La Dérive is the French “drift”

You’ll probably smile with the concept of “Dérive” (Drift) – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dérive – a “revolutionary strategy” invented by French guys in the fifties :

It is an unplanned journey through a landscape, usually urban, in which participants drop their everyday relations and “let themselves be drawn by the attractions of the terrain and the encounters they find there”“.

They talk about “studying the terrain”, “emotional disorientation”, “potential creation of situations”.

Well, you don’t need a theory to wander in a city, right? But it means something though :

  1. You have to walk – let the car somewhere, because a car means obedience : follow roads and rules and traffic lights.
  2. You have to be proactive. La Dérive is a constant decision. It’s not to wander. Your antennas are opened, you watch, walk, decide, take oblique paths, little streets, underground passages.
  3. You can study the city (psychogeography), or make pictures, of look for inspiration, miss/mister poet!
  4. As situationnists say, you may be ready for situations. Talk with an old lady on a bench. Question an antique dealer. Buy a splendid old book/painting…

Of course, I think of America. This country (and its cities) is not that old, and it’s so big that many Europeans feel lost in the USA, from Lost Angeles to the smallest cities. It’s all made for cars! How to wander in any city when you don’t have an 13th Century church to visit, and old streets like in Genova, Budapest or Edimburg?…

Without the possibility of drifing La Dérive, we old continent inhabitants are a bit frustrated.

This led me to Le Flâneurhttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flâneur – “from the French noun flâneur, means “stroller”, “lounger”, “saunterer”, or “loafer”.”. Which one is correct?

It’s not about onlooking, gawking, tourisming. These guys are like zombies, right? They follow.

No : Le Flâneur decides to lose time. It’s about curiosity. Decisions. Parks and arcades, moving along with a camera, or a notebook and a pen. It’s intelligence and focusing, freedom and disobedience (of following roads), having an own rhythm. It helps you to think. “A process of navigating erudition” (Taleb). It’s the opposite of tourism.

We French like “to have a mind to our own”, to oppose this “form of decadence”, against effective time, money, shopping and other capitalist activities.

La Place Furstenberg is a very quiet place in Saint-Germain des Prés. Like “out of time”. Delacroix worked here. It’s the last scene of Martin Scorcese’s Age of Innocence. It’s in the core of Paris, lost in a middle of small streets… In these streets, you can almost breathe the long history of the city. And there’s no way you can park your car there!

Walk. Walk along little sinuous Middle Age streets. You’ll maybe hear echoes of the French Revolution, oui oui!

“Ah, ça ira, ça ira, ça ira!”. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ça_Ira

When you are in Paris with someone, do the Furstenberg test. It’s not the Eiffel tower, there’s nothing really to watch. It’s just a mood, out of cars and tourists. Watch your guest, that’s all.

Shopping, stopping, asking where to go now, watching? What did he do?

Tool :

What is La Dérive in other places, in creativity, writing, in life? How (and what) to disobey to find inspiration? How to change gear (from car to feet)? What for? Have you thought about what to change (lever) or stop (button) or watch (dial) to change your point of view and become more aware of what’s happening? Do you need to create “situations”, new layouts to invent inventing invention?

Thanks for reading!

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One-Lined Ideas for Writers, Part II

The suites of transformations you need to express things, respecting the conditions your have to respect.

You write, you read what you just wrote, in a loop. A closed balanced between you and you. A pleasure can resonate.

Pull weapons out of other people’s work – to use you own resources.

Find the person you write for – even if this person does not really exist. Golem it.

Use what is made for use. Find a drawer : open it. Break what is fragile. Push what tilts.

Try what has never be done, but appears as possible.

Your work can always been gone back over. This is your job. Find your “until”.

Try a thousand ways to write an idea until you meet a favorable words figure.

Find a force. Find where to use it. Apply a force.

At one moment you are attracted by what is needed, by what goes forward to the goal.

You dream to write, you desire to write, you call. But it’s not to be confused with the state where you MAKE.

Our most precious states are unstable – the artist answers trying to stabilize them.

What you feel. What you do. What you want to make feel.

 

All these microseeds come from Paul Valéry‘s Poietis (Poïétique). They aren’t quotes, I kneaded them for your pleasure. Have fun.

One-Lined Ideas for Writers, Part I

Thanks for reading!

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One-Lined Ideas for Writers, Part I

A writer doesn’t find his words. While he searches, he finds better ones.

How to read an instinct?

A writer places himherself on a place where he finds things on the left and language on the right.

The inventor saw, then showed.

Maybe art is one language opposed to the necessary disorder of the language.

A writer is able to abandon an idea in favor of another idea he found while he was looking for the words to tell the first one.

A worried sense of the possible, of the usable.

You have to find balance between intellect, exactitude, reason, cold, logical AND absurd harmonies, magical non sense, sensibility.

The geometric mind extracts signs, systems, structures and patterns from a question, a situation. Then he plays with the system, blind from reality, until he finds every useful aspects or facets he wants to put into light.

Embarrassments born from a find.

Some freedoms not imagined yet.

A writer who looks for the perfect effect. A writer who wants to learn something. Who’s right? One? Two? Both?

One secret is to give invisible things to the reader.

The one who wrote a verse wanted to move, not to be moved.

Importance of a text for an author, function of the unforeseen-ness it brings from himher to himherself while he builds it.

An idiot says a chair is a chair. The abundance of certain spirits is to use everything, to eat it, to turn around it and find patterns and possibles. A chair can be a ladder, a stake, a gym tool, a battering ram, a weapon, a stretcher, a cage…

All these microseeds come from Paul Valéry‘s Poietis (Poïétique). They aren’t quotes, I kneaded them for your pleasure. Have fun.

Thanks for reading!

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Tricks & Ropes : Two Apprentices

ONE

A Method is ideal, it’s a model, it’s abstract, transmissible and transferable, you can teach it. It’s logical, manageable, and you start from yourself to apply it.

TWO

There’s this new apprentice. He’s young, fast, has instinct, he’s casual, but clever. He’s doing pretty well!

But :

THREE

Of course, as soon as you work with life & its pertained complexities, things begin to hurt, to squeak, to skid and to run out of control eventually. One gets stuck. Two… crashes. Both are surprised!

FOUR

If you’re the person in charge, you have to deal with these apprentices. One has to learn suppleness and how to find colors. Two has to learn methods, to canalize.

FIVE

In French we say “Avoir du métier“, “To have some skills from working experience”.

  • Methods are effective quickly if you work on algorithms, on computer programming.
  • Instinct is great if you draw, take pictures or write poems. You go girl!

But :

There’s always this “stuck moment” where they understand (I hope so) that they have to learn the other skillside, THEN to learn how to build their own engine with both.

Both have to learn the ropes, the magical ones and the logical ones. One has to learn how to be like water, how to adapt quickly. Two has to learn rules (even to bend’em), to find where the levers are…

 

A diplomat, a teacher, a therapist,

 

This Patterntool can be used to study : Diplomacy, Teaching, Photography, Marriage, Poetry, Writing, Architecture, therapy : in every job involving humans or creativity, your skill is made of strict methods AND the fast ability to watch and adapt to the situation.

 

One question : in your field, on what platform of the scale are you?

 

Thanks for reading!

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The painter paints then steps back to judge then steps forward to paint then…

The painter paints then steps back to judge then steps forward to paint then…

All this in a loop.

As a perfect metaphor for creativity, which could be defined as :

a dance between effusion and lucidity

Every thinker-creator is aware of this dance of focus/de-focus, and this is a splendid territory to explore in its lightest nuances, its thinnest articulations.

I give you three examples I found from a book from Michel Thévoz :

  1. Artaud talked about an intellectual eye in the delirium : intelligence and folly never don’t merge, they revolve around each other.
  2. Dubuffet, a painter, advised practicing “alternated construction works”. One day on a painting, the day after on another one. A way to disembark as a visitor each morning.
  3. Michaud is famous because he tried drugs to create, but he was very clear on this : everything he wrote was after the dissipation of drugs effects, he wrote in the lucid phases of oscillation, and talks about “miserable miracles”.

 

There’s a need of a “New Eyes” state. Monet wished at times to be born blind and suddenly discover vision, to have a wished freshness…

Baudelaire and Valéry both talk about the urging need of having a critic inside a good poet.

Maybe one secret tool of every creator is disenchantment, is to surf on this descending wave which follow the “miserable miracles” of the fast defocused “inspiration”.

 

Tools :

We could go further, right? How, in your field (blogging, photography, poetry, teaching, management, advertising, writing?), do you articulate this necessary dance? Do you need external things to lose focus? Are you aware of useless rushes when you’re fast, effective and proud… to get nothing good at the end? Where and who is your inner critic? Is this person inside you too powerful, too weak? How is it activated? What would you add? You know what inspiration is, but how do you “fix” it? Do you need to? How do you canalize?

 

Thanks for reading!

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Poiesis & Craftman’s Task : two seeds for bloggers (and others)

In philosophy, poiesis is :

“The activity in which a person brings something into being that did not exist before”.

So what?

In itself, nothing, but I sensed around it a possible source of tools.

Paul Valéry – a French poet – in 1937, used this word in a more precise way :

To study the conditions of the generation of a work of art.

Ain’t it interesting? There’s meta here, of course. And I love to blog about… how, when and why we blog.

 

On Wikipedia I found this intriguing thing :

Dreyfus and Dorrance Kelly urge each person to become a sort of “craftsman” whose responsibility it is to refine their faculty for poiesis in order to achieve existential meaning in their lives and to reconcile their bodies with whatever transcendence there is to be had in life itself:

“The task of the craftsman is not to generate the meaning, but rather to cultivate in himself the skill for discerning the meanings that are already there.”

 

Ooohhh! Well, this could be one string of my harp, here, right? Seeking patterns and showing/sharing them is this.

 

Tools :

What do you think? Where is your “skill to discern meaning that are already there”? Do you use it? Why? What can it bring? Why is it interesting to study the way you work? Progress of course, but what else? Extension? Limitation? Effectiveness? Teaching it?

Thanks for reading!

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Stand up Blogging : “What begins commands” & Lost Branches

There are many ways to blog. You can write a novel chapter by chapter, or you can “react” to news in the world, or comment fashion, or new trends in food. You’re good.

My article talks about bloggers who needs ideas and inspiration. This is what I try to do, and I like this way, because it puts your brain in alert. You glean

Gleaning in loop : the “Gathering Seashells” Type

Finder Keeper Sharer, “What is my blog about?”

Blogger’s Words Horniness & consequences

You read a magazine, you talk with a friend, you got and email, you have a walk around the block, you bake, or you take a shower : Bim! (this is the sound of an idea coming to you).

Bim!

(The symbol is a bulb over your head, right?)

You hurry to sit in front of your computer. You click on “Write”, while your brain is already organizing things…

What begins commands. We all have our patterns, and when you start you more or less know where you’re going.

My tool here is :

Dial : Beware of “What begins commands”, because it’s too easy. You follow one path but :

  1. you could lose branch points
  2. you could ignore good bypasses
  3. your steam can hide possibilities.

Lever : Stand up, for blog’s sake! Finish your article if you’re too excited, but at one point, don’t publish. Stand up. I mean for real! Stand up and go away. Open a window. Wash a cup and a fork. Pet a cat. Breathe.

 

 

Flaubert, the French author who wrote Madame Bovary, had “un gueuloir”, a “scream room”. He was walking and yelling his texts in this room. It’s crazy? Not that much. You’ll have to find your own way. Just do something else while you think about your article or your page. Maybe print it and take a pen. You’ll find ideas, “furthers”, new branches, words, style nuggets, inversions, interesting bypasses, etc.

OK, go back writing now, you fool 😅

Thanks for reading!

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