Friday, August 11, 2017
Saturday, July 29, 2017
|Iconography of St Yves - Quimper cathedral|
St Yves passionately devoted his life to the sick and those living in abject poverty. He gave away all his own possessions and opened the family manor house at Kermartin in Minihy-Tréguier to unfortunates. But it is his physical presence in the landscape of the Trégor that is most memorable. All his formal education in law and theology at Paris and Orleans, his aptitude in French and Latin, did nothing to separate the man from his home territory. As well as his duties at the cathedral of St Tugdual in Tréguier, he was rector of Trédrez and Louannec. Sometimes he preached in seven different churches on a Sunday, walking many miles between them. He was said to take little rest or food on these excursions, leaving in the early morning and returning home exhausted late at night. Certain rocks along the routes he walked are dubbed the bed or pillow of St Yves, emphasising his rejection of comfort and luxury whilst so many suffered hardships of penury.
|'Pillow' of St Yves - Trédrez|
Before the violent mayhem of the Wars of Succession that ravaged the greater part of Brittany from the mid 14th century, it was apparently possible to walk without fear along the paths of the Trégor. From Trédrez in the west to the area of Goelo and the Abbaye de Beauport in the east, many legends of association in the landscape have grown up around the journeys of St Yves and the powerful image of this slight figure walking his way into sainthood.
|St Yves - Tréguier cathedral|
Sunday, July 09, 2017
Tuesday, July 04, 2017
Saturday, June 03, 2017
My month of May passed in shock, sickness and the slow-motion of watching the self from another place. After collapsing in the forest when out with my dog – who incidentally probably saved my life by licking my face until I recovered consciousness - I was diagnosed with heart problems, taken into intensive care for an operation and eventually sent home for the beginning of a long recuperation which will include weeks in a special centre in Roscoff. I don't have the results of the latest tests yet, I don't have the strength to do more than stroll a few hundred metres with a companion, I no longer breathe easily and I can't face visitors. I don't work or drive, and cling obstinately to this shrunken world. Alongside this torpor, there is a strong element of unreality and separation, a sense of observing the struggles of someone else. To be inactive, fearful and mentally unfit is so alien to who I have always been. Now what, I wonder constantly. My personal landscape is destroyed.Out of the many upheavals and changes that have ensued from one sunny Saturday afternoon, the worst is knowing that I will never again set off light-heartedly for a walk in the forest.
Monday, May 01, 2017
It is a particular combination of the basic elements, earth, air, fire and water that turns a stroll into a walking meditation, drawing one into the frame, actual part of the picture and no longer an observer. How wonderful that this Beltane morning should be such a time
On reaching home I went into my study at once to write these few lines, primarily for my own souvenir of a reviving sabbat experience. And as I write now, chill rain is slicing across the window pane and the cathedral of trees opposite my house toss savagely in what must be tornado remnants. It's a different day. I am equally thankful for both.
Sunday, April 09, 2017
In fact later research revealed that the buildings were seaweed-gatherers cottages originally, then used as shelters during the main quarrying period and later converted into a youth hostel, which was destroyed by German target practice during WWII....