreas Hykade.

“I wish I never would have tried drugs. Not even once.” Miss you D.

I received a link today from a group trying to help those with addiction into recovery. It’s from the outreach team at Start Your Recovery. They asked me to share it with Dayle’s Community Cafe. Here’s the link.

https://startyourrecovery.org

‘Start Your Recovery was developed by bringing together substance use disorder treatment experts from leading nonprofit, academic, and government institutions. Through this resource, members of your community can hear stories from people with similar experiences, discover the answers they need for recognizing and dealing with substance use disorder, and locate support.’

More from the U.S. Department of Justice and the NIC, The National Institute of Corrections.

StartYourRecovery.org provides helpful information for people who are dealing with substance use issues — and their family members, friends, and co-workers, too. We know that there is no one-size-fits-all solution to the challenges faced by those who misuse alcohol, prescription or illegal drugs, or other substances, and we aim to break through the clutter to help people at any stage of recovery.

Our goal is to offer people who are dealing with substance use issues a single source of reputable, objective information about signs, symptoms, conditions, treatment options, and resources — presented in a user-friendly format and in language that’s easy to understand. First we asked: “Why doesn’t someone offer access to these resources in one place?” Then we asked: “Why don’t we?”

https://nicic.gov/start-your-recovery-substance-abuse-resource-support

Stay safe.

Mask.

Be kind.

Bonne Nuit.

Dayle in Limoux – Day #21

July 25, 2022

When we grant ourselves permission to live the life we want, there is little in the world that can stop us. Our weakness is often just a lack of faith – believing more in the limitations of the world than in the limitlessness of spirit. 

-Marianne Williamson

Vérité. Truth.

Sometimes, it takes a long time to unfold, but it will.

B

E

L

I

E

V

E

So, what are your feelings about public loos? Annie and I spotted one in Grenoble.

🤭

I said to Annie they need those for chicas, too.

Well, guess what. Reading in The Connexion French newspaper today they are!

Tres chic. But. Will they have a view?

These two shots are from Paris. Wait for it. Another Emily in Paris reference. She’s surprised while talking with her U.S. boss on her cell when a guy behind her starts to urinate publicly in one of those stalls. Couldn’t find a clip. BUT learned they are in Paris right now filming season III. Can’t wait. :)

Covid has hit 22 Maison. The owner of my building who lives downstairs is quite ill, trying to determine if she needs to go to the hospital. She absolutely should. I’m trying to encourage her to go. Not yet. She’s from he UK and her French is weak, and it’s difficult for her to communicate with them. Her breathing is quite labored and she’s coughing a lot. She had some health afflictions before I arrived and they have seemingly gotten worse. Now we know why. She found out a French friend tested positive today who she was near on Friday and Saturday. The owner didn’t have any tests so I took her one of my boxes. Almost instantly positive. So I tested, too. Negative. I have cold symptoms now, so I’ll test again tomorrow and on Friday. Drag. I was near her on Saturday. And although outside, we share a common space inside. I’ve been so careful, for so long…masks inside anywhere, and on public transportation, as well as outdoors if there’s a lot of folks, like marches (ourdoor markets). Yet this BA.5 is highly contagious as we know, and cases are going up 50% in France every week. Monkey Pox is also prolific. Humans, we are a mess.

This virus is not going away. Only morphing. And no one…no one…is wearing masks inside or out. Or social distancing. Seemingly, just me. <sigh>

I’m vaxxed and double-boosted, so, hoping for the best.

À bientôt.

Dayle in Limoux – Day #20

July 24, 2022

The heat is absolutely defeating me. Today the humidity was up twofold, so, yeah, I was done. It cooled off to 88 tonight around 10:30. The reading indicates a low of 62. Haven’t seen that yet. Never thought I’d believe 88 is cool.

BUT!

It was the Tour! Final stage, into Paris. Some of my favorite captures.

So great. Vert is GREEN in French. :)

Joan of Arc welcoming the riders to the Champs-Élysées! This shot always knocks me out. The Maid of Orléans. Can not wait to visit the town where she was betrayed and put on trial then burnt at the stake in 1431, like so many women considered Heretics. Then I’ll drop down and visit her birth town. I believe her home was destroyed by the Nazi’s during WWII. A new structure was built to replace what was destroyed. Twenty-five years after she was massacred, her conviction was formally overturned. She became a saint of the Roman Catholic Church in 1920, 488 years after her death. Not unlike Mary of Magdala. Pope Gregory decided she was a prostitute and cast her out, 591 I think.Thanks for looking out for her Peter. Lord. In 2016 Pope Francis elevated the annual memorial of Mary Magdalene on July 22 to that of a Feast. She is fittingly called “Apostle to the Apostles.” (I wonder if the Pope understood the relevance of the numerical power of 22. Another post.)

I’m going where he’s going. :)

💛 ❗️ The sunset shot. Perfect.

Spectacular tour. Incredible athletes. Simply unreal. Fastest Tour de France ever! Like Lance said, “I don’t even know this sport anymore.” It’s off the charts and massively fun to watch. Great guys, tough tour, lots of COVID, scary heat, and many injuries. Only a few teams made it with complete groups. UAE was down to four riders at the end. Eurosport/GCN did an incredible three-weeks of coverage! Thank you. Loved. 2023 is going to be off the rails! OK. Now the withdraws kick in. Seeing the Tour in France while living in France was incredibly special and so much fun. Watching it last year, who knew I would be here. Two stages! (So deeply grateful to science and vaccines.) Met some amazing folks. They love their tour. Vive le Tour! 🚴🏻

Earlier today I was able to visit Saint-Martin’s church, more of a cathedral really. Built in the 1100’s, although some believe the original structure was constructed in the 800’s. Look who’s at the church:

O

U

I

!!!

Massive baptismal font, right in the middle of the aisle heading toward the alter.

These stairs…

…and this door. Ancient.

The acoustics were crazy. Just amazingly clear and full. The organist played and when the people of the congregation sang, it sounded like a massive choir.

A memorial in the church to honor those from Limoux who perished in WWI.

It’s so beautiful, incredibly inspiring. So close to where I’m living. I walk by all the time, yet hand’t been able to go in until this morning. ☆☆¸.•*¨*•☆☆•*¨*•.¸¸☆☆

We may have a bit of a reprieve with the weather the next few days, in the 80’s before it gets back to triple-digits. After 20 days of 40C, I think I’ve hit my threshold. Hiking up to Rennes-le-Chateau on Friday for Mary’s Feast day wiped me. Another 103 day. But it was for Mary. And so wanted to be there for her. The Beloved.

Thinking earlier if the Cathars had survived, and Roman Catholicism didn’t, we’d be in away different place. More folks like St. Francis and Mary, and fewer like Pope Gregory. I think the matriarchy deserves some years of leadership, right? We certainly couldn’t do any worse. ‘Higher moral compassionate value.’ Jai Mary of Magdela.

Bonne Nuit.

☆☆¸.•*¨*•☆☆•*¨*•.¸¸☆☆ 

Dayle in Limoux – Day #18

July 22, 2022

Mary Magdalene church at Rennes-le-Chateau near Couiza in the Languedoc/Occitanie region of France. Couiza is tucked in the foothills of the Pyrenees and is at the foot of the hill leading to Rennes-le-Chateau where The Church of Mary Magdalene is located. It was renovated by Father Berenger Sauniere, finished in 1897, the year of the dedication. Sauniere re-named it to honor Mary. It is believed an earlier construction was built in the 11th or 12 centuries. Above the door as you enter is a carving of Mary Magdalene and the inscription in Latin, “Terribilis est locus iste”–This is a place of awe.

Aujourd’hui

Feast Day

‘Mary Magdalene has been a victim of mistaken identity for almost 20 centuries.’

[Franciscanmedia.org]

It was a climb; five kilometers to the top.

It really felt like a pilgrimage, like being on the Camino, which I loved since it was Mary’s Feast Day. A pilgrimage to Mary. And it was H O T. Again. 99 degrees with double the humidity from last week. I hadn’t planned on trekking it, but when the bus dropped me in Couiza, I couldn’t find a taxi to the Chateau. I stopped into various shops to find some taxi numbers. I called three numbers, each did not have a driver. Tried to locate one on my phone, didn’t work. I thought I might just take the bus back in about an hour, so had a café au lait and a Perrier.

I really wanted to be there on Mary’s day, so I decided to go for it. Five kilometers is about 3 miles, so I plugged in the destination on my phone and headed up. Way up.

When the back of your hands perspire, you know it’s hot.

It was about then that my phone sent me a prompt to cool off my phone. Yikes. I had some water with me, though not enough. So rationed it. I rested in a couple of spots when I found shade, and I think it was in one of those spots where I lost my prayer amethyst. I think it fell out of my pocket. It’s loaded with prayers, so whoever finds it, I hope it has good energy for them. It’s so beautiful.

Because I chose ‘walkers’ directions, the little Map Genie took me on a path not frequently travelled and behind gates with markings that really looked like I probably should not have traversed. What the heck, Map Genie, seriously?

Lost and alone on some forgotten highway
Traveled by many, remembered by few. -John Denver

So, I kept climbing. Saw a ruin in the distance; not sure which one it is. Can’t wait to find out. Would love to explore…

Finally. Rennes-le-Chateau.

More refreshments needed!

Time to visit with Mary.

I want to learn more about this piece…

Rex Mundi. Cathars were dualists, the physical and spiritual deities. Rex Mundi was the false God – the chaotic god of material things, the Demiurge, and the embodiment of evil. Sadly, someone tried to attack the Rex Mundi in the church once, did some damage, too, so the caretakers put some protection around it.

For Mary.

There are so many discoveries and histories…theories…with this church. The Languedoc region is thick with Cathar history, the Templars, Inquisitions, and Mary. And if you’re really into Chateau history and all things Mary, you’re a ‘Rennie.’ :)

If you’d like to learn more, check out the late Sir Henry Lincoln’s videos on YouTube, Henry Speaks. Fascinating history and Henry explains the sacred geometry studies in the region, too, i.e., how it all connects.

There are many studies and writings on Mary. One of my favorites is The Meaning of Mary Magdaline by Cynthia Bourgeault. It’s subtitled, Discovering the Woman of the Heart of Christianity. I think I flagged every page.

More from Henry with his books, too, like Holy Blood, Holy Grail, the pre-cursor to The da Vinci Code. And The Holy Place/Sauniere and the Decoding of the Mystery of Rennes-le-Chateau.

There’s a little book store on the grounds.

Found some great books for my studies, including this one which the author only sells (the hardback) at this little shop.

Started reading when I got back. So good.

“We were both familiar with the colorful story about the small town of Rennes le Chateau and the priest Sauniere who in 1886 during a major repair work on the altar of the local church, had apparently found a number of documents containing information which from one day to the next transformed him from a port minister on the fringe of society to a rich man with unlimited funds and a fashionable circle of acquaintances.

Sauniere had spent part of his fortune on the restoration of the church. He further built a new house, ‘Bethanie,’ as well as the tower, ‘Tour Mandala.’ 

Sauniere died in 1917 leaving the secret with his housekeeper of many years, Marie Dernaud, who promised to disclose it on her deathbed.

Unfortunately, when that day came in 1953, she was paralyzed by a stroke and thus was unable to disclose anything at all. Apparently the secret of Sauniere was buried with her. 

Since then, the mystery had been made the subject of many speculations, several of which had revitalized the legend of Mary Magdalene and her alleged escape from Palestine to the South of France after the death of Yeshua” [p. 273].

Adrian, who works at the shop, helped me secure a taxi to get back to Limoux. He had to phone four different taxi services to find a driver for me. I told my daughter, when you travel, there are always angels on your path.


The Tour. Great capture during Stage 19 today. Si jolie. (So pretty.) J’adore France.

Crazy sprint finish today with a surprise winner…not so much the team. Jumbo Visma. The whole Tour has been insane and crazy fast. So fun to watch. Only two more stages going into Paris on Sunday! 🥂

This one in reference to yesterday’s Wout Route…

Clever. And so true. :)

And this which sums up not only stage 18, but the entire Tour and how Jonas and Tedej respect each other and their sport. This connection occurred after Jonas clipped is pedal and wobbled and then when Tadej slid out misreading the line on the descent. Scary fast. And Jonas waited for him. Tadej reached for his hand as he caught up almost as if to say, “It’s yours.” He had attacked so much, trying to gain time, and then he handed the baton. And he didn’t attack again. Tender, and sweet moment to witness. 💛

Bonne nuit.

Dayle in Limoux – Day # 15

July 19, 2022

S

T

A

G

E

1

6

L I M O U X, F R A N C E ❗️

Look!

❤️🤍❤️🤍❤️🤍❤️🤍❤️🤍❤️🤍❤️🤍❤️🤍

Another gift from Le Tour de France!

Matches my pin from the 2004 Tour on the Champs Elysées in Paris when Lance won #6! Next Tour, the matching bike cap. :)

Gathered to watch the riders peloton through Limoux not far from my studio near the Place de la République. Met some amazing folks from France, Belgium, the U.S., and England.

And this is Claire. She speaks four languages, her husband, Henrik, 8…how is this even possible…they’ve lived all over the planet. So kind and fun and full of knowledge about the region and living in France.

We shared some shade, although much more humid today with the heat dome over Europe and the wild fires and the winds. Learning so much about life in France and local living.

L

O

V

E

To be away from the United States, the ugliness and violence, vitriol, petty focuses, the constant political and destructive noise is incredibly freeing with possibilities and potentials becoming so much more clear.

After the team cars and sponsors came through the riders were getting closer to continue their route to Foix!

And Wout! Again! 💚

Love these guys. Sláva Ukrayíni! They were so happy to be at the Tour and honor Ukraine.

And then they were gone.

Here’s a nice re-cap from GCN/Eurosport for today’s stage. There’s a link to connect.

‘It was an emotional victory for Hugo Houle, who descended into Foix to take Canada’s first Tour de France Stage Win in 34 years.’  gcn.eu/tdf2022

If you subscribe to their streaming service, you can watch the replay, Stage #16, and listen to the announcer describe the tender story of Hugo Houle’s brother as Hugo approaches the finish line. Beautifully expressed and timed right as he crosses the finish line and raises is arm in the air, pointing to the sky, for his brother. Hugo currently rides for UCI WorldTeam Israel–Premier.

My Sun Valley buds will appreciate this one. His shirt! (From former Yugoslavia, which he claims.)

And! A local celebrity. The mayor of Limoux, to the left of the speaker.

The Tour has been a diversion from a burning planet. Read this earlier:

“My scientific mind understands that this summer will be one of the coolest for the rest of our lifetimes unless we decide to treat the climate crisis like the emergency that it is,” said Andrea Dutton, a climate researcher at the University of Wisconsin-Madison

“The first truth is that we live in a nightmare. This is exactly what climate models projected was going to happen: intensifying extreme weather, severe public health consequences, and incredibly frustrating Congressional inaction. There is no reasonable scenario where the warming stops at 1.2°C, so it’s definitely going to get worse,” she said.

Super. But the U.S. continues to talk about the ‘fist bump.’ We need a Climate Strike. We don’t move until the leaders start saving the planet. Gaia is burning.

Read this, too:

‘Canadian law makers are debating giving refugee status to Americans seeking refuge from political and social violence.’ Cool. This is where profit, greed, corruption, and ideological extremes have landed us. Reframing the comment from Andrea Dutton, “It’s definitely going to get worse.”

Picked up some newspapers from a small marche on the way back after the Tour. Found this!

An expose of Joan! Wonderful. Quintessential authenticity. ✢

Love walking into these mini-marches and see an array of European newspapers, many perspectives and writers, like Charlie Hebdo.

IMG_3337.jpg

À bientôt.

Dayle in Limoux – Day #14

July 18, 2022

‘As I relax into the flow of the miraculous, then miracles will find me.’ 

-Marianne Williamson

Miracles & magic, flowing in France. Thanks be to Gaia, la lune. A day of hydration and rest, an early evening walk with temps down to a cool 92. :) Never thought I’d appreciate 92 degree weather. Yesterday at the stage finish in Carcassonne, pushed the heat limits a bit. Needed to hydrate and stay out of the heat as much as I could today. Tomorrow a blur of color as the riders make it to Limoux for stage 16, final destination Foix.

A lovely picture of the ladies in Limoux who meet and chat for hours, taken from my window. J’adore.

French blue and aged hardware. Priceless.

As promised!More history on this structure I shared a couple of days ago. The history here in the Languedoc region continues to knock me out. I can see this from across the river from my little balcony.

The portail, now named by us the Spanish Gate, is the end of a long passage that cuts through the row of large town houses that line this part of the river, just north of the Pont Vieux and fronting on the Rue Blanquerie.

The riverside here was fortified around the 14th century [1300’s] the French were installed in the town across the river, and the Spanish Arabs (Moors?) were behind these walls. In order for the Spanish to move up and down the river without emerging from the walls and getting shot at by the French, they built a tunnel that passed along the back of the wall.

This tunnel, then, traversed across the Spanish Gate, just behind the protective doors. 

None of the standard history of Limoux makes reference to the Spanish or Arabs being at war with the French here about the 14th century. Then we did find a couple of obscure references to the Spanish being here, in the 14th and 16th centuries.

In 1340, Spanish bands from Capcir ravaged the region [of the Pays de Sault, the area of the Aude southwest of Limoux].

During a war with Spain in the 16th century, François I was captured and held prisonner by the Spanish. The same reference states that the Spanish invaded Roquefortez between 1525 and 1526: Roquefortez was a collection of the four hamlets Le Bousquet, Roquefort, Buillac et Kounozouls, 15 km south of Quillan and 35 km south of Limoux.

[beyond.fr]

Notice the slit in the fortress wall. I learned about these during my last journey in Languedoc. ‘An arrowslit (often also referred to as an arrow loop, loophole or loop hole, and sometimes a balistraria) is a narrow vertical aperture in a fortification through which an archer can launch arrows or a crossbowman can launch bolts.’ Used for defense. The Templars would sharpen their swords on the stone walls as they entered a fortress. Those markings still exist today. I’ll try to find a capture in some old photos.

In love with Limoux.

A bientôt.

Dayle in Limoux – Day #13

Started ce jour with the bells of Saint-Martin. Then, the adventure began!

Ode to Le Tour. Found it at a local marche…the bike of the maillot jaunt.

Knew it was going to be unbearably hot with the heat dome over Europe, fires burning.

I was thinking last night that although the Tour is winding through Limoux, the final stage before rest day on Monday was finishing in Carcassonne. I decided to take the bus (sometimes a train, not sure how it’s determined) and see what I could find. What I didn’t anticipate when I was riding into Carcassonne is the Tour route would effect our drop zone which is typically la gare, the train station. We made numerous detours and then landed in an area I wasn’t familiar. The driver, who apparently took a wrong turn and had to back the bus up…impressive…didn’t speak any English and after trying to communicate in my weak French, she  mimed that I should follow the other people. Many didn’t know how to trek the long walk back to the train station, so we grabbed our phones and fired up our maps. Finally made it to the city center and just started looking for the tour. Already rationing my two large bottles of Perrier because of the heat with no idea what was about to unfold!

Then, the adventure began! 

I spotted splashes of yellow. 🟡

I started trekking to find the route to the finish. I found a spot just past the finish line and since it was early and a lot of the spectators hadn’t filled in yet, I settled into my space.

There was music and announcing, and sponsors of the tour handing out all their tchotchkes. Very fun. A bike cap, a Skoda bag, a polyester vest…trop chard to wear…a bucket hat, too! Just like Emily in Paris. :)

My favorite sponsor gift and probably kept me from heat exhaustion, literally, was a sparkling canned beverage. Yummy. Their vender came back and gave me three more (!) and somebody else was handing out bananas. She was so sweet. Trop chaude!  So grateful. It really helped.

I couldn’t sit on the asphalt because it burned my bum it was so hot. Five hours of standing in 41 C heat…106 Fahrenheit. Brutal. And so fun. I kept thinking about the guys racing in this heat. I was standing and trying not to pass out. They were biking hard and fast, sometimes their speeds clocked in at 72 KPH (45 MPH on the stage). Many climbs. The Tour put special heat protocols into place because of the dangerously high temperatures. Some of the guys, it was reported, wanted the stage to actually be cancelled due to the heat. With a warming climate and the devastation it is causing, maybe the Tour will need to be moved to the edges of the season in the Tours ahead. Our world is changing…fast.

When the riders get close, all the vehicles start driving in! The sponsors, the team buses, the team cars, the press motorcycles (So fun seeing Bradly Wiggins come in with his motorbike driver. And then there’s a fun parade with the sponsors and their vehicles.

Jumbo Visma’s bus! Many excited to receive it. When they went past, many in the bus didn’t look happy. Come to find out they lost two riders today, one to injuries over the course of the Tour, and another rider after a crash due to more protesters who were blocking the middle of the road.

The Tour is a massive and masterly organized operation; they set-up and tear-down for every stage and it’s all seemingly seamless.

 

That’s how they get those awesome finish shots. With the camera operator in place, we all knew it was getting close.

All the superfluous vehicles and dignitaries removed, it was quiet. Then the overhead finish screen, “4 kilometers to go!” Cameras ready, the pounding of the placards begins. And then the guys bolt around the final bend. Sprint finish! Wout in the green, couldn’t make out the other two, thought it might be Fabio Jakobsen from Quick Step who replaced Mark Cavendish. (Thought about him so much today; would love to have seen him.) I positioned my camera, hoped for the best, yet I wanted to watch it live! The clip worked although it was holding it low so I could see the riders! It was thrilling and so knock-out fast. How is that kind of power, control, and stamina able to be sustained after 106 degree weather and 202 kilometers! It’s nuts. Incredible, unbelievable athletes. They love Le Tour in Carcassonne. Moi Aussi. (Me, too!)

I’ve been trying for hours to get the video from my iPhone to this website…not working. So I did some screen captures. If I’m able to figure it out, I’ll edit and re-post later. Crazy exciting!

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WOUT! Right in front of me!

And Sepp Kuss from Jumbo Visma. They’re going to need him so much now after losing two key riders. Incredible domestique and all around talented rider, 27 years old from Durango, Colorado. One of my favorites to watch. So happy I spotted him! Looks depleted and beat. Much needed rest day tomorrow.

The best. Vive Le Tour! 💛

And a sweet post-stage interview with the sprinting finish winner for stage 15, Jasper Philipsen. Rock ⭐️. He’s worked so hard for this moment. Very emotional. First stage win at the Tour. At the 12:15 mark.

AND! Images of the podium. So. Many. People. I was the only one I could see wearing a mask besides the riders and worker bee’s. 😳

The beast. Wout van Aert keeps the sprinter’s green!

Jonas Vingegaard keeps yellow and his time distance from Tadej. They are so equally matched.

Stage winner and first Tour de France stage win, Jasper Philipsen.

Battling for the yellow…still holding the youngest winner jersey, Tadej Pogacar. His team, UAE, and Jonas’ team, Jumbo Visma, are struggling with dropped teammates, after Jumbo’s dominance. The Tour is wide open!

King of the Mountain jersey winner, Germany’s Simon Geschke. Lots of fans at Stage 15!

And these guys. Best seat on the Tour! They had a clear shot of the finish and the podium.

Or, maybe this guy. :)

18 years since I’ve been at the Tour watching Lance win his 6th with his gold helmet down the Champs-Élysées. (Thank you, Theodore.) Carcassonne was

A M A Z I N G

Incredible experience. Beautiful country and people. Now, I need to keep hydrating, cool down, and replenish for Tuesday’s stage 16 as it goes through Limoux, about 1:15 pm local time!

Bonne nuit.

❀

Dayle in Limoux – Day # 12

July 16, 2022

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Le Soleil was intense. 105 today. 105. About 40-41C. On Le Tour race organizers were using water trucks to cool off the roads where someone reported the heat coming off the asphalt was about 158 degrees. This isn’t ‘just summer’ [climate change deniers]. Europe is burning. Gaia is burning.

Tomorrow, stage 15 into Carcassonne before the rest day, and then Limoux!

Love this capture of Tadej and Jonas climbing up to Mende today.

The market closes early on Sundays so stocked up on water today, lots; trying to stay hydrated. Toasted friends 5,000 + miles away for an event I couldn’t attend with the original sparkling wine before Dom found the recipe.

The monks had it going on in 1531. Champagne doesn’t come close to compare. Blanquette de Limoux is lovely and light and pure.

Vivez des moments intense. “Live intense moments.” Just do it. :)

It cooled down to 95 at 9 so ventured out to the square after conquering the French washing machine and hanging my clothes on a line to dry almost instantly in the heat. Time for that Blanquette de Limoux and a bottle of ‘intensity’ while reading Cathar history and planning excursions.

Cathar Cross

So many places to discover and explore. The Feast of Mary Magdalene is July 22nd. Really want to explore her cave in Saint-Maximin-la-Sainte-Baume. After Jesus’s death, it is believed Mary Magdalene made her way to France to a small town in Provence called Saint-Maximin-la-Sainte Baume. To be there on her day would be quite special, being, too, with the many pilgrims who have traveled there to commemorate her life after the time she spent with Jesus.

Or or or Rennes-le-Château where there’s a church created and dedicated to Mary Magdalene.

François Mitterrand visits Rennes-le-Château, March 2nd, 1981.

From the 2018 film Mary Magdalene. Couldn’t tell you how many times I’ve seen it. Written by two women, Helen Edmundson and Philippa Goslett. It’s extraordinary.

We only come out at night; we only come out at night. The days are much too bright. We only come out at night. -Smashing Pumpkins

They do. Hoards. My new buds.

À bientôt.

 

Dayle in Limoux – Day #7

July 11, 2022

Alet-les-Bains

Commune in France
In the Upper Valley of the river Aude, you can discover the winding course of the river which gave its name to the department. This is a region of gorges and dizzyingly high narrow passes; it offers a multitude of layers of varying landscapes from the wine-growing hillsides to the Pyrenean peaks. South of the town of Limoux, in the heart of an idyllic valley nestles the former administrative and episcopal capital of the Razès region: ALET LES BAINS. Alet has been a place of spiritual influence for 10 centuries and the ancient city never ceases to surprise those seeking treasures, culture and well-being
And guess who lived there?
Michel de Nostredame, usually Latinised as Nostradamus, was a French astrologer, physician and reputed seer, who is best known for his book Les Prophéties, a collection of 942 poetic quatrains allegedly predicting future events. [Wikipedia]

The abbots succeeded each other at the head of the abbey until 1318, when Pope Jean XXII established the abbey in the Eveche. The abbey then became St. Mary’s Cathedral and Abbot Bartholomew became the first bishop of the Cathedral.

In the sixteenth century, the Wars of Religions will be right in the abbey of which there will remain only ruins. [aletlesbains.com]

Lunch at the Hostellerie de l’Eveche, under the massive ancient trees with my girl. Eased the early afternoon with exceptional food and carafes of fresh water in the 98 degree French heat [36 celsius].

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and so fun. To be back in my beloved Alet-les-Bains with Annie, showing her the history and ruins, the bells of the abbey, walking the medieval streets overtaken and occupied by the Nazis, the once walled city stands in tribute to the ancients and inquisitions that enfolds the village of 500 with energies and mysteries. After walking and exploring for hours, we needed fluids. Lots. Back to l’Eveche for l’eux, French Coca-Cola (our bodies were craving Coke, just like when in India), and Perrier, too. I think I was actually sloshing when we left. It helped. Then back to the main highway to catch our return bus to Limoux, where we bought more l’aux at the local market! :)

We toured the historic hotel, La Belle Aude. It was for sale three years ago, not sure of the status now.

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At the hotel there’s an old lemonade factory and thermal baths discovered by the Romans, using the healing waters of the community. So many ideas and marketing possibilities to buy and renovate the structure, for writers-in-residence and Cathar/sacred geometry mystery tours and study. It edges the River Aude under beautiful massive trees and ancient Roman baths.

Touring the abbey with my girl and absorbing the history, the faded blues, reds, and greens of the centuries old frescos. Indelible. As the massive deep bells rang we imagined the religious wars and destruction. Some captures to share from today.

Studying the history, imagining the people and the conflicts as they tried to practice their beliefs and live their lives in peace.

A standing stone as a grave marker in the ancient cemetery. Remarkably old.

Walked some more around the medieval square. J’adore every cobbled street and stone.

Yes, please. :)

Annie’s favorite.

Depleted from the heat and leaning toward the time our bus would return, we headed across the fortified bridge out of the beau village.

https://aletlesbains.com

And then this evening from the balcony at 22 Maison, la lune approaching fullness as the swallows murmur and the frantic ducks make their demonic noises. (“Are those really ducks?”)

Full Moon in Capricorn is Wednesday, July 13th

From Lena at Power Path:
Known as the Buck Moon, this is also a super moon amplifying whatever it is casting its light on. If you have unfinished business or unresolved issues, they will be illuminated with this full moon. The good news is there is lots of support and many helpful allies that can assist you in sifting through the chaos and instability to find and anchor your inner strength and truth. You will need to practice trust and positive, practical resilience if you are facing challenges. Ask for help and be willing to accept and receive what shows up. 
A full moon always provides a portal or opening for expansion, gratitude and celebration of what you have, what you have accomplished, and what your future dreams are. Take some time to be with gratitude, beauty and whatever inspires you. 
Incredibly inspired, and only gratitude for the beauty, history, and people of France. Thanks be to Gaia and La Lune.

Dayle in Limoux – Day #6

July 10, 2022

Sunday evening in Limoux.

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The Tour de France is going to be tough next week. The heat wave returns with 100+ days. The Tour will be in Limoux on Tuesday, July 19th. Can’t wait! Look for me. :) This is a tough year on the stages and with the heat? Pas bon.

My new dream car.

Some day. With my renovated barn.

Tomorrow, Alet-les-Bains!

Alet-les-Bains was once a walled city with its own abbey – and later its own bishop and cathedral. In 1197 the abbey and the town were fortified by ramparts and a moat. Now it is little more than a village of just over 500 people but you can still see vestiges of the city walls and ruined Cathedral. In 813, Alet was the seat of a Benedictine abbey founded by Béra, Viscount of Razés.

The people are so kind here. Thinking today it’s all we have left, really. Kindness. Leaders and politics, capitalists and dark money, profit and greed, systemic patriarchy, all reign in the collective. Here’s what we can do:

And save the planet. 🌏

Dayle in Limoux – Day #3

July 7, 2022

La Gare day!

First, it was the bus from Limoux to Carcassonne.

It was a day of learning and confusion. 🙃

And angels on my path when I needed help the most, like Suni from Pakistan who gave me a full tutorial on train travel in France, helped me download some European train apps before he caught his train. He has lived in Germany, speaks fluent German, extremely fluid English, and is learning French. He is trying to secure a visa so he can work in France and attend school. He told me, “I can’t go back to Pakistan. There is no future for me there.” Meeting people from different cultures, speaking different languages, observing their behaviors and kindnesses truly fills and renews my spirit. Another person I spoke to along my different stops and exchanges said to me when I told him I was from the United States, “It’s very dangerous there.” The whole world is watching. A co-passenger on another train as I was making my way slowly to Grenoble explained one of the announcements over the intercom system for me that passengers were being warned about a pick-pocket on the train. I told him, “I wish we had more pick-pockets in our country, instead of guns. He paused and said, “It makes us very worried in Europe.” He’s from Italy and lives in France. His name is Claudio. He explained that we are citizens of the world and it doesn’t matter where we’re from, it effects all of us. My heart. Indeed. So beautifully expressed.

The train moving through Sète, Languedoc, France, on the Mediterranean coast. Established 1,000 years ago, it’s a UNESCO world heritage site. It’s on my list to visit. 

12 hours later I made it to Grenoble. Trees line the downtown with a very hip, young vibe. Apparently it’s a university town with over 60,000 students here. The population is around 165,000. A very different feeling from my beloved Languedoc region. It’s about an hour east of Lyon. Beautiful area—mountain ranges and massive history. Can’t wait to explore. It was dark when I arrived. Photos tomorrow!

I’m reading another book on Cathar history. Can’t wait to share.

Reading on the trains today, I had to pause and reel in the reminded awareness how awful, awful…humans have treated each other over the centuries and continue still. In this instance, crusades and inquisitions, torture and burnings at the stake. This journey today on a micro level reminded me how kind and compassionate and caring the human species can be. We’re one of 8,000,000 species on the planet. And we’re destroying it…and each other. And it never stops. We just find different ways to mutilate and hate. For millennia.

Again, the question simmers: Are humans, by nature, good or evil? Or, does society corrupt? Rhetorical. Been thinking about it a lot lately, though. Perhaps it’s why the Cathar landed on duality, to help explain it, and understand.

Rex Mundi. More later on what was considered Cathar heresy.

Dayle in Limoux – Day #2

July 6, 2022

…and then the day came to a close.

Awake until 3 am writing, so the day in Limoux started a little later. A wonderful local yogurt for mid-morning nourishment with a banana and Nutella. French press coffee first, though, of course.

Cooler today, lovin’ it because the heat will return later next week after weeks earlier in the summer of 102+ days. Pas bon. Don’t do heat well. Maybe those days will be at the River Aude with the radical ducks.

After streaming the tour on the cobbles stage, pavés, it was time for my adventure to find la gare, the train station. Very lost. Sometimes the station is open, sometimes not, and when I found it, it was not. Schedules seem to change around a bit, so back tomorrow.

I am  thrilled to learn I can take the train to Alet-les-Baines, a village filled with ruins, including the old hotel and lemonade factory that sits along the river, once occupied by Nazi soldiers, now for sale and featured in the book The Heretic, by Allysha Lavino. It’s the first in a trilogy; want to read it again. SO good. Historical fiction fills pages about the sacred geometry of Languedoc, and the late Sir Henry Lincoln’s spirit.  Miss you, Sir Henry. 

I spent a couple of hours researching St. Martin of Tours, Mithraism and Zoroastrian divinity. So many aspects overlap with Christianity, evolved long before Christianity, like monotheism, messianism, free will, judgment after death, heaven/hell/angels, e.g., Abrahamic religions, Gnosticism, Northern Buddhism and Greek philosophy.

From Robin Wall Kimmerer:

‘Imagine if humans hadn’t become obsessed by burdens and honored Indigenous practices and beliefs, a democracy of species, NO POLITICAL LOYALTIES ARE REQUIRED. Just one question: Can we agree to be grateful for all that is given? Respect to all non-human relations?” (Note: humans being only one of the 8,000,000 species, not above or below, but ONE.) She continues, “When allegiance lies with winds and waters that know NO boundaries, that cannot be bought or sold.” Oh how I wish we could, and begin again.

From Allysha Lavino today:

Yes. Love serendipity. 

Think of it, a ‘culture of gratitude.’

I saw five elders sitting together in a communal open space, under the trees, talking for hours. No ‘smart’ phones or agendas, only dialogue and warmth. Gosh we need more of this.

Reading this paragraph from the states today. One of the reasons I do not want to go back. This is from a witness at the shootings in Highland Park on July 4th. Her elderly father was injured and her 9-year-old had ducked for cover and safety.

I don’t see myself going to any crowded areas for the next—I don’t know, maybe not forever. And, you know, I don’t want to be afraid for the rest of my life. I don’t know how I’m going to feel in a few weeks, in a few years. I’m not saying I want to give in to the people who are doing all these terrible things. But how can I feel safe to go anywhere without wondering who’s got a gun in their hands and what they’re going to do?”

Being here is physically and mentally removed from the ugliness, violence, and greed, all known characteristics now of the United States of America. The whole world is watching.

After walking for hours, settled in the square for an aperitif.

A beer sounded so good, and, it was a very ‘good year.’ :)

À bientôt.

Oh, one more thing to share today. Simplicity can not be overrated.

Thanks, Annie.

dayle in limoux – day #1

July 5, 2022

Think Emily in Paris, but without the clothes. And youth. When an almost two decade dream becomes a reality, it kinda feels like a simulation, an alternate reality I created in my mind because I thought about it so much.

July 3rd and 4th were travel days. To celebrate the 4th of July, I left the country. And on July 4th, another senseless gun massacre at     a     parade. Nothing will be done because the United States values guns more than life. Too many people own too many guns in the U.S., high powered military weapons. And the killing continues. I know I don’t want to go back to the cesspool that it has become, an experiment that is dissolving because of greed, power, dark money, systemic patriarchy and leaders who should not be leaders. So many brilliant, young people and minds in the United States, and this is who we get. So, yeah, I don’t want to go back. Yet, without a residency visa, I can only stay three months. I met a woman from England at the marche [market] today who has lived here five years. She shared her visa experience was one of ease and permission. Yet her driver’s license experience? Ooh la la.

It took two months to compile the needed paperwork and requirements for the visa application. I flew to Los Angeles in March to meet with the visa consulate in person. I was in their office for 4.5 hours. A week later I was denied. Their reason is that my reason for wanting to research and write in the ancient region of Languedoc wasn’t a good enough one. I will try again. Until then, I am here. Researching ruins, studying the Cathars and connecting with Mary Magdalene.

After two years of COVID French Duolingo, I’m not ready. At all. People speak French here. A lot of French. Only French. :) Phrases and words, reading and comprehension coming along, yet speaking? Pas bon. (Not good.) But, you know, Emily didn’t speak French when she took the job at that AD AGENCY in Paris. I’ll learn. I wish I had a mind for language. I took Russian in college…and a little French. Tons of Spanish in high school, and still, to this day, my first foreign language default is Spanish, which worked nicely on the Camino in Spain. Not so much in France.

Bonus. Massive bonus. I happened to choose to be here during the Tour de France. Big Fan. Yet I had no idea the tour was actually going through Limoux. What?! Yep. I think stage 16, after the rest day, on July 19th. From Carcassonne (about 30 minutes north from Limoux) to Foix as the riders approach the Pyrenees. So passing through! I’ll be there! I brought my polka dot pin from the 2004 Tour when I was on the Champs-Elysees and watched Lance win his 6th in his gold helmet. Indelible. Thank you, Theodore.

I slept 11 hours after I arrived. From San Diego to Salt Lake City to Paris to Toulouse. Delayed in Paris, but my bags made it! Even with all the flying warnings and chaos stories. Whew. I opted to pay more for a taxi instead of trying to maneuver the train with a backpack and three large bags. A taxi service I pre-ordered through booking.com (don’t) bailed on me, so I had to search for someone to drive for me. It was an hour and 30 minute drive through fields of sunflowers and grapes for their brilliant Blanquette de Limoux. Jean-Michele, my driver, was so kind. And he played Cat Stevens the entire way. Glad Cedric decided not to stay. Yeah, pretty great. It’s a sign. :)

Nicolette, who owns the flat where I’m staying, is from Scotland, her dad lives in Spain. English! She’s helping me acclimate in a language I understand. So grateful. She has put so much thought and care into her flats at La Maison 22. Her French country decor and comfort are simply perfect. My place has a small balcony and overlooks the river Aude, where I can listen to the bells from the Church of Saint-Martin, built in the 1100’s. I’ll be back. When I get that visa!

Last evening I took a stroll around the village, many establishments are closed on Mondays. It was a quiet. A young man walked close by to me and said, “Stone. Stone.” I must have looked as perplexed as I felt. And then he made the universal gesture for getting stoned. Although a lovely idea after two days of travel, weed is highly illegal in France. So, thanks, really, but no. And a smile.

Today was organizing and unpacking, streaming the Tour, French Press coffee on the balcony, happy birds, frantic ducks, and a happy heart being so far removed from the United States both physically and mentally.

Nicolette emailed me about the marche, the first of the season, every Tuesday evening through July and August in the village. Happy people, music, and dining al fresco on the historic centre around the Place de la Republique.

Tomorrow, more exploring and picking up train schedules.

Deep sorrow for what is happening in, to, the United States. So much promise. So much devastation and harm. For now, my focus is on possibility, potential, and purpose as I ease into life’s chapter 4. It took a lot to get here. To be here. It isn’t a simulation, its providence, and grace.

Thanks be to Gaia. And my ancestors, particularly, my great-grandma, Alma Evalo Latta (who gave me a mother’s love), my brother, Darrell Lee Ohlau, and my dad, Robert Dale Ohlau. Mitakuye Oyasin.

Bonne nuit.

Languedoc is a centre of the distinctive civilization of the south of France. Its name is derived from the traditional language of southern France, in which the word oc means “yes,” in contrast to oïl, or oui, in northern French. From the 13th century the name applied to the entire area in which the Languedoc, or Occitan, language was spoken and came to apply specifically to the territory of the feudal county of Toulouse.

From 121 BC the territory that constituted Languedoc was part of the Roman province of Gallia Narbonensis, which connected Italy to Spain, and was strongly influenced by Roman culture. With the breakdown of the Roman Empire, the region was controlled by the Visigoths in the 5th century and was partially conquered by the Franks in the 6th century.

From the mid-12th century, the Cathari, a Manichaean sect, won wide support from the people and the nobles of Languedoc; the Cathari were sometimes called Albigensesbecause of their strength around the town of Albi. They were branded as heretics by the Roman Catholic church, and Pope Innocent III preached a crusade against them, precipitating an invasion of Languedoc by a northern French army in 1209. The ensuing wars, which lasted until the mid-13th century, ended the political independence of Languedoc. [britannica.com]

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