Shadow selves

In Animals, Artists, Circus, coffee, Food, Fun, Local projects, Music, RLB trivia on October 16, 2014 at 5:19 am

Last night, I shut down the cell phone. Cleared off the files on the couch. Turned off the lights. Lay down and listened to twenty-three of Bach’s thirty-two Goldberg Variations played by Glenn Gould. During the first fifteen, the dog pushed her head against me. I petted her in her favorite spots behind the ears and under the lower jaw. She slumped down and slept through the others.

The files on the couch are those of the fifteen children I meet every week. For them, I have no other story or history outside the fact they must come to see me for an hour, instead of playing with their friends or with a play station, or taking care of little brothers and sisters. Every so often, in discussing geography or because of a civics lesson, I’ll mention Canada or Québec and they’ll look it up on the wall map. Or I’ll say I have no voting rights because I’m not a citizen of this country, and one of the older children will say: same as my mother’s new husband.

I was supposed to attend a concert last night and bring back photos of it. I was supposed to work on inventing a narrative thread for a series of photos illustrating circus artists at work. The photos will be printed on banners for a traveling exhibition through the libraries of this French Département.

I’m supposed to do many more things today. I’ll do some of them, for sure. But not all. Once I knew there was money in the bank, I stopped on my way home last night. Bought some food for the dog, some coffee and some condensed milk for my morning café au lait.

I slept. All night. Dreams don’t bother me. Good or bad, they’re good news. They say your body’s getting the rest it needs and your mind is processing whatever’s there to deal with.

I woke and waited for the right shadow self to rise. The one that said: never mind the clock. Start the coffee. Let the dog out. Breathe some early morning air. Deal with what you can, let go the rest.


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