|SOUNDTRACK SCREENPLAY DOWNLOADS SCREENINGS DVD
Not yet blooming
The Alchemists Garden
Back to Diary Index
As we emerge from the Papal Palace to a soft pink early evening light, Michael Ondaatje suggests a ride on a carousel. Rebecca Swift and Rebecca Abrams, Michael and I sit on our painted wooden horses, laughing, laughing, and singing, as we slowly turn and turn on our horses as they rise and fall. Later, around midnight, after a feast, driving back into Egaylieres, Michael and I are consumed with the need to find a house we had each stayed in (at different times) some years back. Laughing, again, we stumble about in the dark. This is it. No, here! A light on in the house, a figure moving behind the shutters. Michael shouting up a name into the darkness.
The next morning I visit the alchemists’ garden one last time and take some photographs with my mobile phone. For the last month I have been gardening in southern central France: a view of mountains in the distance, but my eyes mostly scanning what is close. I have had my hands in the earth, day after day, calloused from digging, torn and bleeding from brambles, thistles and nettles.
I have planted three varieties of potato, two of carrot, four of French bean; tomatoes, leeks, beetroot (red and golden), three types of basil plus thyme, rosemary, mint, dill, tarragon, borage and coriander. The strawberries, when I left, were red and heavy; the roses were starting to bloom. A year ago it was a wilderness, full of choking weeds. Now it looks empty, too clean, but cared for.
Tomorrow, in London, I will be in a meeting about an opera; two scripts now sit in my suitcase, surrounded by uncertainty, budding but not yet blooming.
Text © Sally Potter. All pictures © Adventure Pictures unless otherwise indicated