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Creativity Explored: A weak light casts no shadows

Creativity Explored
is a Series where we do just that: explore creativity!
As part of this series, we started out with
FAST FICTION exercise of the
STORY BEHIND the PHOTO
you can read more about that here and participate at any time as this is an ongoing exercise.

Here are some of the submissions to date:

Creativity Explored: Emilie & Gil in Cannes 
by Debbie Mako

Creativity Explored: Magnus and Chu
by Michelle Mason

Creativity Explored: Vivianne 
by Celia Entwistle

Creativity Explored: his shadow
by Christian Krumb

Creativity Explored: A weak light casts no shadows
by Susan McGregor (this one)

and more to come…

Creativity Explored: A weak light casts no shadows

Image copyright Ron Fox

By Susan McGregor

I chose the violets and turn to face my empty sixth-floor walk-up on Rue des Abbesses. The light in the room is weak, but the two boxes remaining in the middle of the room radiate an energy of unfinished business.

“You are going to drop these off then?” asks Emilie.

“I don’t know what else to do with them. It’s only a short detour. I’ve plenty of time. My ticket for the crossing isn’t until late.” Two weeks with friends in London and then a flight back to Melbourne, my family, Christmas, and my new old life, put on hold two years ago.

“Come, let’s carry them down,” she says picking up one of the boxes. They are heavier than they look. Cookbooks. Utensils. Sheet music. Forgotten items in a gust to leave following a hurricane of hurled accusations and miscommunications. Pride.

I lock the door for the last time and hand the key to Emilie. “You’ll be back.”

“It’s been three months. My contract has finished… so back to home. Come and visit me.” We fit the boxes into my small hire car and head to our local café for a coffee before my journey. I met Emilie at the café two years ago when I arrived. Her father owned several apartments in my block.

Gauche. Trying the speak French with the flattest drawn-out accent. Emilie had taken pity on me and introduced me to the best places to eat, to shop, her friends and family.

She introduced me to her cousin René.

Normally Montmarte weekends vibrate with colour. Today is bleached. The colours have run to a puddle of grey like a glass of water thrown across an unfinished watercolour.

I take my time driving to the coast. No music. I am lost within my thoughts. Pulled between Paris and home. Anticipation and disappointment. Family.

The steady rain eases as I drive into Audresselles. I park my car in front of Grosjean’s restaurant.

Grosjean greets me with a wide smile and kisses me on both cheeks. “Louise.” He steps back and holds me by the shoulders. I see myself in his Fatherly gaze. Drawn. My hair is flat. My complexion dull. He frowns.

“You leave tonight Mon chéri?”

I nod. “I bought some boxes of things that were left behind. Can I leave them here?”

“He is out the back, preparing for service.” He turns and calls “René!”

We walk down the path toward the beach. The white houses with their red roofs sit proud along the clifftops – shuttered against the southwesterly wind. An artist’s palette – the vivid green fields, red roofs and blue, blue ocean. But today all is grey. Muted. We stand at the tide’s edge.

Eyes say a lot. I feel myself sinking, trying to swim against the tide. The whitewash of insecurities. And I have no words. No colours.

I turn to leave.

René reaches out and takes my hand. “Ne partez pas. Stay.”

A late sun shimmers on the ocean. A light in the grey. A promise of a brighter day tomorrow.
His touch is warm and strong. Familiar. I am home.


Thank you to Ron Fox for his photography which inspired this story.
Thank you to Susan McGregor for her Fast Fiction
Both are members of MyFrenchLife – MaVieFrancaise


Creativity Explored
is a Series where we do just that: explore creativity!
As part of this series, we started out with
FAST FICTION exercise of the
STORY BEHIND the PHOTO
you can read more about that here and participate at any time as this is an ongoing exercise.



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