aline giordano

Ouistreham 21 January 2012

Ouistreham 21 January 2012

© Aline Giordano 2012

Ouistreham. There is so much I want to say about my memories associated with Ouistreham. Yet, as I’m trying to make sense of what it is I really want to say, words fail me.

So I open my book of George Orwell’s essays and read again ‘Why I write’. This time, unlike when I was writing my piece on Robin Proper-Sheppard’s band Sophia, I cannot reconcile Orwell’s soothing words with my emotions. As the drum beat is deafening my ear, the music, at least, gives me some respite. I get captivated, as I usually do, by Peter Murphy yelling:

‘I get bored, I do get bored In the flat field I get bored, I do get bored In the flat field In my yearn for some cerebral fix Transfer me to that solid plain Hammer me into blazon pain Molding shapes no shame to waste Molding shapes no shame to waste And drag me there with deafening haste’ (Ash, Haskins, J & Murphy, 1979)

I read on: ‘Writing a book is a horrible, exhausting struggle, like a long bout of some painful illness. One would never undertake such a thing if one were not driven on by some demon whom one can neither resist nor understand’ (Orwell, 1946: 1-7).

My friend handed over her manuscript to her editor only a few weeks ago. She and I have been absorbed in our frantic pace: a consequence of our over commitment; in turn, a product of our ‘yearn for some cerebral fix’? I cannot speak for my friend but for me this would appear to be the real deal.

I’m struggling to remember the exact conversation I had with a colleague of mine about some aspect of Lacan’s work. I can only remember that it offered a very appealing alternative to my emotional struggle and a vital alternative to death. I need to ask her again.

As I write these words, I can see images of a car and a corpse, of cliffs and beaches and everything that my mind wants to throw in for good measures. These images come and go, never in focus (I cannot see in focus anyway… funny hey, for a photographer?). These images lurk at the back of my mind when I think of Ouistreham. I had never been to Ouistreham beach until that day when I took these photographs in the blistering wind.

I can hardly believe it.

I close my eyes in both dismay and agitation and hold my head with my hands. Could it be that it will be exactly twenty years, this year, that ‘it’ happened, and that my body, through the act of photographing, gave me a gentle and subtle reminder that it is high time I paid tribute to the grave of my very own Dormeur Du Val?

Le Dormeur du Val (Rimbaud, 1870)

C'est un trou de verdure où chante une rivière, Accrochant follement aux herbes des haillons D'argent ; où le soleil, de la montagne fière, Luit : c'est un petit val qui mousse de rayons. Un soldat jeune, bouche ouverte, tête nue, Et la nuque baignant dans le frais cresson bleu, Dort ; il est étendu dans l'herbe, sous la nue, Pâle dans son lit vert où la lumière pleut. Les pieds dans les glaïeuls, il dort. Souriant comme Sourirait un enfant malade, il fait un somme : Nature, berce-le chaudement : il a froid. Les parfums ne font pas frissonner sa narine ; Il dort dans le soleil, la main sur sa poitrine, Tranquille. Il a deux trous rouges au côté droit.

The Sleeper of the Vale (Rimbaud, 1870)

It’s a gully of green where sings a river Desperately hanging on the grass its rags Of silver; where the sun, from the proud mount, Shines: it’s a little vale that foams of rays. A young soldier, mouth open, head bare, And his neck bathing in the cool blue cress, Sleeps; he is stretched out in the grass, ‘neath the sky, Pale on his green bed where the light rains. His feet in the gladiolas, he sleeps. Smiling like A sick child smiles, he takes a snooze: Nature, cradle him warmly: he is cold. The scents do not make his nostrils quiver; He sleeps in the sun, one hand on his peaceful Chest. He has two red holes in his right side.

translated by Alexandre Rodallec (online - wordpress, 2009)

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