Unusual Stratums & Facets

Yesterday a friend told he liked to watch Boulevard du Palais, a French crime TV series.

Unlike his smart wife, he told me, he never really understands what it’s all about with the complex story, many characters, dead bodies and interlocked investigations – which seemed to be boring to him. He said he loved it because of the detective – the actor, and the way this man was performing.

This idea itself is a perfect seed to think about what is entertainment, an audience, an actor, etc…

As usual, it’s a bunch of questions :

Artists

  • Are you aware of all the facets which could be loved in your work?
  • What if you decided to focus on an unusual one?
  • What if the “main thing” (in a crime novel : the story) was a fancy dress to reach the audience with another stick?
  • You’re, for example, staging a theater play, or rehearsing a symphony. Could you write the most complete list of elements you work on? Then imagine one person in the auditorium focussing on an unusual one? If you do that, what do you learn? What do you lose? So what?

Audience

  • If you dislike a piece of Art (music, movie, poetry, etc), did you look for the right door to enter it? Is it worth it? Any clue?
  • Do you have to find your own casual way to explore something? The bass only in music, the light only in a movie, the style in a crime novel?
  • If you can have pleasure with an element only, why wouldn’t you imagine to “read” impossible things for you, just to find YOUR way, your facet – letting got the “real thing” to gather your own shells?

Extensions

  • In your field, how could you use this idea?
  • What if, to find ideas to blog about, you read completely out of your expertise?
  • What is the eye of an expert? Can he really understand all the stratums, the levels of a work?
  • What is a masterpiece? There are many criterions, but what happens when many levels of reading are amazing?
  • If you work on a mainstream piece of work, where do you hide subtleties?
  • If you’re a photographer, you probably read a cook book or watch a movie differently, you have “your” facet-seeker ready. So… what do you miss? Is your expertise blinding you? 

 

What do we watch in classics ? In A Tramway Named Desire, are we amazed by Kazan’s work as a director? Brando’s performance? The way they used the set? The words of Tennessee Williams? The way the scriptwriter changed it? The complexity of characters’ evolutions?

All of them, more or less. Right?

Thanks for reading!

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Instagram : __bodylanguage__

Mabel Morrison, #photographer

Mabel Morrison seems obsessed with reflections. Her Instagram keeps me in a awe. Where, how, why? I think of Saul Leiter, of course, but not only. The colors, the frame, the “moment”, the choices : it’s splendid work! It’s generous, and well done, and I smile.

Behind the “reflection” trick, there’s a sense of color, a chase for sweet life, or dramatic mysteries, quiet boredom. This is a good place for Art to be. And look at them : each one could inspire you a beginning of a novel, right? Thanks you. And…

… Bravo!

OK, enough words. Just look :

https://www.instagram.com/mabelmorrison/

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Dowsing Reality in my Head : What is “Emotional Reasoning”?

You feel an emotion, so you think it “proves” something is true, this is called Emotional Reasoning. Wikipedia gives a good example of that :

…even though a spouse has shown only devotion, a person using emotional reasoning might conclude, “I know my spouse is being unfaithful because I feel jealous.”

This is a good little clockwork to watch and to take to pieces, right?

Of course people use this concept as a negative thing, a flaw, a disorder. Path to depression and all…

You have to think about Reason :

“Reason is the capacity for consciously making sense of things, applying logic, establishing and verifying facts, and changing or justifying practices, institutions, and beliefs based on new or existing information.”

We all know that, and we also know that within the informations we gather (facts, things we see, informations, things people say), our emotions have a power : they color all of these, in bright light or in shades of darkness.

So if I understand well, Emotional Reasoning is a disorder, when we narrow reason only on emotions. OK.

I need my readers. Help! This concept triggers questions and subtleties. Could this be a positive thing? Where do you put the instinct, in this process? How can reason and emotions weave together to make a strong tool? Can an emotion trigger a seek of informations? And what about the fact that new informations would braid with feelings, instinct and therefore emotions to help us draw maps for living? Where is the balance to find? How to wring a disorder into a power? Imagine your have this disorder : does it prove that if you feel something is true… it’s not? Mmhhh…

Sorry for my wobblenglish…

Thanks for reading!

 

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The French “Qu’est-ce que tu deviens ?” is our way to ask “What have you been up to?”…

When you meet a friend, you can say “What’s up?”.

It’s clear and simple for a French, with the fascination we have for English’s conciseness : what is “up”, after all? 🙂

I think there’s a slightly different color in “What’s up with you?”, saying “What have you been up to?”, which is “How have you been busy these days?”. I’m good?

Well, we say in this case “What’s new?” : Quoi de neuf ?

After a long-time no-see, we often say : “Qu’est-ce que tu deviens ?“, which means “Who do you become?”, or “What are you turning into?“.

Yessss you see me coming, there’s a cultural difference here showing on the surface :

USA asks “What have you been up to?”, France asks “What are you turning into?”. One friend is asking about your actions, the other one is asking about your inner transformation. Isn’t it revealing? I don’t know, it makes me think, in any case…

 

Thanks for reading!

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Instagram : clairemahoney

I wrote every single 510 articles of this blog from a porch in Santa Rosa, California. And you?

Our brain has its own topology.

I wrote for 4 years for a Swiss company in Zurich. I translated texts from English to French, almost on a daily basis. When I was writing these, I remember VERY CLEARLY that my mind was on a very precise place : a field, next to the house I grew up in. Grass.

As a kid, I played on this field for years – maybe from 2 to 16 years old,  you see? Frisbee, soccer, hide and seek. I remember the light in summer nights, in cold October. I remember playing with my brother with a polystyrene-winged glider. I remember watching Epeira spiders, playing with firecrackers, model cars or marbles in the sandox which was behind the privet hedge…

I wrote for four years for this company in my apartment, but my mind – I really don’t know or understand why – was in the lights of this little field. Childhood linked. Every paragraph.

Now I’m 50 and I blog as I can, in English, on WordPress, since a couple of years. I really like it and I’d say it’s really the only way I found to stay alive, standing up, a buoy. It’s very little, but it is what it is : I have a little more than 110 real followers.

When I write, in English, for this blog, I’m in Santa Rosa, California. I have never been in this place. I just saw a few dozen pictures of it. It’s a porch, behind a house. When I write, there’s nobody around, I’m alone. But I see it constantly. I see the sky. The flowers. The wooden floor, the lanterns. A little round table. Doors which lead to the inside. I’m here, writing, mostly in the sun. It’s a GREAT place, and I’m happy to live here… when I write.

In reality I am in a good apartment in the North of France. It’s quiet and full of light. Thank you.

My mind, though, is in California. Why? I don’t know! It’s my brain who decides that. It puts me there. And it STAYS here. Probably an ideal place to be happy?

 

Do YOU also have a place where your brain sits when you write? Am I alone?

Thanks for reading!

 

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“#Blog for yourself and not to please an audience” – wait a minute…

I read many times about big success youtubers who “lost their soul” because they stopped being themselves – instead of it, they began to blog to “please the audience”. That’s baaad! This makes sense, right? Bending their style or their personality to what they supposed to know about the viewers is probably wrong. And each time, the article I read told it this way. Bad bad bad. Nah. On the naughty step!

When I think of that, though, I hear a bell in my head. That’s so precisely evident that my senses are on alert. I know, it’s a reflex.

There’s something similar in poetry. The “poet” is supposed to be “inspired” (by what?), and peeing gorgeous metaphors because… he’s a genius. BUT even the greatest poets agree to say that there’s probably a critic inside their magic brain. Like “another guy” inside, who analyzes and channels/canalyzes the flow.

Let’s listen to Baudelaire :

I pity those poets who are guided by instinct alone: I regard them as incomplete. In the spiritual life of the former a crisis inevitably occurs when they feel the need to reason about their art, to discover the obscure laws in virtue of which they have created, and to extract from this study a set of precepts whose divine aim is infallibility in poetic creation. It would be unthinkable for a critic to become a poet; and it is impossible for a poet not to contain within him a critic. Therefore the reader will not be surprised at my regarding the poet as the best of all critics.

Charles Baudelaire

This is a perfect pattern, a tool for this article :

Here, we’re searching for a frontier between “I write for myself” and “I write for my audience”.

  • If you write 100% for yourself and you’re successful, good to you! You can stop reading this article and have subtle sex with your muse. Take your time, she likes it.
  • If you write for your audience, you’re a backwoodsman losing yourself on the paths of wrongness and your audience will sense it. You forgot why they loved you. Kill yourself.

BUT

Think about Baudelaire, our French poet. You are probably aware that you never REALLY write for yourself : you, from the beginning, took care of the readers TOO. You analyze, you think, you weave your words, YOU are your first audience, this is it. It’s a radioactive pattern. You write, you work daily, you throw a bunch of arrows, you write for you AND you take care of your audience. You want to be loved, that’s all! You know the trees, and you also know there’s a forest. You’re great, because you dance with both. That’s great!

Thanks for reading!

 

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Instagram : mariakdolores

 

Teeth & Tidal Waves : Dangerous Dreams

JĂĽnger wrote somewhere that some dreams are so intense that they seem to warn you : “Pay attention, please”.

Two dreams are dangerous : when you loose your teeth, and tsunamis. Death and danger.

But when you dream about someone’s death, everybody seems to agree it’s not about death but about CHANGE (you will change, you have to change, you need to change, whatever).

If you dream this person died, some people say your relationship with this person has to change, but I disagree. I think that our brain works about us only, therefore that our dreams use the traits this other person personifie to show a need of change for yourself.

Well, we could go on like that for pages. I’d like to add this :

Thanks for reading!

 

 

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Pressure & Sabotage, a cessation process

Family. Three kids. Pressure inexplicably put on the eldest boy, who is labelled “brilliant”. “He will become a doctor”, as they proudly say. In the middle of his curriculum, he has a motorbike accident. Or develops an invalidating disease, like sclerosis. As he was not strong enough to say “No” to this pressure, he found another way to stop.

It probably sounds “too easy”, and the accident was just maybe random, but I heard that kind of story so many times that it became really fascinating. So for me it became a dial gauge to watch :

When too much pressure, watch for the accident life will invent to cease it

Pressure can be provided by family or spouse, by the situation, or by… people themselves. When people work too much, sometimes their friends begin to say : “Hey, you’re pushing too far, slow it down, pal!”. In general, they don’t stop. And then you see what life will choose to make them stop.

They suddenly fall apart, have an accident, they become sick. Life brakes for them. From time to time, it’s not even enough! They insist, they don’t understand, they move forward, so they fall more sick or they curiously get hit by a car saying : STOP, for Christ’s sake!

You, my reader, are a reasonable person, but you know… that when you’re VERY upset, light bulbs often explode when you switch on the light. PAF! It not truuuue, it’s impossible, but… it happens all the time, though.

The same way, I saw many times the house stopping people. Too much pressure, too much stress, and there’s a huge leak in the bathroom, a falling chimney, or a fire. The environment is acting silly.

Nooo, can’t be. Right?

Thanks for reading!

 

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Instagram : leahminium

Writers & Bloggers : Pleasure of bad books?

(Sorry for my wobbly French today…)

Bad books (and blogs) can be useful for a writer – but I suppose it’s a low level thing.

  • It (possibly) can make your brain move, like this :
    • I would have written it better,
    • in another way,
    • I would have added this and that, etc…
  • It makes you angry, and you can try to use this strange gas-oil which is anger.
  • You can say that the author is a spirit-enemy (the useful thing of feeling or “inventing an enemy” is an old trick), it triggers your mobilization. Fight him… and write.
  • Any negative feeling (next to anger is bitterness, hate, sarcasms, etc) can be used too. Your clockworkbrain is activated. Some guys (in your head) will step into the breach. Geronimo!
  • After all, you could maybe find a good idea or a pleasant formulation in a bad book or a bad blog, it’s really the idea of a seed found within dust and rocks. Steal it and make it grow your own way, haha!

 

I suggest you prepare and foresee an antidote (a good book) – to clean your head, by Jove!

This, of course, is an exercise. You can not separate books and blogs between “good ones and bad ones”. It’s all relative, silly. It depends.

You have to consider that what YOU write can also be considered the same way by another reader. Your wordings as a bad place, as a bad example, inspiring better things? Awwweee! That’s a good (low level) thing, right? 🙂

 

Thanks for reading!

 

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Spoon Harvesting : a casual way to read scholars

If you kept a certain form of active curiosity, you will get me at once. This is it :

Enter a library, pick a book, a VERY clever scholar book, about anthropology, philosophy or anthropological philosophy, whatever, something you don’t know anything about.

Not. Your. Field.

And dig. Go to page 174 and read half of the page. Nothing happens? Good! Add 35 pages and move forward : read. OK, read TWO pages. Go on. Until…

Until you find something quirky. In a totally inappropriate way, steal it, bend it, squeeze it, make a stick, a balloon, or a juice of it. Then apply this weird twisted “tool” to another field : to love, to poetry, to photography, to music, to creativity.

Then open your eyes and your mind, see what happens, or better : see what kind of seeds jump on your nose, what colors you find, what coincidences begin to roundance in the sun. There you go.

Plant a seed, make it happen, feel the joy of it. Water it. Be a wizard. Sharpen your curiosity. Be casual. Dance with yourself. Listen to the wind and tan your forehead in front of the moon. And there it is. From a piece of savant page, you made an idea. VoilĂ !

 

Thanks for reading!

 

#Instagram & #Photography : Keeping your Kid’s Eye

HELP US
I was lonely, sad and quiet
Walking to go to work
Wondering slowly
In silence
Continuously
What did I do?
I took my cellphone
Opened the photo app
My eyes was wandering around
As I was walking
Along the road
Along the cemetery
I saw trees
Flowers
Tombs
Leaves
Trees again
Flowers
Blackberries
And then
Bars
Metallic bars
With dead ivy
Ivy babies
Bones dead
Little hands
Holding bars not to fall
With no worries
At all
I stopped
Smiled
Took this picture
In black and white
Little dead quiet hands
I called it
“Help Us”

from Instagram: http://ift.tt/2gRTZak

Finder Keeper Sharer, “What is my blog about?”

From time to time, meta-blog.

We all at times ask ourselves why we blog (to document a crisis, to seek approval, to gather knowledges, to get love?). “It’s what I do that teaches me what I’m looking for”, says Pierre Soulages (painter).

Reasons we blog. How we get motivation to blog. And what’s the subject of the blog… all are good questionings.

It’s simple when you have a good simple subject, right? Food, fashion, traveling, poetry. You’d better be good not to be lost in the ocean of the same-subject-blogs.

Then you have the combination-of-subjects blogs : Veggie in Dakota, anorexic bipolars, Turkish poems of the 13th Century, traveling Asia with my cat, photos of cars under the rain, etc… Document your passion or your crisis, and you’ll have interesting followers.

 

My blog has no subject, really. I gather ideas like seashells. I like to share and I work a lot. When I find, I’m happy, I keep, I write, I make it short, in a nut. I want people to read it fast.

My blog has no subject, BUT I hope that you, my readers, little by little, in my collection of “tools”, will find a few patterns to help them, something to use.

  • “Things have many faces”.
  • “Subtlety is better than false simplicity”.
  • “Disillusions are part of the game”.
  • “Rules are mostly movable/beware of mindsets”.
  • “It’s funny/useful to compare or weave separated things”.
  • “Art is a great buoy”.
  • “Watch in the now/around you/the propensity of things”.
  • “Finding structures as intelligence”.
  • “You can quit the surface of new things”.
  • “No one is a prince in every Kingdom”.
  • “Keep aspects hidden/Be a Waldgänger”.
  • “Consider other ways to change/Know how to wait”.
  • “We need to be disturbed/There are many ways to deal with problems”.
  • “Stay a dilettant/Slide and don’t bear down”…

 

Finder, keeper, sharer. I suppose all this draws a subject for my toolbox, a skeleton at least?…

What about your blog? Do you have a simple subject? Is it about a crisis or a passion? What do you seek? Do you blog for you or for your followers? If “for yourself”, how do you take care about your audience? Is there something you build under, a way of life, a vision, a pack of tools? Do you blog to try to change something, or just to offer a few seeds?

Thanks for reading!

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From Quarrel to Joust : Elevation process

When your couple needs to fight, you argue. You can stay at reptilian or prehistoric levels : you scream, play flying plates & slamming doors, scream louder, or you can try to move the cursor up.

If your quarrelsome mood – oh what a great word! – needs to unfold, there’s are some wrong ways up like becoming sarcastic or using bad faith, stupidity or violent communication (one define the other : “You’re like your mother”, “You’re lazy”), silence icy treatment or using poor innocent third parties (the kids?).

I propose to rise from these low levels of arguing. Of course you can use Reason. If you know Transactional Analysis you can begin to dissect your communication and try to put it on “Adult -> Adult” mode. That’s OK! Think. Or ask a intermediary (not your mother-in-law!) to play the diplomatic card.

My purpose here is to imagine another “Right Way Up” : Jousting. It’s a change of mood. You fight… with a smile for the other. It’s a sparkling competition. Emulation is the key. It can become a game. You can really invent rules like : “You can’t speak until you waited two minutes in silence after I did, I’ll do the same”, or “Argue on both sides of a table… with pen & paper” (find your own rules).

Jousting is a clever way to quarrel. It’s like when you play chess with a friend, emulation is the key. You want victory but you help your opponent to climb too.”Right Path Up”. Finding solutions… and at the same time satisfy your need to fight. Joust!

 

Of course if you read my blog you know that there’s a pattern here, a tool for other situations : Elevation. When and where (and how) do you realize that you’re on a low level? Gaiety? Entertainment? Sex? When you’re in a useful place but you should maybe stop, think and push a lever. Which lever is it? Subtlety. Right?

This pattern is described here : https://afrenchtoolbox.wordpress.com/2015/08/07/a-matter-of-levers/

Thanks for reading!

 

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Instagram : such_a_pretty_crazy

Harry #Gruyaert, photographer

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harry_Gruyaert

Harry_Gruyaert is a Belgian photographer, member of Magnum Photos. He’s well known for his work with color (in a way I love : cf Saul Leiter, William Eggleston, Stephen Shore). Let’s say… he pushes some levers. He has this capacity to stop you from seeing so many images. Like : “Hey, wait a minute….”.

I’m deeply in love with his work.

Thanks for reading! Have a nice day!

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…to meditate is not to cut off the brain…

Imagine a train passing by, just in front of you, as if you were : a cow. But it’s so long you begin to grazenibble a little grass. Then… little by little the sound of the train begins to diminish, until, as the train goes on passing by, you’re in SILENCE. There is a train and you watch the train but you don’t hear the train you don’t think about the train anymore, you don’t even NAME the train :  It’s now just a movement, a neutral colored passing quiet undifferentiated no-thing.

This is what is meditation, for me.

You simply DON’T “cut off” your thoughts, because it’s impossible.

Our brain is used to put words on things, thoughts, feelings. We feel something and we label it : “I’m depressed”, “I’m hungry”, “I’m sarcastic”, “I’m slow”. When you meditate, you little by little see or think about things without putting words on what’s happening.

 

“To see is to forget the names of the thing one sees.”
“Regarder, c’est oublier les noms des choses que l’on voit”
― Paul Valéry

 

But what is to meditate? Not much : sit, focus on something unimportant (your breathe, a mandala, a mantra, a candle) and that’s all. Never try to “control” your wringing messknots. It’s just there.

Here, I need a French word, “la dĂ©prise“, which could be the “unseizure”, the act to “decide to unhold, untake”. Reality is here, your thoughts are here, you just don’t plug to them while you meditate. They’re like flying birds far far up up there…

Watch without judging – OBSERVE WITHOUT ANY CONCLUSION

Thanks for reading!

 

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Instagram : __bodylanguage__

Words and Concepts are Liars

“Through words and concepts we are still con­tinually misled into imagining things as being simpler than they are, sep­arate from one another, indivisible, each existing in and for itself”.

Nietzsche, Human All Too Human

This is huge. I think every thinker is aware of this problem. Words and concepts put us in cages, we “think” they explain or describe reality, but they are NOT. Words simplify things, it’s very convenient, to analyze, to draw maps for the mind. But they are not enough.

Poets and photographs know this very well. They work BETWEEN the words, in subtleties and complexity.

It’s ALWAYS more complex than we think.

It why I wrote so many times about labels. If you discover your son is autistic or gifted, you immediately put him in a “box with a label“, and it’s a forever thing!

But there are millions of shades, and each of them… are moving, changing, evolving.

So we often think we know, but we don’t. We don’t know anybody, for example. We’re all islands, we’re complex, we have many faces, and we change along the days.

You can say : “He’s sad”, but you’ll never know how it moves, and how much sad he is, and if it is colored with sarcasm, suicide ideas, or hidden hope. You don’t know if he is aware of all that. You have to talk for a long time with him, to know.

Words are dangerous because they make you more stupid. We have to use them, because it’s the way we communicate, but we constantly need to remember their weakness.

Have a nice day!

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Instagram : itspeteski

A Way of Being in a Hole : Inventing Dawn

There are many ways to deal with depression, darkness, and feeling you’re stuck in a hole. You can cry alone, find someone who can help, you can complain, you can stay silent, you can think, you can fight to find your light, you can try to invent sparkles, you can be sarcastic, or become crazy, you can feel hope, or despair, you can wait, you can kill yourself.

Or you can invent your dawn.

Well, yes, it’s a feeling, or a decision, I don’t know. You’re in your dark hole like a forgotten filthy dog. Maybe you receive (or invent) your calling – it’s time. Maybe you just decide to move not your ass but your spirit.

You clean your sky from old squeaky moral rules, from guilt. You clean the pessimism. You want to increase your knowledge like a minstrel, a knight, a free spirit. Your refusal is joyful. You can almost guess and feel some new delights.

Rebirth. Convalescence. Regeneracy. Transition. A smell of new territories and above all : a new way to explore.

Jump out! You go girl!

Thanks for reading. Have a nice day!

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