Adventure is a brilliant word. Growing up believing in fairytales, I have always been mystified by the twists and turns of life. I’ve heard stories of treasure, and I think I may have found some. Or more precisely, it may have found me. The journey in its entirety, has yet to be told… What I do have, is a pile of letters, drawings, and poems from a woman in France… and a plane ticket. A digital romance was not something I had expected to happen at the end of last year. But, flying to France is totally something I would do.
Before you scoff, laugh or get too afraid, I’ll share the details as how I came to be in such a precarious position. This venture began just as any other Tuesday in mid-November. Pondering the bountiful fruits of the previous summer, and shaking off the dusty leaves of fall. I approached my desk, coffee in hand, and flipped open my laptop to catch up on the digital events. Lo and behold that tuesday was the day that I met Marion.
Marion Bouquet introduced herself with a well written message and said she met a good friend of mine in Chang Mai, Thailand where she had been working as a self employed voice over artist. Through this mutual friend she followed my photographs, poetry and adventures in Colorado on Facebook. At the time, she said she wanted to visit the U.S. over the coming summer, and was planning on spending some time in Durango. As our correspondence unfolded, it came out that my Facebook page, had caught her “attention and curiosity” many times over the previous months. She reached out, and sent that first message in November of 2014.
For the first few weeks we corresponded through sharing poetry. A month in, we were skype video chatting for two hours at a time (about once a week). Our poem-emails quickly evolved into free for all of borrowing each-others words and adding images, sketches, paintings and photographs. Sometimes we would present a theme and write about it. Sometimes we would send an image as a prompt. When two open people converse, it’s amazing what can be hatched out. Even if you’ve never met… dreams, fears, inhibitions, aspirations, weaknesses, passions, strengths, it all comes out.
About two months in I started receiving handwritten letters and post cards from Thailand and then France (where she is currently). The kicker was the third or fourth letter… It was an abused and travel worn envelope laden with the scent of orange blossom (I could smell it outside the mailbox). It appeared as if some inquisitive customs agent or postman partially tore open the letter to discover what it held. Inside were some drawings, a letter and a piece of cloth scented in perfume. Standing in my lawn, awestruck by this notion of love, I realized that this “fun online thing” was quickly beginning to drive me up the wall… All of my fears, doubts and concerns weighed out to pretty much nothing compared to the magnitude of this opportunity screaming my name. I had to meet this woman, and I was not going to wait until July.
Marion was more than enthused about the idea of me coming to visit France in the spring. We shopped for plane tickets for about two weeks. I skyped her one morning (late at night her time), and said, “I’ve found some good tickets. 10 days, 18 days or 25 days. They are all about the same price…” She sleepily responded, “25 days. If you’re coming to the South of France, come to the South of France.”
Traction. Yes. Finally! We are going to meet… The following weeks ensued more poetry, travel plans and excitement. I sit here now, writing this hours before I board a plane headed east. My first time to Europe, to meet a beautiful young female artist… Oh yeah… There are many unknowns, but that’s the great part about un-manifested experiences. They are ripe with opportunity.
Below is an excerpt from one our most recent correspondences:
“Counting the nights left
3 little sleeps
nothing to wait
compared to 5 months
through miles of ink
speaking out truth
I am so in love
with this unique process
of a life
yet to be shared
days and nights
as we’ve never been
we’ll hold tight
to each other
and I’m sure the sun
will shine hopeful light
as it always did
Loving you. Loving this. Loving us.
The details of our first meeting will be published in the next segment of “A Spark in the Distance”.
Check back again for more update’s by Alex. To see more of his work visit him at alexpullen.com