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Category: Voie de Vezelay (page 1 of 5)

Voie de Vézelay, Day 41



But if it sings it’s a good sign

A sign you can sign your name

Then very gently you’ll detach

A feather from the bird

And write your name in a corner of the painting.

                                                                                                                  Jaques Prévert




In order to meet Emeline, I got up at 4:30 am. Emeline wanted to continue her way to Santiago today and I agreed to meet her around noon. It was totally dark when I left the refuge, with the half moon shining through the fog. My headlamp helped me to see the markers on the way.


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Voie de Vézelay, Day 40


Paint the green leaves too and the wind’s coolness

The dust in the sunlight

The sound of insects, in the grass, in the summer heat

Then wait for the bird to choose to sing

If the bird won’t sing

That’s an adverse sign

A sign that the painting is bad…….

                                                                                          Jaques Prévert



Dense fog covered the village when I left that morning. Shortly after leaving Osserain, I came to an ancient stone marking the border between Béarn and the once independent kingdom of Navarre. With that, I entered the Land of the Basque. The Basque language is very unusual because it does not have any similarities with an Aryan language. Of the seven Basque regions, three are located in France.


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Voie de Vézelay, Day 39



Erase all the bars one by one

Taking care not to touch a feather of the bird

Then paint a picture of the tree

Choosing the loveliest branches

For the bird……..

                                                           Jaques Prévert


After a nice breakfast with the other four pilgrims, I left the town and was intrigued by the beauty of the countryside. In the distance, the Pyreneans were already visible.  The area was hilly with little villages and many vibrant blooming flowers.


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Voie de Vézelay, Day 38




When the bird arrives

If it arrives

Observe the most profound silence

Wait till the bird enters the cage

And when it has

Gently close the door with your brush……

                                                                                                              Jaques Prévert



After the strange night in the huge dancing hall with me as the only person sleeping in it, I left Les Landes and entered the region of Pyrénées –Atlantiques with Béarn as the biggest district in it. In this area, the people speak their own language (language d’oc). For a long time, it was forbidden to use this language; now it comes slowly back.


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Voie de Vézelay, Day 37



Sometimes a bird arrives quickly

But equally it may take many years

Before it chooses to                        

Don’t be discouraged


Wait many years if needed

The speed or tardiness of its arrival

Has nothing to do

With the success of the picture…..

                                                                                                           Jaques Prévert


Country streets with nobody driving or walking on it – huge fields of corn and sunflowers on a completely flat area – houses with the wooden window shutters closed – nobody seemed to live in this place. Today, I had to walk 30 km. The visit of the newly renovated Gothic church Notre Dame in Audignon was a nice change. After four years of renovation, it opened for the first day when I was there.


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Voie de Vézelay, Day 36



Then set the canvas against a tree

In a garden

In a grove

Or in a forest

Hide behind the tree

Without speaking

Or moving…

                                                 Jaques Prévert


When I left the town in the morning, the streets where filled with little booths. There was a market going on in town. People prepared their stands for selling fruit, vegetables, clothing, household goods, electronics……


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Voie de Vézelay, Day 35



First you paint a cage

With it’s door open

Then paint

Something nice

Something simple

Something lovely

Something useful

For the bird……..

                         Jaques Prévert



Les Landes with 2.5 million acres of forest was a long stretch for me too to walk through. I started to memorize the last poem I had taken with me, the poem of Jaques Prévert “ To Paint a Picture of a Bird (Poure faire le portrait d’un oiseau).


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