How often do you check your stats in WordPress?

Blogging is a whole thing. There are many good reasons why we blog. I tried one day to list them: Why do you blog?

When you blog, you have something in your brain that clicks when you read or hear things. Like an Instagrammer has an eye for it, your mind picks up ideas everywhere it can. So maybe it’s a way to be more… present, an acuteness.

There’s another thing: you publish, so you have to present it, to shape it, to frame it, whatever. It’ll be read (a little, I hope!), so you have to iron your shirt. And if you don’t, it’s also a style, right?

Then you have to find the balance between staying yourself in what you say and to please your audience. This balances a good structure to watch.

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Bloggers/Writers : Let it rest!

Bloggers/Writers : Let it rest!

I read an interview of Arcadi Volodos, a pianist.

He says that when he works on a record, he makes it during the night. When it’s done, the tapes are abandoned for a few weeks.

Then he listens to them, weeks later, with a new ear. Sound montage, then? The less possible.

When you write on something, it must flow. The beginning is sometimes hard, but then, here you go! When it flows, it’s so good, right?

Si vous pataugez dans la semoule (if you “wade in semolina”), you get nowhere (fast or slow). Let it rest, then. Forget it. Write some else. Go for a walk (these times : around your room).

Drafts are gold. Forget about all of them. Let them rest. For weeks.

One day you open something, you…

  1. wade in more
  2. have a spark

 

I don’t know how it works. Maybe you have a new eye and you wonder how you could be stuck like that. Maybe it’s magic. Maybe your brain works alone when you sleep, haha. The reason why it works sometimes is a mystery, there you and me don’t care about it. So there.

 

Have fun!

https://afrenchtoolbox.wordpress.com/tag/writing/

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WordPress Categories & Tags : my tips

Hi! I have one tip for your blog (I personally don’t follow it) :

If you want followers, choose a little field and stick to it.

Photos of cats, fashion in Italy, collecting forks, French painters, whatever.

I do the contrary, my blog talks about :

  • “Things have many faces”.
  • “Subtlety is better than false simplicity”.
  • “Disillusions are part of the game”.
  • “Rules are mostly movable/beware of mindsets”.
  • “It’s funny/useful to compare or weave separated things”.
  • “Art is a great buoy”.
  • “Watch in the now/around you/the propensity of things”.
  • “Finding structures as intelligence”.
  • “You can quit the surface of new things”.
  • “No one is a prince in every Kingdom”.
  • “Keep aspects hidden/Be a Waldgänger”.
  • “Consider other ways to change/Know how to wait”.
  • “We need to be disturbed/There are many ways to deal with problems”.
  • “Stay a dilettant/Slide and don’t bear down”…

…therefore I don’t have many followers. A few hundreds, in… years.

 

Your work will be found if you share it on Social Medias, but most of the time it’ll come from Google and other web search engines. You need to choose your Categories & Tags.

https://en.support.wordpress.com/posts/tags/

It’s never been easy for me to choose. Here’s what I learned :

  1. WordPress limits the number of tags & categories (combined) to 15.
  2. Invent only a few big categories, it’s useless to be subtle here.
  3. For an article, check one to three categories, not much.
  4. For tags, use the obvious (ex : France, Recipe, Cake), enlarge (ex : Culture, Traveling), then be more specific (ex : Chocolate, Paris). It’s about combine-harvesting larger!
  5. Conclusion : focus on TAGS.

 

You wrote an article about Hemingway?

  • Category it : USA, Literature – that’s it.
  • Tag it : Hemingway, Author, Books, Reading, Literature, USA, Novels, Writer, etc…

 

Think “hook”. Use Google to find other hashtags if you need.

 

Thanks for reading!

 

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Instagram : clairemahoney

Lecture or Aphorism?

Like some children have an imaginary friend, I have an imaginary reader, built like a golem from all of you, my followers : helloooo!

This person is smart and fast, and curious. She (let’s call this person a she) would be able to ask questions like : “From the books you read in the last year, who brought you this feeling of being too much, offering you like a feast of ideas – and what structure do you find there?”.

I thanked her for this question, and answered quickly : Valéry’s notebooks and Bourdieu’s lectures about Manet.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paul_Val%C3%A9ry
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pierre_Bourdieu

  1. Valéry’s notebooks are arranged by themes : humans, poetry, dreams… His paragraphs are very short, a few lines at the most. He’s the best thinker I’ve ever read. The result is, like with Nietzsche sometimes, like a huge tank of crystals, crystals of thoughts. Therefore it’s very slow to read these notebooks : each line almost stops you for a day…
  2. Bourdieu was a French sociologist, at the end of his life, he gave a bunch of lectures in the Collège de France about Edouard Manet, the painter. It became a big book, which is exhausting (in the good way) to read : it’s like hearing him constantly exploding with thoughts, ideas, patterns, about art, society, painting, psychology, history, etc.

 

With one you get a piece of complex, smart, fascinating jewelry. With the other you get a river.

Thus, I wanted to write this article with a rotation. You, who wants to share something, what do you do? You blog or you write a book? Do you concentrate or do you flow? To you build a little thinking toy model, or do you offer a one hour firework? How is the quality presented, displayed? A weaving of string arrows which envelops you like a blanket of ideas, or a ring of twelve words, changing you forever?

What is the most effective for an audience? Lecture or Aphorism?

How do you blog? Do you think about your audience, about their time, their mood? Are you too short, too long? What is an article of yours? A box? A current? Jewelry or map?

Thanks for reading!

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instagram : _bodylanguage_

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coll%C3%A8ge_de_France

Creativity for Bloggers & others

I took this picture in a French book and I’ll list the creativity tips for you. Apply them on blogging, then on sex, then on photography, OK?

  1. Call evidences into questions : have a “why?” conversation and use it on everything.
  2. Feed from everything : be curious, and be curious out of your field.
  3. Identify your “box” and get out of it : what is your routine?
  4. Go see elsewhere : what will you explore ?
  5. Steal ideas : and let others steal yours, observation & appropriation.
  6. Test your ideas (with whom?) : listen and improve.
  7. Jump into the pool, then learn how to swim : dare, have fun, experiment.
  8. Learn how to fail : get smarter.
  9. Pick yourself up… endlessly; create by mistakes.
  10. Highlight the process, more than the goal.
  11. Flexible and agile : be fast and elegant and gathering…
  12. Stay open, knock down walls : learn, listen to the propositions of life. Who are those who don’t think like you?
  13. Walk : inside or outside, even around your desk! Walk and see ideas blossom.
  14. Write, always write, even imperfectly, even if you feel you have nothing to say. Everyday.
  15. Disconnect and tame boredom.
  16. Do much, with little : even if little is “money” or “time”, or “ideas”.
  17. Work relentlessly.
  18. Love mess, love order too.
  19. Don’t judge (too early) : let your work grow, then you’ll see.
  20. Let go, and trust : de-control-freak yourself?
  21. Surround with the good persons.
  22. Keep your brain in movement : talk with younger people!
  23. Pace yourself. Nap. Don’t be jealous, it’s a loss of time.
  24. It’s never too late

Extend in : can I go too far? Then what?

Try this : prove they’re all wrong.

Then try this : apply to teaching, marketing, military.

What if you don’t have to be creative?

I’d add : listen to propositions, explore your other side, invent your golem

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Without this, without that

ONE

I talked with a grandma who told me that she invented a little basket near the door of her house : when her grand-daughter, who is 11, visits her, she has to put the phone in the basket.

There are moments in the day, after a meal, a game, a book, when the girl says “And what do we do now?”. Grandma answers : “Nothing”. To let her find the time to daydream and dream, to find the time to… imagine.

TWO

I love Starck, Philippe Starck, a French designer but also a good thinker. He’s good, he’s fast and different. He says that whatever he has to invent, he goes in a little house (I imagine in a forest) where there’s no computer and no Internet, then works for days, like in a trance, with little food and work interspersed with small parts of sleep.

There he works a lot.

THREE

Are you like me, having ideas when you’re in bed, and more ideas in the shower?

The fact that we don’t have much complicated things to do lets our mind wander. Our brain, suddenly happy to be unbusy, unfolds and begins to think.

FOUR

My eldest daughter listens to lectures with iBooked students, but she is the only one who doesn’t take it with her in amphitheaters. Because she knows that we learn and listen differently with a pen.

TOOL

It’s just easy, obvious and non-nonsensical : invent moments in your day when you do not bring this and that : no phone and no computer. Bored? Good to you! Unfold ideas, watch them blossom, then… write an article, OK?

And this extension : What can you take away something to… get something else?

Have a great day!

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Paul Valéry : “Our talents press us to employ themselves…

I always come back to Paul Valéry’s notebooks. This guy is the most generous French thinker EVER.

Those who know these work, when they meet, have a special smile. “Ah you love Valéry, OK”.

Sign of good sign…

I just read five pages of this guy, about Stendhal, the writer. Here are some seeds to plant in your own soil :

ONE

  • “Se connaître n’est que se prévoir; se prévoir aboutit à jouer un rôle”.
  • “To know yourself is only to predict yourself; to predict yourself leads to play a role”.

Really? Isn’t it true? How? Can we forecast ourselves? What do you think about this? Is there a problem? Should we resist? What should we keep?

 

TWO

Napoleo seen by Stendhal is Roman, Italian, it’s the Cesar type, the Condottiere (GIYF). Seen by Balzac, he’s the Emperor of the French, inventor of laws (Le Code Civil (GIYF)), the following of French Revolution, etc.

Valéry takes this as an double exercise : you could prolong these, reasonably, with interest…

Which is a great tool : what subject would you, for your pleasure, DOUBLE STUDY? Lincoln? French lovers? XXth Century music?

 

THREE

  • “La volonté d’être encore ce que l’on fut”.
  • “The willpower to be again what we have been”.

 

FOUR

  • “Nos talents nous pressent de s’employer; la formation vive et incessante des idées engendre une étrange impatience de les produire”.
  • “Our talents press us to employ themselves; the keen and unremitting formation of the ideas engenders a strange impatience to produce them”.

 

You have two hours.

Hmmm : jeanpascal@wanadoo.fr.

Thanks for reading!

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Words, loops, and Picasso

Yeyyy I bought a new book about Picasso. Like Manet, Valéry, Chekhov, Mahler or Faulkner. Little feasts. Emerald and pearls. Each time.

Why would I quit good guys like these, even if some are real toxic (Faulkner is so great that it kills me, Picasso is too prolific and multiple, Mahler too difficult, too subtle, Valéry impossibly clever)? I won’t. I’m hungry all the time – and to be disturbed is interesting!

These artists (and the books about them) made like… a free reservoir of ideas! In a way, this is generous, right?…

For an example, I chose here… Picasso, found a pattern, a seed to think about.

Watch this : when he was 15 he painted the church scene, at 19 the second one, at 21 he painted the blue one, at 26 the lady with the fan, the cubist mandolin at 29, and the running ladies at 31 years old. And he lived 91 years!

One of the funny magnifier to use with art is progress. We see here a man being a great artist as a teen, learning how to forget how to paint, to use his mood (sad blue), influences (African masks), analysis (deconstructing with cubism), then here… going back to representing things, but in another way : joyously, with exaggeration of gestures and bodies, with a clever way to be childish too.

Picasso always said he spent his life to unlearn how to draw.

I wanted to write an article about this structure :

Once you navigated into avant-garde, how do you come back to good old forms? I mean HOW? With a new freedom? Casualness? Science?

Life?

Why would you do that? A restart? A milestone? A pause? (It’s an article, right?)

Where do you see this pattern? In music? In cinema? Teaching? Learning? Writing?

What’s the structure? Pushing a lever then pulling it back? Taking risks then no more?

What kind of a LOOP (quit academicism, go back to it with something else. What?) is it? What are loops (oh, another article!)?

I like to read about Art, maybe more than watching it. Maybe yeah I’m an astronomer, not an astronaut… I love to talk about all these. Sometimes I have The Rilke Syndrome – Familiarity Problem.

OK I’m sorry. This is not an article, this is a mess. Sharing brings joy. Now I go back to my book. Or to Mike Oldfield’s Amarok (oh, another article!).

To your good health!

Thanks for reading.

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The need of weakness and other subjects to think of : Chronicle 53

If we see the human mind as a layer of beast and a layer of culture above, what about people who never read? Index cards certainties…

To have the right to judge, one just has to announce that they never judge.

A secret is not made to be kept, but to give some importance to the information.

The suffering of children is the absolute evil.

If one wants to get the upper hand, it’s because one is under.

The stronger of all is the one who shrugs.

A unity made of neutralized contraries, an apparent immobility which hides a vertiginous and perpetual life : develop.

What is our “horrible need of weakness”?

The coward’s tantrum.

What is temptation, what is desire? How are they different?

Categories, what do they say?

If a soft bass voice is the sign of high civilization, what about loud people?

Is to transform a place into something it’s not (take an old church and make it a gallery, take a barn and make it a store) vulgar or painful? Why?

Someone is ugly because one was born ugly, someone is ugly because mediocrity shaped their face. Do we have the faculty to determine it? Which one scares you the most?

I read that one of one father’s role (purpose) is to save time to his child, to offer or show them the most checked boxes possible before sailing on existence. I terribly agree with this one.

Those for whom one of the greatest pleasures is to cancel a travel.

This age where you have a form, an index card for everything and everyone. Your neighbor, a singer, a recipe, a writer, a movie, a city. This exercise : to cancel it, to change it, to enrich it. How?

To make/keep someone shut up, three ways : to monolog endlessly, to make as if you don’t understand, to show that you’re not interested by what one says.

Our mother dreams about what?

Good masters open a chasm under your feet. In one sentence, they show it to you. For good or bad.

You know things only by differences, wrote Suares. Does it mean that we function with analogies?

If there are no rules, you can not transgress them.

The right to go away (Baudelaire). Develop.

To be conscious of everything and at the same time to keep our instinct alive : Art?

Mystery, but no obscurity.

A lack can be unconscious. It shows itself with instant tears…

Thanks! Have a good day!

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All these stolen from J. D. – let’s spread.

“Dodgin Forgin” : Chronicle 52

Cats are dramatic. When I walk in my corridor and I meet Isis the cat, she stops and acts “as if” she was about to be slaughtered by the human, then runs away with big eyed panic, as if I was a dangerous goblin…

—–

I read about a strange Akira Kurosawa‘s tool, the Japanese director, who said, when shooting a movie, something like :

“When a scene is done, in the box, and you’re happy : go on shooting”.

Opens a little door in my head, written “Why?” on it : When you have what you need, maybe you are relaxed, then you can try new things? Or maybe the tiredness could bring another “tone”? Kubrick is said to shoot dozens of times, just to make the actors quit their easiness, their habits…

Where else could this be true? Prayers? Poetry? Training?

—–

Alexithymia is a word built on Greek, of course : “No words for emotions”.

It’s not really a mental disorder. It’s a difficulty identifying and describing feelings or emotions.

It’s interesting because it leads to different branches :

  1. I don’t know what I feel, I don’t have words for that.
  2. I don’t like what I feel, thus I’m afraid to find out.
  3. I don’t know what to think about what I feel, though I physically feel something, it doesn’t give me an emotion or I don’t know what would be the “proper” emotion.
  4. There’s a confusion between “the event” (outside of me) and “the sensation” (inside).

 

—–

I read about a study about the factors that employees consider motivating. Good wages, , interesting work, security of the job, of course, but the number one factor was “to be valued”. Really valued.

It’s not about a bonus or a “best employee of the month” challenge. It’s really something like :

“I see what you do and I appreciate what you do”.

People often do the best they can with what they got. And they wait, they need to be seen

Makes sense, right?

—–

Lax ways of escaping (life, a situation, boredom) should be listed :

Alcohol, sports, speedy leisures, drugs, video games…

But what if you can’t escape? Will your body find a way (accident, illness…)? Dodging forging ahead?

 

 

Thanks for reading!

 

 

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Picasso’s Tools for bloggers!?

Picasso’s Tools for bloggers!?

Nah, not his cans and brushes : Tools for the mind!

Here’s what I did : I picked a great book about Picasso, from Philippe Dagen.

It’s a great book because it’s not about “Picasso’s life”, and it’s not a “catalog of paintings”. He looked for structures, patterns, tools for the mind, and showed how in many aspects Pablo Picasso is a great artist.

I took a pictures of these patterns he detected, and I’ll casually apply them into the blogging activity. You’re free, after this, to apply this toolbox to poetry, teaching, marketing, photography, baking, theater or music composition. Life’s cool, right?

  1. Discover the modern
  2. Express by the primitive
  3. Build until crumbling
  4. Invent some new codes
  5. Hold all styles in one’s hand
  6. Let loom the monsters
  7. Stare at inhumanity
  8. Pit against the present
  9. Never finish

 

These are terribly pleasant injunctions, right? It shows we can build our own roads, windows, tools and door. It shows we can dare, be casual, open, multiple. It shows we can play, have fun, plug things, juxtapose concepts, dance, be fast, and intelligent, and plugged to the now.

Have fun!

 

 

Geometrical Hashtag Ideas

When you write a blog on WordPress, you check your activity from time to time. The website gives you statistics on what articles are read, and from which country.

When you see what is read, you smile : you’re happy to discover that your article is like alive somewhere, possibly putting a little spark in a brain.

Of course we bloggers don’t control anything. Some articles are a hit for no understandable reasons. For example, my ““Become who you are”, is it what Pindar said?” has been read 176 times since I wrote it and I really don’t understand why…

We all know that some ideas come from a combination. Remember? : One book, you’re a student, three books opened and you’re a searcher.

Some mornings I read my stats and I discover that five-six articles has been read within the few last hours. My brain can’t help doing the Geometrical Shape Game :

  • trying to find the link between all of them
  • trying to invent a new article subject from the combination, or even :
  • trying to find a coded message sent by… The Universe.

Most of the time, it makes sense!

(of course, I invent this sense)

And well, it gave me… this article!

Thanks for reading!

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How to find ideas to blog about?

I often meet/read this question in blogs : “How do I find ideas?”

Most of the time the main answer is “everywhere”. Haha. Great.

My first thought is always :  “If you need to “find ideas to blog about”, you shouldn’t blog”. Racing cars are better. You can also shoot flying plates, lift some weight, or train some fleas.

But it doesn’t work like that, I knowwww…

I suppose this happens when one blogs for a reason – to make money, to meet people, to be famous, whatever :

  1. Why do you blog?
  2. How do you blog?

If you blog because of this pattern which is “something HAS TO go out” – the urge of expression, you won’t ever ask yourself how to find ideas, right?

They literally flow out of you, they squirtspatter in your WordPress’s drafts. That’s cute, in a way!

The Importance of rumunchewminating drafts

 

OK I go on : How to find ideas to blog about? Google helps with plenty of good ideas.

My way is to use a reading grid, a reading framework you will use on EVERYTHING you meet, a book, a title, a person, a star, a story : everything. You can use a few, if you like.

For example you can watch the world :

  • Historically (“I travelled in this Norway city, which…”)
  • Reversely (“10 ways to become fat”)
  • Engineerely (“this insect is a machine”)
  • Negatively (“sports are for idiots”)
  • Paranoia-Matrixely (all I see is crafted to lure me)
  • Religiously (a god takes care of me)
  • Newagely (the universe sent all this to make me grow)
  • Scenaristically (everything could be put in a story)
  • Nostalgically (link all things to your past)
  • Toolboxerly (well, this is what I do)

 

My toolbox is made of this : I try to find a framework, a structure, a grid, a pattern, in everything I see. If the structure is already here, I LOVE to share it. As, maybe, a suggestion to do the same, to think.

For example, to notice that Edouard Manet (the painter) and Jeff Wall (the photographer) have a common way to question the public, to notice that Mad Max and operas have many things in common, to find how great artists (Miles Davis, Pablo Picasso or William Faulkner) 1/ push themselves in unknown territories 2/ play with avant-garde 3/ break complex skills because it became to easy for them 4/ find another breath near the end of their lives… Etc.

 

Well, sorry, that’s all ! Find your grid, frame everything you meet and see under this grid, and ideas will squirtspatter. Apply, watch, that’s it : yeepee!

Thanks for reading! (sorry to destroy English like that)

 

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Breton Quote : “Rebellion is the spark in the wind, seeking…

There’s this old wisdom coming from the past : no one can change the world, but I can change myself – or at least my way to see reality.

What does the blogger want? To share? To be loved? To change the world? To find out… why she blogs?

 

  1. Why do you blog? The mess of motivation theories
  2. Are Bloggers Proustians?

 

Some people probably blog to rebel. Not me obviously but I caught this idea because I found this little quote from Breton this morning :

“Rebellion is the spark in the wind, the spark who seeks the powder keg”.

“La rébellion est l’étincelle dans le vent, mais l’étincelle qui cherche la poudrière”.

 

Isn’t it a pretty metaphor? I’m personally not here to “rebel”, but (I just found this idiom) I probably wish that one day one of my articles finds the gunpowder keg.

But which one? What for ? To trigger something? To make someone change his mind? To get more followers?

 

Some bloggers are self-called influencers, and if they are massively followed, it’s because they fill a demand, right? Therefore they ARE influencers – as a bookseller, I see this phenomenon many times per month : a blogger (or YouTuber) writes a book, tells it, and immediatly you see hordes of obeying humans washing over…

 

A smol spark in the wind – la petite étincelle dans le vent?

What for?

To surf on waves and make big money?

To please the system?/To find the gunpowder?

To find the only one reader who will be changed?

Loop is looped – la boucle est bouclée : not to add mainstream ideas, but to offer little seeds, here, there, voilà.

 

Thansk for reading!

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Art by Alister Lockhar

“I can’t be touched in my sleep” & Structural Surprises : Chronicle 47

“Then he struck a match to light his cigarette, but the wind blew it out”

______

I have a map of the USA on my bathroom wall. I like to wander over around when I brush my teeth. I keep being amazed by the size of the country – I discover names of roads, parks, cities. Joplin, Tulsa, Holton, Salina, Wichita, Overland Park, Oldredge! I dream to be on Road 35 with a car, a camera and 2 months free.

Also, I notice these strange grey fields : the indian reservations. When you live in Europa, it’s a bit mysterious! We only have a few images of Indians in head, mostly from movies.

So I found “Potawatomi“, thus I googled.

“Upper Mississipi River”

I really should try to know more. Maybe find a documentary, a book? I googled it. I should Instagram, maybe. Try to find a penpal…

______

This morning I remembered that my country was called “La Gaule” before the Romans invaded all of it 2000 years ago. They occupied it for 500 years until defeated by the Francs. We became La France, but in the process we lost our tongue, our language, le gaulois has been replaced by le français. French language is very similar to Italian, because we made it from Latin from Roman Empire.

If Romans would not have been defeated, we would be maybe now like US’s Indian Tribes : in reservations, grey squares on a few % of the map France, talking Gaulois and organizing Casinos and other trails.

Dang, we lost our language, though. Don’t be surprised if French is a mess to learn now!

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Heeyyy maybe a tribe will attack America after 500 years of occupation, like here, and the USAns will go back to the old continent, the Indian natives will get back their country, but they will keep English to talk (with Mexicans). OK, that’s a strange mess, and a good novel to write. Please serve yourself 🙂

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______

“…to have had a mature man to break it down”

______

I have a theory that if you live a long time under pressure (with religious or big-political parents for example), you accumulate a huge amount of… something. A steam that will eventually explode one day into bursts of nonsense and madness.

Tamed for some time by iron reason and logic, one’s brain looks like a white hot furnace/cooker, up in an ivory tower. Then beware…

  • Violence.
  • Inappropriate acts.
  • Madness.
  • Loss of common sense.

The young years, clamped in a vise, created monsters. A poopy bustling…

Ain’t it splendid that in UK, vice means two things? A clamp tool and a wrong mind.

______

Picture this : puffing and crimson nurses running after a fool…

_____

Bernstein‘s book : “Findings”.

Preface : talking about words and music, “I find the same joys of ambiguity, structural surprises, anagrammatic play and grace of phrasing in both”.

Well, I smiled. This could be a program for my blog! Ambiguity in three other books I just bought : Sud (photos, but no legends : you don’t know where it’s taken). In Tissot (classical painting, but the rich ladies are lost and bored). In Jones (who was a man, and a woman).

Structural surprises? Strange quotes coming from nowhere? Nonsensical titles? Yes I play. It’s funny.

I probably wish my Chronicles to be heard… as if you were listening to a fool, haunted by something, having a conversation with himself about seeds & ideas…

______

Time’s winged chariot…

Thanks for reading!

Montaigne, skepticism & casual forms (does it work for bloggers?)

Skepticism questions the possibility of certainty in knowledge.

Montaigne was a French philosopher (1533-1592), his “Essays” (the word “Essai” in French means “attempts” or “tests”).

I know you won’t read Montaigne (988 pages in translated English, paperback, $27) – I once read an interview of Orson Welles who said it was the book of his life, and he had one copy next to his bed all along.

This guy was a mess, and he wrote his essays for years, in French (in this time, you had to use Latin if you were a serious scholar), like… thinking all along.

 

With the goal of describing man with complete frankness and using himself as his most frequent example, Michel de Montaigne first published his “Essays” in 1580. This collection of 107 chapters encompasses a wide variety of subjects – he saw the most basic elements of man as variety and unpredictability. “What do I know?” This embodies the spirit of the entire volume, for it reflects both the inquisitory search for intellectual knowledge as well as the more personal anecdotal quality of a work that has had an enduring impact on both French and English literature for hundreds of years.

 

He flits around, from a thought to another. No rigor, no plan. Really!

  • “I love the poetic gait, by leaps and gambols”
  • “I lose myself, more by permit than by inattention”
  • “My ideas follow each other, but sometimes from far away”
  • “Wisdom has its excesses, and has no less need of moderation than folly”

 

So : breathe! Life is short! Your blog is not perfect, it’s bricolage and brain odd jobs. Who cares? Share! If Montaigne can do it, you can do it!

Is this casualness French? Nope : wisdom & folly, there are everywhere, little soul, right?

 

Thanks for reading!

 

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The Juxtaposition Principle

ONE

I’m a bookseller, and this morning I talked with a lady who needed books and inspiration to write something for a funeral.

It’s easy to find this, but always in “squares”. Wells.

I mean, you’ll find things from Catholics, from Philosophy, in Spirituality books, in Literature, Buddhism, etc.

But I know a book from a woman who helps the reader to cope with ordeal, in one single book, from texts and quotes from : journalists, priests, masters, buddhists, writers from other centuries, from today, etc…

It’s a great book because “help” seems to come from everywhere, and also because you feel these things are universal, and because it’s interesting to find links between different states of mind. It’s not a well, it’s an ocean…

TWO

I call the Juxtaposition Principle a way to (maybe casually, at least with a certain freedom) to present an heterogeneity.

Serve yourself.

THREE

In the bookstore I do this constantly :

If, for example, there’s an offer for pocket books, I will present 25 different books in a single front display, with : self help, sociology, philosophy, art, anthropology, music and history. Juxtaposition. I do it on purpose, and so there.

Usually, managers don’t understand that.

They want “massive bestsellers front walls”, with one single book presented by the hundreds. This says to the customers : “I’m huge, obey, don’t think : BUY!!”.

My way says :

  1. Let yourself be surprised
  2. There are many levels on this knowledge ladder : choose your stair
  3. It can be fun to find the links between the books
  4. You can be curious if you want
  5. I’m a bookseller and I present these to you, you can follow or not
  6. Maybe theres’s a message here : do you find it?
  7. What is the common trait here?
  8. These are NOT new books, but classics, or different ones : explore
  9. Disobey advertising, find your way into this tree!
  10. Be smart
  11. Etc

FOUR

I wrote an article about this Juxtaposition Principle about my Instagram. Because, evidently you see me coming : Constantly Random is an Instagram flaw

And I absolutely and willingly and by choice do this for my blog.

It’s not about fashion, or traveling, or IA. It’s about MANY things. Juxtaposition.

And of course, I know you know that there’s a little music hidden in this Juxtaposition here.

It doesn’t work that well, but I reached “real” 251 followers today, which gives me 430 followers in total. Not thousands, but I’m happy though. You my followers are curious explorers. And I love you.

Have a great day!!

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Instagram : tashaenpapier

“Well roared, Lion” : Chronicle 43

Memory gilds; reality brings about disillusions.
Ernst Jünger

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When we get a sign, maybe it has no other meaning than to raise our alertness.

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Work sometimes with people who trust more in your talent than you do.

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Some zones in life are incomprehensible.

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Sometimes you have to choose but everything is great, thus what do you choose?

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Memories are places, often, oui ?

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Sliding out of assignations…

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“She’s seeking ersatz”

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Curses of the now : goals, and counts. You need to reach, or to win, you obey numbers. To compete is to lose all appeal.

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On a stinking territory,
practice coldness.
When mud’s frozen,
it’s easier to walk
Ernst Jünger

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Two points of view :

  1. “So, nothing happens?”
  2. “Don’t worry, nothing happens…”

 

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You can now buy me a coffee!

Miracle Mornings (for bloggers and duck hunters)

Well… this book (who tells you that it’s good to wake up early) is also a success in France. I just checked on ze Internet to discover they printed dozens of more, like Miracle Morning for writers, families, executives, whatever. Money is good, take it where it is!

We could offer a bigger variety, like MM to pee, MM mindfulness, MM for single fathers, MM sex and MM for photographers who like poetry, or MM for those who work on a thesis about Middle Age in Finland. Well, they did MM for Real Estate agents!

Well, it says : Wake up early. That’s all! The “not-so-obvious” blurb is wrong. It is. You just have to pull the idea-string to do it. Wake up early means… you have to jump into bed early (or you’ll be like a craving coffee sleepy slipperhead). It also means this :

You’ll have time in the quiet morning for yourself.

After all, in evenings, we all are drunk and exhausted by our day, right? Kids, noise, schedules, commuting, TV bullshittery, errands erranding, and so on : this is all melt and stuck in our head like a boule of grease, and at 8 PM you just look like an incoherent irritated dead hive.

Pill or no pill : Go to bed and sleep at 9 PM. At 5 in the morning you’ll be like a jumping happy zebra. Coffee, shower, then do what you like : blog, read, breathe, make love slowly, then go biking, or watch the sun waking up in colors, naked feet in the grass (if it’s summer – or all year long if you live in Califloridania).

Sshhhh…

Almost all my blogs articles are written hours before I go to work. I can’t do any good things in evenings – or maybe articles which are in need to be very casually written (yes, some of them need that).

Well, if you HAVE to wake up at 5 to commute & work immediately, that’s not fun anymore. I’m sorry! I lived like that for a year. I was back home at 3:30 PM and crashed in sleep anywhere in a minute, like a bovine patty-chip-dung : schplaff.

Not good for any creativity, I agree. The only thing I could do with this brain is to collect forks or avant-garde screwdrivers. Swell!

If you wake up at 4 AM because you are a hunter, I don’t like you. Killing ducks and deers is not cool. It hurts them. Not miracle morning at all! Gunshots during dawn, come on! It’s bad morning for animals, you disturb birds chirping, and it’s bad for your kharma. I wish you walk into a huge French cow chip, so there!

Have a nice day, everyone!

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