One day a year Maggie and I travel Once More Around The Sun and find ourselves on the road where we were married 14 years ago. It is a road enclosed by tall Cypress trees, male and female trees mixed together for the last hundred years, or more and whose shapes tell you the difference. The female trees are rounder, thicker, taller, and have small, round, fruited pine cones the size of chestnuts, all over them. The males are slender, not s tall and seem to bend in the wind easier. They certainly are the inferior looking part of the species.
We always go for a walk there at the time of day that we were married, around 6 o’clock. Some days it’s sunny, as it was on our day, and others, as in this image, cooler, clouded over, grayer. We have had it every way and it doesn’t matter what kind of day it is, it’s still our day, and we always make the most of what we are given. Which, as you may have heard me say before, is what is at the heart of the photographic experience; ‘make the most of what you have.’
Near Bonnieux there is a town called Rousillion, famed for the red clay cliffs left there millions of years ago when the seas retreated. We decided to show our Italian friends a little local color, which, even on a grey day, is surprisingly intense. The place has a scale to it that always thrills me and makes me pay attention to the little things, could be just the small gesture of the woman reading the text and the way she carries her weight.
Perhaps it is the mass and the color that forms itself into a background for everyone appearing on the stage in front of it that projects the gesture so forcefully, even when so ordinary. I have seen it every time I visit there, whether it’s families, or school groups, or individuals, something always presents itself in this clear way.
The friend that accompanied Gianni and Giorgio didn’t hesitate to dig right in to the clay itself, and within a few minutes she was rubbing it into her hands and then all over her face. Like a native American Indian she felt the magical quality of being in the space and let it all work on her.