Proust & les Hirondelles : Chronicle 4

Absolutely no cunning could prevent a man
from being smashed against his dreams

 

I’m French, I’m sorry : my english is clumsy these days…

Have you ever visited the school you were in as a very little child, now you’re an adult? Among all the memories and the heartbeats you feel, you also find that… everything around is very little, right? You’re taller, now… you’re different. Perspective.

Today is the “braderie” in the city of La Madeleine. We love braderies in the North of France. It’s like your US garage sales, all along some streets : today was about 1.200 exhibitors (or displayers, how to say that?). I took a cool picture of motorbikes toys, you like it?

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I’ve been asked one day about my “goals in life“. I have been very disturbed by this question, which is so… all about efficiency. I couldn’t think of a goal, even one. I feel like Cioran, in shock and in anger, after being asked about what he was “preparing”. If a French says he has “goals” in life, he sounds ridiculously Action Man, that’s it. The idea itself is a nightmare – at least when you’re more than 22 years old. I don’t want to be efficient, I just try to live, right? Dreams, maybe… Dreams, OK.

Absolutely no cunning could… etc…

I’m too lazy to find it, but the stupidest quote ever is something like “Give yourself a very high goal, then maybe you’ll reach a lower but good stage”. Of course there’s a more accurate one, saying that while you try to do that, you fail choosing the right path to achievement, you stay blind to feedbacks, etc. Typical Wrong Way Up. Well yes, these are words only, I know.

I have no goal, not one. It could be “to be happy” or “to be creative” or “to be a better human” or “to help others”, but I already failed in all these fields, obviously! And who will feed my cat, while I John Wayne?

If you want some fun, though, Google Image “Goals Quotes”. Plenty of orders in capitals. Like : <<DON’T LET ANYTHING STOP YOU FROM REACHING YOUR GOAL>>. Ohlalalaa, my French eyes are hurt! I need a beer, I think.

So I found a goal : stay zen in front of bullsh*t 🙂

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It’s when the weather change (warmer air, higher sun, sudden showers) than you can have a rush of childhood memories. Or teenhood, say. Suddenly it’s HERE, you feel the same feeling you had in your mother’s arms, or at school when you were loving some shy redhead in silence, or when you were gathering interesting rocks under open sky. The idea of memories in Madeleines de Proust come from the food, but also from a smell (freshly cut grass, chocolate cake baking, little pot of white glue in kindergarten) or a sound (of swallows flying hunting between streets, or the familiar engine’s roar of you’re father’s car), but also from the light in the air, the clouds, a coming thunderstorm…

Marguerite Duras says somewhere that she can NOT write if the bed is not made. Strange thing is : I never forgot that, because… that’s true.

I bought a Raymond Carver book, “The American Chekhov”, as they say. I know Carver’s work pretty well, but I never read him in English. Good exercise. I can’t resist to a blurb on a book saying “The (Italian, Canadian, whatever country you choose) Chekhov”…

They have something in common, that’s right : they watch meticulously our little renunciations, our microscopic failures, our rushes never said, our words, spoken and immediately regretted, our love silliness, our boredom. But it’s not “laments”. It’s more like : “This is it, brother human, and it not even THAT dramatic”.

I found a rose, there. Is a rose, is a rose, Mrs Stein. Look where she is (“une rose”) :

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In the shades of break-up moods, you have the yellow poison of jealousy, the dark corners of loneliness, the twinge of uncertainty and many more. The invisible bitterness of “having being loved and then not” is sometimes like swimming against the cold current of a long deep river.

In the shades of illness… Oh, another time, OK?

You can read books (or see a therapist, it depends on how you’re made), self help or philosophy : you’ll read everywhere that you have to find your happiness inside you, right? Again? I “have to”? The capitalized ORDER quote is <<BE HAPPY AND SMILE>>. Yes, each time, you want to punch the author in the face! Bim! Paf! Pouf!

Give birth to a dancing star from the chaos you have within

Strange star, but that could be my Nietzsche goal, maybe… Well, see?

Thanks for reading! Merci!

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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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The Castaway Syndrome

At some moments in your life, you really have the feeling that you’re “helped”. By whom, well, you will never know, silly!

If you want to spend time to figure it out, you’ll find books about that : God, your Angel, Quantum Mechanics or The Universe (please add Capitals everywhere, this is important).

For me, it’s useless to try to guess, because you will never know. Use all of it, though! Coincidences and signs, good intuitions, instinct, speed, meeting the right persons at the perfect time, this is all magic and a source of joy and amazement. Dance with them, c’est la vie !

But.

Irony of life is very powerful too. You meet the right person, but at the wrong moment. You encounter failure and betrayal, craziness, slowing downs or closed doors. Everything seems to brake. You make bad choices, you’re wrong. You probably expected too much, or in the wrong way, and life begins to slap your face and hit your skull, ouchy! Coincidences are stupidly useless, signs become dirty fuchsia feathers in a gutter.

Okeyyy so what? Your exhibition is a mess, your published book has no success at all, your future wife chose another guy, your startup starts to go down, c’est la merde, oui ?

“Time to move forward” and “Keep smiling” and “You build your own Happiness” don’t work for the moment. Try, and you’ll feel (and look) ridiculous. Insisting is wrong. Curiously, everybody “needs space” around you. And in space, nobody can hear you scream!

It’s time to wait, to park, to rest, to think. Shipwrecked, sailor! Castaway!

Find a corner. Narrow your goals. Regroup. Think without overthink. Put some puzzle pieces. Find your peace. Or scream, OK, but inside your belly. Real screams annoys everyone…

OK, in your car, on the highway : SCREAM!

Then, also, do something unusual.

Thanks for reading!

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Instagram : katrinalbertnyc

Proposition

A proposition is disturbing, a proposition comes to you, towards you : it’s an impetus, it gives you something to feel, a proposition is the contrary of a steady lukewarm attitude, a proposition is showing a potential of actions : if you accept it, it will build, with you, another state of your life, a proposition can be interesting, a proposition can move your brain, your spirit, or put you on alert, a proposition is an invitation, a proposition shows you a new way to organize the world, a proposition shows you a contrast between what you have and what you could have, a proposition is an upsurge : the world is talking to you, you can be modified by it, a proposition can make you move, a proposition can destabilize you, a proposition can trigger a rearrangement, a proposition can result to a big satisfaction, to a richer moment, a fulfillment which could join up with your personal library of experiences and make you available for more exploring paths.

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Instagram : bodylanguage

Arthur Rimbaud & Glenn Gould : The “Big Less” Temptation

Rimbaud was a French poet who had a huge influence on Arts and Literature, but stopped writing at 21. He became a merchant, mostly in Africa (in coffee trading, for example!), and died at 37.

Gould was a Canadian pianist who stopped giving concerts at the age of 31 and became an eccentric hermit in recording studios.

Different destinies, but a similar pattern : at one moment, they stopped completely something they succeeding in, they closed a door.

Rimbaud stopped writing. Many wondered why : The artist had said everything? He wanted to explore another face of his personality? He had a secret wound? Dead wordsourcespring?
Gould didn’t stop making music, but never came back playing in concert, and he explained himself about that.

I write this because I wonder if sometimes we should consider a similar flip. A combination of levers & dials, studying what’s good in our life, considering that insisting (even in different ways) could be, from now, a failure : it’s maybe time for a closure?…

 

The Big Less is about considering to close a part of you which… works. Why would you do that, like “I park it”? Why would you stop what works? You feel you miss something? It’s too easy? You reached a plateau? I works but the wrong way? You lost a goal? You need to experiment to enrich? Fresh air? You need to get smaller to go faster? A fresh start to go elsewhere? You’re afraid of some ticking-over routine? Is it a bad idea? Why?

And who knows what will happen after some years? Maybe you’ll realize you needed the big disturbance of it? Maybe a bigger room will open? A secret path will appear? Maybe you’ll make good Bach records, or trade coffee?

Have a nice day!

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The Disillusion of Level 2

In my life I met many times the Disillusion of Level 2. You just have to listen to people’s stories.

We all know this process, especially when we are young :

  1. You desire something strongly (a job, a love, a change, a project)
  2. You act to achieve this goal
  3. You fail, you are disillusioned, disenchanted, disappointed
  4. You rethink, invent new goals, with more confidence, you do the contrary, you take another path which, at least, will be the good one!
  5. You act to achieve this goal
  6. You fail, you are disillusioned, disenchanted, disappointed

Yes, it’s like a loop!

This triggers a few questions :

  • Do we always expect too much all the time?
  • Isn’t “expecting disillusion” a way to be lazy?
  • Is there a way of drawing a “good map”?
  • What do you do when you see a friend about to be on this path?
  • Where is the Level 3?
  • What’s the knowledge we gain after these?
  • Is it about daring more? Being more casual? Expect nothing?
  • Or is it about stopping?
  • What is the “need of change”?
  • Who is wise, and why?

Now apply that to any concept of life you know : love, job, hobby, politics, arts, goals, etc. What do you find? What are the stories you know? What do you think?

Merci ! Bonne journée !

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Instagram : bodylanguage

Overthinking Ways

The memory is cursed with what hasn’t happened, says Marguerite Duras, and that’s a good example of overthinking. In fact, it’s the seed of a whole tree!

What are ways of overthinking? What are the subjects? The past (what it’s been, what it could have been). The future(s). About what you did or will do (or say). And I’ll stop it here : you perfectly know your ways of overthinking!

What are the ways OUT of this curse (which it is, right?). Most books show these paths :

  1. Mindfulness
  2. Dare and do something

Voilà! You just saved a bunch of money! Put these books back in the shelves!

1 Mindfulness is a way to focus on the now (let the past sleep/just enable the future) – well, you can try!

2 Acting-Doing has many good effects, from “keeping you busy” to “stop thinking a bit”, by way of “changing what I can”… instead of thinking about it.

Tool :

Of course you can use another path, which could be “smart overthinking”, taking a wheel (if you find it) to drive it somewhere else, to tame it, to use it, to link it with others – or with books (which is the same), to divide it up like a sheaf, to make it a dance, to fight it, to… What about you?

You go girl! Merci et bonne route! Thanks for reading.

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