October birthday in the Pyrenees
I spent a lovely October birthday week in the Pyrenees. Golden autumn season with a touch of woodsmoke at the end of the day. Plus that weeks New Yorker with three of my favourites; Leonard Cohen, Agnes Martin and Ursula Le Guin. Agnes gone, but Leonard and Ursula aging with such grace and wisdom.
And then I headed up the mountain to La Coume for a weekend of yoga and Tibetan relaxation. In Love and War in the Pyrenees I wrote about La Coume (lacoume.org) as a Quaker refuge for anti-fascist Germans, set up before the Second World War and it was wonderful to stay there and experience such a remote sanctuary. (They got them in the end…) Now La Coume hosts adults and children for a wide range of courses and activities from our yoga, to photography, pottery and music. Pablo Casals and Yehudi Menhin were both frequent visitors. (And Denis Healey visited a couple of times too, as a volunteer before the war.) Two days of relaxation exercises developed by Tibetan monks to support their meditation practise (kum nye) left me feeling as if I had been perfectly ironed. Every crease smoothed out.