“Ça va bien aller” and Forgiveness via Louise Penny and her recent book: A World of Curiosities

The Christmas tree is up, as of December 16th and decorated on December 17th.


“Ça va bien aller” means it is going to be okay.

I have been struggling with forgiveness for some time now.

I know rationally why I need to forgive and I also know that clearly, an inability to forgive is detrimental to my health and certainly not anything of good for anyone having anything to do with me.

I was gifted with a background in Roman Catholicism and yet I cannot take solace from it in a traditional way since I have issues with the institution. I realize that I had always had issues with the institution, even going back to my childhood and yet I was in denial. As a great ‘Cafeteria Catholic’ who would pick and choose what I could believe in and ditch the rest, for years I went through the motions. I must give tribute to my own children for my finally seeing the light. Despite the fact that I am not a believer, I do take solace from bits and pieces of other religions, and bits and pieces of what I call ‘Good Catholicism  that help me find a meaning to my life. I am also thankful for my study of French literature, existentialism, and the Theatre of the absurd, for giving me added fodder for my thoughts and philosophy.

Every so often, it seems that something happens that makes me wonder about the meaning of life and who is in charge, if anyone or any entity. Periodically, in my reading, which is mostly fiction, I encounter things that confirm and help me reset a direction of life. There are also mini signs and omens that occur somewhat often.

My struggle with forgiveness goes back a bit. I do buy into the idea, but the reality is that it is hard for me to let go. I tend to hold a grudge. I am not sure I am all that different from other people. There have been times in my life when the struggle has been particularly hard. 

Today, I said to myself that I had to finish the latest Louise Penny book, the most recent in the Armand Gamache series, “A World of Curiosities.” I must admit that for  over half of the book, I had a feeling of discomfort, that was inexplicable. Since forcing myself through the first book, since everyone seemed to tout it, I have been solidly hooked on the Louise Penny series. This book was leaving me cold and I could not explain it or why. Toward the end of my reading, my discomfort and lack of total interest immediately changed and I was fired up to find out where it was going and what was happening. 

It went into forgiveness. The lack of forgiveness was quite clear, it has been omnipresent in all of the novels, yet not an overwhelming omnipresence. It came to a head in this novel and it did so in such a way that for once I am totally sold on the idea of finally letting go. It is fiction, and I am clear about that, but I feel that somehow, Louise Penny has managed to help me finally conquer a demon of my own, and just doing so by writing a book of fiction. Reading it was an omen.

Thank you, Louise Penny. I wonder if you know how much influence you have and also how strangely timely my reading of this book happens to be.

About Richard Koerner

Seventy something, father, papi, educator, organizer, Francophile, traveler, amateur photographer, gardener, cyclist, kayaker, calligrapher, cinephile, reader, and overall renaissance type human being.
This entry was posted in Inspector Gamache, Life in general, Literature, Louise Penny, Thoughts and philosophy. Bookmark the permalink.

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