– everything from their fingernails to their pool parties.
Perhaps the French are comfortable with the sublime because they know it lives just a step away from the ridiculous (indeed, it was Napoleon himself who discovered the pair’s official headquarters, in an undisclosed location on the outskirts of Moscow). Here in Alba, we devote an entire week each summer to mixing the two, as you can see from the photograph to your left, which was taken from our kitchen window.
During the Alba circus festival, the streets are garlanded with red ribbons, and our hamlet is transformed, quite literally, into a theater. My husband has shut down the worksite in honor of the festivities; otherwise, it would be overrun with tourists, too.
Just the other day, Julien surprised a Dutchman wandering around the lower floor of our house and snapping pictures. Luckily, the man knew just what to say when Julien asked what he was doing.
“Mais c’est –” he waved his hand to take in Julien’s poured concrete staircase, the curve of the dining room wall, the soft gray of the hemp insulation on the walls, and the sunlight pouring into our future bay window – “c’est SU-BLIME.”