Learning Lavender

Published April 29, 2013 by kdorholt

“Paris has a gift
everywhere you look,”
he told me tenderly
as we stood
by the Seine and studied
the scenes scattered
about in largesse
evident everywhere
The Louvre to our right
and beyond that
the spires of Notre Dame
the Tuileries to our left
and beyond that
(and to the left)
the Eiffel Tower.
Dusk had fallen
and the glistening
canary-diamond jewels
lighting the famed in the city
began to twinkle on,
bit by bit
as if introducing each
site with a flourish
of particular presentation.
I tucked his words
within a pocket in
my heart,
and each day,
true to his telling,
Paris surrounded me
with surprises.
Each one
I placed within
this heart’s pocket
as my own treasure,
learned to believe in these
spontaneous surprises.

At the museum Musee D’Orsay
a  fascinating favor
awaited me in
Van Gogh’s “Bedroom”
(a simple setting
by a master of a lifetime
lived learning color,
until it coursed through
his veins)
Headphones on,
I heard a little of a
letter he had written
to Gauguin.
Longing to lure him to Arles,
he temptingly told  his friend
of the little lopsided
room of relaxation
and rest with
(in the interpreters’ words)
“I painted the
walls lavendar.”
I gasped gratefully.
What a gift!
Before me was Van Gogh’s
distinct definition; his open opinion
of a  color I had always found
curious, so difficult to discern
But now I had it! Held it wholly!
The thrill of knowing lavender
poured over me like the paint
itself–lavishly alive and permanently
part of my person now.

I may never acquire an
accurate appreciation
of aubergine
or the precise pigment
of puce
and continue to misconstrue
coquleicot and carnelian
or cerise
Colors may confuse
me continually,
but I KNOW
lavender–
from its lightest lilac
to its perkiest periwinkle,
because of Paris and a companion’s
simple, sincere sentence
lavender lingers lovingly,
like the priceless prize
it shall always be  . . .
in the pocket   . . .
in my heart.

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