That on top & Lavender Blues : Chronicle 26

One day I found a lavender sprig, un brin de lavande, in a book of… 1878.

I’m a book sniffer, I’m sorry. People mock me! I open’em and I smell. I have plenty of old books. They have “this” smell. Delicious. When I eBaybuy a pile of old Charlie Brown comics, I open one and hmmm – American seventies…

But one day I opened a 1796 book. It had another smell. VERY different. I was… astonished. Like a “Heyyy wait a second” second in a deeper past…

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One day, someone asked him/her why he/she never travelled : “What for? I’m arrived already!”.

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Are bored people boring?

 

 

There’s one terrible little pattern to study :

the sudden appearance of a nuisance in the middle of an already tiresome situation

The “That’s all I needed!” state. That on top.

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Sarah Bernhardt in 1876 :

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

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There’s a proverb, somewhere, saying :

“To obey an order without carrying it out”

Oh I like it!

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Montherlant says that traveling is useful. If draws on the map… places you don’t want to go any more…

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Passion

Versus boredom, bored homme, injection : Passion! Bzt!

We can imagine that what enthrals us is linked to a childhood state. If you were turning over rocks in a delightful loneliness as a kid, then as an adult now, you like to be alone at times. You DWON’T need to have the TV on all day long because you’re unable to stay with yourself for more than 10 seconds (the “I need my phone to pee” type).

There are so many types! You love to read, to watch horror movies, to build, to think, to organize, to clean, to take care of people, to hunt, to buy things, to pray, to share, to teach.

Your field is a big pacifier, linked to your childhood. Well, that’s my theory!

If I’m bored, I am as lost as a baby at night in a lonely bedroom : I lost my pacifier. It’s not cool.

Worse : if you’re a bored person, it’s a forever no-pacifier state. Alcohol will NOT do the thing. You can buy fast cars, though, they are cool.

You can also read : 

 

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Berg maybe said :

The best magic always results from ecstasies of logic.

Hmm? What do you think?

 

 

Not Doing Something That Nobody Ever Thought of Not Doing It

 

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Thanks for reading! Have a nice day!

 

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Beautiful day without you (ah) : Chronicle 25

 

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People buy books to prepare their travel.

There are books to prepare your travel into Arts. As a bookseller, I order and present piles of them. Not for the experts, who already have their own maps, for beginners.

I love this series of books. 1001 paintings you have to see in your life (“you must see before you die”, you say in America). You probably don’t “have to”, though! They do it for architecture, pop music, classical music or movies. Or beers, or whiskies.

They are mapbooks, they present windows and paths. What will you explore FROM there?

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There’s something to look at in the idea of laughing. Laughing is good, right? But when you think about it, there are many unpleasant ones. Coarse. Vulgar. Mean. Sarcastic. False. Crazy. Sniggers. And well, you die of laughing…

You have some laughs in you, who are sleeping.

 

I took this picture in 2004 in the park next to…

 

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Röyksopp’s lyrics :

Living on my guard (guarded)
Wind is on my neck (fateless)
Sun is on my face (have courage)
Beautiful day without you (ah)

I wonder about someone who have to say “Beautiful day without you”. Is it a lie? A way to be mean? A tearful saying, like “Ah, hell, of course not, how could it be?”. A Coué incantation (I say it I say it I say it, it’ll maybe become true)?

It’s a great song, though. This science of weaving!

 

I have a theory.

Have in your house something you dislike. If you hate whisky, have a bottle. Sauerkraut (c’est de la choucroute !) is too bitter tasting? Have a box in your closet. Chinese tea maybe?

My theory is that when you life is sad, boring and bitter, don’t fill you up with sugar. It makes you fat, and it does NOT work.

Have something bitter. Make a link. Quietly, discreetly create an harmony, a balance between your state and your stomach. It will create a match, your bitterness will sit on its ass, shupping off into a “OK Well, Fuck”.

Chinese tea is awful. Smoked. Gunpowder feeling. Terrible. Try it.

 

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More and more people replace crosswords by sudoku (where are the sparkles?). Kids are now evaluated with numbers (but how do you say about instability or shyness, then?). Jünger says that when numbers come, Gods retreat. A beautiful metaphor?

 

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Why are disappointed people interesting?

  • A disenchanted was enchanted, before, right? How come?
  • He wants to warn others. Or not. Why?
  • Failure leads to choices, lead to more failure (most of the time?).
  • How do you ride back on your horse?
  • What does he have to understand? To accept?
  • Did he expect too much?
  • Insisting. Waiting. Letting go.
  • Before disillusion, he’s a happy imbecile. What do you say to him?
  • “This time, it will work”.

 

 

What is this moment : “To become aware of” ?

 

Thanks for reading!

9hz

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Life is fucking short. Let’s dance.

 

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Snow & Fancying Snags : Chronicle 24

It’s snowing tonight in the North of France! I feel like a kid on my balcony in an awe (isn’t snow time in the evening a little magical?). Awe and wonder. The first thing I did is to text my two daughters (who are 16 & 19 years old now) like : “Il neige !!!!”.

Like you, “neige” (just say “nej”) is the verb (it snows) and the snow itself (la neige). Neige is a great word to hear, it’s magical. I have a friend whose cat is named Neige (Snowy, in America, right?). Instead of saying “covered with snow”, we invented : “Enneigé”. Yes : ensnowed…

Christmas is family time, and, well, it’s a sad month for me now, some days…

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A funny exercise is to watch yourself with the “two facets” dial. We have many aspects, but let’s play the game of two. Your own two opposite properties.

You like to be alone AND you need your spouse around. You are creative AND you’re lazy. You’re introvert AND in some case you love to be the leader in front of a room. You’re married AND… ooops! Sorry. Too French.

There’s more that we think in this simple AND. It’s a better word than BUT. It includes this : there’s always one facet who needs attention, to grow, to be more complete. It’s one source of happiness. More : you can invent a dance between what you think are opposite qualities. You can invent a braid. A strong, powerful one.

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Sometimes I open a book about coding, programming. I remember I spent a whole summer, as a teenager, to optimize a program which had to place the boats on a hit & sunk 10×10 grid. Well : I remember pretty clearly the UNIQUE state of mind which is to program. It’s a particularly strong sort of flow

I almost got it back when I learned HTML, but nope-too-easy.

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I used to make verbs from nouns, in English. I’m sorry. What do you do? I coffee.

And at night, I bed. I’m sorry.

Well, I could say “I’m going to bed” in both, hmm?

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To say “To hit a snag“, we way “Tomber sur un bec” : to hit a… beak. It’s to meet an unforeseen difficulty, an “unexpected problem”, right?

I saw in English : To encounter a challenge. That’s a very positive way to say it!

Thus I wonder how it’s “heard” in America, the radioactivity of it. You hit a snag, great, you’ll unfold your powers and move forward? Or is it like in France a bit sarcastic : Haha, you hit a snag, now wait for the backlash! Bim in the nose.

We use it often when a smart-ass mister-knows-everything meets an angry little person who has none of it and has a different take. When fists fancy flying…

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Yep, as a casual structuralist, a pattern digger, I like to find “what is common” between things, what is “under”. But after that, the real pleasure is in the differences…

 

Good day!

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https://youtu.be/7AYJOQ09PeU?t=29h40s

Pokemon Power & Building Ways Out : Chronicle 23

Le plaisir littéraire n’est pas d’exprimer sa pensée
tant que de trouver ce qu’on n’attendait pas de soi.
Paul Valéry

 

I really don’t know how to translate this. It’d be : “The literary pleasure is not to express your thought but to find what you didn’t expect from yourself“. Satisfactory idea, no?

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Pokemon (Pocket Monsters) is a media franchise managed by a Japanese consortium between Nintendo and others.

Yesterday in the store I work in, I saw a kid who bought for $70 of Pokemon cards. His papa had his credit card, that’s pretty cool! I said to the boy, who was smiling holding his ten little packs : “Will you open them like… one each day?”. “Nooooo : some cards have POWER, you know!”.

Power!

Two students asked for “Discourse on Voluntary Servitude” a few minutes later. Which, I told the girls, is about how to be free or how to be submissive and obey.

Who is powerful here? Nintendo, the Pokemons, the kid, the father? Where is the power “acting” IRL?

Will the kid buy Pokemon ring binders at 35 years old, like many adults I see? Therefore what? At the Pokemon marketing (cattle displacement) time, will your son chase Pokemons, or will he find anything else, by himself, out of the obedience area?

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It’s been Thanksgiving. Have you been grateful? To…?

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To build ways out.

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Ulysses resisted the song of the Sirens by having his ship’s crew tie him up, because their singing is so beautiful that it drives men mad.

He heard. The song was beautiful, and it offered “new knowledge about the world”. Well, I think so!

Céder aux chants des sirènes, we say in French : yield to the Sirens’ songs. It’s not “to succumb” (which is you lost), it “to yield to” (which is you decide to lose and let go).

In mythology, sirens are women-fish or women-birds (see the vase)…

This classic image of the guy tied to the mast because he wants to hear something dangerous is like an itching metaphor, don’t you think? Where could we apply that?

When do you “go even if you know it’s a mess”, and how to you protect yourself, then?

 

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To drive is to ignore plenty of things. There a great article about what is attention on Wikipedia : https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Attention

It’s worth an article but I’m lazy. Nevertheless : I will explore this a little, later.

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In France, some guys were chasing Pokemons in cemeteries with their phones – or in people’s properties and gardens. What does that “mean”?

You don’t understand : some Pokemons have powers, they are RARE. You’ll never understand, right?

Nope.

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Bazin says that The Complex of Nero is when you have pleasure in the sight of urban destruction.

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There are two kinds of movies, those who shows, those who tells.

In Ryan’s Daughter, a husband is walking in a quiet sunny morning on a seashore. He smiles because he noticed steps in the sand, the steps of his wife. He knows she had a walk there. He follows the path. And he sees another set of steps, of a man of course, getting to the path, reaching her. Now it’s two pairs of shoes. This “feetprint” turns around a huge rock on the sand, and shows that they stopped behind it.

For a kiss

Here, two events are showed at the same time, without a single word. 1/The new romance, and 2/the discovery of the now broken hearted husband. On the image, you see what the spouse guesses…

Do you prefer this, or hear him crying on a chair telling a friend what he discovered?

Show, or tell?

 

Thanks for reading!

 

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Quasars, Fireflies & Seeds : Chronicle 22

“The power of quasars originates from supermassive black holes that are believed to exist at the core of all galaxies”. You don’t need to know more than this little Wikipedia extract. N. Bouvier writes about one quasar moment (in front of a wave passing under an almost frozen sea). I’d say :

You’re in a quiet time with yourself, contemplating nature – or a good idea. But suddenly you click on something in your head, your idea connects with another one, or with a memory, and here we are : you disappear into yourself. You don’t see, nor hear anything. You’re in your own deep space, hidden without even knowing you’re “not here” : your brain has cut the mooring line. Meandering or Dreamery, it is not – these follow what’s around, like when you traintravel – it’s an inner thing. Quasar. You disappear into yourself. When you “come back”, it’s a weird feeling to reconnect with your life and your duties.

 

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Yesterday I met a man in his sixties, he talked about a book named “The Survival of the Fireflies” (La Survivance des Lucioles). In a way, it’s a whole book extending the idea of “Light a candle, you can’t fight the night”. Fireflies are the humans who sparkle little things in the night. A smile, a picture, a little hoping seed, a way tu stay calm, a curiosity, a helping gesture, a painting, a poem, a silence…

“Disappearance of the fireflies” seems a fact, but I’m interested in Didi-Huberman’s book because he agrees but explores deeper : glow gleam glimmer – what kind of resistance is it? Fireflies disappear maybe because we don’t know how to see them anymore? Maybe there’s a way to “organize the retreat”? Can you become one firefly? When and how?

Google will help you. For example I found this :

The book ends with the violent glare of the police torches and helicopter beams sweeping through the fields of Sangatte, and unseen by them, a Kurdish boy dancing in the wind, “his blanket his only drapery: like an ornament of his dignity and somehow his joy despite everything.” – http://www.laurawaddington.com/article.php?article=48

The “joy despite everything” is like the smiling Sisyphus, right?

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Alice Miller studied the school books of this generation, in Germany, who became the Nazis. It’s now known as the Poisonous Pedagogy – “child-raising approaches that damage a child’s emotional development”. Other poisons has been studied ever since, like the King Baby (when you never say no to a child, he becomes a fool) syndrome :

A King Baby copes with life’s difficulties and trials by refusing to accept them and instead focuses on selfish needs and desires. He doesn’t take responsibility for his actions and is always looking for the next reason to laugh and have fun — no matter what the expense.

It is difficult for a King Baby to move out of this role given the fact that he perceives so many advantages to not needing to worry about life.

In China the “one child policy” lead to what they call “Little Emperor Syndrome“.

Today I do wonder what will become of these one year old kids using tablet computers instead of discovering the world. Some studies show that there shouldn’t be any screen from 0 to 3, a little TV from 3 to 6, and tablets at 6 and after. The main problem seems that some parents are pretty sure it’ll make their kid a genius. In fact, it will probably destroy their empathy and bust their future relationships. Thus : Nazis or Fat Potato Sheeps?

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As a bookseller, I ordered and go a biography of Edouard Manet, the French painter. I know for good that this man’s life and art is important. If you agree that Art’s progress is this question : “What is new here?” – Manet pushed many levers.

I opened it at a random page, and read about Lola de Valence, a painting who triggered a poet’s enthusiasm (Baudelaire) :

Here it is, and 3 possible translations :

Lola de Valence

Entre tant de beautés que partout on peut voir,
Je contemple bien, amis, que le désir balance;
Mais on voit scintiller en Lola de Valence
Le charme inattendu d’un bijou rose et noir.

— Charles Baudelaire

Lola of Valencia

Among such beauties as one can see everywhere
I understand, my friends, that desire hesitates;
But one sees sparkling in Lola of Valencia
The unexpected charm of a black and rose jewel.

On Manet’s Picture “Lola of Valencia”

Amongst the myriad flowers on beauty’s stem
It’s hard to choose. Such crowds there are of them
But Lola burns with unexpected fuel
The radiance of a black and rosy jewel.

Lola De Valence

Friends, though on every side of you you see
Such beauties that desire must hesitate,
In Lola de Valence there scintillate
Strange charms o’ a gem of rose and ebony.

The poem has been a scandal in itself (because of the “black and rosy jewel” sexual ambiguity, and was printed and showed next to the painting). This was a strange painting, like a picture taken in a backstage area of a bit dumpy dancer with strong calves. It was a disturbing sight at this time : the decor, the imperfections of the girl, and of the way he painted – with a kind of freedom, an air of casualness… The poem added enough to create a little scandal…

It’s a movement, to read about this in books and on the web, to try to understand what was new in this work, how Manet… Oh, there’s a good page in English in you want to see more : http://www.manet.org/

 

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“To take dust for gold” : Chronicle 21

If you obey all the rules you miss all the fun.
Katharine Hepburn

 

I talked ten minutes with an old man, an organ maker. I bombed the poor man with so many questions! One was : “As the organ’s sound is made with pipes, how do you standardize the sound?”. Well it was interesting. He was really happy to tell me these things, and admitted he was writing a book. “Organs & Frigates”. Boats?? He gave me some hints :

  1. In the 18th Century, the two more complex machines were organs and sailboats
  2. These needed complex building and craft
  3. Both use the wind to run on

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Write a short story of a person, after a break up, who is angry to be stalked on the Internet – but he/she is not.
Similar pattern : a TV star is stuck in an elevator with another person… who never watches television and thus has NO CLUE the first one is a celebrity expecting to be recognized.

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My father had a first aid certificate. He taught me that a wounded person absolutely needs a beautiful dressing, a clean and well done bandage. A real need.

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“Words are nothing. Actions are everything. Don’t tell me. Show me.”

Ahhhh we like that, right? Dumbsimple and satisfying! I found another outrageous quote about that :“Don’t talk, just act. Don’t say, just show. Don’t promise, just prove”.

Blah blah blah. My sarcastic mind agrees, nods, and immediately jumps over the fence of fake simplicity to see what happens “really” in life. The facets of plain stupidity are innumerable… because :

Words are nothing? Ah lalaaaa… These motivational quotes are so moronic that I want to die. Or to hit the author on the head with a good hammer. BIM. Then I die, scouic.

Talk to your lover, silly. Don’t be that “He’s silent” type! Act when necessary. If your spouse is like “Don’t tell me show me”. Well : climb a ladder if you like…

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If you hide a Family Secret, it will seep out messily and everywhere in your story…

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She puts her hand on her heart, to show she is wounded
Montherlant

 

Bonne journée, messieurs dames !

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The courage to shatterbreak what’s crackweakening : Chronicle 19

Puritanism. The haunting fear that someone, somewhere, may be happy.

H. L. Mencken

 

Le courage de briser ce qui commence à se fêler : The courage to shatterbreak what’s crackweakening.

 

We have a French word between to break and to shatter : briser. So I’ll say shatterbreak, voilà. Briser is often used for glass, but also for the silence : We don’t say “casser le silence” (to break the silence), but “briser le silence”. More : “des bris de verre” are little pieces of broken glass. It seems that in English, “broken glass” contains “little pieces” of broken glass.

I know, split hairs… in four.

 

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There are two types of spouse : those who say nice things about their spouse in public, and those who denigrate him/her there.

 

It’s a clear splendid day of November and you have two kids. Do you go downtown in toy stores to hear your kids screaming asking and yelling at you to buy this and that, or do you go playing in the sun, watch them running under trees and hitting piles of dead leaves?

 

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Idea for a story beginning : a TV star meets someone who NEVER watches TV (he doesn’t even own one), who therefore doesn’t recognize him/her.

 

Lures. What kind? What for? Made by who? Oneself?

 

Have a nice week end!

 

JP

 

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It’s fall! Listen to Brahms! Or Takemitsu…

 

Dare to listen to this really?