"IT'S GOING TO RAIN."
"No, it's not." He looks up at the sky, trying to hide a touch of doubt.
"Yes, it is. Trust me."
I smile as I watch him roam around the small clearing where I've spread out the oversized blanket and our picnic lunch. He's restless: one huge canvas finished yesterday and off to the gallery; another project to start next week. He can't seem to contain the energy built up inside himself – letting go of one creation and preparing for the birth of another. He is an artist down to his very soul, creating or imagining something new into being every waking moment.
I watch him from where I'm sitting as he picks distractedly at a thin, green whip of a branch from the willow tree that sweeps gracefully down to touch the ground. There are several willows half-surrounding our little clearing, blocking the view between here and the huge, old manor house where we've rented a suite for the weekend. It's a little primitive, out in the middle of nowhere, and the house has seen better days. But it's got character, and it's very romantic to be out here in the country, just us. Alone.
I arranged this weekend, picked this place so we could spend some quiet, reflective time, uninterrupted. Fill up that beautiful soul before he goes back to lay it out on a canvas again, create images and tell stories he alone can tell. Before I go back to the column-in-progress that is brooding in a file on my laptop, waiting for the right ending.
And for another reason: so we could get away from the gossip. The young up-and-coming artist, the somewhat older and successful journalist and critic. To their small minds, he's either using me for a leg up or I'm the only reason he's been a success, because of my influence. I'm a Svengali who has him in my sexual spell, or he's a gigolo looking for someone to take care of him. I know how much it hurts him, when the mean-spirited and jealous reduce the beauty of what we've found with each other to a sordid convenience. He wants to lash back, but I've convinced him – many times – to ignore what we can't change.
And so . . . we deserve some time away, I think. The laptop has been left at home this weekend; I've just got a notebook and pen. I forbade him to bring anything more than a sketchpad and some pencils, though he calls this cruel and unusual punishment. But he knows what I'm about and agrees – sometimes a rest, a break from routine can make work new again. And the petty minds we have to deal with can be left behind, too. Sometimes the everyday needs to be cleansed by something as small and quiet as a weekend away.
Click Follow to receive emails when this author adds content on Bublish