The panther that curves across her body grips on to her.
He is her protector.
She is his muse.
He has her back.
Starting in a few weeks, Hélène and the black panther will travel around the world for one year and six months stopping in North America, Philippines, India...and other lands that will be chosen for beauty, for friendship, (and I'm putting it out there) for a beautiful, sweet and buffed bearded man who will worship her as she is.
A suitcase, a camper van and freedom. I love her for it. It is one thing to tend towards melancholy but she has woven it up and made it into a trampoline to rise above. To find - as the Dixie Chicks sing - wide open spaces, room to make her big mistakes.
Hélène was danced off to her journey by a Stark Trek science officer, a giraffe and his Kenyan princess, boat captains, Mexicans, Chiquita banana, an Air France flight crew, Zee girl, Bob Marley, Kahdafi, a Bangladeshi babe, Hawaiian tourists, and two geisha no less.
She held us spellbound, ravisement in her sari, the colour of emeralds and gold dust.
This tiger bids you adieu and hopes that the panther walking behind you will remember to whisper encouragements and sing to you. That when you need it, he will slide off your back to tuck you in. And that he claws at anyone who dares to try to make you feel any less than the whole, perfect and divine person you are, despite any real or imagined flaws.
So leap into the unknown to return to yourself anew.
Know that you have inspired us and while the girls cannot throw caution to the wind for 18 months, this year they will also land in countries - homelands and newly discovered ones starting with Italy and Iceland.
We look forward, our fear-less flying panther, to intercepting you here and there, and to sit awhile, unravelling your adventures over spicy dishes in locations that defy senses and logic.