Mark Barry, The Birthday, 2001
However, while the narrator of Proust's A la recherche du temps perdu felt disappointment when he actually saw the church of Balbec and found it less glorious than he had imagined it (here's a passage from Swann's Way), it was quite magical to be in the moving version of one of Mark's paintings. As you can imagine in such a home (Mark's wife, Sandra, is also an artist) every corner, every wall, is filled with something interesting and beautiful to see. I especially enjoyed seeing their collection of outsider or visionary art, which is one of Mark and Sandra's special interests. We enjoyed the delicious dinner and charming company in the picturesque back yard, and for someone used to the song of the city of Washington, there was not a single military helicopter or police siren to break the song of the birds. It was truly blissful.
Fortunately for me, one of Mark's watercolors, related to this painting, will now be hanging in my own house to keep a piece of that serenity close at hand. Mark, thank you and keep up the good work.