Monday, July 26, 2010

A chèvrier without his chèvres.

For the first time since the death of Isabelle I've come to visit Paul Pierre. I'd called earlier in June and left a message on his answering machine. Simply stating that I was here, that I was thinking of him. And he called me last week to set up a time for a visit.

As to be expected, he'd plunged right into movement and activity after the funeral, and then collapsed with advanced pneumonia, liquid in his lungs and more. He has now been through treatments galore, hospital stays, and weeks of bed rest. He is up and about and plowing through the papers that must be attended to. The house is layered (they are relatively small layers) with all that beckons. Health insurance, shifting of names on property deeds, retirement accounts, banks, accounts, etc., It is a truism to state that with death comes a pile of paper work, but being close to it is quite impressive, in a rather frightening way.

It is now two months later. You could say he's been through the gauntlet. What is glorious is a sense, a feeling, a knowledge of what solitude might bring him rather than the loss that he has suffered. He was conscious and present throughout the four years of his wife's illness. He prepared, he projected, he handled it in a mighty way. And now, next?

There are projects. Next year Aurelie will take the goats to her own farm. That leaves space below that is refrigerated, clean, kitchen oriented. Perhaps stages, courses in preparing pâtés and pork products? He's done that before, taken three whole pigs on Friday and by Sunday all who participate walk away with their preparations. It would be fascinating, a learning/teaching experience, and worthwhile.

He has land that could be farmed by another, from whom he could collect rent (not to mention well nourished land with the many years of goat droppings upon it). He has a home that could be rented by the week for vacationers (view of the olive grove included). Why not rent to photography folk during the festival in Arles? and offer transportation morning and evening?

The possibilities are there. He is eager and coping. He is open and sharing.

Yes, we spoke of much. I listened. He gave me a father/uncle/man/s advice concerning the demise of my relationship with JP (I said thank you as I listened, rather humbled). He is encouraged that I seem to be learning, growing -- but agreed I've a ways to go yet.


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