Thursday, February 8, 2018

Talisman Found

This morning when I went out for wood, the moon and stars brilliant. I could almost light the way myself I was so excited that today might be decent.
Tomorrow I go to Vancouver for dinner with Bunny and John and to stay at their place overnight; moving day, Saturday, is predicted to be sunny again. Then my ladies will be home.
Okay: Lift Off. (Dana sent me a link to the launch of Falcon Heavy Tuesday and it was so thrilling it’s affected all my metaphors.) Darrell will start to build the porch enclosure on Monday so I am stoked.
The roof will be green tin like the house, the screen will be pet-proof and the room will be a decent size. Its door will face my kitchen entrance that serves as the primary door of the house. I really like that. I already ordered an outdoor rug for it.
Having the screened-in porch will mean I can leave my dining room doors open all summer, the cats will have a semi-outdoor experience and I’ll have a covered place to eat all summer even if it rains. Also: If there are bugs here, it won’t matter.
I kept scrapbooks until I started blogging instead. They were part diary, part sketchbook, part planner and a place to paste 2-D things that inspired me.
I grew up disinclined to remember my past. I felt aloof from everyone like Camus’ étranger until I met Steve and then my birth mother. Only with them did I first experience a true connection and I enjoyed living it. With Steve, it was love; with Françoise it was with an aged twin. When both those relationships changed — Steve leaving and Françoise dying — I had and valued souvenirs for the first time.
Françoise disappointed me. She chose to tell me about my father as soon as I arrived and in a room full of strangers. Then, the next day, she recanted her story and replaced it with another. She said that a friend of her father raped her.
She refused to tell me my father’s name. I asked her why? She said it was private and for only her to know. I asked her why she would honour or protect a rapist over her son; I wanted to know. She died with the knowledge so I’m not terribly keen on her.
But at her funeral, I met a birth cousin. I’ve met a couple of them, actually — all artists — but Lyne, in particular, delighted me. And through her I met Père Lionel, another relative. He was very old and frail and lived in a hospice for veteran Catholic priests and brothers.
He’s Franciscan so I bought a tiny gold St. Francis medal and mailed it to him to bless and return to me. When he did, I got a gold chain and I’ve worn it every day since — until, that is, I lost it a couple of months ago.
All my life wonderful but weird things happened that made me think I might be French. Having no history and unpleasant adoptive parents gave this sense of a kernel of truth about me meant a great deal to me. And when I discovered my name was Loranger, it allowed me to hope I was true; it could be pronounced as an English or a French name.
I met my birth mother, heard her accent and learned that my father, too, was Quebecois on my first day in Montreal when I went to meet her. The next morning I woke up early and cried forever quietly in the hallway so as not to wake Steve in our room or our hosts in theirs.
The point of telling you about that morning in Montreal is that I remember having a little plastic key holder with a flag of Quebec in it in my hand. As I cried, I rubbed it on my face and I did it for a long, long time. I’ve pulled photos to my face, too. And I like to bury my face in pets and flowers. I feel deep emotion when I do that.
I’d been very attached to the medallion I lost. It was a talisman of both my real family and the sense of truth I’d sensed about myself. But when I lost it, I let it go. It was just a thing. I still had the knowledge.
Yesterday I saw a dime in the half-light of my bedroom and stooped to pick it up. It was the St. Francis medallion and I found my feet unable to move. I steadied myself as a tsunami of emotion overcame me and I rubbed that sucker all over my face.

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