WRITING WORKSHOP, FERME VILLEFAVARD
For years, I wanted to do a creative writing workshop with Natalie Goldberg. I was reading her books and did many of her exercises. This winter, I met her for the first time at a Ryokan workshop in Santa Fe. I was excited to be able to spend one week with her.
Shortly before the workshop started in Villefavard, I heard the sad news that Natalie became seriously sick with chronic lymphotic leukemia and could not come. I was very disappointed. But I went, nevertheless – and did not regret it. She was there – through her students, her structure of the course and her past teaching style.
LA SOUTERRAINE – VILLEFAVARD
La Souterraine got its name from the crypt underneath the 12th Century Romanesque church. Even before the Romans settled here, the Celtic people venerated Sosterranea, the Goddess of the earth, at this place. Unfortunately, the crypt was closed due to renovation. Therefore, I had time to wander around through the town before the shuttle was to pick me up for Villefavard.
CLUIS – LA SOUTERRAINE
It was the last day before I wanted to be in Ferme Villefavard for my creative writing workshop. Yet I had to still walk over 35 miles, which was impossible for me. No public transportation was running between cities. I did not know what to do. But I was lucky. The young owner of the petite épicerie in Cluis, his name was Kam, helped me find a ride to the next town, Crozant. He knew the people in town and asked an unemployed person with a car who needed money. We both benefitted from each other.
NEUVY-SAINT–SÉPULCHRE – CLUIS
Along the Via Lemovicensis, there are many Romanesque churches. I love the simplicity of the architecture, the massive thickness of the stonewalls, the spacious feeling inside and expressive figurative reliefs on the capitals. Whenever a church like that was open, I visited it. When I entered the church Collégiale Saint Jacques, I was blown away by its beauty, simplicity and graciousness. This church- a replica of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem- is dedicated by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site.
CHÂTEAUMEILLANT – NEUVY-SAINT SÉPULCHRE
Today, I had to walk 24 miles so I got up early. My alarm clock was not necessary – at 5:30, the alarm in the house went off. The noise was loud and shrill. What happened? A fire? Or did somebody try to break in? After a while, the fire department came and turned it off. There was only the other pilgrim Michelle and myself in the house. It was strange.
LA FOLIE – CHÂTEAUMEILLANT
“Just walk the first street left and then 3 times right,” said Md. Jacquet at the breakfast table at La Folie. It is easy to connect with the Way to Santiago. I left earlier than Daniel and Chantelle, the French couple who also stayed at the bed and breakfast place. After 10 minutes, I was already lost. The country road was leading to a dead end. Luckily, I met Daniel and Chantelle again and walked with them. They had a map. We needed two hours to come back to the marked way with many crossroads in between.
CHARENTON DU CHER – LOYE-SUR ARNON
Md. Malivon’s chateau was close to the canal. She showed me a shortcut through her park and I walked through dense bushes, over a wall and a ditch back to my way. It was not easy with my backpack. When I reached the canal, the joy of walking immediately captivated me again. Little dew drops on the grass looked like pearls in the morning sun and the flowers along the canal were glowing in brilliant colors. It was not long after I started my walk that I found the most beautiful feather. I loved it so much that I made many photos with the feather in it.