Outwit Methods for Spleen

“Spleen” is a poem by Baudelaire, French poet :

Spleen

When the low, heavy sky weighs like a lid
On the groaning spirit, victim of long ennui,
And from the all-encircling horizon
Spreads over us a day gloomier than the night;

What is spleen? Melancholy? Boredom? Both? Sadness? Troth? (I don’t know how to say both for three things).

We have an expression here, “tromper son ennui”, which is literaly : “to outwit one’s boredom” – which leads us to my purpose :

What do you do against spleen, how do you outwit this bug?

I think we would all agree to say that you can’t “fix” spleen. It’s a saudade vague state on sadness and… oh… sorry : there IS a way.

  • Sleep.
  • You can listen to happy music, but it’s sadder, right?
  • Try sad music. Put your forehead against the rainy window and wait.
  • You can wear it out with little things. Walk, talk, movies.
  • You can mock your spleen, write a sarcastic diary about how sad you are.
  • You can use it (to write a sad poem/song – “take a sad song and make it better”)
  • You can define it. Knowing things are always good. Weave a poem to explain subtilities.
  • Become happy stupid. Be SURE you’re happy and read motivational quotes.
  • Let the spleen subengulfmerge you.
  • Cigarettes, liquors and other substances.
  • Chocolate.
  • Wine and cheese (both French, silly).
  • Sex (spleeny sex?).
  • Buster Keaton.
  • Read biographies of people with worse lives.
  • Friends?
  • Become angry.
  • Yi-Ching
  • Do something unusual.
  • Flee.

 

What do YOU do?

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Spleen

Quand le ciel bas et lourd pèse comme un couvercle
Sur l’esprit gémissant en proie aux longs ennuis,
Et que de l’horizon embrassant tout le cercle
Il nous verse un jour noir plus triste que les nuits ;

Quand la terre est changée en un cachot humide,
Où l’Espérance, comme une chauve-souris,
S’en va battant les murs de son aile timide
Et se cognant la tête à des plafonds pourris ;

Quand la pluie étalant ses immenses traînées
D’une vaste prison imite les barreaux,
Et qu’un peuple muet d’infâmes araignées
Vient tendre ses filets au fond de nos cerveaux,

Des cloches tout à coup sautent avec furie
Et lancent vers le ciel un affreux hurlement,
Ainsi que des esprits errants et sans patrie
Qui se mettent à geindre opiniâtrement.

– Et de longs corbillards, sans tambours ni musique,
Défilent lentement dans mon âme ; l’Espoir,
Vaincu, pleure, et l’Angoisse atroce, despotique,
Sur mon crâne incliné plante son drapeau noir.

 

 

 

Half a teaspoon of a phoneysham Russian eloping : Chronicle 7

Today I don’t work, I have a “disciplinary layoff”. This is the second time in a few months, which means I’ll probably lose my job before the end of the year.

So today I read my big Nabokov book on my balcony, like 1200 pages of classes about literature. I read a big part about his compatriot Dostoyevsky, an authors he hates for is “sentimentality” (though he deeply studied his work).

As he says, disliking a book can be a great thing – one of the advantages is to put your brain in movement, trying to find what’s wrong, what it “could be”, etc. I have to admit that you need to have that happy “trait” in front of Art : dissection, study, analyze.

Nabokov never says he hates Dostoyevsky, he says his own position is “curious and uncomfortable” (incommode). He’s fascinated… and wrote lectures about his work.

What Nabokov calls sentimentality is the tendency, in novels, to talk about nervous imbeciles, monotonous overdramatic characters and other degeneration weavers.

Drama!

 

So imagine now : your marriage exploded and you’re alone, or the person you love turns away from you, or you’re going to lose your job. Some days, the usual injunctions (“Find happiness inside you”, “Move forward”) don’t work very well : it’s not a good reason to commit suicide! After all, you are healthy, right, for now?

Every woman has a “last man” – and it works the other way round! Just watch around you… That’s for another article, though…

There’s a quiet grey path you are tempted to walk on, some days. You don’t kill yourself but you gather information about it. You drink a little too much. You overthink like an idiot. Phoneysham, it is! It’s your cheap depression day. Your burden is there, but you have probably a few happy days left in front of you.

Try these if you want more about this :

  • Just wait, before you act.
  • Sometimes, insisting makes things worse.
  • Watch how you’re stuck, watch it closely.

 

So again, today I stood up because I have found words related to Art telling things about my questions, and because I write here about that. Nabokov is very intelligent and very sweet : you read his class with a big smile (see?). You clearly own up there’s no murder nor alcoholism, no incest or no gothic disaster in your life (at least, for now). Let’s call this grey path an oblique way to give a kick to the pool bottom. Eloping moods towards the surface!

hanneton.jpg

As I was reading, a maybug, a cockchafer landed on my shoulder. Ohhhh! I said hello, he walked along my arm towards my hand, then he flew away. Yes it’s harmless. We call this little brown jewel : Un hanneton.

 

OK, now listen to this :

And here’s now a little song by Eden Ahbez

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=339UrDjHDio

There was a boy
A very strange enchanted boy
They say he wandered very far, very far
Over land and sea
A little shy and sad of eye
But very wise was he

And then one day
A magic day he passed my way
And while we spoke of many things
Fools and kings
This he said to me
“The greatest thing you’ll ever learn
Is just to love and be loved in return”

Voilà !

 

#Collage & Cie – Cutting out paper as a #Meditation #Flow

Bonjour Tristesse! You are very lost, sad, alone (pick one, or both, or threeth), you don’t know how to deal with yourself anymore. Nor others, right? So what?

Some days… you just need to invent a sadness corner.

I knowww, you “should go outside to meet people”, take photos, watch a movie, keep smiling, etc. But of course you are not able to do anything.

You can meditate (but you’ll fall asleep). Knitting is a solution, but you have to know how to, silly! Drinking is not. Or maybe, well… coloring books? Nahh.

For some wounds, there’s no recovery : you just learn how to live with them, and wait.

OK, knitting. Or… cutting papers. It’s easier!

More than 25 years ago, I salvaged a huge point-of-sale display, my size, a big solid rectangle cardboard. On difficult days I began to cut out photos in magazines and newspapers, and I gluesticked them on it.

It’s simple and easy to do, and it keeps your brain and fingers busy. You have to find your magazine, choose what to cut and decide where to stick the picture, this in a loop.

Thanks for reading!

 

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Instagram : such_a_pretty_crazy

Verlaine & Impossibility to Translate Poetry

This poem from Verlaine is called “Nevermore”. Here it is in French, then in English. Verlaine is a master, but he is not the most complicated poet (like Rimbaud, who is more like a Wizard). He shows you things. Nevertheless, to translate his work in English is, as usual, struggling with words…

And it begins with the first word : in English you seem to use “memory” for our both words “mémoire”, and “souvenir”. A souvenir is more a recollection, a remembrance.

If the air is colorless, our “atone” is different : it’s colourless but also “without a voice”, atonic.

The sun casts a glare, it’s correct, but the french verb “darder” is more bitter. Dard means “a sting” like from a wasp, “the sun casts its monotonous glare” could be also “firing a sting of monotonous ray”.

The “north winds”, at the end of the first verse tries to say “la bise”. Bise (pronounce “bizz”) is a great word for chill wind,”icy calm wind”. It’s great because “une bise” means also a “little innocent kiss”. North wind can not explain the chill you feel when you hear “La bise”, a word who resonates with this bouquet of senses in France “Quiet icy silent wind which sounds like a delicate kiss too”. Yesss.

Poetry is made of words, these gold nuggets used by poets with the whole set of radioactivity and colors. It’s not possible to translate, but it is possible to try, thought. You got the idea of the poem. Then you HAVE to try to read the original, for two reasons : for the music of it, and to “dig” into this gold if you want to. Thirdly, the words used by the translator can trigger something, though, something… different. Another poetry, in fact. Why not. Subtleties.

At the end, I found another translation. To compare.

Thanks for reading!

(colors or colours, tell me?)

Nevermore

Souvenir, souvenir, que me veux-tu ? L’automne
Faisait voler la grive à travers l’air atone,
Et le soleil dardait un rayon monotone
Sur le bois jaunissant où la bise détonne.

Nous étions seul à seule et marchions en rêvant,
Elle et moi, les cheveux et la pensée au vent.
Soudain, tournant vers moi son regard émouvant
“Quel fut ton plus beau jour ? ” fit sa voix d’or vivant,

Sa voix douce et sonore, au frais timbre angélique.
Un sourire discret/ lui donna la réplique,
Et je baisai sa main blanche, dévotement

– Ah ! les premières fleurs, qu’elles sont parfumées !
Et qu’il bruit avec un murmure charmant
Le premier oui qui sort de lèvres bien-aimées !

Nevermore

Memory, memory, what do you want of me? Autumn
Makes the thrush fly through colourless air,
And the sun casts its monotonous glare
On the yellowing woods where the north winds hum.

We were alone, and walking in dream,
She and I, hair and thoughts wind-blown.
Then, turning her troubling gaze on me,
‘Your loveliest day?’ in her voice of fine gold,

Her voice, with its angel’s tone, fresh, vibrant, sweet.
I gave her my answer, a smile so discreet,
And kissed her white hand with devotion.

– Ah! The first flowers, what a fragrance they have!
And how charming the murmured emotion
Of a first ‘yes’ let slip from lips that we love!

Nevermore

Souvenirs, souvenirs, what do you want of me ? Autumn
Invites the thrush to fly through the air lifeless sans tone,
And the sun beats its rays down : relentless monotone
Over the yellowing wood where claps the North wind’s thunder tone.

We were walking all by ourselves as if in a dream,
She and I, haïr and thoughts buffeted by the wind’s non-esteem.
All of a sudden, she turned towards me her looks agleam
« Which was your most beautiful day ? » did her lively golden voice beam.

Her voice soft and sonorous, a fresh timbre angelic.
A discreet smile she did redeem as a reaction cyclic,
And her blanched hand I kissed with devoutness.

Oh ! the first flowers, how their scent liberates perfumes !
And the first sounds they emit akin to charming murmur
The first « yes » that escapes the lips of virgin dames consumes !

#peanuts #charliebrown #melancholy

Savoir Attendre – Know How to Wait : #indecision is a #decision – #problem

What is “to complain”?

To complain is like :

To proclaim words on an awkwardness caused by the differences between “what we want” and “what we have”.

Inspiration, motivational quotes, self help books and common sense tend to say : move forward, wake up, go on the road, live your life, make choices, be positive and happy, define goals and work on them, go go go !

Of course it does NOT work, and nobody can be happy “on demand”. Here you are again, sad potato. Worse : here you are again, sad potato wanting wanting wanting…

“Savoir Attendre” is the title of a book from François Roustang. It means “Know how to wait”, which already made me smile. Wait : “Wait? Really?”. This book if full of funny tools, unusual ones. It says quite the contrary of other books, it’s why you’re paying attention, right?

It says… not the contrary, but it shows maybe a detour (I should have written this article like “15 different ways to change”, like they do) to change, to find. And yes, it’s maybe a little oriental.

Tools :

  • Accept you’re not OK for a while. You’ll learn a lot from that.
  • Wait
  • Maybe you tried “decisions”. Maybe you were plain wrong. Stop now.
  • Wait
  • Stop thinking endlessly to your “problem”. Stop asking “Why?”.
  • Wait
  • Do not try to be efficient or successfull all the time. Don’t push like a bulldozer.
  • Wait
  • Act without thinking for a while, like a golf player who’s about to hit.
  • Wait
  • Do little things. Turn over rocks. Little gestures.
  • Wait
  • Try casual. Try unusual, even random. Try “what if?”. Breathe. Take your time. Indecision is a decision.
  • Wait
  • Stay ready to find something. Google : “serendipity“. Open your eyes.
  • Wait
  • Enable things to happen. Open your portholes.
  • Wait
  • Be ready to use the Propensity of Things.
  • Wait
  • Don’t think about your “goal”. Begin where/when you are.
  • Wait
  • Little gestures. Something will open. Watch.
  • Ready? You go girl!

 

#lille #afternoon #melancholy #Sky #clouds

Aujourd’hui c’est gris / Today it’s grey

In English, to be sad is to feel blue, which is a bit strange. Blue is the blue sky ! In France, we say : “Je vois la vie en gris aujourd’hui” – I see my life in grey today.

This morning the sky was grey, a still blanketlid of grey. My mood was grey : I smiled and said “Aujourd’hui c’est gris !”, today’s grey. So I chose grey clothes and I’m writing this with my cat Bidou on my knees, listening to…

On YouTube I searched “Hindemith Langsam” (try !) but I picked, at the end, the Apollo of Stravinsky. It’s, say, velvet grey, elegant, a standing up melancholia.

When you feel blue, you can fight it with orange and yellow colors, and listen to Cuban happy trumpetting shit, OR you can sit in front of the window, near the rain, watching the grey, listening to some Satie. It depends on how you’re made, inside.

If today I had to compose a piano piece, I’d call it “I miss you, Swanny”; it would be Satiesque – with a veil, behind, like these clouds under.

Lever : Choose your weapon ! When you’re in a blue mood, what’s effective ? To sing a fake happiness on tropical dances, or try to hold your shit to slowly stand up ?

 

#sky

 

The weirdelicious shame of loving a part of vulgaire…

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.

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Today I bought a bad painting, secondhand, in the street. It’s just… ordinaire. Nothing really surprising in the colors, the texture, the light, nothing. The flowers : no. I just saw it and wanted to take a picture, in the street, for Instagram, when I saw something. My eyebrows moved upstairs, haha. Up.

Climbing Eyebrows Criteria…

Well, I bought it ! 3 € only. Let’s say $3.40. I brought it home and wondered about her expression (Thoughtful because of the past, the future ? Tea’s cold ? A decision to make ?) and the source of the cold expression I find (eyebrows ?) for a long moment.

Since this I wonder. In the different worlds of Art : la musique, les films, l’architecture, what’s happening when we are touched and moved by a single, a tiny element of a bothering piece of… ok, Art ? A phrase in a mendelssohn sonata ? A ray of light in an ugly church ? A miracle scene in a B-movie ? A few words of magic in a bad poem ?

Lever : What is the surprise here ? How does it work in our brain ? What kind of struggle do we fight ?

Tool : What if we choose méthodiquement to DIG into a hangar of pigshit (well, with good protection), just to find gold nuggets ?

Well, in fact : it’s a NO from me. Let’s keep it random. Let’s find gold nuggets without digging into dirt. Mental health’s important. Bim.

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