It’s an unexpected weekend – condensed, artistic, and with an extra dose of friendship.
In my memory, Provence is a synonym of lavender. The town is purple-coloured, romantic and remote. After all, my life has been rooted in Asia and North America, and neither place has many commonalities as Provence… just saying this word loud can make you sound that more sophisticated, oui?
On Being Quick
Basically I only have 24 hours in town. Within this timeframe, I need to have a restful sleep, meet up with my friend and her family, visit a couple of art galleries and museums, stopped by at the cathedral church (don’t ask me which one because they all look the same to me which is intense 😅), and enjoy some delicious meal and wine on the terrace. Anything outside these activities will be an ambitious goal, and will ultimately make me more anxious and less relaxed. But for those of you who know me really well, do you notice that I did not mention shopping? France and Covid has evolved my attitude towards shopping. More on this in a future blog.
Now, sitting in my comfortable purple colored and soft padded TGV train back to Lyon, I am proud to say I hit all my initial goals that I set for myself – with some planning work ahead and some good advice from friends and colleagues.
On Being Artistic
When in France, you realize how plain and poor your imagination is. Every minute, you hear yourself being woo-ed and ah-ed by those master pieces created by those world renown painters. If I have to list a couple of my favorite ones here that I encountered during this trip, they have to be Granet and Sorolla.
In addition to art, the narrow streets and the old buildings with bright yellow exterior decorated by white narrow windows frame and green leafy plants are something that make this town poetic and romantic.
To me, Provence is like a fifty something French lady, elegant, mature, full of stories and has lived a life.
You think you know her, or you are getting to know her, but you really don’t. This is only because she has that much wisdom to offer, but she doesn’t make a big deal of it. She whispers to your ear, with a light scent of lavender on her wrist. If you want to understand her, you can try to be closer to her, but be quiet, have a glass of rose first to warm up the air. She is effortless and likes to wear white dress. She also smokes, but the cigarette that she holds between her well manicured fingers, is slim and light, just like her.
The Extra Dose of Friendship
When we visit a place, we turn our attention to the newness… new scene, new building, new museum, new cuisine, new smell, new air, new stores. These subjects have not been in our life before so we must open up our eyes and take deep breath to see and to experience it.
However, what really helps to claim a place in your heart for this place is always about people and emotion.
In Provence, I met up with my colleague and friend – lady Z. She is an intelligent, cool and fun lady. When I chatted with her beautiful family over lunch this Saturday at the Asian restaurant, I told myself I’m going to ink this scene in my heart for a long , long time. She told me her heart pinched when the family said bye to me. What I didn’t tell her is that – the reason I didn’t look back and wave again when walking away is that I had tears in my eyes. When you feel connected with someone, you truly are!
Provence, wait for me. I’ll be back.