Dear Santa Claus,
Man is crazy! Could you bring us a little more love and brotherhood?
Loedi and Choco took advantage of this beautiful autumn day to go for a walk in the Parc de Bercy.
Loedi marvelled at the trees whose foliage was slowly turning orange-yellow. She collected several dead leaves of different shapes and colours and found a bench where she sat down to draw them.
Choco, tired of waiting, was easily distracted by everything around him:
“What is that smell at the foot of the lamp post? And on that tree? Here’s another unknown smell… if I smelled a little closer… could it be a doggy friend around? Oh! A butterfly! Where is it going? I’ll follow it… Here… it’s shiny, what is it? A biscuit paper! Oh… there’s even a piece left… delicious! I lost sight of the butterfly… I better keep sniffing… maybe I’ll find another biscuit… Wow, a ball! I love balls! It’s plastic… a little hard to catch but I’m holding it well! Well, who is the champion ? It’s Choco !!! Who is this child running towards me ? Oh… that must be his ball… I’d better let him have it before I get into trouble. I’m hungry… Maybe Loedi has something greedy to share…”
But Choco found the bench empty, with no one there!
“Where is Loedi? Let’s not panic… my truffle… let’s see where her scent leads me… there she turned right… focus Choco… You are on a mission to find Loedi… ”
With his truffle glued to the ground, Choco followed Loedi’s trail step by step to a magnificent Carousel at the edge of the park. The music of the carousel created a magical atmosphere. The wooden horses, but also the rabbit and the elephant, whirled around and the bright colours brightened up both the young and the old. But Choco still couldn’t see Loedi.
“Loedi where are you?”
The merry-go-round went round and round before he spotted Loedi waving at him from the carriage!
“Loedi! I want a ride too!
“- Chocooooo! Join me! We’ll go for a ride together and then we’ll go for a waffle!”
Choco was not told twice…
“- Look at Choco! Visitors marvel at the seeds in our meadows. Does nature have to be locked up in a museum for man to become aware of its beauty?
– Apparently Loedi… “sigh”.
– These are the same people who walk past parks, gardens, flower boxes and other plant installations every day without even a glance. And if I stop to admire a flower or the veins of a leaf, they look at me sideways as if I were abnormal.
You have to know how to look at nature in its natural state. Even in the city, it is omnipresent if you take the trouble to pay attention to your surroundings.
– But Loedi, maybe they don’t know how to see and wonder anymore.
– How sad! Could the exhibition be a bridge between their lost childlike soul and nature? An ephemeral bridge…
– Perhaps… “Sigh”.
– Loedi why come to the Centre Pompidou since neither you nor I really like modern art?
Choco only received a big smile in reply, and then Loedi dashed up the escalators. One floor… two then three… four… five…..six!
On the sixth floor, Loedi crossed the gallery without stopping to look at the many paintings and sculptures. Choco trotted behind her and together they arrived at a huge terrace.
There, loudspeakers were placed along the railing and broadcasting … how can I put it? Sound? Noise? Certainly not music.
– Loedi what are we doing here? This sound installation is bursting my eardrums!
– I agree Choco but that’s not why I brought you here. Let’s ignore the noise and get closer to the edge…. There, you see?
– Wow, the Eiffel Tower! And over there the Arche de La Défense! And oh, there’s Montmartre!
– Yes! And down there is Saint-Eustache. And if you look over there, you’ll also see the Hôtel de Ville and Notre-Dame.
– It’s beautiful Loedi!
– Come on Choco, let’s go back inside now.
– Wait wait wait…. I’d like to keep enjoying it a little longer, it’s the most beautiful view of Paris I know!
– Hahahaha! You see Choco, you managed to forget the noise
We were cornered on all sides:
Huge snakes with sharp fangs were climbing higher and higher, and seemed to grow in number.
All around us, an ocean of blood that stretched to infinity left us helpless, without a shadow of escape… without a shadow of hope.
Then I saw them: huge skeletal creatures, like dinosaurs of yesteryear, hurtling towards us! The sound of their clashing bones was frightening and the size of their gaping jaws made my blood run cold.
My barking became a death howl and then a yelp, I saw us lost and backed away from the edge, defeated.
“Fight Choco! Fight back! Fight! Come on! Get up Choco! Fight!”
Loedi screamed as she swung her sword endlessly. The slightest bit of tongue, fang or flesh… she didn’t hesitate and her blade cut.
The wounded animal would retreat while she faced another… but it kept coming back to attack.
I regained my courage and stood up. We may not win, but we won’t give them the pleasure of an easy victory, we will fight to the end, like heroes!
And who knows… if the Gods are with us… we will win!
“Choco! Choco… get up Choco!”
I opened my eyes…
The last tourists had left the room, the museum was about to close and Loedi had just finished his drawing. It was just a nightmare… a horrible nightmare…
“How do you manage to play music on this broken harp?
– I can do it because the music I play represents the soul of a country: it’s the Ukrainian anthem.
– I don’t understand…
– Like this harp, even if everything around you is destroyed, looted and ravaged, never forget that the soul of a country and those of its heroes are immortal… Keep hope Choco, keep faith in the future. ”
“- Как играть музыку на этой сломанной арфе?
– Я делаю это потому, что музыка, которую я играю, представляет собой душу страны: это гимн.
– Я не понимаю…
Подобно этой арфе, даже если все вокруг разрушено, разграблено и опустошено, никогда не забывайте, что душа страны и ее герои бессмертны… Сохраняйте надежду, Чоко, сохраняйте веру в будущее.”
PS: Why Kharkiv and not another Ukrainian city? Because the drawing is based on a photo. The one of Alina who left her home when a shell fell in front of her house. She now lives in Paris and tries to keep hope in the future.
Почему Харьков, а не другой украинский город? Потому что рисунок основан на фотографии. Алина покинула свой дом, когда перед ее домом упал снаряд. Сейчас она живет в Париже и пытается сохранить надежду на будущее.
Once upon a time… at Café Léonard, there was a happy band of amateur artists who liked to share their passion.
“You see, Choco, it’s more motivating to draw with others. And over a coffee, it’s fun! I can’t wait to see each other’s drawings!
– Yes Loedi! I’m hungry… Isn’t there a biscuit for me next to your coffee?
– “Sigh”. You’re always hungry Choco… and no there’s no biscuit.”
“The coming and going of the trains has fallen silent. It’s been a long time since a traveller looked up at my hands, so …. What is the point of keeping them?
Why and for whom should I continue to tell the time?
No, no… time has stopped here and my hands are only the memory of a time lost forever. I might as well forget them too.
Today, visitors have replaced travellers and instead of running after time, they come to lose the notion of it by wandering from one sculpture to another.
No, no… it is better to leave them in this bubble outside of time and not to disturb them. The incessant ticking of life’s clocks will catch up with them soon enough.
Extract from a conversation between Loedi and one of the clocks in the Musée d’Orsay.
A shepherd’s hut made of dry stones with a wool blanket as a door… a small wood stove where Choco and Loedi warm up and prepare their meal, a duvet on the ground… and that’s all.
This morning, the sun’s rays have remained hidden behind a sea of clouds. The wind blows and the hills are soon wrapped in a white cottony blanket.
Then the first snowflakes fall. Timidly at first, they soon give way to a real snowstorm.
Loedi goes outside and welcomes the wind, the snow, the storm. She receives all this energy, this wild force that carries with it all the past wounds and imbues her with a new strength.
Invigorated, her soul soothed and comforted, Loedi feels again in every part of her being how beautiful life is…