Background - October 1881
Erik has made his way to a place he can call home; where he can build his castle on a hill instead of a shrouded castle beneath the Paris Opera House. He has just left a bank where he’s finished the transaction to buy a piece of property where he can build his home; finally, after 45 years of living. The following is a narrative of his thoughts and feeling as he travels to the property he’s just purchased.
The sun was shining brightly that mid-October day—and so was my soul. I’d had no intention of purchasing an entire mountain, yet, as it turned out, that’s exactly what had happened. It wasn’t a large mountain, by any stretch of the imagination, but, nonetheless, it was my mountain.
Once there, I meandered around, looking for the best location to clear for a drive to the top. When I found it, I traveled up the slope, winding through the many trees with such an unbelievable elation swelling within me. As I rode, I watched for the ideal places to put a stable, a paddock, a pasture, and a terraced garden. I found each of those locations on the way to the summit, and it was there that I found where I wanted our home.
I dismounted and paced out where it would be, taking note of how many large trees would have to be removed. While their presence presented me with a challenge, they also told me that my mountain had sufficient soil depth for the extensive footings I’d need for a two-story home and the expanded cellar beneath it. I was thankful for that, since many of the mountains in that area were solid rock.
I found a small stick and a hefty log, moved to the right position facing the sea, and then pounded the stick firmly into the ground. There, I thought, that will be the south corner of our home. Standing with my toes against the stick, I looked south toward the water, imagining myself doing so through a glass wall. Then I looked over my left shoulder toward the east, again imagining myself watching the sunrise through that imaginary glass wall. Finally, I looked over my right shoulder toward the west, once more, picturing myself watching the sunset through a wall of glass. Then I stepped back, closed my eyes, and envisioned myself sitting at my grand piano, peacefully composing in my magnificent music room.
My continual smile had made my jaws ache, and I shook my head often in disbelief at the turn of events that had brought me to that extraordinary location on that day. Then, with Urania in tow, I walked to the edge of the cliff overlooking the Ligurian Sea. I removed my mask, closed my eyes, and felt the brisk wind on my face, smelled the salty air, and listened to the surf hitting the rocks below me. In the darkness, I heard my beloved music, from the first notes I could remember, “Moonlight Sonata,” and on to the rest, even some of my own compositions.
With a large breath, I opened my eyes, and whispered, “I’ve found it.” I turned toward Urania and held her head in my arms. “I’ve found it, my friend.”
I looked into her eyes and thought about Molly. She reminded me so much of her, and that made me think of all the places I’d seen with Molly as my only companion. I stood there, sharing my time watching the scattered white-caps on the sea and Urania’s black mane being tossed by the wind. While I listened to the call of the birds and the surf, my fingertips felt her soft nose and fuzzy ears.
As I was so often prone to do, I traveled back in time, visiting all the places I’d seen, and feeling all the emotions that those places invoked in me. I saw that little boy, scurrying around the ocean property with his father in Perros, telling him all that he wanted his music room to have—all that I could now have. I felt the horror of my father’s death, traveling all alone, and having no place to call my home.
I felt the warmth of Jean Luc’s compassion and the feeling that perhaps I’d found a home in his. That’s when I first started composing a piece of music that expressed my feelings of finding a home. I continued to work on it and sing it as I rode alone with Molly. I perfected it even more as I sat by that small lake in northern Italy. When I traveled with the gypsies, I added another verse, feeling that what I had then was the closest I would get to finding a home. Then, while at Oded’s in Persia, another verse was added. What I felt was the last verse came about when I moved into my cellar home in Paris, but that turned out to be more of my windowless prison than a place to call home.
As I stood on that cliff that afternoon, holding Urania’s head in my arms, I knew I’d found what I’d been looking for—I’d found it and my feet were firmly planted on it. Lyrics and music circled around me, and I laughed aloud out of pure bliss. Releasing my mares head, I spread my arms wide and faced the sea, and then, with a heart full of joy, I sang out the finished melody and lyrics to—my composition inspired by a lifetime of searching—“Found.”