“This” Tropism : what you read understands you

The King of Kings of the world, for this, is Marcel Proust.

Buy, one day, a good translation of “A la Recherche du Temps Perdu” (In Search of Lost Time). If you want to explore Proust, buy first How Proust Can Change Your Life by Alain De Botton, it’s a really great book, and a great key to this author. Buy it for your birthday! Say it’s from Jean-Pascal, OK?

I try, here, next to my little tools, to talk about “very little movements of the minds”, what we call here “Tropismes”.

There is ONE tropism you know pretty well, you blog reader, it’s this one :

When you read an article and you jump off you chair saying : “It’s true! I feel that too! Never seen it written though!”.

It’s lovely to suddenly see someone who struggles with the same tiny mind movements as you, right?

Someone wrote one day that

We read to know we’re not alone

Isn’t it true?

 

Jean-Pascal

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Gleanpickupping seeds & tools in a Gidon Kremer interview

In a French grey morning of August, I’ve had my coffee with two good slices of brioche, frame window staring, in front of an ominous sky, at the cut out moving trees in the wind, shhhh.

Mind wandering…

According to your job, your availability, your passions, you have different way of “entering contact with reality” :

  • A photographer type will watch around him with the “Can I take a picture here, when, from where?”.
  • A musician type will analyze some new song he hears, decorticating it like an alarm-clock.
  • A poet type will find a good word in a book then might begin to weave a poem in his head.
  • The climber type will watch these city walls… etc…

You… just have to put your “mode on” (and YES, you can have many “modes on” ready in your head, haeccity oblige).

 

I read an interesting interview of Gidon Kremer, violonist, in a classical music magazine. I read this interview with two modes on.

  1. First was : “Find maybe some music to listen to” (I found Schumann, Weinberg, Arvo Pärt, and a Prokofiev melody)…
  2. The other one was my blogger mode : “What little structure, what tool, what tropism can I find in his interview?”.

 

So, well, I learned things about Gidon Kremer himself, his friends, career, evolutions, wonders, etc. He’s an interesting person, the typical clever artist (for me he’s a cousin of Bill Bruford, the drummer).

Eventually, my second “mode on” found quotes, wonders, seeds to plant (here or there) and to meditate on :

  • We live a physical house, but also in some spiritual homes, other “places” we belong to.
  • Playing very few notes is more difficult than pure virtuosity.
  • When you find difficult to play or understand something, you maybe need to find parallel structures in other artists or situations : comparison enrichment.
  • You can explore a field (movies, music) with artists, eras, but also labels or studios, producers, etc. Let’s write something about ECM.
  • Should an artist listen or study what he did in his past? (Kremer never listens what he recorded in previous years).
  • When an artist collaborates, there’s a need of “mutual listening”.
  • Sometimes we miss something. Friends around us indicate things or persons but we don’t listen – when we maybe should.
  • Then and therefore : what is to catch up? How do we? What is “to redeem”, how?
  • “Seeking perfection is the enemy of beauty”

 

Etc etc. I found a few more. Whatever. Each line is a door to a new room, which is full of questions. How to drive “mutual listening”? What becomes virtuosity with very little notes to play? Where the frontier to find between catching up and letting go? Etc…

I found this too : when you have one or many “modes of exploration”, it becomes difficult sometimes to be in direct contact. You ALWAYS have a filter on, and that can be exhausting!

We have to find back a way to quit our introvert-analyzer inner computer to… touch things. I suppose it’s what great artists can do, having the great ability to move it like a lever, a slider, from 0 to 100%, from “I know this without any words” to “Analyze and peel it off to understand it”. Where is yours?

 

Thanks for reading!

 

To write this article, I needed music. I chose Weinberg by Kremer – of course. The YouTube link is under the sleeve, downstairs :

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Minuscule Patron or Sponsor

When you become rich, you wonder what to do with your Scrooge McDuck money. Of course, it’s smart to invest most of it to… make more money, right? That’s what people do.

If I had millions, I have a fantasy, though : minuscule patronage.

I have a problem of vocabulary here. In France we call “un mécène” a person who has money and decides to help a cause or an artist. In the old times, Queens and Kings were helping musicians and painters. Dictionaries give me “patron” or “sponsor“, maybe “donor” or “granter“. Come on! What do I choose here?

I earn millions every month. Instead of putting my money in BIG causes, I spend 15 minutes a day looking for a good person. A small restaurant, a cook beginner, a smart blogger, a broken heart, a photographer without a good camera, etc…

When I find him/her, I give $5000. Once. Then goodbye, I go in my day. Until the day after. Or the week after, it depends on the money you want to give!

OK, I volunteer (to receive, or to help choose-and-give) 🙂

 

Have a  nice day!

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Instagram : __bodylanguage__

Follow Fallow & Charging Up, the other way of non-blogging…

There’s a type of weapon in different video games like Marathon from Bungie or even one of the first Star Wars game : Dark Forces.

This “pistol”, phaser, whatever, is empty. You have to pull the trigger, then you hear it CHARGING : PiiiuuuUUUU – you have to wait – when it’s ready, there’s a little light showing and you can shoot. Bang! (or PEWW!).

L’idée of pushing on something to charge up it until it’s “ready” is a pattern, a tool. Call it a structure if you want.

In special intercoursing inbedweekends, a smart lover is able to keep his partner on a high plateau for hours. He watches her closely, he charges her up – not constantly, but regularly – never reaching the explosion. When things become serious, she’s like a planet of high energy, ready to reach the stars…

OK let’s back to business! :

There are two ways of non-blogging.

  1. You need sometimes to stop writing, that’s it. Most of the time, it’s because your mind is busy elsewhere : you’re sick, you fall in love, you’re out of good ideas, your gas tank is empty and your car stopped. This is really no big deal. You’ll find it back. Keep a white fragile string linked to it, ready to pull. It’ll come, you know…
  2. The other way is… because you “charge up”. You stop blogging, but you feel that your brain stays “on” : you read, you think, you gather ideas, you write many drafts, you keep working! It’s about seeds, and energy. It’s not empty waiting : you write a paragraph or two, then you go to another draft, etc. It’s like the pistol in the games. Your don’t post, because your writing skills are charging up!

 

This little dial is interesting to find, then to watch. What, in your life, in your job, in your creativity, is charging up? How is it weaved with waiting? Can you work on something else while you do?

OK, now the pistol is charged, green lighted, ready to shoot. After a couple of days (weeks?) of non-blogging, here you are, looking like a sphere of pulsing magic energy : now you’re ready to post five articles a day. Ain’t it too much, silly?

Bahhh nope. Your followers will deal with your sudden generosity, don’t worry…

Thanks for reading!

 

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I wrote every single 510 articles of this blog from a porch in Santa Rosa, California. And you?

Our brain has its own topology.

I wrote for 4 years for a Swiss company in Zurich. I translated texts from English to French, almost on a daily basis. When I was writing these, I remember VERY CLEARLY that my mind was on a very precise place : a field, next to the house I grew up in. Grass.

As a kid, I played on this field for years – maybe from 2 to 16 years old,  you see? Frisbee, soccer, hide and seek. I remember the light in summer nights, in cold October. I remember playing with my brother with a polystyrene-winged glider. I remember watching Epeira spiders, playing with firecrackers, model cars or marbles in the sandox which was behind the privet hedge…

I wrote for four years for this company in my apartment, but my mind – I really don’t know or understand why – was in the lights of this little field. Childhood linked. Every paragraph.

Now I’m 50 and I blog as I can, in English, on WordPress, since a couple of years. I really like it and I’d say it’s really the only way I found to stay alive, standing up, a buoy. It’s very little, but it is what it is : I have a little more than 110 real followers.

When I write, in English, for this blog, I’m in Santa Rosa, California. I have never been in this place. I just saw a few dozen pictures of it. It’s a porch, behind a house. When I write, there’s nobody around, I’m alone. But I see it constantly. I see the sky. The flowers. The wooden floor, the lanterns. A little round table. Doors which lead to the inside. I’m here, writing, mostly in the sun. It’s a GREAT place, and I’m happy to live here… when I write.

In reality I am in a good apartment in the North of France. It’s quiet and full of light. Thank you.

My mind, though, is in California. Why? I don’t know! It’s my brain who decides that. It puts me there. And it STAYS here. Probably an ideal place to be happy?

 

Do YOU also have a place where your brain sits when you write? Am I alone?

Thanks for reading!

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“#Blog for yourself and not to please an audience” – wait a minute…

I read many times about big success youtubers who “lost their soul” because they stopped being themselves – instead of it, they began to blog to “please the audience”. That’s baaad! This makes sense, right? Bending their style or their personality to what they supposed to know about the viewers is probably wrong. And each time, the article I read told it this way. Bad bad bad. Nah. On the naughty step!

When I think of that, though, I hear a bell in my head. That’s so precisely evident that my senses are on alert. I know, it’s a reflex.

There’s something similar in poetry. The “poet” is supposed to be “inspired” (by what?), and peeing gorgeous metaphors because… he’s a genius. BUT even the greatest poets agree to say that there’s probably a critic inside their magic brain. Like “another guy” inside, who analyzes and channels/canalyzes the flow.

Let’s listen to Baudelaire :

I pity those poets who are guided by instinct alone: I regard them as incomplete. In the spiritual life of the former a crisis inevitably occurs when they feel the need to reason about their art, to discover the obscure laws in virtue of which they have created, and to extract from this study a set of precepts whose divine aim is infallibility in poetic creation. It would be unthinkable for a critic to become a poet; and it is impossible for a poet not to contain within him a critic. Therefore the reader will not be surprised at my regarding the poet as the best of all critics.

Charles Baudelaire

This is a perfect pattern, a tool for this article :

Here, we’re searching for a frontier between “I write for myself” and “I write for my audience”.

  • If you write 100% for yourself and you’re successful, good to you! You can stop reading this article and have subtle sex with your muse. Take your time, she likes it.
  • If you write for your audience, you’re a backwoodsman losing yourself on the paths of wrongness and your audience will sense it. You forgot why they loved you. Kill yourself.

BUT

Think about Baudelaire, our French poet. You are probably aware that you never REALLY write for yourself : you, from the beginning, took care of the readers TOO. You analyze, you think, you weave your words, YOU are your first audience, this is it. It’s a radioactive pattern. You write, you work daily, you throw a bunch of arrows, you write for you AND you take care of your audience. You want to be loved, that’s all! You know the trees, and you also know there’s a forest. You’re great, because you dance with both. That’s great!

Thanks for reading!

 

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Writers & Bloggers : Pleasure of bad books?

(Sorry for my wobbly French today…)

Bad books (and blogs) can be useful for a writer – but I suppose it’s a low level thing.

  • It (possibly) can make your brain move, like this :
    • I would have written it better,
    • in another way,
    • I would have added this and that, etc…
  • It makes you angry, and you can try to use this strange gas-oil which is anger.
  • You can say that the author is a spirit-enemy (the useful thing of feeling or “inventing an enemy” is an old trick), it triggers your mobilization. Fight him… and write.
  • Any negative feeling (next to anger is bitterness, hate, sarcasms, etc) can be used too. Your clockworkbrain is activated. Some guys (in your head) will step into the breach. Geronimo!
  • After all, you could maybe find a good idea or a pleasant formulation in a bad book or a bad blog, it’s really the idea of a seed found within dust and rocks. Steal it and make it grow your own way, haha!

 

I suggest you prepare and foresee an antidote (a good book) – to clean your head, by Jove!

This, of course, is an exercise. You can not separate books and blogs between “good ones and bad ones”. It’s all relative, silly. It depends.

You have to consider that what YOU write can also be considered the same way by another reader. Your wordings as a bad place, as a bad example, inspiring better things? Awwweee! That’s a good (low level) thing, right? 🙂

 

Thanks for reading!

 

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