Les rêveries du retraité solitaire

Les rêveries du retraité solitaire

Like a Refugee

I will come with only the fading memories of the prayers and the songs, of my heart filled with joy, of the faith that I was certain would always be there to comfort me, with the memories of the sharing of love and the hands held together like a chain against evil and darkness, of the ones that I thought would always be part of me. I will come with the fading memory of a world that was not perfect but where I could see meaning and hope.


I will come without the wisdom and the knowledge of the plenty of books that I have read, without the elaborate reasoning of the philosophers and without the deep understanding of the human soul of the poets. I will not take with me the lessons of those who made me think and better understand myself. I will not rely on the comforting assurance of a religion or the emotional belief in a God that I once felt so real and so close.


I will come without thinking that I deserve a reward for the good deeds that I have done or a consolation for the suffering that I have endured, nor will I carry with me the guilt of my failures and all the things that I am ashamed of.  I will come with no pride and no shame.


But I know that beyond the cold and grey prison walls of my aching and ailing body, I will remember the sunsets on the beach, the excitement of the new snow, the salty air of the sea mixed with the perfume of the flowers in the fields, the ducks starting to fly as we quietly glide towards them in our kayaks, the music, the parties and the dancing, the intimacy of love and the sleepiness nights talking with friends about love, life and death, the blessed moments spent together as a family, so long ago, in the warmth of our home, sheltered from the cold and angry wind of a winter night. The bad memories will also come to visit me : the anguish and despair of watching the loved ones suffer without being able to put an end to their suffering, the wounds and pain of my long and lonely struggle to free myself from the hereditary beast that wanted to destroy my body and my soul, the bitter realization that I have not lived up to my ideals and my dreams.


In a prophetic song called Anthem [1], Leonard Cohen says that, “Every heart to Love will come, but like a refugee." I don’t know if love is really stronger than death, I don't know if there is an afterlife where there will be no more sorrow and suffering, but I will come like a refugee, with no assurance and certainty, with nothing but my scattered memories and a weak but yet enduring hope that still lingers somewhere in my soul.

[1] Here’s the song on YouTube : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6wRYjtvIYK0



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