Juste une fable n° 69
we were over a mountain, that's for sure, in a smallish plane. and the snow had gathered so that it seemed dangerous for us to take off. but it was also weirdly certain that we hadn't yet landed either. so the situation was that the snow had accumulated underneath us
from the ground up
to the point that we got stopped,
if you like, and couldn't fly forward.
and as i was scurrying around trying to see what connections i could make maybe with the pilot, maybe the stewards and stewardesses, or maybe the other passengers, i became somewhat hopeless, thinking, darn, i'll never be able to get
wherever you thought we wanted to go.
i felt stuck, in a word, and thought we would just sort of sit there till kingdom come
even if it weren't coming.
but somehow, weather patterns being what they are, completely out of my hands, my manipulations, or anybody else's control, eventually the snow melted down an inch or two. so we were released from being trapped in this cold, indeterminate world. and i and the others, of course,
i was still with you,
once again were treated to a panoramic truth.
it was that moment when you come out of the denial that the very conditions of your traveling vehicle promotes. you see that you are coming out of the clouds, are overarching the land, and can go wherever you might intend or choose to go. but you are so relieved and so stunned to realize that you've been given this power to soar over earth, that you just wait for a moment in silence,
in awe and wonder
before remembering it was your will that bought the ticket. you'd put yourself in the position to move thus over mountains, which, by definition,
you are part of and not part of,
you realize you're a metonymy and a metaphor all at once. suspended in the air, you take
the long view.
Mary Shaw est professeure de littérature française des dix-neuvième et vingtième siècles à l'Université de Rutgers (New Jersey). Outre ses travaux universitaires, elle a publié deux livres pour enfants ainsi qu'un recueil de poésie intitulé Album Without Pictures (Halifax, N. S., Editions VVV, 2008).