November 2006 Archives

Things I love about my mother

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I love my mother.

If I could sing at all, I'd sing a song of praise:

Thank you for the gift of life, Maman, with all its heartache and joy.

Thank you for showing me how to love someone for your whole life. I wouldn't know it was possible if I hadn't seen it.

You're beautiful. I have a picture on my mantlepiece of you and Mara, both of you in your twenties. You're beautiful.

Thank you for always somehow knowing what I mean. For example:

Me: "I made thisfor you. It's a necklace that looks like Mimi's."
Maman: "The only necklace Mimi had like that was the one that she wore to the Halloween party in Narberth in 1957. She dressed up as a savage and Poppop was the great white hunter."
Me: "That's the one!"
Maman: "You've only ever seen it once. In a 50 year old photo. In black and white. When you were six."
Me: "It made a big impression on me! That's definitely the one."
Maman: "That necklace was made out of tiger teeth. This necklace is made out of coral."
Me: "Yeah, but it looks like it!"
Maman: "I love you, Nae. It's a very nice necklace."
Me: "I love you too, Maman." <- See! That's what I really meant. How you knew, I have no idea. You must be psychic.

I love your mulberry sorbet and your sour cherry pie and your cherry olives and your pot roast and your chicken paprikash and negre en chemise.

I love your paintings and your photos.

I love my purple and green wool socks.

I love every memory of us laughing together, sometimes for no reason.

I love you, Maman.

Jacques Brel

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I was scanning around iTunes the other day, looking for some new way to feel and searching through the back catalog of Nina Simone. She sang I've Got Soul, which has recently been re-released in the UK and has become a surprise hit.

Well, she also sang a version of Jacques Brel's Ne me quitte pas, which led me to go find the original by Jacques Brel.

Wow. It starts off sad, then gets sadder, then becomes maudlin...then, and thank God for this, becomes utterly ridiculuous. Music has always had the ability to make me laugh, cry, smile, become thoughtful, forgiving, angry - I'm pretty deeply affected by music. This song was so sad at the start, and all I could think about was Maman (Ne me quitte pas, Maman!) and it just got so much sadder. By the time he got to the bit about bringing pearls of rain from a country where rain never falls I was in tears.

Moi, je t'offrirai
Des perles de pluie
Venues de pays
Où il ne pleut pas

Thankfully, he then goes totally over the top and being sad seems inappropriate.

I've posted the entire lyrics below.

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