Dorothy lives in Kansas
in a Black & White world.
One day she tornadoflies up
towards the Land of Oz
a land full of colors
Then she’s back to Kansas.
After having met new friends
and the Wizard
Dorothy’s life will never be the same.
How do you live in black and white once you know the Land of Oz?
Yes it was a dream.
The world need dreamers, don’t you think ?
Someone said to me one day
that I was a Wizard.
I’m probably maybe more like a chimera
made of all Dorothy’s friends all together :
All of them :
No brain. Heart stolen. Fearful.
Dancing and singing, though
like everyone one of us, right?
Thanks for reading!
“The trouble is – whatever it is about pictures, photographs, it’s just impossible to follow up… with words. They don’t have anything to do with each other. I think you could say it has nothing to do with words”
(photos by W. Eggleston)
De facto, I think about dance, too. It has “nothing to do with words”. What you SEE is filled up with moods and what you put in it. Each of these two pictures are FULL of moods. You can here the winds, birds, pace, everything. You could write pages about this car in a Kansas like street. You’ll see nothing. Just watch and breathe…
Well, there is not
on the temple bell.
on a bough, floating downriver
Today I don’t work, I have a “disciplinary layoff”. This is the second time in a few months, which means I’ll probably lose my job before the end of the year.
So today I read my big Nabokov book on my balcony, like 1200 pages of classes about literature. I read a big part about his compatriot Dostoyevsky, an authors he hates for is “sentimentality” (though he deeply studied his work).
As he says, disliking a book can be a great thing – one of the advantages is to put your brain in movement, trying to find what’s wrong, what it “could be”, etc. I have to admit that you need to have that happy “trait” in front of Art : dissection, study, analyze.
Nabokov never says he hates Dostoyevsky, he says his own position is “curious and uncomfortable” (incommode). He’s fascinated… and wrote lectures about his work.
What Nabokov calls sentimentality is the tendency, in novels, to talk about nervous imbeciles, monotonous overdramatic characters and other degeneration weavers.
So imagine now : your marriage exploded and you’re alone, or the person you love turns away from you, or you’re going to lose your job. Some days, the usual injunctions (“Find happiness inside you”, “Move forward”) don’t work very well : it’s not a good reason to commit suicide! After all, you are healthy, right, for now?
Every woman has a “last man” – and it works the other way round! Just watch around you… That’s for another article, though…
There’s a quiet grey path you are tempted to walk on, some days. You don’t kill yourself but you gather information about it. You drink a little too much. You overthink like an idiot. Phoneysham, it is! It’s your cheap depression day. Your burden is there, but you have probably a few happy days left in front of you.
Try these if you want more about this :
- Just wait, before you act.
- Sometimes, insisting makes things worse.
- Watch how you’re stuck, watch it closely.
So again, today I stood up because I have found words related to Art telling things about my questions, and because I write here about that. Nabokov is very intelligent and very sweet : you read his class with a big smile (see?). You clearly own up there’s no murder nor alcoholism, no incest or no gothic disaster in your life (at least, for now). Let’s call this grey path an oblique way to give a kick to the pool bottom. Eloping moods towards the surface!
As I was reading, a maybug, a cockchafer landed on my shoulder. Ohhhh! I said hello, he walked along my arm towards my hand, then he flew away. Yes it’s harmless. We call this little brown jewel : Un hanneton.
OK, now listen to this :
And here’s now a little song by Eden Ahbez
There was a boy
A very strange enchanted boy
They say he wandered very far, very far
Over land and sea
A little shy and sad of eye
But very wise was he
And then one day
A magic day he passed my way
And while we spoke of many things
Fools and kings
This he said to me
“The greatest thing you’ll ever learn
Is just to love and be loved in return”
Weaved and white
like left on the black carpet
in an oblique ray of asleep light
There was an inner movement
a silken ripping
a fine breathe in the twilight tranquility
The spider has spread the cocoon
Her translucent legs slowly unfolded
Quivering like one hand of a dying woman
She opened her eyes
One by one
Revealing eight pearls black and rooted
Then she breathed the night.
Ichtya was born.
(pictures taken by me)
When you’re reminiscent of something you’ve never seen before…
We know that behind every image revealed there is another image more faithful to reality, and in the back of that image there is another, and yet another behind the last one, and so on, up to the true image of that absolute, mysterious reality that no one will ever see.
“What is straight? A line can be straight, or a street, but the human heart, oh, no, it’s curved like a road through mountains.”
― Tennessee Williams,
Happiness is a strange thing. Sometimes we forget to laugh, then we suddenly have someone who’s able to open a box. We laugh. It’s a strange and delicious laugh. It’s THIS box opening. A new sound. Something new. And we laugh.
As a French, I learnt at school that New was pronounced NIEW. Then I talked to Americans, all saying NOO. So now I’m proud to say : “Hey! That’s new!”. Correctly said (noo) and with the “no space between new and the “!”. I find SO interesting that we French are used to add a space here : “It’s new!” -> “C’est nouveau !”.
Today I watched this hippie movie, Hair, with my oldest daughter, and she and I loved it. Then we talked about the fact that last week we watched Forrest Gump. Like if we were studying the second part of the XXth Century of the United States of America, right?
I love this beginning, from Oklahoma to New York :
Imagine you live in America, and your street name is in Spanish, your city name is in Spanish and your school’s name is in Spanish. What does it mean? Well, OK, nothing.
I remember my own shock when I realized that San Francisco meant Saint François, and Los Angeles : Les Anges (The Angels, sorry).
I read that a wall between Mexico and the USA would be a little stupid, because Mexican immigrants mainly come by plane. Is that true? Can someone be THAT stupid? I need a lecture.
Tonight I watched a great documentary about one of your best photographer alive : William Eggleston. If you Google Image him you’ll (maybe) understand why I love him so much : he shows (with a fabulous sense of color) something intimate about the USA, he SHOWS something. And this with a “constantly random” attitude (kids, a light, a street, a store, a car), which I adore. I was watching him “hunting” images in this documentary, with a constant “awwweeee” in my mind. The eye of a photographer is something really special. I love that guy. Here are a few pictures :
To finish this chronicle here is a good picture I found of Facebook yesterday.
Don’t forget how you laughed. I won’t. Ever.
Have a nice day!
Just seeds, ideas. Fight them. Or dance.
The habit pulls apart : you know something so much that you’re cut from it. The force of habit separates you from things.
The goal you’re staring at… can cut you from what’s happening now, next to you. Each time you say “I must”, maybe you lose something.
Whitehead says : “We think in generalities, but we live in detail”
Readiness & Availability, these are two English words I love together. Habits, Goals and Rules, they tend to kill me. French casualness? What happens NOW?
You can read : The Propensity of Things
One of the best things, in the world of books and ideas, is to hear a passionate lecture by someone who knows a style, an author, a field, a book.
Some writers are great teachers. Umberto Eco‘s essays are delicious (so Italian!). The literature classes of Nabokov are fabulous (so Russian?). Some guys have this talent to tell you how and why some classics are relevant, interesting and useful even in your little lives.
Le Misanthrope is a French play from the 17th Century. I just read a book from Fabrice Luchini (“Comédie Française, ça a débuté comme ça”), a French actor who tried to write his autobiography, but offered, in fact, pages of passionate lectures about French poetry (Rimbaud), theater (Molière) or prose (Céline), telling us how and why these authors are so enthralling (giving all details he learned as a skilled actor : rhythm, words, sentences, concepts – we French love words, you know that, right?).
Decorticate and peel genius, and offer the recipe to others.
Well, I won’t do it for you now, but I have a slicexample. Luchini evokes Le Misanthrope, a French play by Molière, 17th Century, and a dialog between two friends. One is the misanthrope, angry against humanity (the full text translated in English is here). The other one trying to tame… Let’s see :
Alceste : …times I feel suddenly inclined to fly into a wilderness far from the approach of men.
Philinte : …let us torment ourselves a little less about the vices of our age, and be a little more lenient to human nature. Let us not scrutinize it with the utmost severity, but look with some indulgence at its failings.
Sometimes with are Alceste, grouchy against fashion bloggers, or people with 4879 friends of Facebook incapable of communicate with real people around, and at other times we are more like Philinte, trying to understand that these people… do what they can, that they struggle a lot, they try to live, to love, to stand up alive. Maybe they’re unbearable, but they’re not guilty! It’s a balance, a swaying, wavering between both. Haecceity! This is life…
One of my pleasure these days is to discover these authors, I could call them the ferrymen.
Who are yours? Who do you lecture? Do you remember the way you laughed with jubilation? With who?
Thanks for reading!
I already wrote a little article about this question : Why do people blog? Why do people post on Instagram? It was a long list of hypothesis, but at the end, I bet that people post to be loved. I read this week that the worse thing for depression is Instagram (because, as I guessed well, people often want to show to the world that they are “very happy, blessed by life and in love”, which makes the viewers jealous or at least a bit depressed because themselves are obviously NOT that happy, right?).
You click a hashtag, randomly, and you see billions of pictures. Why do people post on Instagram? The key word is “motivation”. Some take pictures and post them to :
- Get followers
- Share their work
- Meet people with same interests
- Indicate to others how happy and blessed they are
- Show how interesting they are
- Make people laugh
- Show their “beauty”
- Reveal beautiful places they visit
- Indicate they are in couple, in love
- Indicate they are sad, alone, or tired
- Put a stalker in pain
- Show their artistic talent
- Show their project
Etc! One good question is :
When you post something somewhere, are you aware of your audience, or do you work only for yourself, your happiness?
I watched Paterson and I immediatly thought about another movie : Dead Zone : Christopher Walken is in coma for many years after a car accident. His wife remarry. Then he wakes up. His loneliness is then unbelievable (and the actor fantastic at it). It’s a world of ice. And he has a power to see the future…
Paterson (Adam Driver) is terrible alone too, but it’s VERY different. He has a beautiful young wife, a job (he’s a bus driver), some friends in a bar, and he writes poems. He’s quiet, modest in a modest life – he doesn’t talk much about his poems (though he continuously meets other people – a rapper, a little girl, a japanese man – interested in poetry). He writes in his bus, while he has lunch, in his basement. Nobody reads his poems. He sees struggling people around him (two young men lost with flirting, a colleague and his numerous family problems, a broken-hearted black man in the bar) and stays impassive and calm, benevolent. Idem with his girlfriend (who is a sweet dreamer, a dabbler artist). We all see he is not really connected, to anybody. He just goes on with his life, quietly putting words in his little booklet…
Walken and Driver are standing up. They are the loneliest characters I’ve seen ever (well, apart from Tennessee Williams’ plays). Both find something to do, though. They find their “mission”. The first one leads to drama (it’s from a Stephen King novel, after all). The second one is revealing a “way of being in the world” : being there without being very concerned (cf Inside Sidestepping) or affected. It talks about Sisyphus and about the Waldgänger, too…
It broke me heart, yesterday night, like a Chekhov or a Carver short story can do…
Thanks for reading! Have a great week-end!
(I love this little dances of words too : Walken and Driver/Driver plays a bus driver/Paterson lives in Paterson, New Jersey/etc)
from Instagram: http://ift.tt/2qiZROb
It is a fine but colourless morning
Virginia Woolf, The Waves.
Stendhal was a French writer (1783-1842 – let’s say it was the time of Napoleon). He wrote great novels, but I want to talk today about two stendhalian concepts : Cristallization and what we call the Stendhal Syndrome.
The Stendhal Syndrome happens when a human being becomes speechless in front of too much beauty : overcome, overwhelmed by emotion in front, for example, of Art.
Wikipedia : The staff at Florence’s Santa Maria Nuova hospital are accustomed to dealing with tourists suffering from dizzy spells and disorientation after admiring the statue of David, the masterpieces of the Uffizi Gallery and other treasures of the Tuscan city.
There is a Paris Syndrome too, of course, mostly happening to Japanese visitors, crushed by the City and its beauties (but also by the differences they find between their “idealized” vision of France and the reality). Yes, it’s like a “mega culture shock”. There’s a book (“Les Fous de l’Inde”) about a similar shock for India, felt by people from the whole Occident. A oceanic feeling leading to craziness. Embassies know this very well : they take care of people, and put them in planes to go back to normal life.
It’s interesting to study this and its source : Expectations? Tension between reason and feelings? Between brain and reality? What do you think? Have you been crushed by beauty one day? In front of a painting? A place? A light?
Cristallization has also been described by Stendhal. It is about love, of course! It’s when, in the beginning of a love story, the “marvellous” feeling cristallizes around every characteristic of the loved person, who is seen as perfect in every way, or as they say in wiki : a mental metamorphosis, in which unattractive characteristics of a new love are transformed into perceptual diamonds of shimmering beauty.
We have all probably been there : when we’re ready to love someone, when our “love” chooses a person, we open some gates and a big lake of sweet sugary love is poured, unleashed on the poor chosen “other”. Admiration, Acknowledgement, Hope and Delight are steps of the journey.
Of course, this is far from a balanced process of inventing a couple! You can watch out for disillusion. Cristallization often grows when the loved person is far (great for perfection, right?). This “love” generally explodes like a multicolor comet in front of reality.
Then remains possibilities : nothing, a friendship, a real love, an impetus to build something stronger, etc.
Thanks for reading!
Par les soirs bleus d’été, j’irai dans les sentiers,
Picoté par les blés, fouler l’herbe menue:
Rêveur, j’en sentirai la fraîcheur à mes pieds.
Je laisserai le vent baigner ma tête nue.
Je ne parlerai pas, je ne penserai rien:
Mais l’amour infini me montera dans l’àme,
Et j’irai loin, bien loin, comme un bohémien,
Par la Nature, — heureux comme avec une femme.
In summer evenings blue, pricked by the wheat
On rustic paths the thin grass I shall tread,
And feel its freshness underneath my feet,
And, dreaming, let the wind bathe my bare head,
I shall not speak, nor think, but, walking slow
Through Nature, I shall rove with Love my guide,
As gipsies wander, where, they do not know,
Happy as one walks by a woman’s side.