Cafe La Nuit, Van Gogh's Cafe, Arles, France

Cafe La Nuit, Van Gogh's Cafe, Arles, France

It is Mother’s Day.  Mike, Nicole and Alexis all called to wish me a happy Mother’s Day and to hear about my trip to France.  What could I say?   I am a painter, not one good with words and terrible on the phone.  How could I tell them what I felt as I sat within yards of the spot Van Gogh once sat to paint the Cafe La Nuit?  How could I tell them how I felt when I walked through the cobblestone streets of Viviers at eleven o’clock at night  in the golden light of the lamps, shuttered windows, an ancient ghost town whose inhabitants shut themselves in when the sun set.  How could I describe how it felt to begin my morning with my yoga practice on the upper deck of the boat with the pink of the morning sun lighting the cypress trees as the boat traveled north?  There is so much I want to share but I don’t know how.

This trip, this amazing gift from my dear friend Mlle. Jane, is a turning point.   It will take a while for me to process exactly what happened during this adventure.  I feel as if I finally became acquainted with the painter who lives inside of me.  We have been strangers for a very long time, knowing the existence of one another, but not comfortable enough to become friends.  I hope that I will be able to articulate this transformation at some time in the future, especially to my children.  They have put up with so much, growing up with me as their mother, always there but not, always focused on patterns, shapes and lines, always trying to call attention to the beauty of rust, of insects, of thunderstorms and full moons.  I am so lucky to be the mother of Michael, Nicole and Alexis.  Wherever life takes me, I know they will support my life’s adventure and will be happy for me that I am willing to take the chance of falling off the edge.  I am pretty sure that I won’t fall off that edge for at least another thirty years.

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