6253 miles from the southern coast of France, Gabrielle took out her oil paints and contemplated her choice of colors: would it be Alizarin crimson? Prussian blue? Cadmium lemon?
The balmy July afternoon sun warmed her palette, and she waltzed across the vintage pine floor of her cottage with a dreamy confidence: it didn't matter what she painted, because she knew that for every patron desiring one of her astonishingly original canvases, there were thirty or forty more patrons lined up around every corner, willing to plunk down any dollar amount for even a simple pencil sketch.
After a homespun lunch of heirloom tomatoes and hand-harvested wild rice drizzled with Irish butter and minced Italian parsley and free-range smoked chicken breasts and organic grilled nectarines with a chiffonade of (local) basil and 25-year-old balsamic vinegar reduction, she was sated and ready to explore every impulse her artist's soul craved.
But not before she savored a scoop of her very-own-recipe wild native blackberry ice cream, picked just that morning before the dawn's dew had evaporated, picked while she sipped her shade-grown songbird-friendly, free-trade coffee from a mug hand-thrown by her ceramicist soul-mate less than a half-mile from her front door. (The custard thickened with her very own eggs.)
And while she was contemplating the vagaries of her innermost heart and anticipating the wondrous colors laid out before her naked eyes, she hummed an old Gypsy tune about poverty and homelessness and despair.....
And then got back to what was important: the river stones set into the wall behind her wood-burning stove, the 600-count Egyptian cotton sheets on her feather bed, the 25-year-old Tamnavulin Scotch whiskey in her cupboard, the leaded crystal snifters in her antique Belgian oak sideboard (shipped across the Atlantic by freighter, circa 1889).
And, exhausted, fell promptly asleep.