Oranges galore

About a year ago, I made a strange encounter.

I’d been talking all evening with a friend, Myriam, about the afterlife and paranormal things and I was stranded in Paris at night with no train to get back home. I was waiting for a night bus when a huge homeless guy insisted to engage conversation. I tried to avoid him but he insisted so much I was unable to shake him off. At the time, I’d been overwhelmed with coincidences involving oranges and was already thinking of becoming a masseuse.
The guy said he was a kinesiologist and masseur and was finally quite interesting. As I was about to get in my bus, he changed subject suddenly and said this :

Life is like an orange, at the end one sheds the skin and keeps the best.

It struck me as a very odd thing to say, it was completely off subject and echoed strongly with the earlier things I’d been talking about with my friend.

La vie est un torrent d’amour, votre participation est requise.


That was a year ago. Two days ago, I was talking with a friend and the conversation came upon children. He told me he had had to decide to let go of a child once, chose not to have him (or her). And it reminded me that something similar happened to me. Then again, I went on with my day. I was going to a family event where I told this story of orange skins to the godmother of my niece. A few minutes later, my niece unwrapped a gift : it was a comic depicting the life of one Benoît Labre, the title was « Quelques écorces d’orange amère »


which could translate as « a few bitter orange skins ». I skimmed through the album and found that the title referred to what the poor guy had in his pockets at the time of his death. Once again, oranges were associated to life and death.

Meanwhile, unknown yet to me, Myriam’s father was dying in Corsica, a place known for farming Clementine which are hybrids of bitter oranges.

Add to this the fact that a good friend of mine, Benoît (same name as in the comic), had been initiating me into tantra, sacred sexuality and that for tantra practitioners, orange color is by essence associated to sexual energy. It seemed the message was still the same, to live, to love and I thought no more of it.

The next day, I was relaxing home, having quite forgotten about all of it. I was watching the latest episode of Elementary when suddenly Sherlock said something completely unrelated to the pitch :

Sometimes, one must bite the orange before peeling it.


Odd and odder…

The days after that, I kept thinking of my unborn child. I couldn’t be sure but I thought it would have been a girl. I did some math and realised it would have been her tenth birthday on June 11th. That she’d been conceived on my father’s birthday, September 13th. I thought I should give her a name but nothing seemed to fit. Then I found the medical file and saw the scan had been done on November 23rd, St Clement’s day.
And then I knew.
My daughter’s name was Clémentine.
I told some friends and went to bed thinking I would finally be able to hold a little ceremony to name her and say goodbye.
The next day, I was talking with yet another (new) friend. He insisted to tell me he had been in a relationship since 10 years and that his girlfriend’s name was…



In a cavern
in a canyon
excavating for a mine

lived a miner
forty niner
and his daughter Clementine.

Oh my Darling
oh my Darling
oh my Darling Clementine

you are lost and gone
forever dreadful
sorry Clementine.

Light she was and like a fairy
and her shoes were number nine.
Herring boxes without topses sandals were for Clementine.

Oh my Darling …

Drove she ducklings to the water every morning just at nine

stubbed her too against a splinter
fell into the foaming brine.

Oh my Darling …

Ruby lips above the water
blowing bubbles soft and fine

I was no swimmer
so I lost my Clementine.

Oh my Darling …

How I missed her
how I missed her
how I missed my Clementine

till I kissed her little sister and forgot my Clementine.

Oh my Darling …


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