Tag Archives: life

Ma rencontre imprévue, imprévisible, et belle

16 Dec

Ce soir j’ai rencontré quelqu’un. Karima. Une dame d’âge mûr, habillée avec élégance et dont le visage évoquait celui de Sophia Loren, et qui aidait au service dans le restaurant italien où j’ai choisi de diner, un peu tard.

Elle avait envie de parler. Elle semblait contente de pouvoir me renseigner en français sur le menu. Les convives qui étaient là, à la tablée de quatre, étaient tous italiens et elle ne parlait pas la langue. Les clients qui sont arrivés après moi étaient aussi des italiens. Décidément. Il ne restait que la télé où BFMTV nous donnait les nouvelles, le chef en cuisine, et moi. Alors elle regardait la télé, elle arrangeait des choses ça et là, elle servait et desservait, elle disparaissait brièvement en cuisine.

C’est au moment du dessert qu’elle engageât la conversation, depuis une table devant moi, alors qu’inspirée par le reportage de BFMTV sur l’inhumation de Nelson Mandela, elle me fit part de son admiration pour le grand homme qui avait tant oeuvré pour son pays et l’humanité. J’acquiesçais et hochais la tête.

La vérité, c’est qu’entre les bruits de repas du couple d’italiens à ma gauche et le son même faible de la télé, je ne l’entendais pas assez pour la comprendre et je ne parvenais pas à tout lire sur ses lèvres.

Je reconstituais tant bien que mal les phrases, et priais que mes réponses et mouvements de tête s’accordaient bien avec ses propos. “Mandela a quand même passé vingt-sept ans en prison !” “Il a failli être exécuté.” [Karima traça un trait horizontal sur sa gorge avec son doigt] “En France … gouvernement de Giscard … puis Mandela libéré” Je n’ai pas saisi. “Afrique du Sud … Ma belle-fille vient de Cape Town.” “C’est bientôt l’anniversaire de mes jumeaux.” “Oh, lui ai-je répondu, vous avez des jumeaux? Mon frère et moi sommes jumeaux !” “Oui, ils auront 38 ans bientôt, ils sont Capricorne.” Le même âge que mon frère et moi. Karima partageait désormais des bribes de sa vie.

J’ai alors invité Karima à prendre place à ma table si elle voulait, en lui expliquant que je l’entendais mal. Une fois à proximité, malheureusement, elle baissa naturellement le volume de sa voix et certains de ses mots restaient couverts par ceux des voisins et de la télévision.

C’est ainsi. C’est ainsi que j’ai appris son prénom, celui de ses enfants ainsi que leur âge, leurs métiers, le pays où ils habitent. C’est ainsi que j’ai appris que Karima, mariée à l’âge de 15 ans, divorça à 28 ans et éleva seule ses deux enfants, les faisant voyager entre le Maroc, la France et Dubai, leur apprenant le protocole, la vie avec les riches, les pauvres, à donner au pauvres, etc.

J’ai appris en une heure une quantité de choses sur Karima et ses enfants, leur caractère, leurs récentes activités et leurs projets. Mais c’était surtout une rencontre imprévue, imprévisible, et belle.

Things for which I am grateful

22 Nov
Happy Thanksgiving to those who celebrate it!
Happy regular day to the rest!

My laptop acted up last night and today and what a prank it was for it to assess the disk corrupt, claim it can’t be fixed, and declare that reformatting and restoring from backup were in order. Turned out the disk got repaired and I tweeted I’m grateful for it:

This is the short-term gratefulness and there are other things I am deeply grateful for: I am healthy and literate in a country where life is good, I have a family of good people, I have a son whom I love from the bottom of my unfathomable heart, I live with his sweet father, I have a job I live for and colleagues who are kind, talented, dedicated, funny that I admire them. This is a fraction of the things I am grateful for. Today I thought about them, and I’m thankful.

The power of hypnosis

9 Apr
Hypnosis was a discussion topic at work the other day. I once blogged about how hypnosis had failed to help me with snowphobia. This was an epic session and funny, come to think of it. But I never wrote about the power of hypnosis. And I am now, because I was once successfully hypnotised.

It was some time during the summer of 1999, during a family vacation in Crete. The family of my boyfriend of the time. His father’s occupation was psychologist with a skill for hypnosis. I was regularly plagued with massive headaches. I had tried to cut down on coffee without visible effects. He offered to try hypnosis on me and I agreed. I don’t recall very much of the session.

He made me lay on a bed in a quiet room and he sat on a chair next to me. He made me close my eyes and listen to him. He said I wouldn’t fall asleep but the state I would be in would be very close. He said I would remember everything. It was true, but I gradually forgot, years after years.

I think is lasted less than a half hour. Near the end, he said my headaches were taken care of. He added they may return and if they did, we were about to work on how to make them go away. He instructed me to think of one word, and to remember it. Then the session was over. I went back to performing my vacation activities, a little dubious.

I didn’t have a single headache for many months and when I had one, it wasn’t massive like before, and it was rare.

As to the magic word that he made me think of —a word that I invented at the time— it still works even today. I don’t have to say it, I just have to think of it, say it in my head, and the headache disappears within seconds. It’s wonderful.

Snowphobia and hypnosis

25 Nov
This is an entry on snowphobia and a failed hypnosis session some years ago.

I have snowphobia. I like snow (although it’s cold and I prefer things hot :). It’s walking and driving on slippery surfaces that freak me out.

There was a very local hailstorm over the Sophia Antipolis area last night and when I drove to the office this morning I was surprised the area was all white. At first it was beautiful. I was safely driving on ploughed roads.

But at the round-about near the office, the ice was there to meet my tires and it was no longer beautiful but unnerving. I did well. I “beached” my car where I could, blocking two others (leaving a note to the attention of the owners with my cellphone number on it, and it was tempting to add “and please, move my car yourself if it’s in your way” ;).

This reminds me of the failed hypnosis session that occured back in December 2004. Being impaired by my phobia, I did the sensible thing and made an appointment with a doctor who practiced hypnosis.

He made me sit on a comfortable leather armchair, rest my hands on my thighs, close my eyes and listen to his monotonous and quiet voice.

He made me imagine I was in a place I like and I was feeling good about it. So I was on a large beach of white sand, taking a nice walk and enjoying the warm breeze, the small number of people (at a good distance) and the melodic sound of the waves.

Then he made me go in my car for an enjoyable ride. He said it was starting to rain but I was safe. The rain was light and I was comfortable driving. Then I drove down a slope and I was still safe, and I was still enjoying myself. Then he made me go back to the beach.

I got off the car and was to transfer my fears on framed pictures. I was to carry the pictures to the air balloon that was moored on the beach. I carried the frames and put them in the basket. I cut the moorings and saw the air balloon lifting up.

At this point my friend Dino suddenly appeared in the basket and was waving bye bye, smiling at me!

I backtracked quickly to the previous scene so as to re-do it again, Dino-free. But there he was again! appearing in the basket of the air balloon and waving bye bye while smiling.

That was the end of the session. Too bad it was ruined so close to the end!

The doctor was confident that would do it. But in case I was still frightened to drive on frozen surfaces or snow, I was to schedule another appointment with him. I am still very uncomfortable with snow, ice and all slippery surfaces, but I never scheduled another appointment.