Mathilde Alanic: Shine! (conclusion)
Extract from Annie’s notebook
And so Patrice spoke the truth. A word lives on, a word radiates! The written word influences more, at times, than purposed. The written word, again by a saying of Amiel’s, is both the sowing and the flowering.
Each day brings witness. A word that falls to a soul’s depths, awakens unforeseen echoes, as a bounding stone fills a canyon with sound and reverberation.
Among my friends, I have been for a second time venturing towards the funereal. I do not ordinarily keep a journal, forever carried by the current. But today I wanted to note my impressions, the consequences of the past, the balance remaining—
And to draw up an inventory of my mental resources.
By the desire of one who had wished to be my guide, I serve! Humbly, but surely, I reach souls. I try above all to brighten lives left empty, sterile, adrift…there are so many. I encourage the isolated and the damaged to search for those sources of joy I rely on myself: constancy, energy, hope!
Here in contemplation, surrounded by peace, I prepare for future tasks. I find equilibrium. I try to filter out the quintessence of such betterment this poor me, fashioned by experience, has gained.
The park has a touch of tawny October, the beautiful October of the Loire country. Concealed in corners are the charming familiar sights, made for the delight of a painter: woodland mists, lawns of gentle green, calm waters, delicate trees, distant views veiled, and worthy of the elysian frescoes of Puvis de Chevannes.
Winifred walks her dear husband around the parterres, from which, refreshed by a watering, still rise the odors of late roses. Before a bloom of dahlias, she describes the flowers to the blind man, who sees them through her eyes and blissfully smiles.
Ah! She is a true Shining One. She gleams a gentle light of goodness on the orb to which she gravitates. I leave them, to reach the front of the house. It is the purple hour, the royal hour.
I wait for him, at the end of every afternoon.
The avenue makes a grand effect, stretching until lost to the setting sun. The earth, the leaves ablaze, are bathed in a liquid red. The trees are like bronze lampposts. The golds, the carmines, the coppers, burn like fountains of fire.
The sky opens at the horizon, between resplendent pillars, its glorious immensities, where palaces rise, fantastic temples with domes of gold and rose, the ethereal prospect of an ideal city.
Silent, alone, overcome by beauty, I go slowly along the fiery path. And my soul, drawn by the infinite, goes before me and mounts, ecstatic, towards the Eternal Gates.
(2021, translation, Stephanie Foster; 1922, Mathilde Alanic, Rayonne!)