Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Everyone as a story...and we are all connected.

This is one of the first things I noticed when I arrived at "my' apartment in Aubagne:

Photo by Corey Amaro, Tongue in Cheek

We have a history, this lady and I. It goes back a few months...and of course there's a story. The long of it is, we are connected-even thousands of mile apart-we are all connected. The short of it is we all have a story, everyone has a story.

I met Corey Amaro a few years ago. Corey writes the wildly popular blog "Tongue in Cheek." 

Her blog posts are always interesting, sometimes profound and sometimes just plain fun. She talks about family, her family here in France and her family thousands of miles away in Willows California. I've often vicariously celebrated with her, she in France and me in Massachusetts. Before I ever met her I knew:
 *At Thanksgiving (back in Willows) her brother Matthew bites the heads off all the Turkey-shaped cookies on the table. 
*Her mom makes dinner for all the grandkids on Monday's, anyone and everyone who shows up is welcome. 
*They live on a rice farm back in Willows and after the kids help harvest the rice, they braid the stalks into giant "nests." After the hard work of harvesting, they sit, daydreaming, in those nests.

Photo by Corey Amaro, Tongue in Cheek

I knew about her nieces having a "longest hair" contest every year. I knew lots of little, interesting tidbits about Corey's family.

Photo by Corey Amaro, Tongue in Cheek

Corey often challenges readers to come up with an interesting story, usually around an item she found at the brocante. One day she posted a photo of painting she found at the brocante.

Photo by Corey Amaro, Tongue in Cheek

Corey challenged readers to come up with a story about the women in the painting. "Who is this lady, what is her story?"

Thinking about the stories I'd read on Tongue in Cheek, I came up with the following story:

 Jacklynn Lantry said..
Girls lucky enough to be born in Willows are all granted beautiful hair and hers is the most beautiful of all. No matter where life takes the girls, no matter where they are in the world, they come back to see the Mistress once a year, always during harvest season. They gather together at dusk. When the moon is full to bursting and is at it's highest point in the sky.
Together they walk into the rice fields, moonbeams lighting their way and gathering spent rice stalks as they go. Carefully the girls intertwine the stalks and, when they get to the center of the field, start walking in a wide circle. They build a build a huge nest by piling the gathered stalks on top of each other as they walk round and round. The nest keeps growing, getting larger and larger as they circle around and around. One side of the nest is always higher than the other. Called the ellipse, it captures the moonlight and holds it in the nest.
Then, by the light of the moon, the girls tend one another's hair, brushing it until it shines as brightly as the moonlight surrounding it. The girl with the longest hair plucks a strand out, giving one strand to each of the other girls. That one, tiny strand, tucked into a pocket, gives each girl bravery throughout the coming year. Bravery to try new things, bravery to venture far from home and bravery to stand up for what is right and true.
Imagine my delight when I walked into the apartment and saw the Mistress of Willows painting "in the flesh" so to speak! 
That very painting I'd seen on Corey's blog so long ago, the painting I'd written a little story about, the painting, thousands of miles away in the South of France.
Everyone has a story...and we are all connected.

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