mercredi 9 juillet 2008

Lourdes bound

"tawdry relics, the bric-a-brac of piety"
-- Malcolm Muggeridge, BBC

Sam is off to Lourdes, a fabled place to which I have never traveled, with Pips to continue filming for the documentary about Bessie Badilla, once a model for Balenciaga, well-known Philippina television personality and Queen of the Sao Paolo carnaval.

Her story is not mine to tell, but their subject, "Queen Bessie", has reason beyond her own beliefs as a Catholic to return to Lourdes.

Perhaps the documentary will tell. Perhaps not.

They took the train this morning, 5 hours to the very edge of France where it touches Spain in the Hautes Pyrénées to this unremarkable 19th market town made sacred to millions by Bernadette Soubirou's vision of the Virgin Mary in the grotto of Masabiel, and through which the Tour de France will pass on Bastille Day, on the leg to Pau, perhaps to partake of the healing waters, which, as of yet, have not been classified as an illegal substance for the cyclists.

And, yes, that is Saint Bernadette, Bernadette Soubirous. Her miraculously preserved body was exhumed after 30 years in 1909, and provided with a wax mask, she has been treasured as a relic in a case of glass and gold in keeping with this former Catholic tradition, like the bones of the companions of Saint Denis, the priest Rusticus and the deacon Eleutherius, and the saint himself.

I think she is far more beautiful than St. Florent in Corsica. Besides, he was a guy, and a knight.

I'll return to add a picture of him I took when we visited the church built to house him during our travels in Corsica in 2004.

Speaking of relics, I still have a baby bird to bury, and of miracles and unexplained events, durnst I not hope for Sam to have an epiphany of his own in this place among places and make the long-hoped-for turn-around next year?


Justin and Victor

The Franco-American Exchange continues in Viroflay-Paris before leaving tomorrow morning for the Mont St. Michel en route to Brest for the gathering of several thousand old ships in the harbor to celebrate Bastille Day as part of Brest 2008.

I am late. I am expected in Viroflay, and I haven't even taken a shower or reattached the benches in the Voyager to travel with the dogs. They positively cannot stay home alone for another 12 hour stretch.

I have absolutely got to go.

PS: Sh! Don't tell anyone, but it's Anne-so's 40th birthday on the 14th!

PPS: Will O'Wisp

Today marks one year that she has been with us.

I have to call the vet for news about Chloé.

Now, I really have to go.

Note: None of these photos were taken by me. They are from Wikipedia and the Queen Bessie website.

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