Exploring when traveling takes on unexpected rewards.
On this day, we travel to the small town of Eze Village, a medieval village perched high up between Nice and Monaco.
A small doorway in one of the many winding alleys beckons us.
Inside, a hallway and some news articles about an exposition and though my understanding of the language is limited, I sensed that this artist’s work is somehow tied to music.
Suddenly, a lady appears. “I’m Madame Sevek, would you like to meet Sevek,” she asked. Not wanting to impose, I beg off. She invites us in to have a look around. The room is larger than expected, a staircase and living room like furniture next to a fireplace. A figure appears dressed in denim and red ascot and casually descends. I asked if it would be alright to take some pictures.
“Yes, it’s okay to take pictures,” he nods. Now, with the only light from a solitary window, I try to capture the scene knowing the slow ASA 25 film could be partially blurred. Not understanding everything he says, Madame Sevek interprets his words. “…the most difficult part is listening to the music,” Sevek recounts, turning one page after another of this massive book.
Then, he’s finished and moves to a chair by the fireplace, ash dangling from the cigarette between his thumb and finger. Madame Sevek takes a seat on the chair’s arm, gazing admiringly down at him. The whole scene turns magic. I braced against the wall hoping for some added support. Slowly squeezing off the last two frames of the roll. Now, home to the darkroom. Sevek offered us a print from a recent exhibition – one we had admired – and signs it in pencil. It hangs on our wall today.
The special image does turn out, after some burning and dodging. Pleased, off it goes to France. Within a short time, we received a note. “Sevek says that the image you took is the best ever…” the note reads, from Madame Sevek. Funny how such an incidental moment can bring so much pleasure.
Some time later we received a second note. “Sevek has died.” The words hit us. Could we send another picture – the first one they valued so much could not be found.
An innocent exploration had formed a bond, which we still warmly hold today. And now we know how important those chance moments can be It’s not our nature to consider the impact we might unknowingly encounter – those of us with camera and a verve to explore. Never underestimate. Aways appreciate.
Taking a bus from Nice is inexpensive and only takes 1/2 hr.
I think this time we had a rental car, but either works well. Incidenally, Monaco is only 10 minutes away and bus service is frequent as you will see when going to the bus from Nice link.