Thoughts & Quotes about Rilke and patience

There’s a very well known quote from Rilke :

“Have patience with everything that remains unsolved in your heart. Try to love the questions themselves, like locked rooms and like books written in a foreign language. Do not now look for the answers. They cannot now be given to you because you could not live them. It is a question of experiencing everything. At present you need to live the question. Perhaps you will gradually, without even noticing it, find yourself experiencing the answer, some distant day.”

…from the Letters to a young poet.

In fact, when he was around 30; Rilke wrote a few letters to a young man who had asked him advices about poetry. Rilke’s answer is splendid :

“Nobody can advise you and help you, nobody. There is only one way. Go into yourself.”

 

But at this time he was also writing letters to Lou Andreas-Salomé, who was… 14 years older than him. I read their letters, they are amazing : two high-range brains talking about subtleties of life…

In 1903 he wrote :

“Patience contains everything: humility, strength and moderation.”

 

Patience, at this time, seemed to be an obsession to him.

How do we hear this today?

  1. Do we hear that negatively, patience as inertia disguised in virtues? Should we be patient instead of enter a resistance?
  2. Do we hear that positively, patience as hope? Humility, strength and moderation… Is it linked to indecision “as a decision”?

Savoir Attendre – Know How to Wait

 

How do you hear it?

Why do I think about Saint-Exupéry?

Les vaincus doivent se taire, comme les graines

The vanquished must stay silent, like the seeds…

 

Thanks for reading!

 

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Lecture or Aphorism?

Like some children have an imaginary friend, I have an imaginary reader, built like a golem from all of you, my followers : helloooo!

This person is smart and fast, and curious. She (let’s call this person a she) would be able to ask questions like : “From the books you read in the last year, who brought you this feeling of being too much, offering you like a feast of ideas – and what structure do you find there?”.

I thanked her for this question, and answered quickly : Valéry’s notebooks and Bourdieu’s lectures about Manet.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paul_Val%C3%A9ry
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pierre_Bourdieu

  1. Valéry’s notebooks are arranged by themes : humans, poetry, dreams… His paragraphs are very short, a few lines at the most. He’s the best thinker I’ve ever read. The result is, like with Nietzsche sometimes, like a huge tank of crystals, crystals of thoughts. Therefore it’s very slow to read these notebooks : each line almost stops you for a day…
  2. Bourdieu was a French sociologist, at the end of his life, he gave a bunch of lectures in the Collège de France about Edouard Manet, the painter. It became a big book, which is exhausting (in the good way) to read : it’s like hearing him constantly exploding with thoughts, ideas, patterns, about art, society, painting, psychology, history, etc.

 

With one you get a piece of complex, smart, fascinating jewelry. With the other you get a river.

Thus, I wanted to write this article with a rotation. You, who wants to share something, what do you do? You blog or you write a book? Do you concentrate or do you flow? To you build a little thinking toy model, or do you offer a one hour firework? How is the quality presented, displayed? A weaving of string arrows which envelops you like a blanket of ideas, or a ring of twelve words, changing you forever?

What is the most effective for an audience? Lecture or Aphorism?

How do you blog? Do you think about your audience, about their time, their mood? Are you too short, too long? What is an article of yours? A box? A current? Jewelry or map?

Thanks for reading!

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instagram : _bodylanguage_

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coll%C3%A8ge_de_France

Paul Valéry : « A difficulty is a light. An insurmountable difficulty…

Paul Valéry : “A difficulty is a light. An insurmountable difficulty is a sun”.

Une difficulté est une lumière. Une difficulté insurmontable est un soleil.

Yessss you could say it like that : “Challenges are good”, but P. V. is a poet, right?

This quote itself is an example of why I love this thinker. Two short sentences and here you are, wondering. “A sun?”. And this guy does this all the time…

Valéry’s notebooks are exhausting, because you never stop navigating into clouds of great ideas, seeds, impulsions for the mind.

 

Hmmm what do I get?…

  1. A way to apply Amor Fati, “I love what happens to me”.
  2. If it’s difficult it’s entertaining, challenging.
  3. It’s a light : if you incorportate the difficulty to your process, it can be a purpose, a support, a help for life map drawing.
  4. Then it’s really a “light” : a difficulty in a process shows you something, a way, a path.
  5. You can’t touch the sun, nor contemplate it, but it can be a center, a warmth provider, a milestone.
  6. People will ask you why you do it; then they ask you how.
  7. Does the process change you (the light)? Forever (the sun)?
  8. Are diffculties surprises? What is a map? How do we find/draw it?
  9. What if the difficulty come from inside you?
  10. A fool fails because he doesn’t see what’s difficult. What is difficult forces you to think, therefore can make light bulbs appear in your head.
  11. How do YOU read it?

 

Let Jean de la Bruyère tell us the pre-final word :

Les miracles naissent des difficultés

Out of difficulties grow miracles

 

And Wittgenstein gives us a present for the end :

Nous attendons à tort une explication alors que c’est une description qui est la solution de la difficulté.

We are wrongly expecting an explanation, whereas the solution of the difficulty is a description.

 

Thanks for reading!

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“Well roared, Lion” : Chronicle 43

Memory gilds; reality brings about disillusions.
Ernst Jünger

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When we get a sign, maybe it has no other meaning than to raise our alertness.

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Work sometimes with people who trust more in your talent than you do.

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Some zones in life are incomprehensible.

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Sometimes you have to choose but everything is great, thus what do you choose?

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Memories are places, often, oui ?

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Sliding out of assignations…

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“She’s seeking ersatz”

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Curses of the now : goals, and counts. You need to reach, or to win, you obey numbers. To compete is to lose all appeal.

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On a stinking territory,
practice coldness.
When mud’s frozen,
it’s easier to walk
Ernst Jünger

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Two points of view :

  1. “So, nothing happens?”
  2. “Don’t worry, nothing happens…”

 

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You can now buy me a coffee!

Muses are many & Men with no imagination : Chronicle 35

Your faculty to imagine from incomplete datas

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“Let us leave pretty women to men with no imagination.”
Marcel Proust

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Muses are many

They don’t talk to each other
They eventually dance together
Without a word – always.

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Life as responses to rows of random events

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…inharmonies intentionnelles

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Faire feu de tout bois. Make fire with all woods, it’s the French way to say “Fire on all cylinders”.
(It’s funny to notice we talk about making a fire, versus… what? Going faster?)

Nietzsche said : “One must have chaos in oneself to give birth to a dancing star”.

– Different ways of saying that you blogger, like me, use EVERYTHING around to get ideas and texts. Everything.

Even a trap, a loss, a paradox, a mistake, everything.

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Every “warrior”, one by one, could die of/in his war. Even Ayrton Senna.

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“What you seek is seeking you”
Rumi

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A blog is also a reminder

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“Happiness is beneficial for the body, but it is grief that develops the powers of the mind.”
Marcel Proust

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Take your broken heart. Make it into art.
Carrie Fischer

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The naivety of thinking Art as a happy meeting of a subject and a talent
The fear of the shortest paths…

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Peter Gabriel in an interview : “It’s a different sensibility. Most bands begin, you know, playing together, and then find writing. We wanted to write, and we found playing”.

Heyy that’s a subject for an article, right? OK I’m on it.

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Did Rumi write this ? :

“The one who seeks a flawless brother stays without a brother”

Thanks for reading!

JP

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Photo : Tamas Dezso

 

Under a mask, no one can lie…

“Under a mask, no one can lie…”

I found this fascinating idea in an interview of a French director, who used masks in a film about WWI. Years before, Ariane Mnouchkine, a theater director, said to him that under a mask, no one can lie…

I remembered that Christopher Nolan talked about masks, and he chose Tom Hardy to play Bane (with a mask) in Batman The Dark Knight Rises, then to play the aviator (with a mask) in Dunkirk.

Nolan said :

“I was pretty thrilled with what he did in The Dark Knight Rises with two eyes and couple of eyebrows and a bit of forehead so I thought let’s see what he can do with no forehead, no real eyebrows, maybe one eye.

“Of course Tom, being Tom, what he does with single eye acting is far beyond what anyone else can do with their whole body, that is just the unique talent of the man, he’s extraordinary.”

 

It’s something like a paradox. You smile, but you don’t : we all know that there’s something true here. But where?

Example : you talk with someone. You know that this someone is lying to you. But you don’t tell you know. You let this person lie. Just to see. You know there’s a mask, and your interlocutor does not know you know. What happens?

Exercise : Google “mask quotes” and find things like : “When you wear a mask, the mask becomes you”, or “Do they love you, or the mask you put on everyday?”, or “Give a man a mask, and he will show you his true face”. Why are all these quotes interesting? Can you undbuild them, prove the contrary? Why? How?

Is a mask a protection, a tool, a cowardice?

Under a mask, everybody lies. So what does this title mean?

 

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3 Quotes from Manet : a toolwaltz for artists, painters, thinkers…

“It is not enough to know your craft – you have to have feeling. Science is all very well, but for us imagination is worth far more”.

 

“There is only one true thing: Instantly paint what you see”.

 

“But to have spontaneity, one must be master of his art”.

 

Edouard Manet

 

These are good little seeds for artists, thinkers, and artists thinkers.

The middle one is linked to the 1st & 3rd.

The pack is like a loop, right? 1 – 2 – 3 then again. A braid.

Tool :

What’s your braid? When you write a poem, do you tell a story, do you picture a place or a mood, do you work on words as elements : jewelry or photography? If you’re a teacher, what do you weave? Watching the class, the students one by one? Do you invent, or do you follow? In jazz, do you listen to others or do you lead? What about sex? Marketing? Leading a battle? Politics? Making a speech? Being an actor? Conversation?

As always, it’s about

  1. thinking about what you’re doing
  2. draw or find lines, frontiers (spontaneity/mastering, freedom/constraint, casual/focus, one tree/the forest, respect rules/mind of your own, etc)
  3. choose how to balance
  4. move cursors (and pan scales) is necessery
  5. be aware of all of it
  6. or not

 

Thanks for reading!

 

Some examples :

 

 

“An artist should be a spontanéiste. There’s the right term. But to have spontaneity, one must be master of his art. Undirected groping never leads anywhere. One must translate one experiences, but translate it instantaneously, so to speak”

Manet

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