I don’t remember my trip to France. I remember moments from my trip.
I remember Sunday morning just after sunrise, walking through the misty streets of Montmartre; the only footsteps echoing on the pavement were Trudy’s and mine. I remember looking down the hill to the city of Paris and seeing only a gray blur. I remember the shuttered shops and restaurants, then the warm golden light pouring from a bakery just opening for business.
I remember the landscape of Brittany flying by my window on the TGV, and trying to catch it all in my notebook.
I remember the bustle on the station platform and David’s face in the crowd, there to meet me.
I remember the sky, the color of an oyster and full of light despite the grayness and the clouds.
I remember the water and the old warehouses reflected like a Vermeer painting, something ugly transformed into something beautiful.
I remember the streets late at night: every window shuttered, every blind firmly closed, no one around but me, under the dark blue sky.
I remember roses and hydrangeas still spilling over high garden walls in November and the tall houses with lace-curtained windows that I passed on the way to the bakery.
I remember the bridge garlanded with eerie blue neon lights at night that made me so dizzy.
I remember filling the hours walking and watching and writing and drawing.
I remember feeling free.