Of all the carefully carved stones that contributed to the rise and glory of the once mighty farm we in present days smeared so unseemly with our pink fantasies, most have fallen down, perished disgracefully through wind and rain and time, adding to it a layer of mystical natural decay. Or, if I lose my romantic disposition for a small moment because of its tendency to blur the image: the property still standing at Les Pierres used to be a lot bigger.
I can spend days observing the remains, musing about what once was, fantasizing about one day possessing the essential skills to bring back some of its previous splendor and enkindle justice to the dream by turning it into reality.
It is on those days that these stones talk back to me, in many different tongues, drawing my attention to certain details, corners, passages, filling in gaps. These are not the dreams of upcoming construction proceedings, on the contrary, the whisperous conversation in my head usually takes a direction away from any vision for rebuilding when the ruin entrusts me: “What if these are my glory days ? What if I’m at my supreme best now ?”
This is the soothing gift of old stones, or what a friend of ours likes to call ‘Meaux’, her wonderful attempt to designate a sensation you really can’t give any words to however you try, but once felt becomes indispensable in life. In my inner world it’s like a more profound, aged version of the Doris Day song ‘Que Sera Sera’, with the same cheerful melancholy.
A contractor, passing by for a different job, clearly couldn’t hear the stones’ reasonings. He suggested the best because cheapest way for rebuilding would be to tear everything down and build a home with modern building blocks, sticking the old stones to the outside of the new structure, kind of like a stage set. Although I liked the analogy, being from theatre myself, he couldn’t have cut my soul deeper.
Whatever will, that will not be.