The Townships in Five Senses - Véronique Grenier

The author who grew up in Magog and lives in Sherbrooke for the last ten years, published the excellent Hiroshimoi in 2016. She opens up to us about her favourite spots.

By Julie Roy

Credit : Café Général

Taste. For this first sense, Véronique Grenier invites us to reconnect with some treats from the past, made by Maryse Normandin-Turmel, co-owner of the Café Général, on Alexandre Street, in the heart of downtown Sherbrooke. “She revisits some classics of our childhood. A colleague who lives near the café buys the shop’s version of PopTarts which she leaves on my desk. Simply blissful!” she says.

Hearing. And what if we gave our hearing a break? This is what the author is proposing with a ballad inside the Parc écoforestier of Johnville, in the Cookshire-Eaton Township, at about fifteen kilometres from Sherbrooke. “I adore walking in this park because of the silence I find here. It’s the perfect place when I want to escape all my notifications.”

Credit : Les Vraies Richesses

Smell. Like many among us, Véronique Grenier finds it difficult to resist the aroma of warm croissants, and she finds her own at Les vraies richesses bakery on King Street, in Sherbrooke. “The aroma as we walk in is amazing! I admit I have a weak spot for their raspberry, two-coloured croissants,” she confides.

Sight. Her favourite view lasts only for an instant, but it offers her almost surreal beauty. “When I cross the Terrill Bridge, towards Sherbrooke, at 8 o’clock in the morning, in the middle of winter.” Could I be more precise? “At that moment, the sun has just risen. The Saint-François River, at this exact spot, is half ice and half water, and everything is covered in a fine morning mist. The sun’s reflection, the traffic and the frost in the air, it’s a scene that delights me on those too cold winter mornings.”

Touch. It’s the contact with art that touches her most, and at the Musée des Beaux-Arts de Sherbrooke she truly feels blessed. “Everything really has an effect on you there. It’s a true multi-sensory experience.” She also recommends the museum if we wish to initiate our children to the world of fine arts.

“And our sixth sense? I thought of something!” Impossible to resist when offered so nicely! “I love to go to the St-Benoît-du-Lac abbey, to listen to the Gregorian chants. I’m sensitive to aesthetic experiences and just being there is already transcendent,” she says.

Véronique Grenier

Véronique Grenier teaches humanities at the collegial level. She is the author of the story Hiroshimoi and the poetry collection in Chenous and Carnet de parc (Éditions de Ta Mère), She is a commentator—notably as the “occasional philosopher” for the program Et si on se faisait du bien, ICI Radio-Canada, in the summer of 2018. She’s also a blogger (Les p’tits pis moé), a speaker, and the spokesperson for the provincial campaign “Sans oui, c’est non !” to prevent sexual violence (2015–2018). She is the recipient of the Mérite estrien award (January 2018) and the Jean-Claude Simard award of the Société de philosophie du Québec (2017), she hates making requests to Universe.
Éditions de Ta Mère

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