Saturday 19 August 2017: Corn Field 12k beyond La Tranche-sur-Mer to the Coast around L’Houmeau [Part 1]
6:52. France isn’t all: ‘my-camera-isn’t-good-enough-for-these vistas’, ‘insouciant chic’, and ‘effortless cool’.
As we made our way along the much-longer-than-it-appeared-on-our-mapping-application D747, our in-union-with-our-sense-of-self-within-the-world-around-us was torn asunder, as every crevice of calm was assailed and invaded by the monotone roar of machines belligerently missioning from there to there, regardless and heedless, oblivious and dangerous – to life.
To all life,
That is all.
Cars, cars, and more cars, and trucks, and lorries, and camper-vans, and caravans, and engines, and wheels, rowing and rolling and pushing, racing, bursting great holes through the fabric eternal; no longer eternal, but victim to the cold caprice of disinterested cogs in the wheels that steal anything life.
Finally, we got off the main thoroughfare of coastal dashers to enjoy the paths, lanes and trails running along the dikes threaded through this land once reclaimed from the sea.
Even here, though, sanctuary was shattered by the sound of holiday camps pumping manufactured enthusiasm through inadequate systems, creating that perfect sense of jarring disharmony you feel when something is out of synch with the Living World.
Camps where kids are sent for a fortnight of enforced frivolity and fun-by-numbers, which must be fun for some – but is clearly none for some.
Definitions of ‘fun’ are as varied as those of ‘interesting’, ‘tasty’, ‘quality’, ‘beautiful’, ‘ugly’, ‘sexy’. They’re just words invested with meaning by the speaker, then invested with a slightly different meaning by the beholder.
Other words announce themselves as I reflect upon yesterday.
Again, two words that hadn’t applied to our French sojourn so far.
We exited the marshland and continued along a lonely lane, tailwinds enthusiastically assisting us along our way.
lost in a breeze
We got lost.
Well, not lost, but off track,
so we had to re-route
Back on the 747.
Caravan parks to the left of me. Caravan parks to the right. No-one allowed in or out. Concentration camps of conformity, where fun is synthesised down to its lowest common denominator and mass-produced on cost-effective scales out of garish materials born not of this Natural World; and born never to return to it either.
Hollow sounds, which ring tragic in the ear, carrying within them the absence of feeling that fills a joyful expression announced of spontaneity and free-wills expressing themselves.
“We are on holiday.
We are here to have fun now.
And fun we shall have. Goddammit.”
And they are everywhere around the Le Tranche area. People farmed out here en masse, deprived of the money they have worked hard for, to spend on this idea they have bought into, which seems to rob most all of their dignity and virtue, as they are subject to bombardment by the slightly off-colour, slightly out-of-tune, not-quite-the-same-tasting world; where individuality is quashed and a human becomes a mob; where frustration is released through enforced hilarity; where cries are released as alcohol numbs; infusing these simulacra of happiness with strains of terror, of anger, frustration and anguish, and a self-consciousness that this is a situation not really born of one’s own desires, but of choices made by another – and not really for your own benefit.
And it saddens me.
And it’s tragic.
And it’s sad.
which is why I’m here, and not over there,
where we all are
Who am I