Peter and I are eating dinner. Chopin’s Etudes play in the background; we sit in the midst of our eclectic collection of objets d’art from France and Italy and more exotic ones from Tibet, Persia, India. I am in my element. I am surrounded by music, poetry and art. How have I come to this? My mother. For her, life has been poetry, art, and music, syncopated with dramatic andantes and crescendos, tearing at her guts and ripping them wide open. She took it all in; she swathed herself in its drapery of blood-wrenched red and chilly blue pain. She has not gone gently into that good night; she is a fearless survivor. She has lived through earthquakes and hurricanes and always landed on her feet. I continue to write the poem of my life, blunder through the Gymnopèdes. Mother is playing Scarbo, flitting in and out of the darkness, disappearing and suddenly reappearing. I touch her hand. She hands me a pen.