Esplanade de la Défense, Paris, 2011. Header of this blog, from it’s creation until January 2013.
Two months before I took that picture, someone talked to me there, at that very place where I later took the picture.
That was June 21st, Fête de la musique.
A moment before he came to me, I’d heard him sing with a rock band.
Among thousands of individuals in a colony, penguins identify their partner by the sound of their singing.
I thought I had recognized him.
In his voice was a shout for life.
The very same kind of shout I had in my voice: a muzzled shout.
From that moment, I knew we could mutually free ourselves of that muzzling. So I thought the two of us had to be. Forever.
No matter how much I hated La Defense. I always felt it was a hugely unhuman place. Giant towers there feel so much like the gigantic constructions ancient totalitarian system built at human costs – from egyptian pyramids to stalinian palaces. Their inner asceptical athmosphere and their outer oppressing size are so symbolic of how financial capitalism is squeezing life as well as human subjectivity.
When I went back to that place, I liked it though. Not just because he lived nearby and had showed me those cats that seem to come out of nowhere, after all the stressed out penguins in business suit, finally get on their two hours trip back to their suburbian house.
It felt like I was born there. I liked it, as you like the place where you are born. No matter how ugly or crazy the place is, you are attached to it. You can sometimes hate it. But you are still attached to it in some way. All you can choose is : attached in what way.
A year later, when I started this blog, I realized that maybe, I actually liked the place because something blossomed there. In what started there. In saying his name, in the soft caress of his arms. Something blossomed in my voice.
When we were sitting there chating, the water in front of us and the noise of some wonky air con blower as a wind ersatz got both of us to think of seaside. That was far from enough for me to call that place la mer.
And I wanted him with me on the road away from la mère, out of the Sagrada Familia wall. I wanted him so much. Probably because I thought I could not make that journey by myself.
It turned out that all he wanted was someone on his coach when he gets back from work or when he watches football games. No matter how much I loved him, at some point I had to face the facts : this is not me.
That’s how I learned that the road away from la mère, out of the sagrada familia wall is each of us own way.
Still. I fooled myself into believing he would come with me the whole way.
It took me a while to accept that no mater how much I loved him, I could only let him go his own way.
And take my own steps.
Poser ma voie.
Now that he holds someone else in his arms, that thing in my voice, that other myself that was born there grew stronger.
Poser ma voix.
That voice is rooted in the moments of tenderness with him. In that stretch of road we walked together, away from la mère.
I will take care of that seed.
Water it with more love
and let it grow.
To keep that voice blowing.