Sunday, September 26, 2010

Provence, minus lavender fields

Grey sky, grey sweater, grey day. 
Sitting on the right side of the car as I always do, Pépère, Mémère and I were weaving our way through the maze of small villages, and winding roads that will eventually lead to Province. A jazz singer with a beautiful deep voice serenaded us as I reflected on the coming few years. Should I really be spending my precious moments here trying to arrange what’s to come? A few people have mentioned lately that I’m being wasteful, but if I weren’t this way, I wouldn’t be here at all.
As always when deep in thought, my features had fallen, and my eyebrows were sewn. For fear of being mistaken as sad, I changed windows to appear less sullen, and much to my dismay, the scenery didn’t serve me any favors. 
It was as though an artist had taken only grey based paints, and worked away at the mountainous piece only on days when their mood suited the dismal color scheme. Lonely little houses sprinkled the hills between damp towns, and despite very little distinction in silhouettes, the storm clouds blooms were unfortunately well defined. We had passed pastures, filled with trudging horses, and in one almost uplifting case, a shepherd with his two black sheep dogs, leading waves of sheep over a foot deep ledge, just enough to create a snuggly texture. But, the Napoleon route continued, and so did we, leaving the soggy sheep behind. 
The CD was about to go on loop, so we stopped before a new segment of the road was to lead us around yet another bend. After examining a church from the 11 century, inconspicuously tucked into the back pocket of a township, we made a mad dash from our cover under a weeping willow to the car. 
Dreams of sunny lavender fields like a beacon of hope in my mind, I braced myself for the car sickness that always catches up to me after a brief stop, and had my breath taken away.
Nine mountains were strung along in a chain somewhere into a shy sun. That depressed artist must have been inspired, since he didn’t take the time to switch paint pallet, but he painted his soul onto a moving canvas. The most flawless example of grey scale I’ve ever seen stretched before my eyes, ranging from almost black closest to us, to nearing white under the rays that were putting up a desperate struggle to escape the misty cloud bank. A watercolor masterpiece, each individual hill had it’s own character, distinct juts and cone. I was braced for my stomach to churn, not the tears that hide behind one’s eyes lids. 
Mouth already agape, a cry to draw my Mémère’s attention to the gallery we were about to pass was drowned out by an exclamation from Pépère. Tearing myself away from the view to catch my breath, I was ready to take in more hidden ruins, wildlife or a witty sign that anyone without the eyes of a hawk would never see, only to have the wind knocked out of me.
It’s not easy on the eyes to go from a black and white TV to technicolor. It’s true when they say that once you change perspective, things only get better. If my mountain chain was in grey tone water color, the rainbow that splayed from the canyon on my right was in rich acrylic. Not in a photograph, not in a dream have I ever seen a rainbow like this. Each arc was so vivid, each color so distinct, it was as if they were the inspiration for the pure pigment that tints paint, and yet they blended together like powder pastels. 
The sun blazed, and my heart absolutely soared. That rainbow was a melody accompanied by a harmonizing line, semi transparent, but in notes just as pure. 
That corner turned seemingly on it’s own, and five minutes of more corners rolled by without my daring to move. The farther we drew away from my perception of the origin, the wider the rainbow stretched it’s wings. 
Suddenly, the lonely little houses were Villas that had landed far from Cansas and the world seemed dry, but sprinkled with dew. 
When we came to a stopping point, it was dissolving into a cliff, and in a simple, perfect silence, we sat, until it had left to change someone else’s outlook on the moment, on the day, on their life. 
This is why I write. The photos we didn’t take would never have captured the moment anyways, and in time, however it turned out the colors would have faded. Memories are the same, and when we try to correct them, they tend to be exaggerated, or innacurate. On the rare occasion when I get the words right, I can go back, and live it over and over again, never fading, never forgetting. The idea behind this blog was to do the same for all of you, but to make you see it when you read it. Live it with me? 

1 comment:

  1. I think the South of France has been blessed to receive yet one more gifted artist!
    Though your main gift is in music, you so articulately and artistically describe your surroundings, one does not need much imagination to transpose the descriptions into imagery.
    You're amazing