Wednesday, May 30, 2012
12) The Commission
Gabby collects us. But we need to scoot back after a block; I misplaced my neck brace. Found, now wearing it, we were on our way! First time I actually got to see Guildford, let alone Perth. Blue gum trees everywhere. And suddenly we were being offloaded, Gabby with baby Giselle to keep circling past a collection point, and Nancy, at 90, insisting on pushing me with my bag on my lap into the air terminal. At least it was no more than about 50 yards! And then suddenly an air attendant was taking care of details and it was au revoire and M'Lady was gone! But I do not fear I shall not see her again. We have a strong sense of it. We have so much at stake. I have a commission! The airport lounge gave me Internet. Yes! I had but minutes before I was to be whisked away again. The iPad needed a reboot. Gone were precious minutes. To prioritize a rush of emails took up more time. So I first answered with a short letter to Linda (my Linda, not Nancy's Linda); ensured an e- contact with Gabby; and then let Justin know I am on schedule, just as they came to fetch me to board. End of Internet! Anon. As I sit on the aircraft I realize the difficulty of easily doing this kind of journey. Beside me is a squirming three year old, jiggling on her seat. Behind me some young boy keeps kicking the seat-back. Even the push to here, with the elevator gap being... But I am complaining. There is a cost we each must pay, however it be exacted for the things we wish to do. To be able to afford them we must have ... a commission! Among the many interesting emails was a request for two more paintings following my delivery of the last. The recipients loved the work! Now they want two smaller ones. So my time soon to be spent is somewhat predictable. Admittedly, there is but a small recompense for the amount of hours and energy I put into doing these paintings, but at least it keeps me motivated, engaged. It keeps me interested in the process of the day, since my physical abilities are so limited in any case. At Nancy's, despite almost perfect weather, we stayed pretty well indoors all the time, and had a few teas on her sunlit porch, but I was unable to get about to see anything, really. I'd arrived in a cigar case in Perth, was transported on an envelope to Flinds, lived for three days in a marvelous cake box, and then was taken back by yet another envelope to this very cigar case from which I now type, just before take off. Size is indeed relative, let me assure you! Anon! The size of the project Lady Nancy and I quite naturally evolved toward is enormous. The details of her fascinating and complex life would ... here goes ... fill a book! So the research has begun. A titled father, an older brother sired by the famous August Rodin, a twin brother, Denys, shot in the actual Great Escape, and a host of characters as rich as any historical romance category, it is a novel for the telling. And I am the one to do it! The commission starts now! The box of a lifetime's letters and photos travels here with me, right under the seat at my feet as this aircraft reaches cruising height on its way to Sydney; away from M'Lady Nancy, yet closer to her heart than ever before. We've had time to chat, to gather the details, to get the taped story, the visual cues, the letters and cards, and the mementoes photographed. I go with a treasure trove home to work on it. Were it to be a boys' book it might indeed be entitled The Commission. But it will be aimed at women, a true life romance, and entitled, most appropriately, M'Lady Nancy.