Archive for juillet 2009

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Faits Divers (French)

8 juillet 2009

Elle se penche sur leurs visages, doucement, en silence. Elle ne pense à rien. Son souffle réchauffe un instant leurs joues dans cette chambre si froide. Sa main s'approche avec tendresse et remet  tristement une mèche en place. 

Ce geste de mère, elle n'y a plus droit, mais elle ne s'en rend même pas compte. Remettre les mèche en place de ses enfants fait partie de ces nombreuses choses que les femmes font sans plus y penser. C'est comme ramasser les chaussettes qui traînent, penser à laver leur peluche préférée ou refaire le noeud de leur écharpe. 

Elle est partie en laissant ça derrière. Le poids du quotidien, ces chaînes devenues insupportable, suffocantes, qu'elle a fuit un jour. Un jour, partie avec son sac, son portable, son désespoir de vivre. Elle s'est dévêtue de son manteau d'amour, de mère, d'épouse, comme ça, sans explications. Sans regarder en arrière, ou du moins pas tout de suite, sachant que sa survie dépendait de ça, de regarder en avant, sans réfléchir, de suivre son instinct et de mettre un pied devant l'autre, de plus en plus vite, jusqu'à sortir de la rue, du quartier, de la ville, jusqu'au RER, puis la gare, jusqu'au train qui l'a emmenée à l'autre bout du monde, un monde sans le quotidien, sans la poussière, la vaisselle, les couche à changer, le mari toujours en retard, ses trois kilos en trop, la moustache élégamment taillé avec coquetterie, tous les matins après l'amour, après l'amour avec sa femme qu'il ne voit plus, sa femme qu'il aime comme au jour de leur épousailles, avec sa longue robe blanche et son teint illuminé, et aujourd'hui, deux enfants plus tard, il ne voit pas le changement en elle, il ne remarque pas les signes de l'âge, ou plutôt, s'il les remarque, ils ne le dérangent pas, car c'est avec elle qu'il a décidé de vieillir, de devenir plus flasque, plus essoufflé, plus dégarni, et il ne comprend pas, il ne comprend pas son insatisfaction, sa frustration, pourquoi serait-elle malheureuse alors que lui est comblé, que leurs enfants sont si beaux et en bonne santé, il n'y a rien à voir, rien à comprendre, pour lui, sa femme est parfaite et lisse, et du combat qu'elle a mené pendant trop d'année entre les murs de leur maison, une maison où il ne manque rien, il ne devinera jamais rien. De la raison de ses absences, des murs vides qui l'accueillent tous les soirs alors que ses enfants sont confiés "temporairement" à ses beaux-parents pour quelques heures. 

C'est ingrat, de tout laisser tomber du jour au lendemain, de partir acheter le pain et de ne jamais revenir, le bruit de ses pas sur le pavé qui claquent en écho à son coeur affolé, à son souffle rapide et douloureux, elle ne comprend pas tout ce qui lui arrive mais elle le devine, elle le sait, comme les femmes savent toujours, d'un coup d'oeil, d'une intonation de voix, une hésitation infime et elles savent, et comment lui, cet homme aurait-il pu comprendre —ce sont toujours les même mots qui reviennent, comprendre, savoir, deviner, ce sont des mots qu'on ne prononce pas, qui n'existent que dans le silence, le non-dit, et l'on ne peut que se demander ce qu'il se serait passé si ce déni n'avait pas existé, si la parole les avait fait exploser avant qu'ils ne puissent naître, alors elle ne serait pas là, aujourd'hui, dans l'interdit de ce geste, penchée sur ses enfants qu'elle aime sauvagement, intensément, d'un amour pourtant insuffisant pour la sauver elle de l'orage qui a tout balayé, qui a tout ravagé dans sa vie, dans leur vie.

Elle est partie. Elle est revenue. Ce soir.

Et lorsqu'elle est prise en flagrant délit de présence, d'amour, en flagrant délit de retour, c'est alors que la colère prend le dessus, qu'il a ce geste malheureux et ineffaçable. La violence prend le pouvoir, sa douleur ressurgit d'un coup, d'un seul, et ça suffit. Le corps humain est si beau et si fragile, lui qui n'avait jamais eu le moindre geste violent, il n'a suffit que d'une poussée, si brève, si légère, pour la faire basculer contre ce coin de table. C'est ce qu'il dira aux forces de l'ordre. 

Le sang jailli de sa tête et asperge le tapis du salon.

C'est à son tour de vouloir s'enfuir, tourner des talons, mais non, c'est impossible, ses pieds sont trop ancrés au sol, ou peut-être n'est-il pas assez intelligent. Alors il faut agir vite, vite, avant que les enfants ne se réveillent, avant qu'ils n'ouvrent les yeux et ne voient leur mère de retour, pauvre petit chiffon recroquevillé au milieu du salon, le visage invisible caché par ses cheveux fins, et ce sang trop vif, à l'odeur puissante et inévitable – il faudra aérer longtemps, une fois qu'il aura caché le corps, une fois qu'il aura vidé la pièce de ses témoins gênant. On disait autrefois que les objets sont muets, mais ils sont aujourd'hui les premiers accusateurs de nos actes, il suffit de si peu de chose, un bout de cil, une goutte de sang, une pellicule insidieuse tombée de nos cheveux, et l'on sait tout de nous. Notre marque de shampooing, de parfum, de cigarette, de crème hydratante. 

Après, après ces instants de stupeur, il appellera lui-même la police.

Tu lis cet article avec ironie, il n'y a que dans les journaux que l'on trouve ce genre d'histoire invraisemblable. Dans un film, le public aurait rit et serait reparti incrédule. 

Que l'article ne rassure pas quant au devenir des enfants, cela tu ne le remarques pas. Insouciante alors, ton rire avait résonné, bref, sonore, irréfléchi. En général la rubrique des faits divers te paraissait trop sordide, à lire seule, cela pouvait créer des cauchemars aux effets  effrayants. Mais avec moi, dans le jardin au soleil, un thé sur la table, cela devenait amusant, irréel, impossible. Imaginer une seule seconde que des êtres parvenaient à un tel état de détresse, c'était drôle et incongru. 

Involontairement cruel aussi. 

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I wrote this one for Coos

6 juillet 2009

A long time ago. It had just happened.

I can't believe I never shared this with you. I guess I'm not all that daring after all. 

I hope this is OK. I have no idea really, of what it was like for you. I could only guess from over the arms of the sea.
Ain't your boy strong.
oxox

First there's a shock. An invisible shift, your heart freezes for eternity  yet when you wake up not a second had passed. Then you move, quick, there's no time to think, no space for hesitations. Adrenaline shoots your veines and takes over as you rush over to the hospital. Between these two moments, the shock and the move, you can't rely but on what you know, who you are, your primary instincts as a mother.

It's hard to come down. 

So strong was the urgency, so powerful the adrenaline, your heart beating so fast it hurt. But you only notice it now, the pain, the powerful wave of exhaustion, of relief. The surprise that it's over. Your child's been taken away, away from you, in another room and you're sitting on a chair in the hallway.

There's paperwork, there's waiting. 

For the doctor, the nurse, for someone to tell you it's over, it's OK, rest tranquille mother of a child. Your memory won't keep these images of white blouses hurrying around him in a purposeful silence. Only a glance suffises to tell — they've seen so much already, this is nothing. They've seen enough yet no time must be lost. You and them know that he can't breathe, he could but a minute ago but now if oxygen doesn't rush soon he'll die. 

It only takes a shot. It only takes ten seconds, less than it took to eat that cracker. In a swift move, the needle is in and out, you child's eyes flutter and he falls asleep, breathing, saved.

What could he understand? Of what happened to him, what will he remember? Of the consequences, what can you explain?

You come home and raid your cupboards, plastic bag in hand, you come home angry at yourself and at the universe and rid it of any susbtance that could harm him again.

The next day, you keep all your children home. As if the world could hurt them all now, your daring children that only a forthnight ago peered over an Irish cliff, by the tormented sea. You need them close, withing an arm's touch. Already you're so far ahead, planning school, meals, shopping lists. Because it's not over, it's only starting. The industry is so keen on surprising mixes, death could be anywhere, lurking around an ingredient list. 

You're still coming down but as you count, one, two, three, it's easier to let air in.

(My parents gave me these moments. Twice (and twice more). 
For Isa, twice, if not two times twice. 
For Fred, twice (I'm adding the surgery to the penicillin), and now over and over and over… 
Boy, ain't we strong gals. Ain't I lucky my kids are fine. It won't ever end, this worrying over their safety. Once a parent, always a parent.
I can forgive mine now I think. I understand their equation of safety over freedom. But I hope I can trust my children more and let them have both.
oxox)

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Libre

5 juillet 2009

Tableau_blanc_1

 

On m’a rappellé dernièrement que nous n’étions certainement pas esclaves de nos propres blogs. 

 

La tendance qui se dessine ici, c’est que le français me permet d’inventer des histoires, et l’anglais d’exprimer les miennes. 

 

 

A plus tard, donc.

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It’s always hard to leave / anglais

3 juillet 2009

The French version will come up soon. Probably during the weekend. It will be calm, peaceful and thankful. Very P.C.Probably. 

This isn’t. This is a mess, it’s pink and purple. It’s a mess of unprepared unplanned misspelled untamed words. It’s like me.

The song is Mika’s Cry on my Shoulder. It’s sad and beautiful and weirdly filled with hope.

 

I guess that’s how it should be. You go somewhere. You work. You get the work done. You get a pay check. 

The rest is just personal stuff. 

Whether you make friends. Whether you’re happy. Whether your work is important and appreciated. Just get it done quickly, OK.


Just get it done.

 

I guess if you put it down, it’s basic and simple. 

 

But of course, because we’re humans and complex and complicated, it’s not all that simple. We mingle. We make friends.

Or not. 

We get to know and appreciate people, collegues, people from across the hall. This girl looking a bit lost because she can’t find her glasses (and we can so relate to her don’t we), this other one who seems so confident, how we wish we could be more like her. This guy from accountance we think’s gay, except he has a girlfriend. And this other one we think’s hot, except he had a wife and two kids (and a mistress, but that we find out later over a gossipy coffee break, and oh, she’s pregnant by the way).

 

Awkward. 

 

We get to know people, not numbers, not virtual acquaintances. They matter. They help us get the work done, they fill the day with laughter, or purpose, or sadness. 

When they’re sad, and we care, or when we’re sad, and they don’t care. 

Or when they have the power over you. The power to make you feel appreciated and part of something meaningful. Or the power to make you feel insignificant and stupid and meaningless. (What kind of manager are you? Are you sure? Is it OK to question that? What if you stop communicating with me, what then? How can I get the work done? I’m not all that magic you know…)

 

I’ve had that. I’ve had jobs. I came, I got the work done. I left. And I started again, somewhere else, all over, and again. And what’s more, and whatever.

 

In the last few months, I’ve had all that. I’ve had the human discoveries. I’ve had the joy, the sadness. The feeling that my work mattered, that I was doing something worthwhile, and the roller-coaster of quiet tears and despair from a pressured unsettled underpaid underappreciated PR scrub (= I’ve let myself become a free sand bag #fail). 

 

Hello hierarchy.

 

I’ve had friends and ennemies, I thought I couldn’t do it anymore, that it wasn’t worth it, only it was of course, because every one of these kids is worth it, and because I owed to every single one of them to get my crap together, to get over myself and to keep on walking. And of course I had help, someone strong to keep me strong. Not from whom I would have expected it (and yet, I should have), but help and support and friendship anyway. I owe her so much.

 

The Auteuil kids. That’s who they are, I don’t care whether my nickname’s corporate or not. 

I danced to the songs they sang. I sang with them. I sang without them, in my office, dancing along their tunes, and how lucky was I that my coworkers considered that completely normal (too bad they don’t read my blog). I’ve cried over a child I’d met and whose story was so upsetting, the only way I got over it was to hug my own children. I actually shook with shock listening to an adult telling his story. The story of a hurt unloved child who streamed throught life and had barely reconciled himself with the human kind, who at 50 was still this unloved violented child. The unique confidences of Didier. An Auteuil kid still. My leg could hardly carry me back and I really thought this journalist and I would never make it home alive (ah ah, I was driving…). I also thought this journalist and I didn’t deserve to hear that story. Maybe I was unprepared, but at least I was aware of the preciousness of what I was listening to, unlike her. If you must know, I’ve blacklisted her forever.

The worst stories, of course, remain untold. If you don’t know where to look, if you don’t remember to look at all, you won’t see them. You won’t even guess that they might exist.

 

It’s so easy to forget. You’re in an office with people you care about and with people you don’t. You work, you get things done. There are no kids there.

It’s so easy to forget, why you’re even here

in the first place. Because it’s not just about a pay check. It can’t be, or if it is, what kind of vampire are you, really. (and don’t get me wrong, vampires are hot and sexy. In books.)

 

I’ve laughed and cried. I’ve felt proud of my work and honestly, I did my best, all things considered. 

Do I have regrets? Yes. Does it matter? No. Will I be OK? Yes. 

 

I’ve grown. I’ve laughed. I’ve grieved. I prayed, I cursed. I’ve had great happiness and great sorrows. 

But overall, I feel blessed. It’s over, even if I wish it weren’t, that’s how it is and this decision isn’t and never was in my hands – I guess that’s all you need to know.

I might even be relieved.

Things are always like us, complex and complicated, yet I do think that we can make them simple. We can make things work. 

I can’t. We can. How subtle a difference. I can walk halfway, but I need some one to meet me once I reach the middle. Right? It’s amazing how the people who were waiting for me there were absolutely not whom I would have though of. Like, all the team BUT for one person (and not the other way around). And how blessed am I to have had this gift, this sign of appreciation for my work, and my presence, and who I am. This, more than the tokens placed on my desk, was the best gift I could have had from you. All of you there. All of you not there (thanks for your emails, and see, I already forgot the BUT.)

Thank you. 

 

So, it’s all a bit confused tonight I guess (can I confess this? we drank champagne. I have bubbles in my head and I feel fuzzy and cuddly). As the days go by, some stuff will become more focused, while some other stuff will blur and disappear forever.

 

I guess, what I meant to say all along, is that this job was a learning experience for me, and that I feel priviledged in a way. I met great people. 

You. 

And maybe you too. 

Some I got to know real well, and others I feel I barely got to know – I wish I had more time but that’s how it is. 

 

I won’t get the work done anymore but you will (and everytime Mika’s Relax will come on the radio, you’ll be looking for my phone).

I might learn how to spell, I might be able to make subtle changes or decisions, like, which picture here I did not tamper with? Iphoto is so much fun. And like, is Ellie Goulding’s version of Sam Sparro’s Black and Gold absolutely unbearable or genius?

It doesn’t matter.

 

You’ll still be there. Carrying your load and twice more. Grieving personal losses, some shared and some unspoken. You’ll keep on taking a stand. For the kids. And because of that, I can go on. Somewhere else. With somepeople else. Grieving my personal crap, some shared some unspoken. And knowing that life can be beautiful, and that I can make a difference for the better, however small. It will still be a difference.