Three days ago I left my grandmother under private care and I came to a house in Lasalle. I'll be housesitting and taking care of the pets during three weeks, while the owners are on vacations. I haven't been able to take my mind off of my grandmother as much as I'd like, but this will fade out in time.
I've been experiencing magic speaking to strangers. I'll just describe a small encounter: I saw middle aged man in the shade of a tree, reading a thick book. He put the book in his bag, and took out a banana, peeled it and begun eating. I approached "excuse me, do you have a couple of minutes? I promise I'm asking for just time and not money". The man smiled "sure" he said. "I just want to ask you what you were reading, and if it's any good".
He said it was good. It's a real story of four Bourgogne Counts in France who fought over power and land. I wondered if it would be available in English, he said probably. And then we conversed about his homeland (Belgium), his time in Montreal, and all that. There was great energy to our conversation, and when I left I asked if I could shake his hand despite this pandemic non-sense. He stood up and shook my hand profusely, we smiled and said goodbye.
As I write this down, I see the magic is concealed in the energy of the interaction, not in the events that can be reported in writing. But it doesn't matter: the only person with whom I have conversed in six months is my grandmother, and her conversation inevitably was criticism, perceived injustices, bad news on the radio, everything that was wrong in our little shared world.
Yesterday there was a book stand on the streets. Almost all the books were in French. I asked the attendant, a young intellectual looking woman, if she had any books in English. She recommended one by a Québécois writer which I bought, and I searched for a children's book for my nephew, in French. I got my hands on one for a pretty early age, and I thought perhaps this is a good way to start learning french, from a child's book, and I saw a large woman sitting on a mobility scooter. I approached her: "excuse me, would you help me read out this book in French out loud, I want to improve my pronunciation", she was delighted and we patiently read together the entire book while she corrected my appalling French during thirty minutes. We departed again with this sort of magical energy.
The world is amazing, people are so happy and kind, it feels like I'm on drugs, but it's the contrast between my bleak life and my new situation. We seem to get used to "good things" much easier than "bad things", I hope this magic doesn't fade out ever. But the magic is always there, we just become less attuned to it.
Now, it's difficult spending my time in front of a screen when there is a wonderful world out there. I better shower and get prepared for yoga. I'll see what magic the day brings this time.