Wending our way round the soft bends of the Jura mountains in eastern France, we find an even softer landscape there of sloping green fields, pine forests in hues of auburn and umber, and smoothed sedimentary stone struck in blue tones.
It is the stone, this almost 200 million year old Jurassic limestone, I find most intriguing. Rock of ages? I suppose that is so.
The stone has been shaped through eons, ages, and eras of landmass upheaval, volcanic eruptions, intrusion of glaciers, and the coming and going of creatures from dinosaurs to homosapiens.
This rocky region, described as lush during the Jurassic age, is yet verdant and abundant, and graced with blue-green lakes and a cascade of mystical majestical waterfalls. It was in the tiny village of Chaux du Dombief that we found an entrance to one of the Jura’s jewels: Les Cascades du Hérisson:
While the rushing water and its roar are captivating, it is once again the stone that takes my breath away. Its so old, so enduring and oddly comforting, helping me to breath, to think as Diana lays dying a world away from here.
We met twice… a weekend in Boston to meet up with undercovercalico (there for a conference) and Victory Coffee (there for school). She invited me, a stranger really, to stay at her home. We were meeting ucc and VC at a restaurant somewhere, so we hopped in her beloved BMW M3 and broke land speed records (I’m pretty sure we did) getting there. She found my fear hilarious and never let up on the gas, in case you were wondering.
And, if I remember right, we met a stranger, a gal who was by herself and at the same conference as undercovercalico… so we invited her to join us for dinner … this lady turned out to be just a little bit strange (which was oddly fitting for the whole experience) and certainly, it didn’t stop us from LOTS of political talk and LOTS of laughing.
The next time ml and I saw each other, believe it or not, was in Paris. She had sent me an e-mail: “will you be around in March?” I replied with “WHY?” Should it surprise me that she was going to be in Paris with her daughter on the very weekend I would be there with my friend Wendy? So yeah… we met up in Paris, had a great evening and delicious meal.
Next day, we hopped the speed train from Gare du Nord to the Netherlands; she spent four or five days with me and ej at our home in Leiden. We had a lot of fun and timing was perfect as we had dinners with some of our favorite people. And that walk around the center of Leiden was very special… sitting for coffee, a glass of wine… and the blue scarf she bought for me.
I’m pretty sure ml’s true friendships were like ours.. quirky, stand-alone, each of her friends feeling as though we’d known Diana forever… whether we met one or 100 years ago.
Amazing. Virtual friends made on a blog for god’s sakes. Maybe it’s a bit trite, but it’s hard not to list some of the names of those who shared the halycon days: undercovercalico, jessical, RiaD, fatdave, nocatz, Rusty1778, robyn, buhdydharma, On The Bus, 73rd Virgin, tahoe, Edger, Alma, brobin, flagpole, keirdubois, the shahs, ek (of course), among so many others.
I spoke to ml two weeks ago, before ej and I left for France. We spoke for about an hour… driven by politics and funny stuff, it was like all our conversations. She worked hard to find the breath for it, and I just didn’t really understand it would be our last… my last time hearing that great gravely voice.
Diana’s last breath was sometime during the day on 19 August. She was surrounded by her real-world family and by the energy and love of those of us she adopted online, especially her Wimpy Badgers.
I will miss her and those e-mails with all the funny or cute stuff she’d found and wanted to share… I’d taken to saving those mails for my rainy days… when I needed a dose of Diana, I could just open a couple feel better or just feel comfortable.
She did this dying thing real well. Diana had more than courage. It wasn’t just being brave. She was confident and at peace. Her time was at hand and she was graceful and well, just Diana.
Love you honey… and my heart goes out to your kids and your husband and real-world friends, as well as to those of us who called you masslass……………
this was her last blog comment:
In the nick of time (3.00 / 3) [delete comment]
IP Address: 184.108.40.206
a perfect, peaceful poem ..there’s something to be said for being peaceful… and drugs do help. plus that sweet zen spot.
Just so you know,I’m fine with this trip… and from the looks of things hte trip is easier than typing stoned.
The government does not run on unicorn kisses and/or butterfly farts.
by: masslass @ Tue Aug 16, 2011 at 01:10:03 AM EDT