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!

_bodylanguage_14488272_346346355731259_5218533655760076800_n.jpg

Instagram : _bodylanguage_

 

“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

 

jprobocat_14677486_147324049067756_7621213995516559360_n.jpg

Advertisements

When you can’t/don’t divorce, who do you choose?

I’m so sick of sarcasm and irony, I could kill!
Sincerely, the real root of things is love and sacrifice.
Ben Foster

 

 

PREAMBLE

Here’s a little joky conversation I had with a colleague recently :

As a bookseller, I order and receive hundreds of (new or not) books every month. They have their little life, and the agreement with editors is to keep each reference for at least three months (like : “Give our books a chance”). I also order older books on the occasion of (a concert, an exhibition, a movie, etc…).

So a bookseller order books, put them on shelves, and also, continuously, send them back to companies. It’s constant, a constant flow of in and out.

 

My colleague saw me pushing crates of books on wheels (as we all do almost everyday) :

– What do you do here?
– Returning books, silly!
– Sheeesh!
– What?
– You really have a problem, pal!
– And what is that problem, Sherlock?
– You return books, right?
– Yeah…
– That’s what I thought : you are wrong, somewhere, you are a bad bookseller!…
– How is that, tell me?
You idiot should order ONLY the books that sells!
– Ohhhh! You’re a genius! Thank youuuu! I will now follow that rule!…

And we lolled.

 

ONE

I was amazed how marriage stays a milestone in America. In France, more than 50% of marriages finish in divorces, and more and more lovers choose to avoid this old tradition – the government invented the PACS (a Civil Solidarity Pact) in 1999 : “A contractual form of civil union between two adults for organizing their joint life”.

Well : it’s like legal marriage without all bunkum you say at church, and it works for same sex couples too.

For example in 2013 you got 168,000 PACS and 231,000 marriages in France.

 

TWO

What surprised me a lot when I talked to American women is that, well, you almost HAVE to marry to get a proper life (and it’s the same in many countries). Even today. If you don’t, you’re not real. You have problems with many things, including healthcare… I found out that today 83% of women get married in the USA.

 

THREE

Therefore, as you are a smart young woman, as you watch around you, you probably realized that the guy you’re pressured to marry will probably be a failure 20 years after the fabulous wedding.

The causes for divorce in USA are said : adultery, abandonment, or cruelty, though “No-fault divorce (“irreconcilable differences”, “irretrievable breakdown of marriage”, “incompatibility”, or after a separation period etc.) is now available in all states“) are now evoked.

So people divorce but many others don’t, because it has a social cost, you lose plenty of privileges, it’s boring and loneliness is frightening.

 

FOUR

Like me with my books, you never know in advance what will fail. I just “try to” guess. And I fail (of course, and happily). My little sarcastic article is about this dial :

Who do you choose, then?

The guy who will be :

  1. Bored
  2. Boring
  3. Violent
  4. Silent
  5. Workaholic
  6. Alcoholic
  7. Sexaholic
  8. Indifferent
  9. Dead
  10. Stupid
  11. Absent because :
  12. Unfaithful
  13. Garage handyman
  14. Sportsman
  15. Hunter

 

OUTRO/TOOL

Well, as I can’t guess how many books I have to order, you can’t guess how messy your husband will become. Maybe he’ll collect staplers – that’s not so bad, right?

How could you guess? Astrology? Give him a try for a few years before getting married? Listen to your friends and family who watch him? Listen to your guts? Your brain? Watch the slopes he’s taking with you about free time, sex, conversations, food and culture? What are the criterions you could watch?

What’s the process, from now on? Marry then watch the predicted slopes? Well : it does not work. Sadly you can’t return him to the company, in a crate on wheels. Or a wheelbarrow!

Thanks for reading!

 

Levitan+20.jpg

Painting : Levitan

 

Love is when the other person’s happiness
is more important than your own.

H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

 

 

The “Let’s make it a dance” tool

Hefez : La Danse du Couple (really need a translation?) is a book written by a couples therapist. He says that a couple is an impossible thing to build and to live – the other one never “fits”.

Therefore, we all have to think, watch the other and our alliance, and realize that there are stairs to climb, paths to invent, that we have to think and “find a way”. All this gestures-mess is a DANCE.

“Let’s make it a dance” is a tool which says :

“When it’s difficult somewhere but you have to insist and you have to stay in the system, just accept and absorb the difficulties – and invent a dance. Your dance. It’s a mess, but you can dance it, smile, and climb the stairs”. And ignore the others. Nobody can understand your own dance. It’s a secret.

Thanks for reading!

(tammygucci)10890856_637724749687856_954860799_n.jpg

Instagram : tammygucci

“Love at first sight” wisdoms…

For “Love at first sight“, we French say “Un coup de foudre” (a lightning strike), a clear metaphor? Bzam!! Like it?

We’ve all been there, I suppose : you walk your life seriously, and in a second you are suddenly, completely amazed by a face, a smile, someone. Look at you, now!…

If a love story ensues, well, you know… it doesn’t work “that” often. And many grown adults are very cautious with this love-at-first-sight thing. “Beware!”, says the 40 to the 20…

In a way, that’s pretty logical. Love at first sight means – and implies – you fell in love with… graphic proportions. You fell in love with some eyes, a mouth, a face… right?

And, well, graphic proportions are NOT a person.

OK. Yes. Right. But…

First of all, you can’t do nothing against a loveatfirstsightcrush. Just shut up and notice how stupid you become, haha.

So…

There’s a place where you’re a grown adult. You’ve been hurt by failures and break ups, blah blah blah, and you tend to think :

“As it ought to be, love at first sight is bullshite, therefore I should choose my lover with a good dose of reason”.

A person you appreciate “reasonably“, right?

Good!

But you grow more up. You gain experience. You’ve known many more people. Your brain is, like, trained to guess who is a person you meet. Watch her/him walk, talk, smile…

Voilà.

My theory here is : I am pretty sure that “Love at first sight”, when you’re 40 or 50, is more… accurate. You don’t fall in love in a second because of a smile, a winking eye, a silver voice. You DO, but because you guessfelt – much more : the rest of the person, the way (s)he talks, the way (s)he walks, stands up, questions you, looks at you. Energy.

And yes, you’re a sapiosexual, right? Thus…

Whatever.

You silly poor little brother, sister, you can’t resist (you will never be able to resist) to this “BAM!” feeling. Your whole personality seems to be ready to fall on your ass because of. That’s how we’re built, probably. There’s maybe an agent in our mind, doing this, keeping an eye out for…

Crush. Let go. Try to be smart, though. Hold on your wheel. Be happy. And if you’re not, you know, you have these “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger” quotes, etc…

After all, maybe a good part of REASON is now incrusted, embedded into your loveatfirstsightness? It would be a strange effective braid, right?

Maybe you’ve found your sidekick, I mean your REAL one. You’re good now! Marry her! Him! C’est la vie !

 

Thanks for reading! Have a nice day!

 

Marie.jpg

 

 

From Quarrel to Joust : Elevation process

When your couple needs to fight, you argue. You can stay at reptilian or prehistoric levels : you scream, play flying plates & slamming doors, scream louder, or you can try to move the cursor up.

If your quarrelsome mood – oh what a great word! – needs to unfold, there’s are some wrong ways up like becoming sarcastic or using bad faith, stupidity or violent communication (one define the other : “You’re like your mother”, “You’re lazy”), silence icy treatment or using poor innocent third parties (the kids?).

I propose to rise from these low levels of arguing. Of course you can use Reason. If you know Transactional Analysis you can begin to dissect your communication and try to put it on “Adult -> Adult” mode. That’s OK! Think. Or ask a intermediary (not your mother-in-law!) to play the diplomatic card.

My purpose here is to imagine another “Right Way Up” : Jousting. It’s a change of mood. You fight… with a smile for the other. It’s a sparkling competition. Emulation is the key. It can become a game. You can really invent rules like : “You can’t speak until you waited two minutes in silence after I did, I’ll do the same”, or “Argue on both sides of a table… with pen & paper” (find your own rules).

Jousting is a clever way to quarrel. It’s like when you play chess with a friend, emulation is the key. You want victory but you help your opponent to climb too.”Right Path Up”. Finding solutions… and at the same time satisfy your need to fight. Joust!

 

Of course if you read my blog you know that there’s a pattern here, a tool for other situations : Elevation. When and where (and how) do you realize that you’re on a low level? Gaiety? Entertainment? Sex? When you’re in a useful place but you should maybe stop, think and push a lever. Which lever is it? Subtlety. Right?

This pattern is described here : https://afrenchtoolbox.wordpress.com/2015/08/07/a-matter-of-levers/

Thanks for reading!

 

1398213943738955388_4066914012.jpg

Instagram : such_a_pretty_crazy

Counseling for couples : “Please become someone else”

Yes, yes, it’s a mess. It hurts. Toxicity and boredom alert! She wants to find the “second wind” of your marriage, le “second souffle”. “Counseling?”, she says? Your answer is YES. You’d better!

Then you have to “tell your story”, then listen to huge bullshbleep from a “professional”, many times.

Then, home, you try to do “as if” – at least for a few exhausting months. You know your flaws, right? You’ll “work” on them. Be ready. You’re on a mission now.

Let’s make it short :

“Please become someone else”

So here you are, with a list of “things to change” for your wife. “People can evolve!”, she says! You have four choices :

  1. You obey. Beck and call. Do that, and this too. Bravo! Your flaws vanished into magic. You will get tears of joy from her eyes, great hashtags on her social medias (#bestmoment #happymarriage), and a little more hanky-twalala-panky, probably. Reward it is.
  2. You really do “as if”. It’s about acting, now. It’s impossible to change really, because of course nobody changes, ever, but you can really do “as if”. You want to keep her, right? It’ll last the necessary length of time… until she sees it. Then you’re on you own.
  3. You say firmly “no”, and you’re done. Conflict and drama. Hold the wheel, buddy! Maybe find another therapist, later. A better one, OK?
  4. You run away and find an easier companion. Breathe. Life is made of dotted lines, after all. Next!
  5. Alcohol, accident, heart attack (or other self-sabotage), or any other boring “I go out” : anything DIY in the garage, work-out, biking, duck hunting. Some people even have two bedrooms!

Your choice?

Tools :

This was of course a sarcastic text. There are good professionals. Most of them are good listeners. They take big money to do that and that’s normal. Then, they will probably try to make you understand this : Your spouse won’t change, you have to accept your couple-dynamics.

“But wait, this means I should change myself ? You just said it’s impossible!”

Well : welcome into marriage!

In French we say :

Chassez le naturel, il revient au galop – “Shoo away your nature, it comes back at full tilt”

Well, I think you say “The leopard can’t change its spots”.

Can he?

 

Have a nice day!

1457459025347239268_4066914012.jpg

<< Please become what I want you to be >>

Your Mask of Undiscovered Spy

You have your husband’s email password and he doesn’t know.

Then you discover he cheats on you.

You are a spy!

But if you say it to him, you’re done.

He will change the password!

You know, but you don’t tell you know…

You are masked.

What kind of pain do you feel?

You watch him lie, daily, constantly.

You can even play a game.

Asking questions.

Putting him on the border.

To the accident.

But you don’t want to stuck him…

He would have to confess!

Until what?

 

 

picplz 2011-09-28 12.28.53picplz 2011-09-28 10.21.43