“Like love, grief is non negotiable…”

Inexpressible is the trauma following a lover’s suicide, or a the loss of a child. There’s no real advice for grief, and a therapy is maybe necessary.

Here’s what I know :

  • Your ally is time. It doesn’t heal anything, but pain will decrease. Years…
  • You have the right to be in despair, don’t listen to people who want you to stop crying.
  • Decide to study deeply a big culture area, XIXth century classical music or the life of Louis XIV, history of Japan or Italian Renaissance. Study.
  • Exploring Art is often helping.
  • Write to this person on paper, then invent a little ceremony where you’ll burn the letter. Do it each time there’s a “too much”, an overflow of.
  • Find a wounded friend. Support each other like wounded slowalking soldiers : talk.
  • Pills can be necessary, but I read many authors who say that pain has to open its windows, one day or another.
  • Find books, about the “now”, or guilt, philosophy or self help : find your good books.
  • “The rose is without why. It blossoms because it blossoms”. You’ll be exhausted thinking about whys, though.

 

What doesn’t work : travel, drink.

“Like love, grief is non negotiable…”

I just found this text from Nick Cave (his son fell from a cliff and died at 15) about Love & Grief :

 

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I have experienced the death of my father, my sister, and my first love in the past few years and feel that I have some communication with them, mostly through dreams. They are helping me. Are you and Susie feeling that your son Arthur is with you and communicating in some way?

Cynthia, Shelburne Falls, VT, USA

Dear Cynthia,

This is a very beautiful question and I am grateful that you have asked it. It seems to me, that if we love, we grieve. That’s the deal. That’s the pact. Grief and love are forever intertwined. Grief is the terrible reminder of the depths of our love and, like love, grief is non-negotiable. There is a vastness to grief that overwhelms our minuscule selves. We are tiny, trembling clusters of atoms subsumed within grief’s awesome presence. It occupies the core of our being and extends through our fingers to the limits of the universe. Within that whirling gyre all manner of madnesses exist; ghosts and spirits and dream visitations, and everything else that we, in our anguish, will into existence. These are precious gifts that are as valid and as real as we need them to be. They are the spirit guides that lead us out of the darkness.

I feel the presence of my son, all around, but he may not be there. I hear him talk to me, parent me, guide me, though he may not be there. He visits Susie in her sleep regularly, speaks to her, comforts her, but he may not be there. Dread grief trails bright phantoms in its wake. These spirits are ideas, essentially. They are our stunned imaginations reawakening after the calamity. Like ideas, these spirits speak of possibility. Follow your ideas, because on the other side of the idea is change and growth and redemption. Create your spirits. Call to them. Will them alive. Speak to them. It is their impossible and ghostly hands that draw us back to the world from which we were jettisoned; better now and unimaginably changed.

With love, Nick.

https://www.theredhandfiles.com/communication-dream-feeling/

An Ardent Patience & Depuzzlement Processes : seeds in Chronicle 29

People underestimate kids, right?

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  1. Someone hears a sound, and doesn’t understand what it is about
  2. Then hears it’s a voice – of unknown words
  3. Then hears it’s his language, but doesn’t understand the phrases
  4. Then gets the phrases, but doesn’t get what one is talking about
  5. Then understands and stands up

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Les enfants aux ailes de rue – Street-Winged Children.

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It’s time to repost this : Some French feel-good movies to choose from

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Exploring mood? Google “Best Albums 2017”. I’m on it! What are yours?

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In a conversation about things and events and ideas, do you focus on the sense and the logic, or on what you feel, the specifics? That’s a real question…

Oh, both, dear : naturally. How to weave/dance? Finding invariances in the particulars…

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Serenity as a sign of love.

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A good friend, or your child, has a problem, an hesitation. Needs you. You then develop a big bubble of attention, a gigantic ear. You focus & try to ask questions – useless or trappy or good questions. The purpose is to help him/her to give birth to a solution – to help the depuzzlement process…

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À l’aurore, armés d’une ardente patience, nous entrerons aux splendides Villes.

In the dawn, armed with a burning patience, we shall enter the splendid Cities.

Arthur Rimbaud

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Here’s a secret (or a question) :

People have different burdens, different ways to be bereaved (“deprived of loved ones”).

I remember telling a friend, in a letter, more than twenty years ago, about my difficulties with my lover, who had lost her mother at the age of 11.

“Go to the cemetery, with her”, she answered. Ohhh…

There are many types of bereavement : death, cutting bonds because of serious misconduct, friendship loss, remoteness… It creates, I’m sure, a black veil, with a crow under. Who can pinch. It’s maybe our responsibility to come close to the veil and whisper : “Let’s go to the cemetery”.

Talking about a dark past, wrong choices from people you loved, or the loss of a mother. Holding up (a little) the veil. See if there’s a sail under, ready to inflate and breathe. Or not.

Who will be the one who says : “Let’s talk about the past”? What can it bring? What if the answer is “No, never”?

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Forgetting the past to move forward is like to erase maps and the knowledge on the maps.

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My friend was a teacher for kids “with big problems”. She wrote me a long letter about these children who became worried – thus violent – when they began to understand that a special freedom comes from… learning. Then, she said, they go on, and calm down.

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Interesting situation, when you want the balance to change but the other one doesn’t want the balance to change.

Funnier : you want to change something, but the other one wants to change another thing. Here you are both of you pushing on different doors…

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Dervishes

Dervishes

 

Thanks for reading!

 

 

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When you don’t manage to console someone

“Quand on ne parvient pas à consoler”, we say in French. This alone is a problem to translate. “Parvient” is from the verb “parvenir”. Dictionaries translate it with :

  • To succeed
  • To manage

But it is NOT that meaning. It is not a “success” (with what, a medal, a fanfare?) to console a crying person (it’s not fixable). And “to manage” (organize, control, etc) has little to do with listening to a terribly sad somebody.

So there’s a word lacking here. A mixed of “to reach”, “to achieve”, “to manage with invisible wills and means”, “to get through”…

 

Achieving comfort of somebody’s grief or sorrow need a whole harp : listening means, empathy, silence, freedom, focus, acceptance and maybe conversational skills…

Becoming a father I learned that children have terrible grieving moments. Despair which comes from the heart, in the deep. Kids need security, and when they are afraid to lose it, it’s terrible. It’s one great joy when you console your child, in front of a tree moving in the wind, or during a walk, or on a chair. Listen, talk, look, hug. As a mother, a father, you need to be here, and you find your own ways.

 

When I read books about self help, or psychology, or mental care, I’m always very interested by a passage or a chapter about “how to listen“. Specialists think about it very closely (maybe I’ll write about this alone, one day).

Sometimes, you don’t manage to console somebody. Grief and sorrow… Because…

  • It’s unconsolable
  • You’re not ready
  • You’re too close
  • You are tired
  • You are annoyed by it
  • You’re overwhelmed
  • You’re sad too
  • You don’t understand
  • You’re not strong enough

 

Sometimes you think you fail. Even if we can’t talk about communicating vessels, you’ll catch a part of the sadness.

Well, I think the main thing is the fact… you’re here to listen, right? If we think we didn’t manage to comfort the other one, maybe we did. A little. Because we were there.

 

Have a nice day!

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Instagram : teladipinta

My Secret for Abandonment Syndrome

Abandonment issues are so common that I wonder why it’s not studied at school !

Well, you know it by heart : “I constantly feel frightened that people I love will leave me”.

And well… they do!

Lovers or friends, they leave you. Their choice!

That’s life, but you’re destroyed, angry, and in panic. At some point, it’s almost ridiculous, right?

Lise Bourbeau wrote a book about this wound and other wounds from childhood. She says that abandonnic people (“les abandonniques”, this is the way we call this tribe in France) protect themselves with any kind of dependency (addictions, difficulties to be alone, need of approval, etc).

You already know what is abandonment (or else Google will help you). What I want to share today is a secret a good friend of mine (she’s 60) told me one day.

She said to me that after each break-up she was so dying sick that she decided one day to see a therapist.

After a year she said to him that she was OK. He smiled and answered “No you’re not!”.

She needed three more years to get it, to understand the secret in the deepest of her mind. She said to me something like :

“Abandonment is a scar, a wound so deep that you never heal, you will never heal, ever. So… when I’m into the turmoil of a break-up, I just watch how the pain invades me, how it burns inside my chest. I recognize it. I say “Hello, pain! Do your stuff, I know you”. It burns you, just feel it. There’s nothing you can do, little man, nothing”.

Four years therapy to understand this. This is Ninja!

Bonne journée !

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The Giving up & Parking Life Temptation

When you hear break-up stories and broken hearts from teens and young people, you smile, right? We’ve all been there, and we all know it’s time for grief, and then one day the sun rises again, and a marvelous man/woman enters the room, and here we go again!

Smile. Moving forward. Find your silver lining. Plenty of fishes in the sea, right?

Comes an age when you begin to smile less. You got a cancer, or your husband died stupidly in a car accident, or the woman you wanted to marry chose an Egyptian flea circus trainer – not you!

You’ve been through shit-hits-the-fan tempests before, you know that another dawn will come. Well, you hope it will. Or you don’t know any more…

Giving up is a possibility, and I see so many sixty years old (mainly women, OK) who decided to park their love life that I’m questioning myself. Why not, after all?

Many people will say you’re complaisant – they think of you like you were a teenager, happy clap-your-hands two days after a boyfriend text-break-up. You consider to not even answer : when this happens to you at mid-life, it hurts much, much more. Your capacity of comprehension is much bigger, and this is exactly why you lost your smile : Big Shit happened, your vessel has stopped, all sails tornripped. Your game is on the ground like a dirty puzzle. You’re fucking wounded!

Parking your life is a way to heal, you’re right. Just this : you have to know that you will maybeventually stay there. Healed, but full of ugly scars. Haunted by a hand in your hair…

Have a nice day!

 

 

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JS Bach’s Cantata is confusing about Joy & Ordeal

This article is about the meaning of a sentence in Bach’s Cantata, and the different ways it is translated (from German to French or English), and what it can bring us about how the ways we deal with life.

I woke up a little disoriented by an obsessive, dense nightmare telling me in details that my life was really losing its cohesion. A mess like “having books but not knowing why any more”, “fearing the loss of purpose”, “falling sick but this time it won’t end well”, or “I’ll have to work a lot, without being sure it’s useful, to understand the fragments, the scales of my life” : terrible!

I sat on my bed, in need of a big coffee, happy to realize it was only a nightmare, watching a grey quiet queasy luminous sky, thinking about this little irony of life we all know :

When you work, it’s sunny, when you’re off, it rains.

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We all have this feeling of the irony of life, with all the shades. Murphy’s Laws (“Anything that can go wrong will go wrong”) are often hilarious to read. If France we sometime call it “LEM”, La Loi de l’Emmerdement Maximum, or “The Law of the Maximum Merdation”, which will make sense to everyone, oui?

But eventually it begins to hit harder. It deals with failure, love break-ups, losing job, or even death. I’ll tell you this true story.

Before WWII, a young upper class lady fell in love in France with a simple employee. Her family prevented her to marry the young man and arranged a more “proper” marriage. She had to accept it, I suppose. But decades later, in the 80s, her husband died, and then the unwealthy guy’s wife too. They were old, but happy : they fell back in love, lived this love, got married… and he died very soon.

I remembered this story because every member of her family kept telling her “Stop crying, you had a great life!”. So she stopped crying. And a week later was in hospital in emergency : her legs had tripled volume. Diagnostic : “Water Retention”.

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For the next part of this article I have to say that I’m don’t believe in any “God”. Nevertheless, faith inspired humans some great Art, right?

 

Johann Sebastian Bach wrote a Cantata “for the Feast of Visitation of Mary” (BWV 147) which is well known for the end : “Jesus bleibet meine Freude“.

This last part is very well known by the title “Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring”  – I just added the YouTube link under this paragraph – but it’s been translated to “sound better” : “Jesus bleibet meine Freude” is more like :Jesus shall remain my gladness“.

(I found also : Jesus remains my joy, Jesus stays my source of gladness, Jesus shall remain my joy).

Here’s the paragraph :

Jesus remains my joy,
the comfort and life’s blood of my heart,
Jesus defends me against all sorrows,
he is my life’s strength,

Why?

Bach, the year he composed the music, suffered the loss of two of his children. Johann August Abraham died the day after he was born, and a bit later Regina Johanne, who was 4 years old, died too.

I suppose that in the XVIIIth Century even more than now, you really can write things like “Jesus remains my joy”. The use of “remains” tells something about “I have to stay strong, I decide to be”.

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The French translation is wrong too. We say here : “Jésus, que ma joie demeure”, which means something a bit different : “Jesus, may my joy remains”.

  • The English and German are a statement : “Jesus remains my joy”
  • The French is a prayer, a supplication : “Jesus, may my joy remains”

 

You’ll notice that it is not either “Jesus, give me joy”, or even “help me”, but more “Allow my joy to keep existing”… 

 

This difference between a statement and a plea in the form of “Please allow” is fascinating enough to keep some of us thinking for a day. It’s different, but also so similar. Both tell us about the will to stay strong…

I’d summerize this all with this question :

What do we do against ordeal?

 

This is the longest article I ever wrote! Thanks for reading my Frenchy English!

Jean-Pascal

PS : You can maybe, also, read this : Amor Fati (and Sequere Deum).

 

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Changing the past is a cool way to be mean

Changing the past is a cool way to be mean!

Imagine you are with an ex-lover. You have a good opportunity to be nasty-bitchy! Of course, you don’t love each other anymore, these things happen all the time, right? No big deal.

But you can add something today, with the help of words :

Change the past!

(OK, in fact you will NOT change the past, it’s not really something you can do, right?)

You just have to tell your ex that… what you lived together was : (here, you have many possibilities : “fake”, “a lie”, “wrong”, “difficult”, “a mistake”, etc).

What you lived was great, at the time, you know it, OK? You showed it and lived it, and you said it too. Now : you just say the contrary, change the past, say you were “incompatible”, or that you “faked it”, etc… You’ll find your way. She just has to understand that she disappointed you.

Of course, this has no other purpose than to be mean, OK?

The consequences are cool : 

  • You ex will have a painful moment of doubt, like “OMG maybe he’s right, it was faked, all incompatibility and blindness”.
  • Then she’ll be hurt by the fact that she could really live all this love story like an illusion.
  • Then she’ll be hurt by the loss of good memories, which will now turn into bitterness. “OH then it was not true??!”.
  • Then, after a while, she’ll remember, she’ll realize that, well, “we were probably REALLY happy”, then she’ll be hurt to realize that her ex told her that… to be mean.
  • Then she’ll be more hurt to try to understand WHY this ex-lover would like to be this mean to her…

Whatever : you reached your goal.

Almost.

Because, well, there’s probably some gold left, in her heart. She knows. And, by Jove!, it was a cool love story!

Well, you can now add some points by talking about how cool is your life now. Without her, of course. Justifies the means. This works pretty well.

The other part (changing the past) does not work for a long time. Gold is there, has been discovered, and no magic (but death) can kill the gold. She already forgave him. She is grateful. Love is a good energy, after all, right?

Thanks for reading!

 

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Memories of places you could have been in…

We remember places. We imagine places! We also sometimes… remember places we imagined. Not necessarily in daydreaming : it can happen in the shower, while you cook, or in a conversation. The place is suddenly there, in your mind, neat, pleasant, warm. Pang ! Voilà !

Thanks for reading! Bonne journée !

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All the Buoys! When you fell from your boat…

I had a friend, she said to me one day : “I fell from horse”. It was a metaphor, of course, and I liked it. You’re stopped, hurt, maybe wounded. You have to slow down, and wait for the moment you’ll go horseback back, haha.

Well, you can try other moving devices metaphors. If you fall from a boat, it’s like more dangerous. You could drown ! And drown your sorrows in the same time…

Yeah, you need a lifebuoy. How will you do that, and what kind of buoyancy (oh this word!) do you need, little soul?

Watch, remember and think. Watch people around you, watch your past, your parents, friends, colleagues, stars : what king of lifebuoy do they use when then fall from horse into the water? From boat, sorry. Or plane?

  • Some buoys are dangerous or horrible : alcoholism, madness, pushing limits, drugs, workaholicness, hypercontrol (anorexia, orthorexia, religion).
  • Some buoys are… inner : Hope can bring some buoyancy (hope for better times?). Mindfulness can work if you can breathe (and you don’t get asleep). Quietism is cool, if you can build that state. You can call it indifference, OK. You can try!
  • Some buoys don’t work, most of them : you’ll drown. Goodbye.
  • Some buoys work for a small amount of time : shopping, getting drunk, daydreaming about happiness (or imagined bliss), sex, dancing and music listening, voilà.
  • My own buoy is to blog. I use what I see, what I read, to write. It helps me to organize my messbrain. It empties something. And it keeps me busy.

Keeping yourself busy is a good buoy. Finding a new domain to explore (learning a new language, a new art) or being creative (begin a blog, a novel, painting, photography?).

What will be YOUR buoy?

Friends are important. Some of them are sweet and clever enough to “help you with your buoyancy”. One knows how to be there, listens, avoids giving “advices” (“Smile, move on”, etc) and cares not to pierce your temporary, weak and thin buoy. One can ask about it, how you found it, how you use it, how it is important for you…

Then you eventually could go back on horse with this helping hand.

And take your orange lifebuoy off you : you don’t need this on horseback, you silly French!

PS : What if your buoy becomes permanent?

Thanks for reading!

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Instagram : let_you_sea

The Disillusion of Level 2

In my life I met many times the Disillusion of Level 2. You just have to listen to people’s stories.

We all know this process, especially when we are young :

  1. You desire something strongly (a job, a love, a change, a project)
  2. You act to achieve this goal
  3. You fail, you are disillusioned, disenchanted, disappointed
  4. You rethink, invent new goals, with more confidence, you do the contrary, you take another path which, at least, will be the good one!
  5. You act to achieve this goal
  6. You fail, you are disillusioned, disenchanted, disappointed

Yes, it’s like a loop!

This triggers a few questions :

  • Do we always expect too much all the time?
  • Isn’t “expecting disillusion” a way to be lazy?
  • Is there a way of drawing a “good map”?
  • What do you do when you see a friend about to be on this path?
  • Where is the Level 3?
  • What’s the knowledge we gain after these?
  • Is it about daring more? Being more casual? Expect nothing?
  • Or is it about stopping?
  • What is the “need of change”?
  • Who is wise, and why?

Now apply that to any concept of life you know : love, job, hobby, politics, arts, goals, etc. What do you find? What are the stories you know? What do you think?

Merci ! Bonne journée !

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Instagram : bodylanguage

Marguerite Duras – #quote

“Soudain, tout d’un coup, elle sait, elle sait qu’il ne la comprendra jamais, qu’il lui manque la capacité de comprendre une telle perversité. Et il ne pourra jamais aller assez vite pour l’attraper”.
 
“Suddenly, all at once, she knows, knows that he doesn’t understand her, that he never will, that he lacks the power to understand such perverseness. And that he can never move fast enough to catch her”.
 
Marguerite Duras
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Tout gain s’accompagne d’une perte – Every gain involves loss

OK I’m french. My english is a frenglish, it’s rusty and wobbly, et voilà. Try me, though. I’ll do my best. I promise. If sometimes it’s too bad, just laugh at me or roll you eyes.

Every gain involves loss ?

Ça pourrait être : Economy. Or some Levi Strauss. Or Beckett maybe ?

Peut-être…

When I was a student, I read something about Prokofiev. It was before the Internet, so I walked in the city (the mood of the sky ? See picture below – I remember it), entered the library, found a Deutsch Grammophon CD – Ozawa ! – borrowed it and I brought it home.

I read the booklet, and listened to the 2 CDs for two weeks. Many, many times. I explored it. It was precious ! Of course, as a 20 years old young man, I was moved by the Montagues And Capulets strange modulations zigzagguing music.

What about today ? Que se passe-t-il, aujourd’hui ?

A young female student hears that music in a movie, ohhhh ! She just writes “Prokofiev” in YouTube and get 408.000 results. If she’s smart, she tries the Russian way to write it : “Прокофьев“, to get… 42.100 more movies.

See me coming, don’t you ? The whole thing is just here. But… do we focus the same way, when the choice is that big ? No ! No no no, and no. Every gain involves loss. You just wander into the océan of the musique de Prokofiev, et voilà pour vous.

This “dial/lever/tool” text is not about scale of knowledge and the blissfull possibilité to get lost in it. I should write another one, un autre jour.

Dial/Lever/Tool : Observe what you have. Imagine you’re 30 years before. How would it be, then ? What if you put something aside ? What if you close some possibilities ? What if, as a photographer, you get back to film ? If every gain involves loss, what have you lost, then, with the vast “new thing” ? What will you do to recover that ? What if you had to keep 100 books in your shelves.

Is “Every loss involves gain” right ?

And what is the way to link this concept to the Wrong Way Up ?

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