Sunday, February 8, 2009
It’s sunday again. It is sunny. From inside the house it is a beautiful day. Outside there is a fierce wind blowing from the North. It comes bleak and with an existential force. It seems deceitful - the beautiful look with the raw feel.
But it's sunday, no need to stop looking. There are always reasons to be cheerful - three.
number 1. prunes are like tobacco, if you sprinkle a little water in their bag they both can rehydrate and consequently taste better.
number 2. From the hottest book in that old great book, the Song of Songs... "My love peers through the lattices" - "meitzitz min ha charakim" - HOT - that act of looking, peeking in. A strange tongue. G-d is hiding in the tzitzit, the fringes, longing to catch our attention.
Number 3. I was in Beziers yesterday and the date wasn’t july 22, 1209. If it had been, I would most likely be dead. You see that was the day the crusaders under the command of Arnaud-Amaury, the legate of pope Innocent III in bed with the king of France against the cathers (albigensiens if you will) got his way in Beziers. The orders seemed to be kill everyone inside the city. When asked by a Crusader how to tell Catholics from Cathars once they had taken the city, the abbot supposedly replied, "Kill them all, God will know His own" - or perhaps it sounded more like this - "Neca eos omnes. Deus suos agnoscet
Beziers has seemed damned ever since. Maudit is perhaps closer to the feel. In any sense Beziers has all the reasons to be attractive, and yet it always leaves a taste you want to rinse from your mouth. Perhaps that’s the reason for the unending stalls of beer in town for the feria in august. It’s a big carnival of blood letting proportions. For five days a hot crowded swill drinking mass converges for the festive killing of the bull in the towns arena. At night they swarm about. The crowd is a volatile mix of Nascar and the middle ages, and only ends when the riot police go home.
Oh Beziers. I want to be in love with you and your prime sunny location on the ancient coastal route of the mer Mediterranean. I want to romance in your grand parks and among the confectioned buildings that stand within you. Oh Beziers, with your beautiful old bridge spanning the river orb, and your city wall layed with stone carved by roman hands, why are you so sad...
So its 2009 and not 1209, consequently when I was in Beziers yesterday I didn’t get killed, but I did feel Damned. I went to Beziers for a children's gymnastics competition. The wind was blowing, even inside. The thing went on for hours. It was cold and there were no seats. So many little Tanya Hardings, but without the talent, being pursued, preserved on digital devices of every kind. The town was gray even in the windy sun - the garbage blowing and gathering in corners. It's hard to be old and attractive when you've seen so much suffering. Beziers. Brutal.