Posted by: gdevi | July 28, 2013

Genetic investigations

I was so pleasantly surprised today–my aunt and I were talking about this lovely story by Sri Ramakrishna called Sarvamangala– you should read it if you have not–beautiful story and the illustrations are just incredibly beautiful–and I asked my aunt whether she knew that the gypsies called their patron saint Sarah-le-Kali and I told her about Michael Dregni’s book on Django Reinhardt and the gypsies and the gypsy pilgrimage site in Camargue by the sea. My aunt asked me, do you mean Les Saintes Marie-de-la-mer? The Three Marys? she asked me. I said yes. It turns out that my aunt had visited the place many times. Apparently, there was this man, Monsieur Boniface, who was a close friend of Claude’s parents, and when Claude and my aunt and my cousins used to go to Switzerland and France, they would visit M. Boniface who had a big farm at Camargue by the sea-the place is apparently famous for its wild horses, and its “cowboys” who use the horses to herd the cattle, apparently–and my aunt knew this shrine really well. Incredible. Anyway, now I am doubly invested in visiting this place sometime or the other.

I met my friend Najat today for brunch, and she took me to this wonderful Middle Eastern/ Mediterranean restaurant, “Voro,” also in Outremont pretty close to where my aunt is. I had a salmon frittata with goat cheese and other stuff; it was delicious. It was so lovely to see Najat. I hope to see her once more before I leave.

I am greatly enjoying my time with my aunt. My aunt is 79, my mother’s older sister, and so far, I have learned many things about my family almost three generations deep! I love listening to my aunt; she retired from the Department of Religion at Concordia and we have been having some really interesting discussions. I love listening to her; you learn something from listening to her for five minutes.

July 29th.

A very productive day. I got nice looking sturdy boxes and completely arranged my aunt’s books, papers and pictures. It looks so nice and clean. Like a good short haircut. Things to go on the shelves sorted and arranged on the shelves in alphabetical order. Things to be labeled and boxed, labeled and boxed. So many delicious books. In between shelving and arranging, I read. My aunt is giving me a whole bunch of her teaching materials and books on religion and women’s studies; I am going to box them and mail them tomorrow to LH. Thank you, my dear. Totally delightful day! I am going to go get some sort of nice food for us now from somewhere. Maybe Vietnamese.

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