I take another sip and look around. The terrace is edged by a low wall on which sit huge terracotta vases filled with geraniums. The brilliant red blossoms stand out with vibrant intensity against the dark hedge. Beyond the terrace white petunias spill from urns scattered throughout the garden. Small silvery trees shimmer down the slope and up again toward a distant castle on the other side of the valley. The sky is clear, and details stand out sharply, almost magnified.
I feel pierced, as if the beauty of the day were a weapon that slices directly into my solar plexus. My inner pain intensifies and transforms into a pulsating throb of unfocused urgency.