Bumblemoth en Serécourt

Quintan Ana Wikswo

Quintan Ana Wikswo groeide op in het zuiden van de Verenigde Staten en werd kunstenares.
Voor haar kunst was ze enkele maanden “Artist-in-Residence” op verschillende plekken in de wereld.
Vorig jaar was ze een maand op de “Haut de Fee” ofwel de Feeën heuvel in Serécourt.
In haar weblog: “Bumblemoth” schrijft ze in duistere en poëtische stijl een aantal berichten over haar leven in Serécourt: “Written in Serecourt

Vaak gaat het over de vervallen kerkhoven in de buurt, waar ze ook nog een aantal menselijke botten vind.

Hierbij een aantal bespiegelingen uit haar blog:

Winter brings new isolation to the cobblestone streets and sober blackened walls to the faeries and the Dutch and the few sad French who rest here with their thoughts and their wine and a cumulous cloud of duvet.

Vosges is the Appalachia of France – poor, isolated, forgotten, wrapped in grief from their great civil war of 1918, where the Germans and the French marched back and forth over this patch of land, so many times owned by one and then the other, inbred, cross bred, everyone related by blood and tongue and appetite for milk and egg and grape. The trenches still run here, supposedly empty, yet in truth filled with lost limbs and lack of recompense.

Each village a small obelisk draped in flags with the names of lost boys of the town. No memorial to the Second World War, no plaques, no monuments to the war dead. In these parts, the Germans merely arrived. No bloodshed. No martyred French boys of Christian descent. A hundred thousand Jews left their empty beds behind and perhaps that should be the memorial in these towns – a sort of emptiness. Perhaps that is the memorial in these towns – emptiness. Sorrow. Grief for who has vanished here.

This is a land of absence, a land of lack. Not enough money, not enough attention, or education, or communication. Yet not always: three thousand years ago, this the Jerusalem of the goddesses – beside every spring a priestess, a seer. A tribe of female druids alongside the riverbank, making love and prayer beneath the mistletoe and plum trees. Two thousand years ago, it was a land of midwife and faerie, of pagan love for land and harvest. This the fertile place marked with grave and stone. So many half-humans and demigods buried here that their holy meadows became corporal in the flesh of the humans born here. Known to be strong, to be guided by visions and uncanny knowledge.

Perhaps with Christians came lack. Came the ten thousand ghosts of witches burned along these streets. Came Joan of Arc, and the Black Death, and the losing battle against the victory of something hopeful over something horrific.

The faeries run underground, out of view. The Celts killed by the Catholics. The wise women and witches burned. The boys gashed and gassed in wrenching spurts from canister and bayonet, and bombs great gashes in the flesh of the earth goddesses, where their blood ran into the soil and made it too full of iron for planting wheat. And then the Jews, plucked out one by one in daylight, their possessions gathered up and distributed by the mayor, their houses appropriated while their windows still left the white winter print of fear from little noses pressed close, watching out for the Gestapo.

Each neighbor has a tale of something seen in the fog, a shape in the house, black cloaked figures hunched along a wall, or singing. Visions. Lights that flicker where there are no windows. The house of the Jewish butcher a few doors down – one afternoon hauled away to the train in Lamarche and then to the camps, and how the dogs will no go into his bedroom, and bark for hours at what had been his closet door.

November 12, 2009

Quintan Ana Wikswo

Bovenstaande tekst en foto zijn hier geplaatst met vriendelijke toestemming van Quintan Ana Wikswo