Extracts (2)


Work in progress, The Grey Country (p.17)

Morgan, who was the chief librarian of a university library, left her prestigious job in a big city to return to her home town,  Morryb,  in a small place on the sea, to assist  Mael, the old librarian, in the digitization of the library catalogue . The homecoming happens without apparent harm, but in the mind of Morgan. Or at least, this is how it seems.

This impression was probably born from my imagination, but on the moving day, I had the  feeling that Morrybans followed my every move while a clumsy truck was bringing  me some furniture. I felt a bit shaky, like every time I have  to give up an apartment. The desolation of the void, the echo of my own. steps   slamming on the floor, while I check one last time if I have forgotten something before closing the door forever on a piece of my life, like one would on a tomb, all these gestures exhausted me more than any other task.

Leaving at dawn, inhabited with  the unpleasant impression that I was deserting a  body still warm, I had obstinately driven  on the winding road leading to Morryb. Only by seeing the lighthouse, which  seemed to wait for me, I felt exhilarated. Although not being used anymore as a landmark for sailors, its  mere presence had always had the ability to reassure the   Morryban population,  who felt protected  thanks to  its warm   presence on the cliff, only   symbolically perhaps, but  protected all the same, against real and imaginary storms striking  the country. And from the moment I saw it from the road, I felt the need to put myself  under its  protection.

As soon as I arrived, without knowing why, I put a wet white T-shirt on the clothing line,  taut between a pipe along the lighthouse and the twisted branch of the  single oak carving the  cliff for kilometers, as a sign of peace:  to dry one’s  clothes in the wind, is  like starting to live somewhere, I said to myself, while watching the white T-shirt swinging in the cool morning air. As if, suddenly, there was nothing more important to the world than  this movement and flexibility, this balancing  whiteness in the November air, which also  had the effect of instantly calming down  the urgency I felt to put my possessions away. Instead, I sat down in the black wooden rocking chair and looked at the boxes stacked on both floors of the lighthouse, while a sense of order invaded  my mind where the disorder had  dominated as  far as my memory could go with words. It seemed that with   words, disorder had arrived in my brain, and also   questions, the doubts, but  the lighthouse had finally calmed  this shaking of the spirit and I now felt at  home. Finally.

…. Maybe I had always expected this day I would live on the certainty of a cliff. When I think of it.

Sylvie G @


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