Journey, In viaggio col dolore

09. MY JOURNEY WITH PAIN. Between Cannes, Nice, Genoa, and Paris.

At the beginning of the summer of 1995, I returned to live on the French Riviera.
"You are a flower," Pascal's mother said to me when she saw me after about four months of care and renewed well-being.
There followed about two years in which I had a lot of vitality.
We lived in Cannes. Pascal had become the restaurant manager in a hotel in Juan Les Pins. He had a convenient way of loving me, and he respected my desire for growth and my frequent movements.
On weekends I was a singer and a housewife. I don't know how, but I also managed to make the curtains and valances for the new house. I bounced between Cannes, Nice, Genoa, and Paris.
Every two weeks, I went to Genoa to visit my parents, already elderly.
And every two weeks, with the TGV high-speed train, I was in Paris with my singing teacher for two lessons, one on Tuesday evening and the other on Wednesday morning.
The approach with that new vocal method was not easy for me, because I had to let go of the old habits consolidated in 20 years of self-taught singing.
My teacher asked me not to take engagements, not to sing. The new vocal mechanisms that I learned took time to stabilize. If I had sung, I would have fallen back into old habits. I had already pulled the rope a lot with my manager in the past, having been on sick leave, so I got used to singing, studying, and adapting the new technique to the old songs.
An integral part of the method was to record all lessons on cassettes so that I could study more easily and quickly at home. It was a severe vocal method.
One day, as soon as I left the third lesson, I remember that I found myself thinking: "But how have I been singing until today for 20 years without knowing all these things! I've done miracles! "
I practiced five singing sessions of 20 minutes per week, preceded by breathing exercises.
I did not lack the will and confidence in the method, even if my voice initially seemed to be "flies"!
Then there was yoga in Nice, which was essential for making new friends, having a point of reference for my inner quest, and keeping my body elastic and healthy. I found it, my body, even if by now the feeling of vulnerability and the fear of worsening the state of health would never go away.
My yoga teacher had extraordinary physical and, therefore, character flexibility. I loved him because he was sweet but authoritative. Thanks to him, I started practicing Vipassana Meditation regularly a quarter of an hour every evening. I stopped smoking those ten cigarettes a day that seemed indispensable to me and learned to deal with my intense emotion.
I had a full life, but, as the months went by, the more I loved myself and felt fulfilled on an individual level, the more I felt far from Pascal. I could no longer find grounds for deep sharing with him. Shouldn't it be the opposite, in a love story?
'Love is not a passion. Love is not an emotion.
Love is a profound understanding of the fact that somehow the other completes you.
Someone makes you a perfect circle; the presence of the other reinforces your presence. "
'I send you, as from a butterfly to a star,
a few words of love.'
Michel Berger