Safer paths?

There’s been an interesting post on the marvelous Facebook of Humans of New York (which you should follow, it’s… humanist).

One guy was in NYC, in his mid-30, struggling to be an actor with no or little success, living paycheck to paycheck. The people’s answers under the post were interesting, picking paths for him (from “go on you’ll make it” to “wisdom says you should let go now”).

I chose an answer from a reasonable person, who chose a family life. Drawing a three branched tree :

  1. People with a more safe and secure life, as a choice, staying anonymous.
  2. People with dreams and passion, wishing for success (in entertainment).
  3. People “mourning unfulfilled dreams” within an ordinary life : they were too afraid to try and dare.

With a conclusion : “Not all dreams work out” and people fall down. But also the maybeness of dreams become true – with the eternal behind-law which says approximatively “When the Gods want to punish you they fulfill your dreams”.

Of course, the actor was necklacing castings, with very little success. It looked like  lottery and gamble…

It becomes a game : What’s worse, to have an ordinary life complaining you should have been an artist, or to struggle for decades until nothing happens? What if you succeed, and it’s boring? What if my book is at least edited and no one buys it? Are there stages in these paths? What if you succeed and then fall into oblivion? What if you decide to move and act at mid-life? Or the contrary, disappear after success?

Oh oh, my three-branched tree became a tree!

Thanks for reading!

IMG_2750.jpg

 

 

 

50 crisis is not 40 crisis. And some movies.

Happy new year (and decade)!

And sorry for my terrible English…

 

50 crisis is not 40 crisis. Tatata. We shouldn’t mix up these. This is not the same thing AT ALL.

(I know, age is just a number and a convention… But here’s my article though)

The middle age (or mid-life) crisis is a big one, it’s when you get 40. First of all, you feel you’re suddenly OLD (according to your youth’s criteriums). People around you divorce and make a big crisis, a depression, etc. You’ll buy books, it’s the midlife crisis, voilà.

The 50 years old crisis seems different, less dramatic, but in fact is maybe much more a big deal. It’s bigger. It gets deeper. It breaks much more things. Now you don’t laugh anymore (even sarcastically).

I played with the IMDB keyword to remember or discover some movies about this subject. After all, art often tells us things, right?

Mid-life crisis (40 years old), gives Midnight in Paris (Woody Allen) – “Life is a little unsatisfying”, driven by nostalgia, A Single Man (Tom Ford) around the idea of suicide after a loss, 8 1/2 (Federico Fellini) about a director who don’t have ideas anymore, Groundhog Day (“My job is so boring”). American Beauty (Sam Mendes) is pretty cruel, The Bridges of Madison County (Clint Eastwood) is around having an island in time (a few days) to break the grey. Then stay the memories. Sideways : travel and drink wine! The Big Chill : reunite with old friends and talk (when one of us dies). Hannah and Her Sisters (daring adultery). Pierrot le Fou (quitting everything and being crazy).

Crisis, boredom, marriage explosions. It’s classical, and the solutions (or at least : tries) are numerous : fleeing, daring, breaking, change…

 

50 years old crisis seems to give more intense crazy things (Birdman), drastic funny changes (Fried Green Tomatoes), wandering in absurdity & disillusions (Lost in Translation, Sofia Coppola), visit the past to remember its craziness (Broken Flowers), dealing with many problems (Wonder Boys), dramas & desperate fly away (Husbands), be surprised by an epiphany (Another Woman, Woody Allen), playing with destruction and suicide (The Arrangement, Kazan), talking about the emptiness & fail of everything (La Terrazza). Summer Wishes, Winter Dreams, Twice in a Lifetime…

 

Hugo said 40 is the youth becoming old, and 50 is the youth of the old age. Menopause for women doesn’t help, for sure!

What is it?

  1. Transition.
  2. Maybe harder if not much evolved in the past decades.
  3. A tendency to look at the past, instead of future.
  4. Absence of new projects.
  5. A feeling of emergency.
  6. Perturbations (loss, divorce).

 

Movies are interesting because they show what people try to do. From entertainment (buying a big car, trying new sports) to depression, suicide, love, waiting, traveling, breaking patterns, talking, finding sidekicks…

Somes ideas? Other movies? At fifty, will you roar, think or cry?

 

Voilà! I’m 53. It’s 2020. Merry Happy New Year!

Thanks for reading!

Marcello-Mastroianni-min

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What if we were many (inside)?

The idea of us having two faces or two sides is pretty common (and fascinating). A part of shadow, or a “the contrary of me, inside me”, anything schizophrenic…

So maybe we really have “another me” inside us. Most of the time, the idea says that the other one is very different. A quiet person has a tyrant inside. A mean human has a shy kid hidden in their head. Etc.

Sometimes it’s funny to extend and combine. For example, take the couple Lennon/McCartney, the tortured intellectual/happy fellow genius songwriting couple of the Beatles. When you read a little more about them, you see… the contrary.

Well, OK. Then you pull the string and ask some questions :

  • When does the other one come out?
  • How? Who triggers it? Why?
  • What is needed? Music? Events? Alcohol?
  • What if we all fall in love with the one who can see inside us? Who says “Hello you’re interesting” to everybody else they find inside?

 

Because yes : What if we were many (inside)? What kind of dance is it? It’s a metaphor, OR COURSE, but what does it show?

What if someone inside, hidden and protected (of course, protected!), one day takes the lead?

What if someone inside is suddenly missing, dead or sick or weakening?

What about three? Four? What if it was an accurate way to talk about us? Therefore what?

 

Thanks for reading!

 

image.jpg

Both Sides NOW

The “Part of Shadow” according to C.G. Jung : an investigation

The Mastroianni/Mitchum State

Robert Mitchum (1917-1997) and Marcello Mastroianni (1924-1996) were two actors. Both are known for their state of mind, which are different and similar at the same time.

They don’t give a tinker’s damn

Where? Well, it spouts from all the texts, books, articles and interviews about them :

  1. The characters they impersonate often seem… floating, or watching, rarely “intense”. See Mitchum in Ryan’s Daughter.
  2. In their relationships with directors. Fellini, for example, adored Mastroianni because he was not the “I have another question” type. He just followed. He did what he was told to do. Like a clay ball.
  3. In their work. They never seemed to work a lot. But they were ready though. Mitchum is known for partying and drinking all night, then appearing on the set in the morning almost… defeated, then giving a splendid acting work in front of the camera.
  4. In their lives.

 

This “I’m not really here” state is hard to name. Aloof sounds a bit snob, right? And indeed I don’t think it’s really a decision.

Here we also touch the Paradox of the Actor : “Do great actors experience the emotions they are displaying?”.

What are the limits of Actor’s Studio‘s methods? Mitchum was much less pulling faces than De Niro in their respective role of the bad guy in the two different versions of Cape Fear (1962 and 1991) – and Mitchum is said to be much more terrifying.

 

Is it a state of floating? Of being a “watcher”? Of being cool? Clever? Indifferent? Polite? A genius? A zen master like “I observe but I don’t judge”?

Is it a wisdom, an elegance of life, a modern, Chekhovian way of knowing that all is NOT that important, and we’ll die pretty soon, and let’s stand up cool, nothing big deal?

 

Thanks for reading!

 

 

 

 

Intention of Effect Kills Effect

Chekhov, Fellini and Sisyphus’ lesson : “Slide, mortals, don’t bear down”

The Rhonda Byrne ladder

The Rhonda Byrne ladder?

The Law of Attraction, “the principle that you attract whatever you focus your energy on (good or bad)” has a best seller : The Secret, by Rhonda Byrne.

Of course, this is crap. If you’re robbed or you house gets on fire, it’s NOT because you “negatively thought about it”. And if you want to loose weight, just try to “think thin” and watch the results, haha.

There’s an “other” secret in this book and the Law of Attraction : the author doesn’t give a monkey’s about “how” it works.

She mainly says : you want something, you ask for it, you watch, and if you get it, thank you.

 

This is obviously a ladder – and it’s maybe the reason the book had such success :

  1. If you’re a religious person, you’re in your warm bath : Jesus (or your Angel) always takes care of you and just offered you this perfect parking place you needed, cool.
  2. If you think the Universe conspires to help you, it’s the same. Just attract what you need by thinking about it. It’s the secret.
  3. If you are a normal, good sensed person, you can play it too : want some, ask some (to a tree, or whatever), watch around and if you get it, thank (the tree or whatever – you don’t care), just thank.

 

Both (sorry, troth) solutions of the ladder work. What this “game” provides is maybe… focus and good will.

If you get up on the wrong side of the bed, you really have a good chance to spend a bad day, right? And it’s not because of the Law of Attraction. If you want you daughter to succeed her exams, think about it : do you pray the Lord, or do you spend time with her when she needs it?

 

My tool here is : Where are other ladders? Which concept will we choose to operate on, from the bottom to the top, effectiveness wise?

 

Thanks for reading!

IMG_4396.jpg

 

Tyutchev, Russia, Reason & Faith

Fyodor Tyutchev (1803-1873) was a Russian poet.

I need him here for a poem which says that you can not understand Russia with reason : you can only believe in Russia.

It’s a structure for the mind, a way to deal with reality.

 

Here are a few attempts to translate the quatrain :

Russia cannot be understood with the mind alone,
No ordinary yardstick can span her greatness:
She stands alone, unique –
In Russia, one can only believe.

You can’t understand Russia with your brain,
You can’t measure it with the standard instruments:
She has a particular status –
In Russia you can only believe.

Russia is understood not by the mind,
Nor by a common rule.
She has a special stature of her own:
In Russia one can only believe.

Russia cannot be understood by the intellect,
nor can it be measured by the common measure;
it has its own particular form,
you can only have faith in Russia

Don’t try to get it with your mind,
Don’t try to fit in your dimension:
There is no Russia of your kind –
Here your belief is only mention.

Russia is a thing of which
the intellect cannot conceive.
Hers is no common yardstick.
You measure her uniquely:
in Russia you believe!

 

Where do we use this structure? In love maybe. In some decisions, or changes (“Do I want to have kids with this person?”). When something’s too big for your own experience.

It’s a bit oriental, right? Let go reason : embrace…

 

Thanks for reading!

80294024fcea8309c65be739c3da1f9b.jpg

Joseba Eskubi

 

 

 

Умом Россию не понять,
Аршином общим не измерить:
У ней особенная стать –
В Россию можно только верить.

Big Boredom

This week I read (I underlined) :

A UK wide survey reveals the extent to which the younger generation feel disillusioned, with the MAJORITY (89 percent) of 16-29 year olds, claiming their life lacks purpose or meaning.

Then I learned about three French guys this summer :

  • A Franco-Canadian man, a 44-year-old musician, died after being attacked by a grizzly bear in a remote area of Canada last week. He was surprised by the animal in his sleep. He was travelling along the Mackenzie River to record sounds of nature for a musical project.
  • The adventure of an “eco-adventurer” originating from northern France and living in Toronto, which was supposed to last more than two months, ended tragically during the second stage of his crossing of Canada by bike and kayak.
  • The body of a French hiker, 27, who disappeared in Italy after making an emergency call 10 days ago has been found in a ravine near Naples. He made a plea for help on 9 August, saying he had fallen down a cliff and broken both legs while walking in south-west Italy.

 

Then this :

Antidepressant usage has increase almost 400% over the past few years. 23% of women in their 40s and 50s take antidepressants. Women are 2 1/2 times more likely to take an antidepressant than men. Antidepressant usage does not vary by income level.

In other words, it’s safe to say there’s a health, happiness, and antidepressant prescription epidemic going on in USA. Why are people so miserable? Or why are antidepressant medications on the rise?

 

Antidepressants-Statistics.png

 

Then, I found this chart :

rviipp7czy131-1.jpg

 

Today :

Jessi Combs, famed racer, skilled fabricator, lover of all things automotive, and the “fastest woman on four wheels,” as reportedly died while attempting to set a new land speed record in Oregon. She was just 36 years old. 

 

So this is slowly becoming : what’s happening?

I asked friends, who all agree. In the old ages, we human beings struggled to survive, then (and also), we were constantly working. But today is the days of… more free time. Then how do you live? I wondered once :

https://afrenchtoolbox.wordpress.com/2016/12/29/hey-how-do-you-keep-yourself-together/

Cuddling, reading, sex, alcohol, drugs, sports, art, work, friends, thinking, religion.

You can google “how to live” or “live to the fullest”, you’ll find things possible (“know yourself”, “be moderate”) and hard to find cursors (“be curious”, “set goals”, “laugh”) when you feel this lack of “purpose & meaning”.

 

Voilà. I worry too much for my human sisters & brothers. Too much empathy, I bet.

What did you choose, between the big families?

  1. Evasion, with pills, alcohol or drugs?
  2. Engagement, with politics or religion, rules?
  3. Moderation, with culture, knowledge, watching the world?
  4. Pushing limits, with speed, danger, exploration?

 

 

JP

 

IMG_0456

#change #motivation