A Latent Spring
When the coronavirus pandemic arrived in Paris, I came to an isolated part of Central France and spent two months in quarantine in a house with a large French family who had all gathered together during this crisis. It was the first time they had all lived together for such a long period of time within close proximity. Everyone was in a partnership at different stages of relationship: young lovers, long married couples, newlyweds with a baby due imminently, those with a new born child. Within this rare experience of communal living, the desire to find moments of isolation, reflection and intimacy with a beloved felt urgent. During confinement when time stood still and the future uncertain, our connections and roots distinctly revealed themselves and appeared more vital than before, our need for relating, for tenderness and for touch, ever greater.
Far from my own small family in England, I observed the delicate and complex structures of an extended family learning to live communally, seeing the tension between an individual’s search for connection yet equally for one’s own solitude.