Monday, February 13, 2012

Details of Sisteron via Cupidon


It might be best if I leave St. Valentine's Day alone. Not that I am bitter, my no. True, there were many that I spent single in NYC, some while waiting tables on couples that were frankly a little too eager to have the perfect evening. Even as a child in chilly Mid-western classrooms, I wasn't the one that would receive valentines, although I would collect those candy hearts and make up stories in my head. 



Actually one of the best memories I have for this particular holiday is that of me marching (literally) across midtown Manhattan during a blizzard to Tiffany's. Yes, you read right. What I thought I would find there I didn't know. My funds were quite feeble. And yet Tiffany's never disappoints. 



As someone who has spent her fair time at the altar of Audrey Hepburn, I should probably blush at the obvious reference but I certainly didn't then. Like Holly GoLightly, I would often stroll around the quiet of the store when well enough dressed to do so, just to peer into the cases and feel the curious glances of the salesclerks from behind their upholstered perches.



I actually did find something that day. An Elsa Peretti pendant on the thinnest silver chain. A square rectangle with an indent the size of a thumb print. One that I would later pass over and over again like a rosary to keep my courage high. I couldn't really afford it but then again, I couldn't really afford not to. Not on that day.



Not all of us fit in to just the right places at just the right time. I felt that also while walking around Sisteron not long ago. What is appreciated, what is put by the wayside? As I mentioned recently, Remi and I spent a few days in the northern Luberon with Sisteron as our base. The town is for many just the first break of sunshine after a long journey from the North. It surprised me to see that so little of its Centre Historique had been renovated and yet how incredible to see the swaths of time untouched.


The gorgeously sculpted door in the first photo is absolutely the most beautiful that I have ever seen in Provence. And just about anywhere, I would garner. And yet it is the entry to an unremarkable building, forgotten perhaps save for the carving at its entry that is too beautiful to not be remarked upon. The bombshell of Sisteron, so to speak.



There is beauty all around us. Sometimes someone sees it and appreciates it for what it is, whether it is perfect or no. Today, I am sending out my best to the single women and men who happen to read this blog. I can never begin to understand the timing of the world and yet today is just a holiday. Celebrate it as you see fit.

As for me, well Remi and I did find each other, both of us carrying all of the patina of the last door. It is never easy nor a fairy tale. I am grateful for him and Ben and the rest of my family everyday. And not just on St. Valentine's. 

Love is love.




38 comments:

Wyn Vogel said...

Yah - well said - the bit about always not just 'one' day!!! The story just flows around the imagery - you are well written!! Cheers!!

Mary said...

Beautiful post for what i call 'hearts & flowers' day! On the one hand , i think it's good that a day is set aside especially for couples, then on the other hand it seems too contrived and Hallmark-ish. It's the seemingly small gestures every day that signify true love, i think. But then again.. to each his/ her own. It's one of those things people make of what they will. I just love the chocolate hearts and pretty flowers. The sweet and colorful in the midst of February in the gray Pacific Northwest winter! Have a happy one tomorrow however you spend it! :D

Acquired Objects said...

The husband is in NYC this week so tomorrow I'll be with my other man celebrating our day together...Dylan dog! I've hidden a card in the husband's truck sending him love from Dylan and I. I never seem to be in the same place as my man on this day but that's ok because I have his love!

Happy Valentine's Day Heather to you, Remi and Ben!
XX
Debra~

French Girl in Seattle said...

Great post Heather. it's true, people celebrate Valentine's day differently; some don't even celebrate it all; but whatever works for you, right? I, too, am grateful for the wonderful people - and pets - in my life, and not just on Valentine's day. I love your story about shopping at Tiffany's. I might have met you there, that day, long ago. I own an Elsa Peretti pendant myself! Mine is a big hollow circle. Le Husband got it for me when Junior was born, 12 years ago. Beautiful photos. I can tell you are enjoying the new camera. Veronique (French Girl in Seattle)

Judith said...

What an apt post this is for Valentine's Day. I have been so lucky in love. My beloved and I found each other 30 years ago, so together we have developed the patina of that last door. He may prefer Costco to Tiffany's (Neither of us has ever been inside Tiffany's though one of us would very much like to go!) but it's the small, daily gestures we make for each other that signify true love.

helen tilston said...

Hello Heather

I love your post and the images are spectacular.

Valentine's Day and New Year's Eve can be very lonely times for single people. They can feel excluded. Both are just days and it is the love and kindness throughout the year which is important.

Wishing you the joys of tomorrow

Helen xx

robin said...

At first I thought this post might be about me & Valentine's Day (Sisteron..Cupidon), and it sort of is - thanks for the shout out to us single ladies! Beautiful pictures; yet again, reminding us to slow down, observe the beauty, and feel the love that is all around us. Thanks for the reminder! And can't wait to express that love to you in a GIANT hug in a few days time!! : )
Happy Valentine's Day!!!!!

I Dream Of said...

Happy Valentine's Day -- I also spent lots of years testing doors, hoping to open the right one. It was worth the wait. I think Valentine's Day belongs to us all. A cheerful day in the cold of winter that encourages us to spread love in it's many forms! The candy, the hearts, the flowers aren't so important as the reminder to be grateful for the love in our lives.

Happy Valentine's Day to you, Heather! XO

Jackie (travelnwrite) said...

I like to think of Valentine's Day as a good reason for a romantic getaway. . .romance as in the sense of adventure. The getaway can be as simple as a glass of champagne, a deep dark chocolate and a soak in the tub with a branch of lemon balm to scent the water and a good book to take me to some exotic place (and away from Seattle's gray skies). . .it doesn't have to be hearts and flowers.

Jewel Yet to Find said...

Oh Heather! This is one of the best of your posts. ...and Tiffany's...Two drifters off to see the world...A couple of years ago we went to NYC for our anniversary, the present meant to be the ballet in NYCB, Hommage to Jerome Robbins. We were passing Tiffany's, I never could make myself go in no matter how tempting it was (of course it's the movie, Audrey Hepburn and her song. I'm not a fan of Tiffany's designs btw, except for Elsa Peretti ) That time hand in hand we entered and I came out with tiny Peretti Round Pendant which I love very much. Along with wonderful performance, dinner and walk through the Park to hotel it was one of the best evenings in our life and Peretti certainly contributed to the charm.

So whenever my husband forgets the special days and dates I'm trying to remember that one.
Thank you Heather.
Your pictures weave with the story perfectly: weathered beauty with the patina... chocolates or not...
Happy Valentine's to you and Remi!
PS: Thanks for the comment. Yes we were in Arles last August. ce dommage we haven't met.
Natalie.

Lost in Provence said...

Thanks Wyn-cheers right back at ya!

Lost in Provence said...

You know I did cave and buy a rose for my honey yesterday Mary. It just made me happy to do it. But I agree, the little things...

Lost in Provence said...

Debra, I love that you hid a card in your honey's truck! I used to do that with Remi's photobag when he was going off on assignment without me. Sometimes it would take him a really long time to find the notes too. And hooray for Dylan dog! Fine company if ever there was. :)

Lost in Provence said...

You look way too young to have a 12 year old but what a thoughtful gift your sweetie gave you. I love that!

Lost in Provence said...

So wonderful, Judith. How amazing to be able to say that you have been lucky in love and to know that. And 30 years...that is amazing. We can forgive a good man a little Costco for that.

Lost in Provence said...

Thank you so much Helen and I agree. They are challenging holidays both of them. Sending you joy for today!

Lost in Provence said...

Sister, you know I am surrounded by single ladies this year--each, like yourself, totally beautiful, smart and amazing. It is a mystery to me! And I can't wait to see you!!!

Lost in Provence said...

Perfectly, perfectly said Jeanne! As always and I loved your post too. Thank you so much for the kind wishes and the warmth of your sentiments, they really made me smile. So happy you found the right door too.

Lost in Provence said...

It is so true, Jackie. Actually, your recipe for a romantic getaway sounds just about perfect to me right now! I think Seattle is amazing but I don't know how you handle the gray. The last time I visited, it had been overcast for 111 days in a row!

Lost in Provence said...

Natalie, your story is so beautiful. There is something so especially wonderful about a touch of the unexpected for such a romantic evening! How lovely and yes, how smart to keep that evening in mind when others are less so. Something I need to do myself! Bisous.

LA CONTESSA said...

I love how you tracked across to TIFFANYS in a billzard!Love how you found an item to purchase.Love how you would rub it on occasion.LOVE LOVE LOVE reading the comments before mine finding out your sister is popping over for a visit!I want photos together of the two of you!Okey-Dokey?Put Remi on that mission PLEASE!
We had a gorgeous meal last night at friends and I kept thinking why didn't I bring my camera!
The menu!
Radishes&Beef Tonque (I didnt partake in tonque!)
Oro Blanco, Avocado,Crab&Chervil
Spagettini with Lobster,Creme Fraiche and Saffron
Fresh Monterrey Spot Prawns in Orange Dust with Artichoke Hearts and Frisee
Tangerines,Dates,Pears & Chocolates.
A feast that was truley beautiful.

Tabitha said...

Is that hand a door knocker? So spooky!
Every time I've been in NYC with a boyfriend we've split up, I even left the hubs high and dry there once, I just can't go there, it makes me so stressed and prone to lunacy.

Lost in Provence said...

What? I am heading right over for lefovers (true, they will be mighty cold when I get there) because that must have been one amazing dinner!

Lost in Provence said...

Trust me, the door knocker is even spookier in person--she has a delicate ring and a frilly cuff--shiver me timbers. And yep, we all have our no-go zones and they can come in surprising places. Certainly there is something about NYC where everything is possible to such an extent that one can be willing to throw everything out the window, just because. Glad it didn't stick. And happily, there are plenty of other phenomenal world cities to get lost in...like Rome. Kyoto. Rio...

Glamour Drops said...

Hear hear Heather! The saddest thing on Valentine's Day is seeing the try-hard couples, desperately trying to make it the most romantic of days. To me, romance is a dish best served with surprise and spontaneity, to avoid being contrived. Who can possibly decree that it should happen on cue?

That door knocker, tell me more.. there seems to be a story attached. Spooky or no, it is impossibly beautiful. x

Karena said...

Heather the images and especially the door knocker are amazing.

I love your account of your evening in NYC and Tiffany's!

Visit soon, I miss your comments...

xoxo
Karena
Art by Karena

HRH The Duchess of State said...

What a beautiful story dahhling.. loved the image of you trampling through the snow to reach the mecca of Tiffany's, and your beautiful tour in images of this charming town. Simply charming...

design elements said...

well written!

Katherine said...

Beautifully written post - and love the images of the door and knockers. Hope you had a lovely holiday!

Lost in Provence said...

I always felt so bad for those couples--they would seem so nervous! And how often do you hear of couples getting into fights on Valentine's? Expectations are tricky things.

The door knocker is of a style that was fairly prevalant here during the 19th century, although this is the prettiest one that I have seen--I wish that the photo did it justice. Still getting to know my camera and the setting wasn't quite right!

Lost in Provence said...

I really apologize Karena, I have been remiss on visiting many of my favorite blogs, it is true. Very glad I didn't miss your current post--it is excellent!

Lost in Provence said...

Merci Duchess. I am looking forward to what intrigues your next post will entail...

Lost in Provence said...

Merci!

Lost in Provence said...

Thank you Katherine--coming from you, means a lot! I love your blog--just signed up... :)

david terry said...

Oh, surely I'm not the only one who's immediately recalling poor, enterprisingly-underinformed Michelle Williams in "Brokeback Mountain".
Warily yours as ever,

David Terry

Lost in Provence said...

Bah, I think you must be right as for once, I have no idea what you are talking about! Not even the slightest cluuue.

PS. no idea why your comment didn't pop up--it has been happening randomly lately...

quintessence said...

So lovely!! We certainly have all had our moments where we, ourselves, were the only sources of joy on this day meant for two. Unlike Tabitha, I love the hand knocker - it somehow represents a human element welcoming visitors to the door and I love that it is clearly well used!

Lost in Provence said...

So true Stacey. And yes, the door knocker was polished to a warm glow from many, many years of use. Still so beautiful. How different than how things are today--made to last.