HUMAN GEOGRAPHY

COLLABORATION/OFFERING no. 271

Thursday, March 11th, 2021

Once again, I’ve skipped a day–I’ve missed my online rendez-vous with Louise. It couldn’t be helped, I was at the hospital yesterday getting my twice-a-month chemo treatment.

(You may or may not be aware of this already–but it will explain some of the gaps in this morning ritual which is Aubade)

* * * * * *

Also, you probably have no idea that I am blessed with two marvellous friends named Louise (this may at times cause confusion also).
There is Louise-Gabrielle, AKA Loulou whom I have known for probably thirty years, but who has been like a sister for at least two decades–which has meant the world to me, especially when both my sisters lived in British Columbia (I have since repatriated one).

And then there is Louise, THE Louise of this blog. The woman I met a few years ago and who is my Aubade accomplice. Our delightful friendship has developed almost solely online (see Welcome to Aubade).

So many things that have entered my life since 2018 have been unexpected, but this most recent development is serendipity at its best: and it’s that “my Louises” (I write this with deep affection) have met online–on Facebook–in part through what I’ve posted, and because of Aubade, but also elsewhere on Facebook, because they have reacted to the same news, posts, social and environmental issues. I know they are eager to meet in person once they’ve both been vaccinated.

The most recent of these moments of happenstance struck me when Louise sent me her morning quote for Aubade. She chose to quote Serge Bouchard, a Québécois anthropologist and prolific writer and winner of the Governor General’s Award.

Yesterday morning, along with her choice of quote, Louise added:

Je suis à lire le dernier Serge Bouchard qui se nomme un Café avec Marie, son amour, sa complice qui est disparue suite à une maladie…. c’est un ensemble de textes qu’il a produits et regroupés et le dernier porte sur Marie…. cet homme a un sens de l’essentiel et aussi du doute… ne rien prendre pour acquis… il oblige à penser, repenser un sujet et ne pas nécessairement acquiescer à la pensée de la majorité. Ses textes me font du bien par les temps qui courent. (LC)

Louise is presently reading Bouchard’s more recent book, Un café avec Marie, a sorrowful, beautiful book about Bouchard’s loss of the love of his life, Marie-Christine Lévesque, during this COVID year (she was just 61 years old), and the agony of not even being able to be with her as she lay dying…

The quote that Louise chose is from an earlier work:

Jamais on ne pourra oublier le lieu d’un bel amour, le décor d’une joie profonde ou le contexte d’une tendresse. C’est à travers de telles histoires que la géographie devient humaine.

-Serge Bouchard, “Quinze lieux communs” dans Le mal du pays (1993)

This excerpt speaks of the way that heightened emotional moments and experiences are embedded not only in time, but in space, or more precisely, in the place where they were lived. A fact of human geography…
A beautiful, almost magical thought.

Where more personal magic comes into the picture for me, is that my “other Louise”, Louise-Gabrielle/Loulou, has, over the years offered me two Serge Bouchard books…(I’m now thinking that I want to read Un Café avec Marie…).

Once again, my two friends connect unwittingly.

So here is to love, friendship, and the workings of human geography.

ART:

  1. Photo of Serge Bouchard (LA PRESSE, 2021)
  2. “This Time, This Place”, Lesley Finlayson




2 Comments on “HUMAN GEOGRAPHY

  1. J’adore cet homme! Je l’ai entendu en entrevue la semaine dernière et il parlait de ce nouveau livre, que j’ai bien l’intention de lire sous peu.

    Like

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