Last house standing
It has been a tough week, emotionally and physically. We helped a friend box up 60 years of memories, a home where he has spent every summer since he was ten years old.
In between filling boxes and sorting furniture we heard stories of Henris first kiss, an unrequited teenage love affair, memories of his father throwing moonlit ceremonies to cast away succubus, afternoons spent sculpting with stone from the Lacoste quarries, and summers as an adult watching his children play on the same terrace of his childhood.
He was on his own to decide what was to be discarded and what to keep.
His daughter asked if she could have the tiny ancient bell that sounded everytime the front door opened. His son wanted to keep one of his grandfathers straw hats.
Henri took a beautiful sculpture his father had carved. I couldn't stop thinking about the sculpture and how it was such a tangible connection to his father, stone that had turned under his hands, a transfer of energy that had created something beautiful, more than a piece of clothing or photograph. Stone that had absorbed the rays of Provencal sun over the years.
I lay in bed last night and felt that sculptures presence. The female stone goddess guarding over Lacoste from her high perch just inside Le Portail de Chevres. One of Henris fathers sucubes.
His mothers sewing machine lay gathering dust in the corner.
Little caves untouched in the last 60 years, I discovered a cache of oak barrels and dusty bonbonnes, a set of iron letters that spelt 'Pharmacie' and an 1800s altar chair buried under broken tiles.
Raphael invited a SCAD photography student, Patrick Bepko to document the process, his images capture perfectly the beating heart of this home and the immense sense of sadness in having no choice but to leave it behind.
One of Henris fathers hats on its perch.
Harvest - souvenirs of summers past
Mismatching cups and pottery that didn't find a new home.
After a morning spent moving boxes and furniture, we sat and broke bread, a heavy unspoken sadness weighed on every ones mind.
Friendship, it doesn't matter the years that seperate you in age.
It is to reach out and let someone know they are not alone.
To view more of Patricks beautiful images visit his instagram gallery