Saturday, February 25, 2017

Artnotes: Ambassador

 Green Onions   Laurie Fox Pessemier   Acrylic/canvas  8 x 20"    20 x 50cm     
 Oranges  Laurie Fox Pessemier   Acrylic/canvas  8 x 20"    20 x 50cm     
 Spring View  Laurie Fox Pessemier   Acrylic/canvas  8 x 20"    20 x 50cm     
 Across the Valley  Blair Pessemier  Acrylic/canvas  12 x 20"  30 x 50cm
Lacy Primrose   Laurie Fox Pessemier  Acrylic/canvas  12 x 12   30 x 30cm

Artnotes: Ambassador

I have been writing a book about “Slow Travel”.   Much of my time is wrapped up in this, so I will share some excerpts on Artnotes in the coming weeks.  My goal is to have the book launched in the next 75 days, so I’ll keep you posted.  It has gotten me to think just how important travel is.

When you travel you have a mission, chosen or not.  You represent who you are and the elements of yourself to the world.  I represent women, sixty-year olds, artists, cooks, writers, wives, dog owners and Americans.  And each of those categories gives you the opportunity to make an impression of what Americans, or cooks, or dog-owners, are like, apart from the opinion they form from TV.  You have a lot of power to change people’s ideas about who you are and who your group is.  I scoop.

This is particularly important to me right now, because I don’t feel the current regime in the USA represents my views.   I feel ashamed of what is being perpetrated in the USA – my art, my writing, my livelihood are guaranteed by the First Amendment of the Constitution;  I have the right to travel wherever I want with my American passport.   When I travel, or as I live my life in Italy, I project the most positive aspects of the America to the people I meet.   It’s my job.

One particularly late night, long ago, at the Petit Lux, a restaurant where we worked in Paris, we decided to take a taxi home.  It wasn’t a long way, but we hopped a cab near the Hotel Lutetia and directed the driver to our house on rue de Lille.  “Are you English?” he asked, hearing our accented French.  “No,” we replied, “American”.  “Ah, I have a hard time with Americans.”

I went on to explain that there are all types of Americans, and we can be pretty extreme in our behavior.  Really generous, really mean; very loud, or soft-spoken; haughty or humble.  We chatted for ten minutes about these things.  As we departed, he said, “you guys are alright, even if you are American”.   I said I thought of ourselves as ambassadors;  “Oh, wow,” he exclaimed, “you’re the ambassadors?”

We are ambassadors.   Now we are the American ambassadors to Rocca Malatina, Italy, population 575.  Stop by for coffee.

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