Sunday, June 11, 2017

2 Conversations

Within one day I had two conversations that I found were real head shakers.

Conversation 1.

Rick and I were walking to the car to go to the bio store to pick up tahini for our picnic Sunday. As we passed the movie theatre, two little girls went shooting down the slope and into the street on bikes. They didn't look. Granted it is not a heavily trafficked street, but had a car been coming, the little blond in the lead would have been hit.

The local priest was coming our way. He is young, good looking. I said in French that maybe since he was going in the same direction as the girls he might tell them that it was dangerous to ride into a street without looking.

His reply?

He couldn't do that. He was a priest.

Conversation 2

The library is the building in the right hand corner of the photo. Tables and chairs had been set outside. In the library was a chorale group. This was the big music weekend in France and the concert was free.

As they finished singing Cohen's Hallelujah, I spied one of the mamies Mamies are the old women of the village (although some may be younger than I am.) They've spent their entire lives here and do have some kind of wisdom but are far from worldly.

I greeted her. She pointed to three Arab women in long skirts and hijabs which led to a tirade on how they should dress like other French if they want to live here. Our village has quite a few Arabs, and I try and greet them in "mahaba" to show my acceptance. If they want to continue in Arabic, we need to switch to French.

I was surprised by the mamie's vehemence.

"If you were in their country, would you dress like them?" I was hoping to plant a seed of tolerance.

She looked at me as if I were crazy.

"Of course not, I'm a good Catholic."

Our future conversations will have to do with the antics of the neighborhood cats, the weather, the flowers that are blooming on the street. None of the flowers will be tolerance blossoms.


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