Mysteries and good surprises (to come)

False Creek - Photo: Nathalie Astruc
False Creek - Photo: Nathalie Astruc

A warm voice


The sun is sometimes in the voice of people. This enveloping warmth, like a cozy blanket, is there, on the airwaves. I was interviewed Vaughn David for my next article in The Source, a very interesting woodcarver and it was an unmitigated pleasure to hear this artist talk about his love of wood, of colours of the wood, of these beings that he is turning into works of art.


This local artist is métis, in the Canadian way (in France, it means mixed people, with any kind of origins). His work and the person he is impress me. He is a magician, a real human being, the illustration that a human being is not opposed to nature as we may end up believing some days, that we all are children of the nature and that we should accept this condition instead of chasing after neon lights, the hum of factories, the fumes of drugs, the glories of one day. This man knows how to look at wood. We forget the meaning of this word: look. We all see things but we don’t take the time or make the effort to look, to listen the thousand stories unfolding around us.


I still remember the voices of some people. On of them has passed away but his voice is still living in my ear. It is low and makes me think of a precious wood. But it is also makes me think, for some reason, of a whole universe: santal wood, a sunset, ocre colour and dark orange.


As a radio girl, I of course am more sensitive to voices. Sometimes, I have surprises when I listen again to sounds. It makes me feel nostalgic.


The migration journey


I was very stressed about the job search, which was directly related to my status here in Canada. If I didn't find a job, I thought I wouldn't be able to stay in the country, which is true in theory. 


I was contacted several times, they found my profile interesting, but as soon as the question of my status was raised (Francophone Mobility, work permit closed), all doors closed. I explored other possibilities with an immigration consultant and I am much more relaxed about the situation. However, Covid has slowed down all the processing and I will have to be very patient.


I am again filling in immigration forms. For some of the information, I refer to the ones I filled out in Australia, not without a bitter aftertaste. I think back to those moments, all that energy, all that time (a whole year of planning, two years of studying and working at the same time in my thirties) and hope I don't have the same unfortunate outcome. It's like opening a scar again. In Australia, there was the novelty of the process. Now there is the fear of falling back into the same situation.


You have to find the addresses and name the jobs over the last ten years. It's fine if you don't move around a lot, but in my case it's sometimes a headache. The advantage is that I already know the process and I will normally be less tired than the first time.


The Myers Briggs test


According to this famous test, I am an ENFJ: Extravert Intuitive Feeling Judging. This acronym is also replaced by the profile of the protagonist or the teacher, depending on the version.

I find the description quite accurate and close to reality. Someone who has an interest in helping the development and growth of others.


Wellness Together Canada


I contacted the Wellness Canada hotline because I was in the process of breaking down and I can only recommend them. I hesitated for a long time: to call or not to call? Do I feel that bad? Am I not taking the place of someone who intends to end his life? 


In France and in other countries, talking about one's mental health is still taboo and there is a tendency to stigmatise those who do not hide it. You have to be a good little soldier, never have any faults, but at the same time not be too happy, because smiling in the street for nothing, just because you are happy, is extremely suspicious. But why should we walk straight all the time, never have a moment of weakness, never be beset by depression and hide to die like the birds? I did that for a long time, going into hiding to die in my corner. It was often an abject failure.


If I were an employer and I knew that one of my employees was suffering from a mental disorder (my interlocutor explained to me the connotation that this adjective has here in Canada, different from France where it is a pejorative term), on the one hand, I would really take care of this person and, on the other hand, I would salute his efforts because this step shows that this person has resilience and is capable of overcoming obstacles.


Doing work to know yourself and the more you know yourself the more you become aware of your weaknesses and strengths. There was a time when I was having anxiety attacks. It was so intense that I was very afraid to be near a window. I was on medication. One day I decided to be stronger than the crisis, stronger than the medication. I kept telling myself in my head: "I am in control, I am in control. I'm going to make it, I'm going to calm down. And it worked. I got stronger that day. I've never had another crisis until now. Maybe I'll have one again one day, I don't know what the guarantees are. But I know that I managed to control myself the first time, that I have the strength to say stop.


I spoke to friends and positive people interviewed Yamoussa Bangoura, the founder and artistic director of the Kalanbanté troupe. He is a very wise and inspiring man. A good advice: surround yourself with positive people.


Since then, I have bounced back well and will resume an old project with lots of surprises that I can't talk about right now. After all, I have all the skills to do what I want to do so I might as well go for it!


The kairos


While reading ("Le château" by Mathieu Sapin), I discovered the concept of kairos. This term refers to "a small winged god of opportunity, which must be caught when it passes (seize an opportunity)" according to Wikipedia. 


It's funny because this Wikipedia article also talks about synchronicity in Jung and this is something that intrigued me a lot when I was preparing my thesis for my Master 2 French as a Foreign Language. My thesis topic was "Developing oral competence in a hybrid training". I had mentioned this subject but my tutor rightly dissuaded me from taking this route because it was too far removed from linguistics.


Who knows if he might be passing by and I might pick it up!


The phoenix


But sometimes you have to make your own luck. Recently, after the slump and the call to the hotline, I decided to take care of myself. I was so focused on the outside, on being given a chance, that I let myself down completely.


It took a huge drop in my morale, a kind of moult, for me to create a new version of myself. I had so many negative thoughts, my self-esteem was at its lowest. I had to dry out, crack, burn in order to be reborn.


Now more grounded, physically and psychologically, I may and probably will start a very powerful adventure: my adventure. Again, I am quite mysterious but I can't reveal my plans but I am happy and hopeful.


Back to the stage


I'm back on stage with Magda Ochoa as part of the « De la plume à la scène » (‘From the pen to the stage’) project with La Boussole. I'm glad I did, because stage and performing arts projects at this time can be uncertain.


For this performance, I will be an actress but also a musician! I haven't performed with my guitar for years, the last time being in Malaysia.


I will have a role that fits me but I don't want to give too much away yet, I need some surprises for those who will come to the performance on March 31st! All I can say is that I have a role that is tailor-made for me...