Land of hay bales, local cheese and more animals than people, this region stole away my heart.
Per Tolosa totjorn mai.
Occitan for “For Toulouse, always more”
Known as the Ville Rose (Pink City), Toulouse is aptly named for the rose-colored bricks that make up the facades of the city’s oldest buildings, even as l’ancien meets with the new.
For me, it was a city with a certain well-understood charm – a getaway for French natives in the North in search of a pause from a more pretentious Paris perhaps, or a badly needed kickstart to the everyday routine from those in the surrounding sleepier southwestern towns.
Modernity sits side by side with history as you stroll from the busy midtown walkways to duck into tiny pink cobblestoned backstreets leading towards the river. Everyone headed perpetually towards the river. The site of “Toulouse Plage” for the month (sand and beach games brought in for August), the riverside makes for a cool antidote to the August heat. I loved the outdoor markets, the streetside booksellers, the waterfront cafes, and quiet confidence of the folks there. No in-your-face-flash required, they understood well what their city has to offer.
‘Two-Headed Man’ (1855) by unidentified American artist
‘A Powerful Collision’, (1910s), Unknown Artist, German School
‘Man Juggling His Own Head’ (ca. 1880) by unidentified French artist
‘Room With Eye’ (1930) by Maurice Tabard (1897–1984)
‘The Vision (Orpheus Scene)’ (1907), F. Holland Day (American, Norwood, Massachusetts 1864–1933)
‘Dream No. 1- ‘Electrical Appliances for the Home” (1948) by Grete Stern (1904-1999)
‘Man on Rooftop with Eleven Men in Formation on His Shoulders’ (ca. 1930) by unidentified American artist
Images from Metropolitan Museum of Art
I’m out and about this week guys, exploring and wandering around strange and wild lands. Until I’m back and can tell you all about it, enjoy the petit posts.
Original Image found here
You’ve busied yourself with cleaning up the past.
Tidying up corners, polishing up memories
Until they are bright and flawless – a false perfection, a comforting fib –
That affords you a nostalgic sigh as you stare back longingly
At a collection of things half-remembered, half-created.
“Ah, the good ol’ days.”
You flip through this new photobook with wistful glances
At times when life was better, or easier, or happier,
Revering moments that were not quite as they seem,
Forgetting all the while that you are breathing here.
You hear the present knocking, waiting politely at your door
Asking if you will join it for a walk, just a little one.
“It’s a lovely day outside.”
You hunker down, pulling blankets round you,
Wrapping yourself with fabricated tales of days long since past.
A familiar fortification that is safe and warm.
But as you glance at the material again, you realize their comfort now presses on you,
Weighty and changed. There is no room for these sheets beyond those doors.
A frightening freedom reveals itself.
Through that threshold is a new world, no familiar faces, no tired remembrances
Of a time that has anchored itself into your mind.
“Goodbye old, hello new”
Today you’re making room for you.