Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Vive la France

Bonjour from France, where I am speaking at an annual arts camp. The camp is situated in the southern region called the Cevennes, about an hour and a half inland from the Mediterranean. This is my third time to be invited to speak here, but it's been five years since the last time. I was eager to see how things have evolved.

It's impossible to visit any place in Europe without discovering some historical significance; in this case, many an impressionist painter, for example, traversed and painted these rolling hills with their picturesque villages. But what I find most striking goes back further than the impressionists: it was to this part of France, among others, that the Huguenots fled the persecution of the Catholic church under Louis XIV in the 17th century. This post will hopefully be followed by a Part II after a visit to the "Musee du Desert." The "desert" in question is not a physical desert, but a period of such intense persecution that the years have come to be known as such. More on that later...

In the meantime, it's gratifying to see the arts flourishing...they've assembled an impressive faculty representing practically all the artistic disciplines -- and I'm speaking at the morning plenary sessions. Reunions with old friends and great conversations with new friends...grateful for the privilege! Out of time for now...more later.

And welcome to Water Cooler Wednesday!

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