“Why don’t he write?” (Dennis Aubrey)

We are here at the Source of the Le Loiret, in the town of Olivet, just south of Orleans. We have made our way aross the backroads of France slowly and painfully as I’ve regained consciousness. Today was my first where I was recognizably human, with my mind working on other than the dim, prehensile level on which it had been serving. I was convinced by the the distress and visions of the Auvergne that my life existed on a one-to-one relationship with the universe. This created conditions of interrelationships of health and eating that drinking that convulsed me. It was impossible to sort out that would work and would not work, had worked and had promise. It was a constantly shifting process and I spun emptily in the confusion of lost senses.

Finally, PJ determined what had to be done and sent us to Olivet, the massive single hole in the earth that served as a source for one of the major rivers of France. When I was growing up in France, the source at Olivet was always one of the touchstones for my father, who was a military engineer stationed at Olivet. Throughout our lives his stories of the the massive waters were a living thing.

As we moved through the flat plains of central France, I lost the sense of this world of with all of its transient modernity. The lives of generations washed away like the miles the we drove. The land became part of a deeper and more profound France. We returned to la source, the deep pulsing waters that poured from the bowels of the earth. It was a place of health and healing, frequented by Celts and Gauls. Romans probably worshipped here and they, like the others, were newcomers. Today it is home to a hospital which has come to my rescue. Now, at 4:30 in the morning, the countryside is undisturbed by a Novatel sign at the hotel or a parking lot filled with the vehicles of commercial travelers, the river continues to heal, roiling up from the abîme.

I could have been lying in a moon-washed Celtic field in the middle of night, listening to the waters as they streamed endlessly from the earth and rushed to fill the river beyond. I am hoping that the healing waters can return me home with PJ, and pray that they can somehow wash the slim, suffering body of a brother in Massachusetts.

25 responses to ““Why don’t he write?” (Dennis Aubrey)

  1. I’m hoping you’re Lieutenant Dunbar in this story and not the skeleton in the desert. Sounds like you’re on the frontier. Hope to hear good news soon.

    • Nathan, far worse, got horrible stomach infection that put me completely down for six days. Doctors and the source taking care of me now. We cancelled the entire second half of the trip.

      • Oh no 😦 But I’m glad you found the source. Haven’t forgotten about guest-posting for you, don’t worry (as if that was the first thing on your mind). Take care of yourself, regards to PJ.

  2. it all sounds so wretched; it is hard enough being sick at home, but to be sick when away from your the comfort of your own hearth and bed is even worse. I hope you are feeling better soon.

  3. Best wishes for steady betterness: bodies, eh! Liability at best of times!
    I remember another Source, once: the Source of the Seine. I was staying at Dijon, and bussed, walked and hitched lifts there and back. I remember long rows of roadside trees all heavy-headed with mistletoe. The Source itself was a whimsical 19th Century grotto. Ah, well. The water ran over coloured pebbles under huge canopies of trees. That itself was magical.
    Best wishes.

  4. I was worried about you. Now I know the reason. You, P.J. and your family are in my prayers for a speedy recovery and a joyful convalescence.


  5. I am so sorry to learn that you have been so very ill…though it sounds as if you are now in safe hands.
    I used to know something of that relationship with our old earth driving to and from the hospital at Poitiers…..dolmens, standing stones, river fords and sources on either side all the way.
    Best wishes for your recovery.

  6. Dennis, I, too, pray for your quick and complete recovery. You must live and live healthfully in order to continue your exquisite photographic art. So many of us have come to depend on it to refresh our souls. By the way, thank you very much for the wonderful gift you bring to this network.

    Be well,


  7. Dennis, your words were disconcerting, and your condition sounds worse! Merde! I am sorry that this trip you were so looking forward to has taken this turn! Although you seem to reflect so profoundly on all of your experiences, so chalk this one up accordingly… I thought you might be in Normandy for the big commemoration tomorrow…(D-Day, June 6). Guess those heads of state will have to carry on without you;-)

    All the best for your recovery,

  8. Dennis – WOW! Thrilling! Only you!!! What an adventure …. it may sound morbid but, truth be told, I am so looking forward to seeing you upon your return. I can not wait to hear the tale surrounding what must be now tumultuous to your senses but will, someday, make a great story for the ages… get well and safe travels!!!!!!!!!!

  9. You became hill until you came back to the source… Tolkien is not very far… Sources are garded by fairies, i hope they are kind to you…

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