When you deeply desire a hard-working loneliness – but

We all of us have been there, even you, bloggers, right? :

You are busy at work, or you’re at a party, or you’re on a date.

You would LOVE to be totally wise & oriental and “fully live the moment”. But you are not.

You have things to do, but you deeply desire a hard-working loneliness, well you will at least have all the time necessary to : write your article, explore your ideas, paint, or begin your first novel.

Yeah, you see me coming : When you have the chance to be in this moment, alone, quiet, with a few hours free, you… do nothing. You procrastinate. You wander, take a nap, have a lazy poolsplash, you don’t even try to begin (or if you do, your hand stays in the air holding its pencil while daydreaming about elephants or printers. Strange statue!).

And therefore you are a bit angry against yourself because you spoil your time, and you feel this ugly emptiness I would call self-wtf.

Dial/Lever : What does that mean? Are we strong inside but lazy in action? What could we do to fix that? Discipline? Daily same-hour schedules, like Stephen King and other writers? What if we decided to stop everything “at once” when we wish to have time. Abandon job? Date goodbyeing? Party flight? Just to write at once? Why not. What are YOUR solutions?

Thanks for reading!

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Instagram : itspeteski

 

Sad Heart, Merry Spirit : Chronicle 9

I read in a Claude Roy diary, as he’s around 70 years old, that he would like to reach this season, this state : “Le temps du cœur triste et de l’esprit gai” – the time of the sad heart and the merry spirit.

Here I have a vocabulary problem : is “gai” happy, merry, gay, jolly? I don’t know. I chose merry.

But I’m very fascinated by this “goal”, from an aged author I liked very much. As if he knew he could never heal his heart. But, knowing this, building his own happiness, a “merry spirit”. This touched me, a lot.

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Just read an article evoking Robert Osborne, a TCM Television Presenter who just died at 87 years old. It is told that Olivia de Havilland had with him :

One phone call a week, for decades.

Awwweeee! (-> this was the sound of my merry spirit). I wish I had a friend so close that she would call me once a week until I die at 87. Like a whatever-happens-I-want-to-talk-with-you. Awwweeee again (my merry spirit if very merried by this idea).

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I read (but where, is it Casanova or Jünger?) about the Venice Purse, a knack which says that when you have to go to a “dangerous” place (which was Venice at the time), you needed to have two purses, one with a little money in case you’re robbed, attacked, knocked out, and another one with the main part of it – well hidden.

It’s just funny to know, but then you realize that when you travel abroad you really have to think about what you do with your passport, the amount of money you have with you, etc. I wonder what this concept can tell us about life in general : Be cautious? Watch the exits? Don’t put all your eggs in the same basket? But also : GO to places where you need to think about the Venice Purse, right?

Venice, in French, is VENISE. A perfect word to say : Venizzz. Elegant as a swan, right? Venice is more like braking at the end. No good. French better, sorry.

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Elmore Leonard says somewhere about novels writing : “If it seems written, I rewrite”.

What a beautiful idea, right? Writing Style Dissimulation Efforts.

And a paradox many artists know well : work, work, work, until nobody sees you worked. It’s an interesting goal, and the path itself is enthralling too. How to reach?

There’s a balance to find, I suppose. It means you have the eyes to know when it’s not OK, when it is OK. Experience.

Well I have a vocabulary problem again. When do you use “enthralling“, dear? Can you say that about a person? How is it radioactivitied? Thrilling? Fearful? Exciting? Or more like “plainfully satisfying”?

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I watched the Iowa episode of Aerial America yesterday. It’s amazing how many times I hear “French” in these. Detroits and Illinois were “frenchised” words, and how Iowa is a piece of this territory called Louisiana, the US bought to the French 214 years ago.

These TV programs tell me how BIG are the United States. Tonight I’ll watch Illinois, following the path of Bill Bryson’s book across America in car (cf Fixin’to traveling in the USA).

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OK, it’s too long. I seize the run-up since a few weeks (is “seize the run-up” a good title?), like making the most of an epistolary energy…

I stop here. Next Chronicle next week. Here’s le hug by Ze French :

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Have a nice day!

 

Knacks for #creativity & Art Homework

I told my daughters a few tricks when in school they have to invent something and have no idea, in Art for example.

The first one is to play with a face. You can draw this and that, a bridge or a house or a butterfly, that’s cool, but if you take a face and make it weird, you’ll have a bigger impact. Like melting, or too big eyes, or a mouth on a forehead. It’s too easy : one day she copy-pasted her own eyes on her cheeks, 8 times like a spider, and got a 20/20 (you’d say A+ in US, I think), best note of her class.

The other trick is meta. “If you don’t know what to tell, tell about you not knowing what to tell”. So one day she had to write a story and had not clue of a beginning of any story. So she wrote something about a teen in a classroom writing a story. Then… the rest came fantastically easily.

Well, if you don’t know what you could blog about today, tell us about you about blogging, or your blank page, OK?

Thanks for reading!

 

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Both Sides NOW

I begin this article with this fascinating song by Joni Mitchell, Both Sides Now. The singer wrote it when she was very young, and I find interesting that she, with great maturity, talks about both sides of life, like… knowing the disillusions of life before they really come…

One of the little “structures” of my blog is made of this : if there’s a side A, I’m interested immediatly in the side B (means : the contrary of the other one). For example, if I read a great quote, I often wonder if there’s another one saying the contrary.

But, also :

I like to imagine a third path. Something “outside the box”.

After Side A or Side B, one of the good game is to imagine a third side using BOTH. Maybe I hate choices, so when I have to choose between two things, I often choose both of them. So there! Voilà ! Et toc !

We are constantly moving, mutating, changing, chasing things. We are like inventive machines, mutable engines, trying to connect to reality, to… grapes of possibilities. Labels don’t work : they fall. We just fear boredom, which is death.

Being mature, but also keeping having “new eyes” for things. Steady, but unpredictable. Writing a lot, but casually. Weaving opposites in an interesting braid. Being INTJ but also INFJ (feeling, but thinking). Being visual, but with words. Understanding that action needs to dare, but knowing that it’s OK to wait. That you have to be positive, but accept your part of shadow. That in front of a problem there are many ways to choose from. For self help, I’ll always look for the “It’s always more complex” books. Baking two cakes is often the solution. We are fast, but we are slow. We are smart, but sometimes idiots. We watch Marvel movies, and also Kurosawa. We read Deleuze’s philosophy books, and also Peanuts. We want to live !

It’s a real trait. You have it too, right? Or… Maybe I’m too French? Tell me.

Have a great day!

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Photography : Dieppe in Normandy

 

Both Sides Now
Joni Mitchell
Rows and flows of angel hair
And ice cream castles in the air
And feather canyons everywhere
I’ve looked at clouds that way
But now they only block the sun
They rain and snow on everyone
So many things I would have done
But clouds got in my way
I’ve looked at clouds from both sides now
From up and down and still somehow
It’s cloud’s illusions I recall
I really don’t know clouds at all
Moons and Junes and ferries wheels
The dizzy dancing way you feel
As every fairy tale comes real
I’ve looked at love that way
But now it’s just another show
You leave ’em laughing when you go
And if you care, don’t let them know
Don’t give yourself away
I’ve looked at love from both sides now
From give and take and still somehow
It’s love’s illusions I recall
I really don’t know love at all
Tears and fears and feeling proud,
To say “I love you” right out loud
Dreams and schemes and circus crowds
I’ve looked at life that way
But now old friends they’re acting strange
They shake their heads, they say I’ve changed
Well something’s lost, but something’s gained
In living every day.
I’ve looked at life from both sides now
From win and lose and still somehow
It’s life’s illusions I recall
I really don’t know life at all
I’ve looked at life from both sides now
From up and down, and still somehow
It’s life’s illusions I recall
I really don’t know life at all

Readiness & Availability VS Habits & Goals

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, then tend to kill me. French casualness? What happens NOW?

You can read : The Propensity of Things

Thanks!

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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

Fecundity of Limits

If you’re a creative person, you encountered the “Fecundity of Limits” concept, obviously. Fruition. I’d distinguish :

  1. the limits you choose yourself
  2. the limits given to you by someone in charge
  3. the limits you encounter while you’re building your stuff.

Choosing your own limits is such… a pleasure. It’s about preparing your work. Paint something with 3 colors only. Write a book in a month. Travel, but no more than 5 miles a day.

Limits coming as instructions can be a relief. Many actors talk about the freedom you have while you have to obey strict orders. It’s about unfolding inside a frame : perfect for certain personalities.

The limits you encounter are parts of the building process. Your technical shortfalls is a good example. You then move forward “within” your capacities – trying maybe to push them back. The budget can be a limit. You’ll discover the others while you work : It’s a stream, a current!

Tool : Choose, change them, ask someone for limits (as seeds), think about them while your create, and then… forget your feedback : you’re in the flow, a good one!

Thanks for reading! Work well! Travaillez bien !

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