Sharing space but nothing else

First I found this painting from Belmiro de Almeida (how, why, I don’t remember).

Wondered about what happened in this couple. She cries or at least is weighed down, but by what? And this man is smoking, thinking, probably powerless/helpless, but who knows? Maybe he’s angry? “Here we go again…”.

Is it a break up, a betrayal, jealousy, boredom, romantic disappointment?

Maybe like in Chekhov, it’s just some tears, because of the “something’s lacking in my life” syndrome?

My researches showed me the second painting : a crying woman, a “vacant look” man, and flowers on the ground. Mhhh, who copied the other?

Then I thought about Hopper, of course, with no tears but only a… moment.

I remember that some (female) friends of mine told me many times than their guy “wasn’t really talkative”.

Thus I remembered the “bored couples” series, photographed by Martin Parr – who is a love because he includes himself in the series (he is on two photos of the four I found for you). Parr showed many times he’s a part of what he sees…

 

So is it even an article? No I don’t think so! I cobbled these together :

  1. To remember I should find more paintings on this topic (I tried and failed today)
  2. To think about the idea I found in the Parr link : monogamy is maybe dumb
  3. To remember that my lady likes my random lectures (I’m a chatterbox)
  4. To go on liking the “what happens here?” in Arts
  5. What if a man was crying, and a woman sitting aside, indifferent?
  6. To remember I have to take care of my partner, even if she’s a real “handful”
  7. To pass it on to you : what ideas did you get, reading this?

 

Take care! Have a nice day!

JP

 

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Bored Couples on Display in Public Places

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Judgmental

ONE

Decades ago, a was in love with a painter, who one days asked me – a bit solemnly – what I was thinking about her recent work.

Then, the day after, I told a good friend that I didn’t say the truth. I didn’t like her recent work that much, but “I couldn’t have the heart to tell her”.

My friend gave me a roasting (is it the correct way to use this idiom?), and told me something I never forgot :

“When you’re asked that from a person you love, you have to tell the truth, silly!”

I think he was right. And I never forgot this good lesson.

TWO

I talked one day with someone who explained me that the first quality of her husband was “he is not judgmental”.

This annoyed me a lot because I don’t understand why and how should this be a “quality”.

Secondly, we… don’t even have this word in French! Therefore, WordReference and other sites tend to turn around it : “To have a tendency to carry critics”, or “To be fast to make value judgments”. Pfff!

THREE

Thus, my brain works and tries to understand why and how non-judgmental could be a “quality”.

If you ask someone to be non judgmental, is it because you are a mess, a complicated drama person, or a weathercock nobody can understand? Or is it because you have terrible flaws? I can imagine a drunk asking for that… “He doesn’t judge me, phew!”. Is it because YOU are judgmental therefore your man can’t be (because you don’t like to fight)?

So : a non-judgmental person is perfect! He never bothers you, right?

FOUR

All of this aside, it’s very surprising, because I think (like my friend at the beginning) that an important quality of a spouse (besides kindness, honesty, etc) is exactly to BE judgmental.

It means that he sees you, he values you, he wants to understand you, he likes to talk about these things, he wants your couple to be better, etc. Judge, think, connect, talk, ask : that’s couple life!

Hence, for me, to be non-judgmental in a couple is a bad sign. It shows that you lost the spirit of your lover. Or that you did put her on a pedestal, where she is “what she is” (she’s a handful, awe), and you can’t even really get, reach, understand her.

Or maybe that you accept her and everything from her, “she’s always right”, to have some peace and quiet.

If you judge, you’d be attacked as a demon, you should be reeducated. You don’t understand her.

FIVE

Ever heard of a double bind?

Value your man because he’s non judgmental, then reproach him to not get you, to take you for granted.

What kind of ohlalala gap is that?

A good path towards craziness (or depression, or violence), double bind is…

(you can also have sex to shut it off)

SIX

I ask and will always ask my wife to BE judgmental. “Stay connected, love, this is our stairs strategy : tell me what’s good, what’s wrong or weird, let’s talk! I hold you hand. Let’s talk. And tomorrow, my turn, OK?”.

She needs to be valued, recognized, seen exactly as she is, complicated but genuine. She’s amazing!

OUTRO

I maybe don’t get how “judgmental” is radioactively charged in English. Therefore I don’t understand this word. What do you think?

And I am really convinced it’s an important problem. Judge me. Please do! It means you see me, it means we’re interlinked.

Thanks for reading!

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Surmount Influence & Engulfing

ONE (INTRO)

As I write in another language I have to think about questions like :

“What’s the différence between To overcome and To surmount?”

I chose surmount, then I have a problem with “To engulf”. I want to translate “L’engloutissement”.

Of course engloutir/engulf means like in English “to swallow entirely”, but it’s differently charged.

I saw “engulfed by flames”, which makes sense, but in French it’s more about… water. The Engulfed Cathedral is a piano piece by Claude Debussy. Englouti means devoured by water (not and never by flames, for example).

TWO

Novel writers have often the problem to solve : to surmount an influence. All the shades of influence, from the master you read a lot in your life to the big shock of discovering a genius.

William Faulkner, Marguerite Duras or Thomas Bernhard are examples of big styles you have to overcome.

You have weapon of choice : you can stop reading this author, trash the books and mourn over for a while, or you can fight fire with fire (and words with words) : write your own book in this not-your-style style, hoping it’ll empty you.

Then you’ll swim in another water : YOURS.

If you don’t do that, you’ll be engulfed, so there.

THREE

As a father and a reader, I discovered very early that one of the deep primitive danger for a child is to be engulfed in her/his mother’s love.

Mother and baby, it’s a fusion, right? The baby opens to her/his mother, and so does she. They just… merge.

The father, then, has the role to take the kid outside this bubble. From time to time, come with me, boy, let’s watch the world!

It is one way, maybe, to surmount the engulfment of a kid in her/his mother’s love…

FOUR

I think it happens with other people, with love. Friendship Engulfment or Sisterly Engulfment or Marital Engulfment as a possible danger.

There, you’re not… swallowed by the other (though I think it can happen, with controlling people), but by the relation itself.

OUTRO

What do you need to overcome this? A third person to show you paths of the world and the joy of exploration? Fight the bore with the bore, draining it until the ground?

Surmounting Influence is a pattern to watch.

 

Thanks for reading!

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“Biases to Pieces” – when life goes wrong, do something unusual

“More of the Same Thing”, when insisting is a failure

Savoir Attendre – Know How to Wait

 

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“Intentions vs Dispositions” & Widenings

ONE

Bourdieu explains this concept (which is a GREAT dial to watch) in his conferences about Manet.

To make is short, he says that when an artist “makes” something (a movie, a painting, etc), audience and critics talks about his/her INTENTIONS.

As if artists knew exactly what they do and the impact their work will have!

Kundera said that sometimes he receives a thesis written by a student about his books, and explains that he had no idea all these ideas were in them !

TWO

Bourdieu opposes Intentions to Dispositions. Manet’s work is not “a crystal clear intention to have this impact”, but it’s more like a bouquet of tendencies, an aggregate of his childhood, his education, training, his time, his friends, his changing or searching personality, his work too, the building of it, etc.

THREE

I think we can watch this pattern, widening it to human relations in general. There, it plugs to the second agreement. People don’t do thing with big “intentions” towards you, but they deal with their own dreams and values, linked to you or not.

FOUR

It’s linked with the idea of Umberto Eco & the Open Work, and Intertextuality (“the meaning of a text does not reside in the text”). In short : the audience reacts, but they probably don’t get the “intention” of the author (if there’s one). The audience builds its own system of reactions, according if necessary to the imagined, supposed “intentions” of the author.

Same in life, right?

FIVE

Disposition is the “tendency of”, the trend. A human being will is a complex system, a changing aggregate. You watch, then, the… Propensity. The natural tendency to move this way, to act that way.

You have no idea how a scandal it’s been for Manet’s work : Le Déjeuner sur l’Herbe, and Olympia. Bourdieu smiles : maybe someone asked the painter, one evening in spring, on a terrace in Paris with a beer “What do you do this day?”. “I paint”.

SIX

“Haecceity” !

Endless Amendments : Reality

SEVEN

We’re not islands, but we are, in a way.

Intentions do exist, yes, but for ourselves. I love this example (from Kundera again) : the intention of knowing.

CONCLUSION

Watch someone act (crazy or not). Understand it with dispositions (the whole system this person is in, education, wounds, life, milieu, changes, desires), not with intentions.

 

Have a great day!

 

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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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Is there a balance between good and bad in one’s life?

My daughter was a bit worried today.

She said to me that her day was too great. “It’s abnormal”, she said : “Something bad will happen – probably.”

Happily we ate good food, made some crepes, and it’s been a really happy day!

 

We’ve all been there, right? This feeling…

Everything’s fine. Therefore something wrong will happen.

 

We had a good talk about it. It lead to the idea of an ideal balance in life. Justice.

It’s probably not fair, but there is not (balance). Or justice.

Some days are bad. Some are great! Sometimes we have power on this. Sometimes we have not.

Then you think about another balance : between what you master and what you don’t.

Then you think about Marcus Aurelius, who choose to worry about wh he CAN do. The rest, you have to Amor Fati, “Love what happens”. Acceptance, etc.

This is for masters, right?

You can also pray, or imagine a lucky charm can be useful, but well…

 

Multiples balances. Decisions and letgoes. Ohlalaaa…

Let’s drown into Royksopp, or open a classic, or have a conversation and split a bottle of wine, OK?

 

Have a nice day!

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