Daphne Bersault is Alexander Wainwright’s muse and lover in the novel, The Drawing Lesson and Night Crossing, in The Trilogy of Remembrance. After meeting Alex by chance on the Orient Express to Venice and spending time with him in that city, she returned home to New York. For only one night, they had become lovers. Unable to answer the many questions rising up within her, she fought off a sense of disappointment. She didn’t know where she stood–something she disliked intensely. But, she decided, there could be no harm in writing to him. But what tone should she take–warm and inviting or cool but friendly?
I hope you’arrived back in London safely. My return trip was fortunately entirely uneventful and so, I am re-adjusting to workaday life in New York.
It was so kind of you to help me work through a difficult time during my stay in Venice. I’m not sure just what I’d have done in making sense of all the strange occurrences—the old man who had drowned in the Grand Canal and poor Penelope, in San Marco telling her very sad story. Your presence really made it possible to put my jumbled up life events into some sort of perspective. Order out of chaos- as they say!
And to see Venice through your eyes was such a treat! An artist’s vision contributes so much to really appreciating what lies before us. When you talked about the light and shadow adding depth and significance to all the wonderful architecture, I do really see it as you do.
I’ve thought about what you said about being your muse. I guess I’m very flattered to be an inspiration to you. Amazing how you seemed to capture –oh, I don’t know—my very nature with just a few strokes of charcoal and only a few hours after we first met. I really love those sketches which I’m having framed for over my fireplace.
As you know, I have for years grown this ad agency in New York. It’s a fiercely competitive business but we seem to be doing quite well. I know preparing ads is not really the same as landscape painting, but in its own way, it is an art form.
I wanted to mention the dinner we almost had at Harry’s Bar where you ran into Peter and his parents. He was so very angry with you, but then he’d had too much to drink. He must be a fine writer if he considers you his muse.
If you’re ever in New York, please call me and we’ll have dinner.
Daphne set down her pen and stared out the kitchen window of her brownstone at the gargoyle in the stone wall below. Vividly she remembered Alexander’s words when he came to her cabin on the train that evening with his sketches. He said,
“My art comes from deep within. Some places are comfortable, familiar rooms, which I have often visited in dreams and reveries. Others are wonderfully fanciful and enchanting lands. And still others contain the terrifying stuff of nightmares. But all those places have their treasures and must be explored and intimately known if one is to create. Some quality, an essence, within the muse is like a candle flickering in the dark, illuminating everything in those rooms.That light leads the poor artist through his own private heaven and hell ever onward to his creation.”
When she had asked what it was in her that inspired him, he’d had no answer. It seemed as if such a question had never occurred to him. She gave a little shiver and let the questions rise up. What does it mean to be his muse? He only seems to be in the here and now some of the time. Other times, he appears to wander off somewhere in his own mind. A man with his head in the clouds!
She folded up the two sheets of writing paper, addressed the envelope and went in search of a stamp.
Mary E. Martin is the author of two trilogies: The Osgoode Trilogy, inspired by her many years of law practice; and The Trilogy of Remembrance, set in the glitter and shadows of the art world. Both Trilogies will elevate the reader from the rush and hectic world of today and spin them into realms of yet unimagined intrigue. Be inspired by the newly released and final installment of The Trilogy of Remembrance, Night Crossing. Presently, The Drawing Lesson is a Wattpad Featured novel which you can read in it’s entirety right here Wattpad.com