Mrs Fahndrich & The Cliff House

I don’t even remember how I found this little picture of the Cliff House. First I saw this woman in a dress, meditating about the sea on the sand, and liked this big strange house in the background… I was sure it was a painting.

The same morning, watching portraits made by Hugo Erfurth, I met this young woman, a romantic dreamy face, like an old Virginia Woolf cousin.

Two haunting pictures the same day. Two ladies, watching in the same direction… Maybe thinking to each other?

 

 

Hugo Erfurth (1874-1948) was a German photographer known for his portraits of celebrities of early twentieth century. I never found who Mrs Fahndrich was, but this picture was taken around 1930 (I think).

The Cliff House was a hotel near San Francisco, who survived many incidents, including explosions (!) and the big Earthquake, but burned – in 1907 (I think).

 

Well, nothing else, sorry. I just wanted to share what I’d call two “romantic seeds”. You get two old photographs and your imagination begins to run. Mine did anyway. What’s the story behind? What caused the fire? Who are these women?

I want to read a book on each. I want to write a book with Mrs Fahndrich visiting the hotel. Maybe causing the fire. Because of a terrible love affair. With another woman. Or her mother. Also, I find the way the hotel was build was like…. calling for disaster. Too cliffy, right?

 

Have a nice day!

http://scribol.com/anthropology-and-history/history/the-night-san-franciscos-cliff-house-burnt-to-a-cinder/

https://mashable.com/2015/05/07/cliff-house/

 

 

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Gilles Deleuze quote : “Lodge yourself on a stratum…

“This is how it should be done: lodge yourself on a stratum, experiment with the opportunities it offers, find an advantageous place on it, find potential movements of deterritorialization, possible lines of flight, experience them, produce flow conjunctions here and there, try out continuums of intensities segment by segment, have a small plot of new land at all times.”

Gilles Deleuze

 

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Instagram : zennovaart

 

Organizing Withdrawal

In my 22th Chronicle I talked about Pasolini and Didi-Huberman (an Italian director and a French philosopher), about the fireflies – the persons who, in dark times, arrange, create, install glimmers, little lights.

It’s about resistance : it’s discreet, humble, unnoticed by the majority (who run on highways, into the big neon lights of consumerism & productivity). Fireflies. They’re in the woods, along small paths and trails…

Fireflies disappear maybe because we don’t know how to see them anymore, say philosophers, but, well, obviously, they really disappear…

Maybe there’s a way to “organize the retreat”? 

In military vocabulary, a withdrawal is a “type of military operation, generally meaning retreating forces back while maintaining contact with the enemy” (wiki). There’s something included in this : it must be organized, held, kept in order, “in contact with the enemy”. If you lose this idea, it’s rout.

I should find a book about this concept! Retreating seems a negative thing, but we are here on a field where we have to find the positive aspects. Military speaking, I found this list here about withdrawal – https://www.virtuescience.com/why-retreat.html :

  • To pretend weakness
  • To make time to observe enemy
  • To make time to recover
  • To make time to plan
  • To lead enemy to more favourable area
  • To evade attack
  • To lessen force of enemy blow
  • To delay battle to a more favourable time
  • To defuse conflict
  • To wear out opponent

When I was in my Napoléon time, I was fascinated by Ney, Marshal of the Empire. In Russia he commanded the “rearguard”. Interesting to study, if you fancy it…

 

What about fireflies?

Glow-worms’ signals are intermittent and fine, minuscule, fragile. The tiny is the place of resistance. A singularity which also could make the forgotten… intelligible again. A firefly as an example?

Organizing the retreat is to BE a firefly, or to help them, maybe also to show those who whistle there are no more fireflies that they are wrong. It’s about “something is staying”. They glow in darkness. If you don’t see them anymore, it’s because you don’t want to follow their signals…

But I’m sure you do see them. I’m sure you’re one of them…

When, when you’re in the Crowd, do you step aside to glow-resist? When you meditate? When you create? When you throw an invisimagical moment? When you do “a little of the contrary”? When you have some unexpected two seconds behavior? When you show a thing of beauty? When you don’t follow, you disobey? When you…

 “A thing of Beauty…”

You can also read :

Seeing to Finesse amid Chaos
The “Titanic Octet” state : stop panicking & arrange twinkles

 

Thanks for reading!

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What I read

What do I read? What am I reading? I don’t know. Not novels in any case. Not anymore. Shortly, I’d say they fall off my hands – because of “I feel the author behind the story” thing – but that’s another story.

 

Nietzsche had a great mustache, right? This dictionary is like an infinite reservoir of ideas. I open it at a random page from time to time. Even if you’re not a scholar, but just a seeds seeker. I don’t need more than five minutes to find a brilliant idea.

This Goya‘s biography is perfect. It’s written by a great Spanish writer. I learn a lot about painting, Spain in 18th Century, Art, cities, history, and… a great personality!… Another universe is good to explore from time to time.

Billeter wrote these three little essays about translations. It’s a field I really always love to dig in. It’s about Chinese-French translations, and it’s full of delightful subtleties… This “Art” requires to activate thin and precise tools of the mind…

Arthur Miller went to China in the eighties to direct of one of his plays (Death of a Salesman). He wrote his diary about all of it. The play is considered one of the best American plays of the XXth Century, and the book is really delicious : intelligence at work. Cultural differences, directing a play, meeting professionals…

The Pléiade of Paul Valéry is exhausting. 1700 pages (and it’s a half of his “Notebooks”!) of good ideas (sorted by topics : eros, poetry, conscience, arts, etc). Brief notes, ideas, concepts, etc. This poet was a huge thinker. He amazes me with his original intelligence. Each paragraph (OK : almost) has the power to drop you in a pool of ideas. He taught me this huge thing : “To see is to forget the name of the thing one sees.” (think : labels, photography, poetry, invention, serendipity, refining intelligence… : see?).

Paul Jorion is a Belgian economist, and he has big common sense. This diary is very, very smart. The kind of bulblights which give smiles.

OK I’m fond of Proust, but sometimes you don’t want to plunge into the “too great” In Search of the Lost Time. I just pick up these essays, then. Lighter. Ideas everywhere, like seeds in the wind. This man had many brains. He is exhausting, generous, and you have to run (to try) to follow. This is a great experience though. You’ll know very few humans in your real life capable of that generosity : enlargingactivating your brain.

Koolhaas is a architect-thinker. This should just be enough to make you salivate, right?

Yalom (the psychiatrist) wrote a few novels, but here it’s an essay. NO mercy for anybody : he talks “at his level”. It’s wise, hard, and exhilarating!

I have this little book about Caillebotte, an impressionist painter, for me a genius of light. If you want to study a good example of “what is new” in Art, try Manet.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gustave_Caillebotte

François Jullien is a French philosopher. Obsessed by China (again?!) he invented concepts based on the fertile differences between occident and this country. I wrote many times about him : The Propensity of Things – for example. He’s a tools provider.

Reading the diary of Gide is like watching a brain at work. He sees, he writes, he travels, he thinks, wonders, doubts. This diary is like… adorable, dense, and always surprising.

Duras was a great French writer, with a real strange gorgeous style. I love her excesses. She’s weird, paradoxical and marvellous. She talks here about her life, her choices.

Deleuze is always not far from my shelves. For me he is the best French philosopher, full of ideas, new concepts and a bit of searchy craziness and virtuosity of the mind.

Charles Juliet is a French writer. He’s dark but quiet, calm, precise, shy, humble. His diaries are like hugging you – with acuteness. He also is a tracker (of himself, of other’s tropisms too).

Edward Said astonished me with this idea of the “Late Style” – what great artists do when they are after maturity. It’s GREAT and the preface ditto (can I say that?).

Bryson borrowed a car, travelled across the USA, wrote this little book about “everything OMG” he saw. It’s hilarious!

Roustang is an hypnotherapist and wrote this whole book about the contrary of every self help book (which all say : move your ass). “Know how to wait”. Hmmm?

 

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Thanks for… reading!

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#Deleuze about classification

“All classifications belong to this style; they are mobile, modifiable, retroactive, boundless, and their criteria vary from instance to instance. Some instances are full, others empty. A classification always involves bringing together things with different appearances and separating those that are very similar. That is the beginning of the formation of concepts.”

“Toutes les classifications sont de ce genre : elles sont mobiles, varient leurs critères suivant les cases, sont rétroactives et remaniables, illimitées. Certaines cases sont très peuplées, d’autres vides. Il s’agit toujours dans une classification de rapprocher des choses très différentes en apparence, et d’en séparer de très voisines. C’est la formation des concepts.”

Gilles Deleuze, Le Cerveau, c’est l’Ecran, in “Deux Régimes de Fous”.

 

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#minimalism #minimalist #minimalistic #minimalistics #minimal #insect #minimalobsession #photooftheday #minimalninja #instaminim #minimalisbd #simple #simplicity #keepitsimple #minimalplanet #love #instagood #minimalhunter #minimalista #minimalismo #beautiful #art #lessismore #simpleandpure #negativespace

 

 

Arthur Rimbaud & Glenn Gould : The “Big Less” Temptation

Rimbaud was a French poet who had a huge influence on Arts and Literature, but stopped writing at 21. He became a merchant, mostly in Africa (in coffee trading, for example!), and died at 37.

Gould was a Canadian pianist who stopped giving concerts at the age of 31 and became an eccentric hermit in recording studios.

Different destinies, but a similar pattern : at one moment, they stopped completely something they succeeding in, they closed a door.

Rimbaud stopped writing. Many wondered why : The artist had said everything? He wanted to explore another face of his personality? He had a secret wound? Dead wordsourcespring?
Gould didn’t stop making music, but never came back playing in concert, and he explained himself about that.

I write this because I wonder if sometimes we should consider a similar flip. A combination of levers & dials, studying what’s good in our life, considering that insisting (even in different ways) could be, from now, a failure : it’s maybe time for a closure?…

 

The Big Less is about considering to close a part of you which… works. Why would you do that, like “I park it”? Why would you stop what works? You feel you miss something? It’s too easy? You reached a plateau? I works but the wrong way? You lost a goal? You need to experiment to enrich? Fresh air? You need to get smaller to go faster? A fresh start to go elsewhere? You’re afraid of some ticking-over routine? Is it a bad idea? Why?

And who knows what will happen after some years? Maybe you’ll realize you needed the big disturbance of it? Maybe a bigger room will open? A secret path will appear? Maybe you’ll make good Bach records, or trade coffee?

Have a nice day!

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Fruitful Constraints & Creativity

It’s an old tool many artists know : many constraints are fruitful. Mainly because a constraint is a problem calling for a solution, therefore you have to move, to be creative.

All jobs and activities have constraints : budget, environment, other people, time, space, your skills, your tools.

If it’s too loose, though, you feel a freedom, which can be messy. You can not catch anything. Stuck. You maybe need to tight something up, to find “your” freedom within a new frame.

Brian Eno invented the Oblique Strategies (mainly for musicians) as a card game. You pick a card and you have to obey (sometimes it’s terrible!). Some directors are well known to tell the actors to follow precisely something (the dialogs, or the places they have to move on the set, etc) before shooting. Some digital artists sometimes go out in a park with a pencil and a notebook. A photographer can go outside with the limit of 20 pictures taken, not much. And G. Perec wrote an entire book without the letter “e”.

Constraints are fruitful. You probably have many disposable levers for these. A poet can obey : write something in alexandrine; without any letter “p”, in less than 5 minutes. You may have to present a project in ONE minute only, and… with no words. What are your levers?

You can pull a lever to Zero, it’s the Total Constraint. For example, you’re a photographer and you go out without any camera. Just your eye. You’ll feel the need, you’ll feel your brain simmering. As you can only watch and… think, you’ll maybe have bursts of ideas (instead of taking pictures).

Of course it’s an example of “Amor Fati”, being content with what happens to you, even if it seems bad. Embracing fate : every constraint, if you can’t avoid it, should (and will have to) be danced with.

Thanks for reading!

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Instagram : f_pilvi

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

As usual, everywhere you will read or hear this advice : “Kill your demons!”. A few days ago a friend of mine sent me the contrary :

Feed Your Demons

Haha, of course I liked it! And I remembered the concept of Shadow, from C.G. Jung. This needed an inquiry.

Evidently I found quotes :

“How can I be substantial if I do not cast a shadow? I must have a dark side also if I am to be whole.” C.G. Jung

“Kill off all my demons and my angels might die too.” Tennessee Williams

“Wherever there is human nature, there is drama.” Agatha Christie

Of course, psychoanalysis doesn’t really “know” what is this strange concept of Shadow. An Archetype? A dark part of the subconscious? Jung says it’s :

“inferior, primitive, inappropriate, unfortunate, but not absolutely bad”. 

I explored a little (it is an inquiry, and I am just an ideas forager) and found these :

  • The Shadow is hidden, and resists the analysis.
  • It’s an archetypal force, a character.
  • It bursts at some moments. When you lose your mind, it’s your Shadow taking control. People say, then, someone touched a raw nerve. You seem incoherent.
  • It’s felt like a negative, strong force, it’s frightening for you, it’s frightening for others.
  • You can’t and shouldn’t kill or tame your Shadow. You have to know it, how it’s triggered, and accept it’s in you, powerful and dark.
  • The Shadow speaks to you sometimes, in dreams.
  • The Shadow is what your refuse to see or recognize in you.
  • The Shadow is also made of your inner capabilities you couldn’t develop.
  • So the Shadow is like your dead twin, hidden in you, weakened or weird.
  • If you are shy, your Shadow is probably a strong personality. If you’re an adventurer, your Shadow is maybe a coward in slippers.
  • What we hate or fear in other people is because it’s similar with our own Shadow.
  • Yes, Darth Vader is absolutely like an incarnation of the Shadow (masked, dark, family).
  • Jekyll & Hyde, Beauty & Beast are stories about a Shadow made alive.
  • The Shadow is a Force, it’s primitive and childish, it can help you, it can be the source of your development.
  • Some weakened aspect of the Shadow are forgotten or shy qualities. You just were not allowed or have the force to grow them.
  • Apparition of the Shadow is often triggered by something external. A situation, or someone.
  • It’s so strong that you look that this guy riding the back of a Tiger. It’s dangerous, but full of power.
  • In a crowd, the Shadows of all the people can be mobilized…
  • The Shadow is maybe linked to the Collective Unconscious.
  • Your Shadow can not be tamed. Be you can get to know her/him. And be friends, eventually.

There are books about this, of course. It’s a fantastic concept who can be :

  1. a tool (how will you use and know your Shadow?)
  2. a lever (which is the door to this creature)
  3. a dial (watch you when you act incoherent, in burst, in anger – and watch the people around you, your lover and others).

 

Thanks for reading !

Feel free to follow me (bottom right of this page, yes, there).

Have a nice day. And feed your demon 🙂

 

 

 

Photo : Instagram : kersti__k

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“Old fools are crazier than Young Fools” or how the quotient Solemn/Casual changes when you grow

Reaching 50 years old, I understood a couple of things, I’d say it’s about a quotient between solemnity and casualness.

This is a fact that when you are 20 years old you are more free about many things, all choices are in front of you, but you are also sooo solemn about plenty of things. For example, you “don’t want to do this because you’d be ridiculous” (growing older, you of course don’t give a f*ck to what other people “think” of your ridiculousness). Your brain in full of mindsets about life, love, jobs, money and rules, learned from your parents (or your rebellion against them, which is the same). Solemn.

Who do you obey when you disobey?

When you grow older, your kids will find you very solemn about things of life, but in the deep you became more and more casual, and for many reasons.

  • You get to know that life is short. Really short.
  • You are tired of being afraid (of what, consequences?).
  • You are more often “happy to dare”.
  • You get less solemn because you realize that we’re all lost souls old fools.
  • You get less solemn because you now know that projects use to shatter on reality.
  • Things about yourself begin to be less “serious” or “important”, because you now know you can decide it’s less serious. You have a lever in your head, and you move it.
  • You have some more whateverness

“Rien ne marche dans ma vie alors pourquoi ne pas faire n’importe quoi ? – Nothing works in my life so why can’t I try anything?”

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Tool, Lever, Dial :

  • If you admit this is true, why don’t you try to apply it… now? Hmmm? The lever Solemn/Casual is already active in your head. Use it, or not.
  • Things are not “important” or “serious”, because IT DEPENDS. It depends of what you decide them to be.
  • As it’s a lever, you realize that you always have places where you STAY solemn about yourself. You won’t become entirely unethical, right? You dare, but not too far. Your solemnity is just different. Rarer, but more intense in some places, probably. Some things are, stay, and will stay terribly important. And some elements of your life, some people, some decisions, some drama, all this can not be taken lightly. Ever. Phewww!

Thanks for reading !

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