This post was written in an airplane going back to Montreal and edited after landing.
30000 feet. Blue. Clear. This what I notice every time I fly: how clear the sky is.
Clear as in the immensity of the stratosphere is just one. Just one sky. Not many clouds, just one… entire… whole… plain.
Maybe that’s what higher state (of conciousness) reveals. Everything is one. That’s what heaven must feel like.
Of course we just experience a glimpse of it when we fly. A little, tiny, microscopic sensation of this plain feeling. And yet it is amazing.
As I come back from France I think of how this last week was condensed with experiences. Simple and powerful experiences.
I had time to meet many friends, catch up as if my previous French life had just been on pause for the last 2 years. I think I could call it my zombie life, as it is over and ressucitated every time my feet walk on French ground.
I had visited my grand-mother, Mamyvette , everyday. I had time to talk with her there even if she had a lot of difficulties to pronounce words. We spent casual time watching Kate & William’s royal wedding. I asked her to tell me again what my grand-father and she did during WWII. She told me he was a cook in a castle, Chateau de Benais, a couple miles from where she lived. The owners of the castle were protecting him and offered him a job after he escaped the German invasion. Later he had been taken by the Germans to work in Germany but he managed to jump from the train and hide until the end of war.
My grand-mother wants to know why I ask her so many questions. “I am just curious” I say.
Tuesday, I visited her 2 times. I had a hard time understanding what she said to me.
At some point she told me “I am thirsty, I want water… No!… I am just kidding!”. Maybe I didn’t want to understand. She didn’t want to have her oxygen anymore, this annoyed her. My cartesian mind did not want to understand why.
At night I had planned to eat with some friends, so I went to see her just before that. I told her that I loved her – I am usually not good at telling people I love them. And I left. My Mom stayed there and helped my Grand-mother eat.
I went to my friend’s appartment and my Mom called me. She told me to come back to the hospital. I drank a glass of water… my hands were shaking like crazy.
I came back too late. My grand-mother was already gone. Peacefully.
I went to see her in her room, she seemed at peace, serious and wise… as enlightened. As if everything was clear to her now. It’s like she wanted to say “I understand it all now”.
As if I hadn’t needed to explain to her how to use the VHS recorder. I knew she knew how to use it, but she had kept asking me for at least 15 years. This was our little game. Maybe because I am the tech-guy of the family, maybe because she wanted spend time with me.
My grand-mother was a great influence in my life. She taught me one of the best practices you can have for a healthy and balanced life: have a nap every day.
She always made gargantuesque meals that we could not finish, but were always excellent. She kept decorating her windows with beautiful flowers even if all of her neighbours stopped years ago.
She always wanted people to feel good, eat well, sleep… even if that meant she had to spend Christmas’s dinner in the kitchen cooking and doing the dishes while the rest of the family was eating and drinking wine.
I will miss the flat coke she always had in her fridge, the weird candies she always offered us when we were leaving her appartment, the way she had to let 5- minutes messages on answering machines as if she was talking to you, the Christmas presents she hid always at the same spot…
I ate at a crappy restaurant with my Mom before going back home.
We called the rest of the family, we cried, we laughed, we stayed awake.
Later that night my aunt and uncle arrived with my cousin. I spent most of the night smoking cigarettes and drinking beers in the street with my cousin. Catching up, talking about everything… until we fell asleep.
Wednesday morning he took the train to Paris with me, bought me a coffee and then I left him and went to the airport.
And here I am in the airplane. Above the clouds. In the blue whole sky. A little tiny step closer to heaven.
I imagine my grand-mother has been welcomed by my grand-father, Papy-Dé.
I imagine them dancing in the sky… entire … as one. Above everything. our little problems must seem so dérisoires.
I imagine them happy, waltzing into eternity.
And I smile…
Yvette & André at the celebration of their fiançailles - Future sky dancers