“Reflets de Janvier”
Pencil, pastel, and watercolor
June 2022
$150 (please pm or email dterrydraw@aol.com if interested in purchase)
Herve and I once (in 2012) fled his parents’ overscheduled and FAR too chaotic (they are relentlessly social, in their tiresomely haute-bourgoisie way…think “COUNTRY CLUB SET”) house in Tours, drove South, and we ended up in Toulouse, in the far South of France. I loved it (And the quiet, during the post-Christmas days, when all the lights were still up, but most of the town seemed to be slightly hung-over and certainly subdued).
On new Year’s Eve, we left the fancy, Place du Capitole hotel (skipping the all-too-elaborate dinner we’d paid for) and simply spent the evening at a quai-side bar by the river, happily drinking cheap house-wine and gorging on raw oysters and crackers under the Pont Neuf (the town’s oldest bridge, from the 16th century). It was one of the most purely happy nights of my life. The only poem for it is this, by reliable old Miss Edna:
“Recuerdo” (see below)

“We were very tired, we were very merry—
We had gone back and forth all night on the ferry.
It was bare and bright, and smelled like a stable—
But we looked into a fire, we leaned across a table,
We lay on a hill-top underneath the moon;
And the whistles kept blowing, and the dawn came soon.

We were very tired, we were very merry—
We had gone back and forth all night on the ferry;
And you ate an apple, and I ate a pear,
From a dozen of each we had bought somewhere;
And the sky went wan, and the wind came cold,
And the sun rose dripping, a bucketful of gold.

We were very tired, we were very merry,
We had gone back and forth all night on the ferry.
We hailed, “Good morrow, mother!” to a shawl-covered head,
And bought a morning paper, which neither of us read;
And she wept, “God bless you!” for the apples and pears,
And we gave her all our money but our subway fares.”

—-edna st vincent millay. 1931