We went to the South of France in May to celebrate our first wedding anniversary and flew into Nice especially to visit the Musée National Marc Chagall.
This was a once in a lifetime experience for me as Chagall is one of my favourite artists. One room was filled with huge canvases illustrating the Song of Songs, paintings that he dedicated to his second wife Vava.
We stayed for about a week in Arles at the elegant Grand Hotel Nord-Pinus, decorated with terracotta tiles, carved furniture, vintage bullfighting posters, wrought iron, beautiful textiles and photos of the luminaries who’ve stayed there over the years: Jean Cocteau, Pablo Picasso and scores of famous toreros.
My best souvenir of the entire trip was found at a flea market in Aix-en-Provence. Aix is a supposedly gracious city filled with fountains. It was a bit touristy and traffic-filled so we walked around town, visited the flea market and went onto Marseilles.
My prize was a pair of Luna Moths in a frame. The price was €20 and I was offered to take them for €15. So I did.
Actias luna is found in North America. When the adult Luna Moth leaves its coccoon, it is not ready to fly. It usually hatches in mid-morning and climbs a tree trunk to hang its wings, so they can fill with blood. Once the wings are inflated, the adult moth will wait until nightfall to fly off to find a mate. Adult Luna Moths don’t eat; in fact, they don’t even have a mouth. They only live for about a week, and their only purpose is to mate. They are lime green when alive and dry to a beautiful cream colour when they have died. I think that if any creature could fly to the moon, it has to be a Luna Moth.
I cleaned the glass, re-gilt the frame and wrote a letter in French to Steve about my experience of our trip, which I collaged onto the sides of the box.