Hicks lunch-mosquitoezing at work : What to do?

It’s lunch break.

You Introvert, I know you! You have your quiet spot to eat, right?…

Suddenly you hear what seems to be a one-man band screaming his joy, yelling in laughter, bringing a small group into noisy happiness. Hahaha!

Hicks.

  1. They are happy
  2. They are noisy
  3. They like pranks
  4. Rib-tickling funny stories they love
  5. They speak like “He said this – then I said that”, in loops
  6. They have big voices
  7. They love TV
  8. Laughing hard

You inner-facepalm while you have to eat, then you need strategies.

  1. Go out for a walk under the trees.
  2. Choose weird hours to eat in quiet.
  3. Read
  4. Mentally train yourself to close your ears
  5. Find another human-being to conversation with
  6. Earphones
  7. Acceptance Amor-Fati driven
  8. Wait for coffee breaks : they smoke (they always smoke)

You can quit, but that’s silly. Hicks are like mosquitoes. Everywhere.

Have a nice day!

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Broken Cam #Photography – Cabourg 1

Cabourg is a little city near the sea, in Normandy, France.

I was there in 2009, for a whole week, with a cheap Canon camera, which was at the end of its life. It was cold and rainy, and I spent days alone, wandering around, listening to Hindemith on my iPod (I’ll explain it in another post)…

From time to time, the whatchamacallit before the shutter stayed stuck in this oblique funny way. I often took one photo “like this”, before finger-opening it. There’s some Amor Fati in the photographer’s mind, right?

I chose a couple of pictures from this day, to build a tool for thinkers & inventors, which is :

Tool (let’s call it “Use it before you fix it”) :

When something “doesn’t work”, stop. Think about it. What doesn’t work? What could you do “with” it before fixing it?

Where will you apply this tool : Painting? Powerpoint? Poetry? Blogging? Would you go until you think it’s a sign? For what?

 

You’re a photographer. You lost or forgot something? What do you do? Do you have examples? Is improvisation good? Why?

So, well, my broken Canon picts are a little creepy like subjective views in a cheap horror movie? Of course, but I hope I got somethings else :

  • a little eyebrow movement from you (“Hey, what is happening here?”)
  • voyeurismness (mask behindness)
  • questions (“what is the last picture about?” – it’s a dirty corrugated roof)
  • maybe a mood (the remote house in the mist with the fence on photo 5) – feel the cold wind?
  • an illusion game (droplet as an eye, seaweed’s cuteness)

 

Thanks for reading! Have a nice day.

 

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JS Bach’s Cantata is confusing about Joy & Ordeal

This article is about the meaning of a sentence in Bach’s Cantata, and the different ways it is translated (from German to French or English), and what it can bring us about how the ways we deal with life.

I woke up a little disoriented by an obsessive, dense nightmare telling me in details that my life was really losing its cohesion. A mess like “having books but not knowing why any more”, “fearing the loss of purpose”, “falling sick but this time it won’t end well”, or “I’ll have to work a lot, without being sure it’s useful, to understand the fragments, the scales of my life” : terrible!

I sat on my bed, in need of a big coffee, happy to realize it was only a nightmare, watching a grey quiet queasy luminous sky, thinking about this little irony of life we all know :

When you work, it’s sunny, when you’re off, it rains.

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We all have this feeling of the irony of life, with all the shades. Murphy’s Laws (“Anything that can go wrong will go wrong”) are often hilarious to read. If France we sometime call it “LEM”, La Loi de l’Emmerdement Maximum, or “The Law of the Maximum Merdation”, which will make sense to everyone, oui?

But eventually it begins to hit harder. It deals with failure, love break-ups, losing job, or even death. I’ll tell you this true story.

Before WWII, a young upper class lady fell in love in France with a simple employee. Her family prevented her to marry the young man and arranged a more “proper” marriage. She had to accept it, I suppose. But decades later, in the 80s, her husband died, and then the unwealthy guy’s wife too. They were old, but happy : they fell back in love, lived this love, got married… and he died very soon.

I remembered this story because every member of her family kept telling her “Stop crying, you had a great life!”. So she stopped crying. And a week later was in hospital in emergency : her legs had tripled volume. Diagnostic : “Water Retention”.

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For the next part of this article I have to say that I’m don’t believe in any “God”. Nevertheless, faith inspired humans some great Art, right?

 

Johann Sebastian Bach wrote a Cantata “for the Feast of Visitation of Mary” (BWV 147) which is well known for the end : “Jesus bleibet meine Freude“.

This last part is very well known by the title “Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring”  – I just added the YouTube link under this paragraph – but it’s been translated to “sound better” : “Jesus bleibet meine Freude” is more like :Jesus shall remain my gladness“.

(I found also : Jesus remains my joy, Jesus stays my source of gladness, Jesus shall remain my joy).

Here’s the paragraph :

Jesus remains my joy,
the comfort and life’s blood of my heart,
Jesus defends me against all sorrows,
he is my life’s strength,

Why?

Bach, the year he composed the music, suffered the loss of two of his children. Johann August Abraham died the day after he was born, and a bit later Regina Johanne, who was 4 years old, died too.

I suppose that in the XVIIIth Century even more than now, you really can write things like “Jesus remains my joy”. The use of “remains” tells something about “I have to stay strong, I decide to be”.

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The French translation is wrong too. We say here : “Jésus, que ma joie demeure”, which means something a bit different : “Jesus, may my joy remains”.

  • The English and German are a statement : “Jesus remains my joy”
  • The French is a prayer, a supplication : “Jesus, may my joy remains”

 

You’ll notice that it is not either “Jesus, give me joy”, or even “help me”, but more “Allow my joy to keep existing”… 

 

This difference between a statement and a plea in the form of “Please allow” is fascinating enough to keep some of us thinking for a day. It’s different, but also so similar. Both tell us about the will to stay strong…

I’d summerize this all with this question :

What do we do against ordeal?

 

This is the longest article I ever wrote! Thanks for reading my Frenchy English!

Jean-Pascal

PS : You can maybe, also, read this : Amor Fati (and Sequere Deum).

 

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Fruitful Constraints & Creativity

It’s an old tool many artists know : many constraints are fruitful. Mainly because a constraint is a problem calling for a solution, therefore you have to move, to be creative.

All jobs and activities have constraints : budget, environment, other people, time, space, your skills, your tools.

If it’s too loose, though, you feel a freedom, which can be messy. You can not catch anything. Stuck. You maybe need to tight something up, to find “your” freedom within a new frame.

Brian Eno invented the Oblique Strategies (mainly for musicians) as a card game. You pick a card and you have to obey (sometimes it’s terrible!). Some directors are well known to tell the actors to follow precisely something (the dialogs, or the places they have to move on the set, etc) before shooting. Some digital artists sometimes go out in a park with a pencil and a notebook. A photographer can go outside with the limit of 20 pictures taken, not much. And G. Perec wrote an entire book without the letter “e”.

Constraints are fruitful. You probably have many disposable levers for these. A poet can obey : write something in alexandrine; without any letter “p”, in less than 5 minutes. You may have to present a project in ONE minute only, and… with no words. What are your levers?

You can pull a lever to Zero, it’s the Total Constraint. For example, you’re a photographer and you go out without any camera. Just your eye. You’ll feel the need, you’ll feel your brain simmering. As you can only watch and… think, you’ll maybe have bursts of ideas (instead of taking pictures).

Of course it’s an example of “Amor Fati”, being content with what happens to you, even if it seems bad. Embracing fate : every constraint, if you can’t avoid it, should (and will have to) be danced with.

Thanks for reading!

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Instagram : f_pilvi

“Amor Fati” is a Love of Fate #Tango ! #SequereDeum

Let me embrace thee, sour adversity, for wise men say it is the wisest course.

William Shakespeare

Amor Fati what?? Wait wait wait, don’t worry. Latin in involved, but it’s easy and useful.

Let’s translate : amor fati says “love of fate”.

Wikipedia “Amor Fati” : It is used to describe an attitude in which one sees everything that happens in one’s life, including suffering and loss, as good or, at the very least, necessary, in that they are among the facts of one’s life and existence, so they are always necessarily there whether one likes them or not.

And in fact, you’ll find all kinds of “shades” about “accepting reality”, in literature, in reality, in books :

If you’re an amputee after an accident, you can go from terrible distress to grey resignation to “what do I do, now”, to… you know where I’m going, right ? Aren’t we all fascinated by people who blossom AFTER a terrible event?

It’s just an example, but you got me : Amor Fati contains Amor : “one sees everything that happens in one’s life, including suffering and loss, as good or, at the very least, necessary“. Of course, it’s not “necessary”, but, as says Shakespeare, you can embrace it, though.

Seeing life as a Tango, a continuous creative almost oriental dance, is just a thing that we can consider. It is certainly not resignation, but the love of what is given to us. Even if it’s hard. Use this tool with a combination of Propensity, and… you’ll see!

Accept the things to which fate binds you, and love the people with whom fate brings you together, but do so with all your heart

Marcus Aurelius

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

Thanks for reading!

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Marcus Aurelius

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Instagram : charlottabramow & amcaptures