Try A Little Tenderness

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Sometimes all a house needs is a little love.

I find myself rambling through Lescure’s hallways after a particularly burdensome day of heated discussions with the local builders who, like us, have very specific ideas about the estate’s restoration. It’s been a heady mix of ego masking as either professional or creative pride, of cultural differences, a lack of planning and the inability to tolerate imperfection of any kind, all showered with a total confusion of tongues.

Along corridors and up and down stairs, the air heavy with a residue of discontent, I tell the house not to worry; I won’t have its faded looks dismissed as an eyesore! I touch the cracked walls, stroking my hand along the many scars. I leave art behind, as if to lift the muted feel and change the melancholy mood across the house.

A small souvenir that I got in Wassenaar’s Museum Voorlinden – Juliette Warmenhoven’s Maple Coin – adds a soft stitch to what looks like a painful and deep wound. Casper Faassen’s image of geisha ‘Jing Jing’ – too coquettish to my taste when displayed in full view – takes on a delicate beauty once it disappears like a memory behind misty glass that’s beyond cleaning. And a soulful etching by Rien van der Nat exudes silence as it plays with pale strokes of light and shadow on a weathered wall.

As my art consolation tour comes to an end, I realise that Lescure is quite unperturbed by the day’s events and very much at ease with its blemishes. I’m the fragile one who needs soothing, not the house. Lescure, ever the gentle teacher, provides relief by making a poetic visual connection between its ageing beauty and these simple works of art. In loving Lescure, I may come to love my imperfections and myself too. All it takes is a little tenderness.

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