Festive but quiet lights + names
December 22, 2011
In San Antonin – Noble – Val in the Aveyron Gorges; noble val means glorious valley. The narrow streets and alleys here are formed by bâtiments or residences of wealthy merchants of cloth, fur and leather. These edifices have flattish roofs covered with half cylindrical tiles.
Pons de Granholet (a good solid name) had this mansion erected in early 1100’s. Slightly in in relation to this, today I received an email from my cousin with an attachment showing both our fathers ancestors all the way back to Jacob Sherne (excellent name) in the late 1600’s. We are of poor stock – blacksmith, labourers, stone masons and coal miners – so her research must have been difficult! Little to record apart from church records of christenings, marriages and deaths. So any more research further back to the 1100’s is not possible but this email made my Xmas and made also a sort of connection with this post . . . .
The mansion became the counsel’s residence later and then in 19C, Viollet – le – Duc (another name to remember) added the square belfry with Tuscan style loggia topping. Now the building houses the museum. Pretty lights festoon the Halle where the market and other town events happen.
In Orléans, the Christmas market fills the main place. A kaleidoscope of light hits the statue. No subtlety here, quite correctly as the charming garish quality is in keeping with the jolly bartering and playful goings on – skating, quaffing, tasting and more deliberate munching of fast and slow food – of the townsfolk and visitors, like me.
Nearby, festive lights, less garish and more sophisticated while I dwell on two male ancestors, just discovered, with first names of ‘Worthy’ and ‘Gracious’.
Over the pastoral valleys and the meadows,
Over the cities with their factory darkness,
Over the lands where peace is still a power,
Over all these and all this planet carries
A power broods, invisible monarch, a stranger
To some, but by many trusted. Man’s a believer
Until corrupted. This huge trusted power
Is spirit. He moves in the muscle of the world,
In continual creation. He burns the tides, he shines
From the matchless skies. He is the day’s surrender.
Recognize him in the eye of the angry tiger,
In the sign of a child stepping at last into sleep,
In whatever touches, graces and confesses,
In hopes fulfilled or forgotten, in promisesKept, in the resignation of old men –
This spirit, this power, this holder together of space
Is about, is aware, is working in your breathing.
But most he is the need that shows in hunger
And in the tears shed in the lonely fastness.
And in sorrow after anger. Elizabeth Jennings A Chorus