Photos: probably by Serge Giguère

The swell of the past

Modifié le : 2019/07/30

My moth­er sent me three unex­pect­ed pho­tos this week, sent by her broth­er, Serge. The three pho­tos cre­ate a short snap­shot of a joy­ful moment. We see my par­ents in their forties.

It’s no lie to say that I did­n’t real­ize right away that I was in two of the pic­tures. I was sim­ply amazed to see on my father’s fore­head the same vein that appears when I laugh with a good heart, to see the pos­es of my moth­er that my sis­ter Mary seems to have inher­it­ed. And then I, final­ly, who appears behind them (in the first pic­ture, we see my sis­ter Diane who, with her ocean­ic mem­o­ry, must know exact­ly when the pho­to was taken).

So I won­der why I have so few mem­o­ries of that peri­od. When I try to go back in time, I cer­tain­ly have impres­sions, reminders, but noth­ing from this past seems to col­or my present. And I have lit­tle mem­o­ry of names… I am remem­bered, I only remem­ber a few peo­ple. This boy, behind this young cou­ple, is me. He looks old­er than his par­ents. I was a seri­ous boy, used to be called sir. I was proud of myself and pre­sump­tu­ous. I don’t think that’s changed.

How old was I ? Four­teen, six­teen ? Was I already see­ing this cou­ple of “accotés,” the first in the vil­lage ? Was I already in this rock band ? (Yes, yes, rock…) Had I ever expe­ri­enced the first sex­u­al emo­tions with this sports boy ?

The mem­o­ry comes back, it seems to me, sud­den­ly. But the hap­py face of my par­ents on that day, the dai­ly life with them, it remains con­fus­ing. I seem to be no bet­ter in this mod­ern present that inhab­its me. I’ve always been a sailor, a lone wolf. I was born, and since then, I still have as much to do as I cer­tain­ly quick­ly for­get my attach­ments. Per­haps I would have made a woman unhap­py because she would soon have been a wid­ow of my inner adventures.

This series of three pho­tos, this lit­tle syn­co­pat­ed film, is prob­a­bly pro­found­ly inscribed in my psy­che, anchored under my epi­der­mis, fil­ter­ing with­out my knowl­edge, and inter­pret­ing before the let­ter, the syn­tax of the present.

Remem­ber­ing is pre­cious. Surf­ing on mem­o­ry is a Dan­tean task because it is both a sin­is­ter swell and a dri­ving force. Per­haps I should push myself, every morn­ing, to review my life as much as pos­si­ble, take ten, twen­ty min­utes of my time to observe the jour­ney I have made, and then turn towards the path to fol­low, because hap­pi­ness is built by end­less­ly retak­ing the road.