There are two kinds of stories. Those that we catch and those that we catch. The fish stories that swim in us must be brought to the surface. The butterfly stories to which we must go and which we strive to catch in our nets. This is how I envisioned my next project. A collection of stories caught here and there, on the other side of the world, that I had planned to bring back with me, to tell them, share them, pass them on, after having arranged them in my own way. I had everything planned. Departure at the end of September for a trip of at least six months, a U-turn around the world, from Nepal to Indonesia, ears on the lookout. But now, the pandemic slowed my momentum and I did not take off. My butterfly stories will have to wait, I’ll go and hunt them later.
Ghislaine Roman’s story, Ima’s Dreams, concerns the first category. It’s a story that we bring back from a dive. Deep inside, inside. She tells us about a little girl haunted by frightening dreams, to the point that she loses her health. To relieve her and make her find a soothing sleep, we bury her nightmares. Ima is better. But his vanished dreams spill over into the small community, and local artisans lose their inspiration. So Ima will dig up her bad dreams. And tame them. By writing them down, by sharing them. It happened a long time ago, in a small village in the Andes, around Lake Titicaca.
Ghislaine Roman is a storyteller, one of those who give their stories universal dimensions. This mishap could have happened elsewhere, in Asia, in Africa, in Tourcoing, whatever. It concerns ordinary fears, those that torment all children, helplessness in the face of helplessness, and the strength of transcendence. And at its heart, it reveals an author’s secret: where does inspiration come from? Dreams, memory, observation, anything that generates images in our mind. It is a material that we take in our hands and that we model.
This material can be found in the illustrations of Bertrand Dubois. There is something raw about his drawing. Thickness. We see wood, earth, we can imagine him almost leaning over his board, working the image to the body. This gives full pages overflowing with life and emotions, from which the warm colors spring up between the traces of brushstrokes. Vibrant and delicate at the same time.
And an album of great beauty, on which blows a serene and soothing wind, which rekindled in me this desire to set out again, far away, in search of these butterfly stories posed on the shoulders of some, on the language of others , on the tip of their nose or swimming in their eyes.
In reality, there is a third category of stories, a mixture of the first two. Ghislaine Roman and Bertrand Dubois’s album is a motionless journey, from here and elsewhere at the same time, as beautiful and moving as a child’s dream.
Ghislaine Roman and Bertrand dubois Ima’s dreams Cipango, 40 pp, 18,50 €.