In honor of Lorcielle Dupiche, the kindest, most generous soul I have ever known and to whom my first book is dedicated. Not a day goes by that I don’t miss her and say her name – without diverting her from the path of the dead. Mwen nonmen non’w mwen pa detounen’w. Thank you for having given me so much love, Manzè Lò; your tenderness was my refuge. The only time you broke my heart was when you died.

“Sometimes I resurrect you; if not in a dream, then at dawn when the sun is being born. There is so much of the world that I need your help to decode. Our lives are so short andwe are so often imperfect. So many feelings leap at me, so many things move inside me, so many questions unanswered; my mind circles about many matters without attaining knowledge. I summon you and across the river of your long absence, you come. Sadness and mercy bring a deepening grace to your face. You hold me for the time allotted by the dream. You and I converse about eternity, about humankind and our country, about water, flowers and animals until you vanish into the air; disappear without a trace, before the stones are scorched by the noonday sun.

With you as my touchstone, I do not fear dissolution. And when it will come time to surrender, I will gladly fall into the translucence of the evening. I know you are there, roaming free in the cold dark air, bearable to no mortal.
Scattered among the wild jagged rocks by the mountain’s edge; down and down I shall descend. I will enter fully into the night without understanding it all but I carry no worries. You will be there to teach me. I’ll learn the language of another world. Heaven will be wherever I go.”
(Prayer – Michèle Voltaire Marcelin)

Lorcielle Dupiche and my son Léo Coltrane.

She held me in her arms when I was just born and her tenderness accompanied me all my life.

I did not think it was possible that she would love someone as much as she loved me, but her heart was big enough to hold all the children of the world.
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