Friday, August 21, 2015

En route to La Bonne Etoile

It is a little after 9:00 pm. I paid an extra $50 for a seat upgrade so I am on the upper level where I have more leg room and a wider seat, and I'm almost giddy at my good fortune... 2 empty seats beside me! I'm peering across these seats to see Atlanta glittering like a million gold diamonds in the blackness below me. And very soon, after I've had my dinner (take a look at this Air France menu) I am going to stretch out across my 3 seats, cover myself with 2 blankets, and sleep soundly, thanks to a friend with a prescription of something that will knock me out. This may be the first time I have ever slept on a plane crossing the Atlantic.

I am headed back to la Bonne Etoile to teach another pastel workshop. I will see Kippy and Jerome again and their collection of lovely family and friends. I think I have 8 students who will be converging from different points in the US and Canada in a couple of days. And you who are subscribed to my blog will hear every detail of our next two weeks, unless you can figure out a way to block my posts.

But I am suddenly vividly reminded, as I lavish in this not-quite-first-class luxury, of my first flight 6 years ago to La Bonne Etoile. The plan for a year had been that when I finished teaching my class, my husband would fly out to meet me and we would explore northern Italy. It would be a dream come true for both of us. At the last minute he changed his mind for no apparent reason other than to hurt me. He was masterful at that, and I cried the entire way across the Atlantic, afraid I would never be able to stop. The crying didn't stop for another 3 years until I forced myself to crawl out of a depression as dark as what I see below me now (must be the Atlantic because it is nothing but blackness). I marvel now, six years later at my contentedness (is that a word?), at how I am well into a new chapter of my life, how hopeful I am of my future, how compelled I am by a new joy in painting, at how the broken heart and mind heal. Something close to a miracle in my eyes.

Speaking of eyes, I'm gunna' shut mine now. I feel the xanax kicking in.


  1. You are a true inspiration!! Congrats for becoming self actualized and gifting us with your talents and graciousness! Xoxo

  2. Hi Margaret!
    Enjoy your stay "sur le bon vieux continent"....
    Nasty men always have an ugly end...I can tell you ;-)
    See you soon, Francoise

  3. Oh, my sweet, sweet mother. I'm so sorry you ever had to know so much darkness. I love you, and can't wait to read about your adventures!

  4. Margaret thank you for your honesty and your beautiful writing! I sent this post on to a friend who is going through a very painful divorce, and it meant so much to her to read about someone who has gone from where she is now to contentment, peace and joy. Looking forward to all of your posts from France! Annie in Colorado