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September 8, 2023

Amor fati (Love your fate)

Saying YES to life is to agree to what happens, to whatever comes our way. I never rebelled against the various trials of my life. I would take the blows and write in secret. It was my way of resisting the hostility I had to face for many long years.

Writing, even when the tears fell onto the ink and turned it into small watercolours, allowed me to mark my passage through time and to leave points of reference like lighthouses along this horrible odyssey. My notepad didn’t register dates, just the facts. The daily calamities, the explosions of sadness, the unfairness of fate, the bitterness stuck to my skin, the threatening despair and the endless resentments I reluctantly harboured.

According to author Hélène Dorion in her wonderful book RECOMMENCEMENTS (“New Beginnings”), “our way of loving has its source in childhood, through the satisfaction or not of our basic needs, and through the defining emotional experiences that we have then. Paradise or agony, this is where our wounds are deepened or our first vision of love and connections are built.”

I definitely missed the boat when it came to affection, tenderness, learning the way of life and love, this unfathomable treasure that insures the perpetuation of species. Married without a warning, I already bore in my abdomen tiny toes, a visible reproductive organ, an embryo that would soon leave its sanctuary. When the time came, the child refused to face the outside world. He had to be ripped out of my womb with a horrible, tong-shaped metallic instrument. His frail frame was marked permanently on his right forehead as a result.

All these shreds of history drift along in my head; like a wandering mosaic of corrosive details. Every makeshift apartment during my wedded years. The cheaper shabby third floors with their endless and dangerous stairs. The cockroaches who invaded the kitchen at night. The make-do clotheslines strung across the rooms. Not a single painting, plant, chesterfield or rug. Everything was secondhand, old and threadbare.

I keep on writing because the words overflow in my mouth. I write, I strike out, I compose. Always, the ink wriggles about. Some paragraphs are only tiny vestibules; killer sentences that will never make it into the house; horrible thoughts that agitate and torment my mind.

These places from childhood, these gestures and words will they ever flee my memory? Sitting on the blue couch, my feet barely touching the ground, I may be 4 or 5. I’m sad like slowly falling rain. Dad is listening to Mario Lanza. A few large tears roll off his cheeks and disappear into the abyss. I want to touch them, to take his big fingers in my small hand and cry alongside him.

Chop, chop, chop. In the kitchen, Mom’s mincing an onion for the stew she’s making for dinner. She’s put on her white gloves; they soak up the juice the onion lets out with each slice. Chop, chop, chop. Diced carrots jump into the white tin bowl.

My sentences are sprinkled with bits of dreams and reality, immaterial existences often more talkative than young eagles.

These days, I am discovering the work of Swedish poet Tomas Tranströmer. I bless his incredible writing ability, his clever blend of allegories and faithful descriptions of the natural and cosmic universe. I really like this poet who, in a series of interior experiences, relentlessly explored the great mysteries of life.

Inspired by this master, I would love to compose illuminating sentences, snowstorms without cold, love stories without irritations.

“LOVE YOUR FATE” is my motto today. Say YES to life and to everything that happens to me. I have divine assurance that an angel is tracing my way forward and, and with infinite patience, he’s polishing my best sentences.