I was going to die in Paris. Well, why not? If it was good enough for Oscar Wilde, it was certainly good enough for me. Like Oscar, I was lying in bed preparing to have my last rites administered. Unlike Oscar, however, my melodrama was all in my head. Some horrible strain of flu, or perhaps a small but deadly tumor ticking away, slowly increasing pressure on a vital artery or such. As I writhed in agony on the twisted sweat-soaked bed linens, a decision of great import struggled up from the deep, murky recesses of my consciousness: I was not going to die like Oscar Wilde. No, no way. I was going to die like Vincent Van Gogh! In the South, in Provence, in Arles.
I struggled up out of bed, pulled my clothes on, packed my suitcase, left my hotel and headed for the Gare de Lyon. Before I knew it, the warm sun of the Mediterranean was shining on my face as I left the station at Avignon, the heart of Provence, already feeling much improved. I rented a car, found another hotel, grabbed my gear and headed out to capture the glory of the French countryside.
Shortly after dawn the next morning, I stood thigh deep in near freezing water, lost in prayer. I was praying for the wind to die down so I could capture the perfect reflection of the Pont du Gard, an ancient Roman aqueduct, one the tallest remaining Roman building projects, second only to the Colosseum in Rome. As if on cue, the wind ceased completely, the water solidified into a mirror image of the glorious arches above, and I captured the moment for posterity. Well, actually, for you.
We are all storytellers. It is a way of sharing ourselves, of connecting and communicating. Art is just another form of telling stories. Some are fact, some are fiction, and some are a combination of both. I’m not so sure how important it is to decide where the line should be drawn (if at all), as it is to tell the story, to share the moment, to put it out there, trusting that someone will understand, will feel the same.
So these are a few little stories. There’s lots more. Some images are part of a larger story, some are individual, self contained short stories. Others are like the back of a cereal box, just the sketch of an idea, really, that may or may not turn into something larger later on. I hope you enjoy them.