The strange bliss of instant reconnection with old soulmates

I have 5 or 6 friends with whom I have rare great bursts of emails.

An ex. A penpal. Or a friend. Some of them I’ve never met – only online. For one of them, I’ve even never seen her face, not a picture, not once. We call it “The meeting of spirits”, la rencontre des esprits…

You can stop writing for YEARS, and when you talk again it’s like it stopped the day before. You know, that kind of friend. Soulmates. It can be weaved with past love, but not necessarily. This strange friendship is a treasure, a connection, a link, a bond.

That makes me think, tonight. This kind of bond is delightful, because you both KNOW. You don’t have to say, to explain. It’s just there. You understand each other : “I know you”.

No news for years, and then an email, an answer, and often a burst : five or six emails. Long letters. One skype conversation in 15 years. One phone call in a year. Immediately it climbs to a secret good place you both know. We don’t have to explain. It ours. As if a myriad of appendages were connecting to each other at fast pace.

The link can be reactivated in a second. In many ways. It can be “I need you”. It can be “I have something to tell you”. It can be “I have a problem”. It can be “What’s up dear?”. It can be “Long time no see”. It can be “You seem to need some help”. Or “I miss you”. It depends! But it’s there. Whatever happens.

My soulmates. L. O. PdP. SL. JA. L. BE. ED.

Hey! I know you’re here. You know I’m here. Thank you!

Thanks for reading!

 

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The Merciless Intimacy of Driven Conversations

Paul Valéry, in his notebooks, wrote a little paragraph about conversations.

We all know what is a good conversation, right? Valéry throws some elements, like a puzzle (each one could become an article), to understand “this” type conversation :

  1. Conversations with your own kind, your “very own kind“.
  2. It’s driven, there’s a thrust.
  3. You need a favorable evening.
  4. You drive the conversation together as far as you can.
  5. It’s a melt of hate and love, it creates a merciless intimacy.
  6. There’s a growth of mutual divination, clairvoyance.
  7. There’s a fury, a will to go faster, deeper.
  8. It’s like a fight, a chess game, intercourse, it’s like running together.
  9. It’s one proof of the existence of humanity…

 

What would you add? How is the subject of conversation chosen (or does it fall from the roof, pushed by mood, events, words)? How is it colored by wine, vodka, whatever? What would add, for this puzzle?

Thanks for reading!

JP

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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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When you hate someone and 3 mn later you deeply love this person

“When you hate someone and 3 minutes later you deeply love this person”, makes me think of some 2 French idioms :

Avoir du répondant : “To have some answering”. You have in English “To have an answer for everything”, but the French one is VERY different. It’s much more positive, it’s a skill, a happy skill. It’s great to have a friend or a partner who “have some answering”. It means you can fight without anger, like a conversation game : you know that the other is strong enough to play with you, to say “No I disagree” without anger. “Avoir du répondant” is to be smart, fast, effective and strong in conversation. I would add “joyful” to the list.

In conversation, or in sex, or in dance (tango!), or in creativity. You need nerve, decisions, propositions and muscles on your side, right?

 

Ni avec toi, ni sans toi : “Nor with you, nor without you”. It’s a quirky dance. You cannot stand to be with someone : both will be torn apart quickly. “I hate you, demon!. But you cannot stand to be without this personne more than 3 minutes. Because she/he has some answering : Cette personne a du répondant. It’s great to talk. You’re alive. There’s gold, a bond. Come on… “I’ll love you forever whatever”…

What a strange loop!

 

Thanks for reading!

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The Quirky Dance of Double Rejection

When I was in my twenties I was reading all Chögyam Trungpa‘s books. This guy (a “preeminent teacher of Tibetan Buddhism”) taught me many things. One of them was :

“Let go when someone tells you to get lost”

Trungpa says that if you nag & beg this person, then you’ll become a demon (he uses this word). I didn’t find again the exact quote, but I remember he was also talking about this image :

  1. The rejecter is walking, he says “get lost”.
  2. The rejected is begging and becomes a demon.

Well, I think we’ve all been there, that makes sense, right? This article is about what happens next.

  • The rejected understands.
  • Stops walking, and shuts up.
  • (It’s his way to say : “Fine! Get lost too!”)
  • He walks again, back on his own path.
  • Silent double walk.

See me coming? Yes you do! OK, take a deep breath and visualize this :

  • The rejecter slows down, now, thoughtfully.
  • Then he walks in front of the other walker.
  • He says : “Let’s talk”.
  • The other walker doesn’t slow down, thinking the three-letters : “WTF”.
  • He walks, it’s his turn to say “Get lost!”.
  • Voilà!

It’s why I called quirky this strange dance, which exist between complicated lovers of course, but also between friends, family, spouses, siblings, companies, etc.

The rejecter rejects then is being rejected by the one he rejected when he doesn’t want to reject the other one anymore.

Make a loop of this. Dance.

Dial, then Lever :

What do we do of this dial? What does that mean? Is there an invisible string between the two walkers, a bond? What should they do? What should they say? How to stop the dance? Walk on more distant path? Having fun eventually? Realize it’s a dance and it could be great? Tango?

Thanks for reading!

 

Or don't. 
#bangbang, #popart

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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!