- Tom- Tom
On New Years day, I found myself standing on the beach in St. Sebastian, Spain. It was the second time this past year we’d been to that wonderful country. Ben asked me if I knew where we might be a year from now to celebrate this holiday. I told him, “I have no idea.” I’m learning to appreciate the great wisdom of the expression – Life is what happens while you’re making other plans.
St. Sebastian is named for the famous target of many arrows. Depictions of his fate, like the one here on the church that bears his name, are legion. He has been a favorite subject of artists throughout the centuries. He’s often represented as nude or nearly so – and handsomely formed with arrows sticking out of various parts of his body. Gay people have identified with him since his fate was sealed by his devotion to Christ. Of course there are sub texts here – the best artists layer their work with them. Did Sebastian have any idea at any time that he’d become one of the most famous men in art history one day?
Ben and I spent the week between Christmas and New Year as guests of our friend Craig from Leeds who has a 16th century farm house in a small town, Sarron, in the south of France. Could I have guessed a year ago that this is where I’d be? In a French farmhouse filled with English guys with intense accents? No. And that’s one of the joys of life. You never know where it’s going to take you. (Or if you do – or think you do – be prepared for boredom and disappointment.) But if you live with the right attitude – embrace the twists and turns of fate – you might find yourself having a very good and interesting time.
Could I have guessed that we’d find our way to the Castle in Pau where King Henri the IV was born?
In a million years, I could not have guessed what images we’d find embedded in Castle Pau’s Aubusson tapestries.
And another thing. Is this adolescent delinquent really flashing his wee-wee in the King’s house?
We visited the spa and country retreat favored by Empress Eugenie – where the food was a delight and even the restaurant bathroom was gorgeous. The south of France. Magic.
Biarritz – As a kid, I saw the special edition Cadillac Eldorado Biarritz at the Chicago Auto Show. It was the most incredibly elegant car in the universe. Fur rugs – fold down silver bar in the back with crystal decanters and cocktail glasses. The town just couldn’t live up to my expectations. But it was pretty at night.
So where will I be a year from now? Maybe somewhere this beautiful?
I don’t know any more than this dog knows where he’ll be. I doubt he knows he’s in Pau at present. But we know we’ll be somewhere with people we love if we keep faith with the idea that life intends our happiness. Happy New Year.