an italian palazzo

I talk to an American woman in front of a 17th century Italian palazzo. It’s all shuttered up like no one lives there. She tells me she wanted to be an artist but her father wouldn’t let her so she collects. She started with a Monet drawing of a fig.

The house seems poor but inside it’s magnificent. I’m surprised it’s so bright. There are big modern windows. I wonder if they open? There’s a gallery full of classical sculpture. Her own room glows with warm light and lots of red drapery.

I ask to see the Monet’s. She’s delighted. On the way upstairs we pass a snowy courtyard with sculpture in it.

Background: I am an artist who usually works part-time to support my art. I’ve worked full-time for one year now to decide if life would be satisfying without art. I just decided to go back to art.

Anxiety: How to make the boat float? Is it an ego trip or a calling? I dream about art often. I’m also single and have difficulty meeting men, even though I am attractive. I am very shy with men.

—Nicole, Age 41, Single, USA

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