Intimacy as “reading a book together” : Chronicle 10

Today I learned an english word : “Suitor“. In French we say “Un prétendant”… isn’t it a bit strange?

Immediately I wondered : is it always masculine? What would be a “female suitor”? A suitress? Nahhh…

Big Love (capitals, please) and Passion, we need to cross this in life, right? But when you become an adult you’re more interested by spending quality time together. You are quieter, you share, you think about this thing which is called : INTIMACY.

Tonight I thought about this, thanks to a New York Times article, a letter from a couple : the husband was explaining that his wife was ill and tired, just out of hospital, so he began to read books to her.

THAT is intimacy, that is love, the love I love.

Maybe I’m too French romantic, but watching an Art Book with the woman I love has been a totally tender and satisfying experience. Weirdly, I would remember these moments more than sex.

You don’t need 142 suitors. Just look for a man who is able to have a ten hours conversation with you (seems like ten minutes, right?). Just look for a girl who will REALLY be interested in watching some Art book you have on your shelves, asking, talking, smiling, turning the pages, initiating conversations, etc, etc, etc.

You know that kind of intimacy, right?

Thanks for reading!

 

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Pictures : Poumeyrol

Alex Andreev – Digital Painter

I like this guy. He’s a good surrealistic artist. Not too disturbing, but yet… No toxic genius, but yet… He’s amazing, though!

It’s a very strange balance in me. Something’s lacking, yes – but it also makes me feel “I want to follow this guy, he’ll surprise me more in a few years”. He’s good enough to make you want to see more, and more, etc. My left eyebrow doesn’t climb, but I have a good smile, and curiosity. Thank you!

http://www.alexandreev.com/

http://alexandreev.deviantart.com/

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Floors

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Vesper

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Pecking ways & means of apprehend a work of art

Choose a painting, a photograph, a poem, a symphony. You pay attention. But what are the ways and means of choosing, then knowing, apprehend this work of art?

I wrote an article already about the braid between reason & feeling : you can just “I like it”, or begin to dig knowledge around it, and, of course, weave both.

In French we have a verb for “to peck”, like a hen beaklooking for seeds : picorer. Then it begins to be tricky, because we made other words from it :

  • Picorer : to peck.
  • Picoreur : “the one who pecks” -> pecker.

Well, I checked, and found out that a pecker in something else, right? And that “to peck” means also to “kiss lightly”. I appreciated the English metaphors, but I’m embarrassed now to say that a way to discover art is to be a pecker!

I admire those (I call them the divers) who explore a little square. Instagrammers who takes HDR pictures of beautiful lands (or black and white portraits of homeless people in Alabama). Bloggers about vegan food or cheetah high heels. Callas (or The Beatles) only lovers. Crime novels specialists. They dig dig dig like dwarves in the mine. They’re great!

I’m a pecker (un picoreur). Let’s take a picture of the sky, then a minimalist low angled light on a roof, then a golden swan for sale on a table. Let’s listen to Puccini’s Tosca, then Brian Eno’s Apollo Atmospheres & Soundtrack, then Dave Brubeck’s Lost Waltz. Let’s read a short story of Chekhov, Calvin & Hobbes and a whole book about Duke Ellington’s life. In the same day.

I wonder if it’s linked, this way of microdiving in things, with the appetite to know “how it works”, “when it’s been composed”, “who are other artists around”, “what was he thinking at this time”, etc.

Books and the Internet : you can read about Brubeck’s life, watch an Eno interview, buy a second hand poster about Puccini’s opera.

Some will say it’s my sign : Taurus (patient, artistic, methodical) Gemini ascending (fast, curious, restless). I don’t believe in this, but it’s funny, right?

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Tool/Dial : are you a diver, or a pecker?

 

Thanks for reading!

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Stalking Curses & Sisyphus’s like Loneliness : Chronicle 5

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…

Slide, mortals, don’t bear down

 

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)

 

 

 

 

“Oh Fabiola!” – Tremendous Love & Speechless Shock are two Stendhal’s Syndromes

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!

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Undug Fields of a Second Talent

A few years ago I read a great book by Patti Smith, “Just Kids”, she was a very young woman coming to New York City at the end of the sixties, and meeting Robert Mapplethorpe. It was a surprisingly tender though intense book! There were like two creative babies.

Smith was then sure to be a poet, and Mapplethorpe a graphic artist. They had a love affair, created together “mixed arts” like little totems or dreamcatchers, and the end of the book shows three changes :

  • Smith understands she should sing her poetry
  • Mapplethorpe understands he is a good photographer
  • And that he is gay

The rest is the legend, of course.

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This article is about this mild “Wrong Way Up“, when you’re sure to be good somewhere, ignoring that your golden road is elsewhere, in another life, another art, another discipline, another field.

I remember one day a Russian instagrammer. She was pretty and her main activity was to take selfies, or posing as a model. From time to time, say 5% of her photos, she took pictures of what she saw : trees, people, skies, streets. And well, you can guess : these pictures were AMAZING. Instagram is full of good photographers, but to have a real original sense of photography, color, moods, is very rare. It was so good that I wrote her something like “Okey your body’s great, but you have a fantastic EYE for photography, do you realize it?”. She answered very kindly that it was just for fun, not her field, and that she was a model.

Curiously, I wonder about that “trait” about me. I have this blog you’re reading now (It’s really an exercise (I’m French), a therapy, a way of standing, etc), and also a casual Instagram account. Both are quite unsuccessful because I post with too much diversity.

See : Constantly Random is an Instagram Flaw.

All this is very humble, though this blog is very important for me. A friend of mine has many times tried to convince me that I should focus my energy on my pictures.

This dial is disturbing to watch. What about you? Do you have a field, undigged (OK undug) and opened to the winds? Are you too casual with a hobby you could be better at? Why would we ignore this? Who could we ask? What do we have to do to understand, to wait? To meet a revealing someone?

Thanks for reading!

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Instagram : bodylanguage