Sea/Snow/Sky and their French friends

I opened a book about Proust and found this : “Le temps n’est pas passé sur le hall du Grand Hôtel de Cabourg au bout duquel on voit, par la porte-fenêtre, la mer”.

“Time has not passed on the hall of the Grand Hotel of Cabourg after which one sees, through the French door, the sea”.

Obviously, the author made a tracking shot for the eye, from the hall to the large window then the sea…

In French, “la mer” arrives deliciously at the end of the phrase, opening it to the vast sky. As you know, words have a genre in French, the sea is a she

I said to myself that “la mer” sounds opened and grand and clear, a bit unlike “the sea”, which brakes a lot with its “S” – “Sea” sounds to me like a solid string.

Then I thought about the snow. Snow sounds GREAT for fallen, thick snow. But when it flies from the sky in magic light meandering flakes, I prefer the French one : La neige !

Sky” is great for the sky. It sounds big and clear. The French word is “le ciel“… it’s more pale…

Pépite is greater than nugget. L’Or is brighter than gold. But wood is good, it’s sounds like wood. We say “bois“, alright. Some other words are cool in both languages : l’acier (steel), both are solid and almost blazing, right?

 

Of course, this means nothing. I touch here the infinite, fractal and subtle differences between your native language and the learned one. I can get the words, but I can’t really get their radioactivity, or tiny ones, through movies and conversations.

What do I see on this picture? Curtains/Rideaux. Plates/Assiettes. Clouds/Nuages. Candles/Bougies.

Candle makes me see the flame. Bougie makes me feel the wax. Ahhh it’s complicated!!

 

Thanks for reading!

(and sorry for my bad English)

 

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Cloche – French idioms with “bell”

Here are a few bell French idioms :

Déménager à la cloche de bois (“to move at the wooden bell”) is to go out without paying. To do a moonlight flit.

Etre sous cloche (“to be under a bell”) is to be preserved, protected, with a negative sound to it. To be put under a cover.

Quelle cloche ! (“what a bell !”) : what a numpty, what an idiot!

Se taper la cloche (“to help myself with the bell”) is to have a real feast.

Avoir un autre son de cloche (“to have another bell sound”) is to get another story, another version of it.

Se faire sonner les cloches (“to have my bells rung”) is to get a good telling off.

 

So a cloche is a bell, but also an idiot (as a name and an adjective), and also a dome (a bell cover).

A bell tower is named “un clocher” (say : “closhey”), which is often used to say a village. If someone is attached to his village, il est attaché à son clocher (his bell tower).

The verb “clocher” (it could be “to bell”) means it’s not quite right. Il y a quelque chose qui cloche : something is wrong.

Un clochard is a tramp, a homeless person.

Avoir un esprit de clocher (“to have a bell tower spirit”) is when you want to stay with the opinions of a group.

 

Voilà ! Have fun!

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Words : Friends/Enemies?

Words : Friends/Enemies? This subject covers many disciplines and would need a few books to study, so, let’s say it’s a pack of seeds for a conversation.

We all meet this idea that words are reductive. They are put on things like stickers, making them simpler than they are.

It’s this idea that when you “labeled” at thing, it become true, then it’s fixed, and cages are not far.

It happens all the time, even on the lowest levels, like “Is this good or bad?”. It’s much more complicated, probably…

Words prevent things and events to be seen as complex, changing, moving and trying.

When you learn another language, you keep noticing weird things, like the fact that a word in one language never completely fit a word in the other one. Each word is charged culturally, and I own a 400 pages book only on this subject!

Travail in French is not exactly Work or Labor (proof is you have two words where only languages have one – Arbeit, in German). Labor contains a part of suffering and difficulties, right? Etc…

Now let’s have fun with Frontière : Frontier, Border, Bounday. Oh well…

Knowing this, I wrote this article because…

I watched my cat, who was watching me. I was asking myself (like many of us) :

What does she think? – and what does she think, since she does not use words in her head?

 

Hmm we blog, we talk, we email, we text, we share our day at dinner time : words are huge. Our thoughts are made of words!

Then I went to this area : Words are friends. They are powerful and pleasant tools, and there’s nothing better in life that a good conversation on a balcony with your best friend you have (with a glass of wine, of course). Words become, then, vessels for intelligence, sparkling ideas : friendly tools we use as virtuosos. Time flies.

…knowing that they are tricky and labeling

Find your good partner, talk about this : “Are words our enemies or our friends?”.

I’ll ask Wittgenstein, waiting for you answer in the comments.

Thank you! Thanks for reading!

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Passages of Valéry – from prose to verse; from speech to song; from walking to dancing

Paul Valéry plays :

The passage from prose to verse; from speech to song; from walking to dancing.
Le passage de la prose au vers; de la parole au chant; de la marche à la danse.

He found a structure, this “passage”. What is it, an elevation? Probably, right?

He notices something :

The purpose of dance is not to transport me from here to there.

The person who organizes or triggers the passage from 1 to 2 has obviously a will. A will for?

Speech tells details about things, it parcels out things, it labels things. A song adds a freedom-movement, brings other reasons for words, and make them mobile. As does poetry.

Dancing, poems, songs : all are rushing to feed a fire. What fire?

Let’s come back to the passage :

from prose to verse; from speech to song; from walking to dancing

It’s a tool. From A to B, bringing this, quitting that.

Where could we apply it? To other universes? Teaching? Photography?

What about meta? What would be the passage from prose to verse to (up again)?

Thanks for reading!

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Vial & Stoop : Types of black holes in language

I’m French and I write in English – I make mistakes and I discover new words everyday.

When I read an article or a short story, I understand what happens, and I admit I don’t translate anymore.

But, well, I always meet new insects, which are really puzzling at times…

Today I met “Vial“. Never seen this word but I guessed. A little bottle. In French we call this “une fiole”, which I find funny. Same structure : vial/fiole. OK.

Stoop” was trickier. First, it’s a noun AND a verb. A doorstep (“perron”, in French), and also “to bend”.

There, here am I questioning English Gods : why do you have to stoop, if you have to bend or even to bow?? Can stoop be replaced by to crouch or to squat?

Worse : as a metaphor or a figurative sense, to demean, to do something “below one’s status, standards, or morals”. “S’abaisser à”.

OK, but also to slant (to stoop a bottle of wine?) – then what is to lean? – to catch a prey for an eagle (“the bird stooped and seized a salmon” – un piqué), to submit (“stooped by death” or “this people does not stoop to Rome”) – even to degrade?

 

Thus, when you read “not your language”, you see holes. Little ones can be filled by contexts, other ones make you make a face, pick a dictionary, and go travel in language, in an awe, for twenty minutes. You should try French while I study the word “slew” (4 nouns, 7 verbs, pfff…).

 

At the end, I found : Stoop : “a vessel for holding liquids; a flagon”. Come on!

Hmmm. Fetch me a stoop of liquor, please. Two new words and I’m done. Back to bed. With my book!

Thanks for reading!

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French Insults beginning with a “P”

French Insults beginning with a “P”? Why P? Why not?

Well, all letters are used for insults, as you can guess, but we French love the P ones. You just have to make it flap & whip, right?

 

  • Porc ! (pig), for those who did dirty things. You have to insist on P, OKey?
  • Peau de Vache ! (skin of a cow) for cow, or bitch (a spiteful person)
  • Pignouf ! : dimwit, slob
  • Plouc ! : rube
  • Pouffiasse ! : floozy – this one is pretty mean and strong
  • Pourriture ! (filth) : filthy so-and-so, louse

 

Some sounds vintage, like “pochard” (drunkard), or extra-mean, like “pute borgne” (blind whore)

 

We often add “espèce de” before one. It’s like when, in English, you say

  • Ne touche pas à ça espèce de petit morveux !
  • Don’t touch that you snotty-nosed little kid!

 

Thanks for reading!

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More ? :

https://fr.wiktionary.org/w/index.php?title=Cat%C3%A9gorie:Insultes_en_fran%C3%A7ais

 

 

A Red Dress and other desires : Dispositif ou Agencement?

Well this is a conversation subject for drunk overthinking friends, let’s go :

Deleuze says that a woman doesn’t desire a red dress, but the whole arrangement she makes of it in her mind : a date, the dress, a man, a summer evening, a dance maybe, a dinner…

A little boy desires a baseball bat, but also a system of what could be around : friends, summer afternoons, running, winning…

The French word he uses for that is “agencement“, which I find translated as “arrangement“. But there’s a problem : “arrangement” is also a French word, therefore I feel a bit disappointed here. It’s colored : un arrangement is a way things are placed, but it’s also a deal.

Our “agencement” means arrangement, but more in a layout process.

A red dress for a date/a baseball bat can dance in an arrangement, a system made of many things (dancing, eating, man’s eyes, walking in a summer night street…), maybe we can consider it’s a layout, a deal? What about a new splendid bat?

My problem is the radioactivity of words. They are like bees here…

If a French arrangement is an English arrangement…
if a French agencement is also an English arrangement…

…how do I explain agencement to you? It’s an arrangement but it’s not a deal. It’s something you find already placed (by destiny, or another person?). We say that an appartment is perfectly “agencé” : it’s not about the furniture, but about the map, the drawing. This big window is on the sunny side, waow, great!

Agencement is about space. Things oriented and placed in space.

The red dress, and the bat, they are all imagined moving in a special space… This is desire!

It’s colored : things in space, how they are placed, a layout. Passive voice, maybe.

If we want to talk about something prepared, it’s more an arrangement (under the form of a deal), we call this un dispositif.

Dang! A new word! Dispositif is often translated by Apparatus, but it’s wrong. I think an apparatus, in English, is a thing, a device, a machine. It is, in French, but it’s also “the name we could make from the verb to dispose”. A metaphorical apparatus, in a way. Effectiveness is coloring it.

It’s not a disposal (which means a destruction, an elimination), though we say une disposition, in French (I’m sure it makes sense, right?). It’s a positioning, voilà : a placement.

Here we are : Agencement means Arrangement, but also a Positioning.

Not positioning each little part of the agencement : it’s clearly about positioning the whole system. Things “linked” (how) to each other.

Agencement is more like that : a map of how things are and play together. The purpose is to say “It’s there, it’s like that, it’s what we have, what was prepared”.

Dispositif is the same, but it sounds more like something decided, wanted. The purpose is to say “This is what we placed and how, to be effective”.

 

Mhh where’s the red dress, here?

Thanks for following & reading!

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Le pochon et la chocolatine (OK French is a mess)

Don’t learn French, it’s… complicated. And there are so many letters we don’t pronounce, you’ll never get it!

For example, for “water”, we write “eau”, which are three vowels, right? But we pronounce it “o”. That’s right.

OK.

This little cake is like a croissant with another shape, with one or two chocolate bars in it, it’s delicious (try it with coffee) and very common. We call it “un pain au chocolat” (a bread with chocolate, which does NOT make sense).

But in the North of France (where I live), you HAVE to say “un PETIT pain au chocolat”, petit meaning “small” (and this is useless and stupid, I know).

We make fun of these silly French in the South West, using “une chocolatine”, hahaha. Just imagine that, they are wrong, that’s all. Right?

Some people in Belgium say “une couque”, and others in the east “un croissant au chocolat”. We roll eyes, that’s all.

OK.

For the sachet, we say sachet in the North. Some French say “un sac” (a bag), some others “une poche” (a pocket – which we find ridiculous) and others “un pochon” (that’s ridiculous, silly, come on, shut up).

Voilà. Visit us, it’s funny! And the food’s good.

Thanks for reading!

 

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(say/don’t say), and other ESLesque things

The French are always obsessed with words, finding “the right way” to say something. All my life I heard about spurts of fear in France, about how English was parasitizing a supposed “purity of French”. Most of people don’t worry that much, though.

People have common sense, and we smile when some “rules” tried to make us say “courriel” instead of email, or “baladeur” (could be “stroller”) instead of walkman. The French Academy has a web page about it, “dire/ne pas dire” (say/don’t say) :

http://www.academie-francaise.fr/dire-ne-pas-dire/neologismes-anglicismes

When I began to talk with Americans I was constantly sorry because I knew I was on a slippery ground with “the correct word”, and I have always been surprised by the way sweet people answered to me that it was OK, that they were understanding me, and I was told that American English was constantly swallowing and inventing new words. People are constantly coming to the USA, from the whole planet, with their mistakes, their accents, their words, their willing.

Learning a language has a reversible quality : it makes you think about your own language, your tongue (in French, the word langue means tongue and also language).

It’s better : it brings back some taste to your own language. For example with idioms :

 

And when there’s two words in English for one in French (coupable in French means guilty, but also culprit). Words’ sense don’t plug to each other well, they are charged in radioactivity. The last example I found is the French “Romanesque“.

At first, it means “novelistic” or “fictional”, but it also means “romantic”, it’s charged with events, chivalry, romance, life like in a movie, and a smile. All this in one!

Writing this blog in English is a constant source of fun, just for this reason (among others).

Thanks for reading!

Have a formidable day

JP

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“Duty of Apology” against Dégringolade

In all languages of the world, you know that pattern : when you watch a word too closely, you find it very weird suddenly. Blop.

For “Tumble down”, we have a verb. The fact that we in France don’t use the “up”, “down”, “back” and so on, forces us to invent words. This verb is :

Dégringoler

Your bag of oranges crashes and opens at the top or your stairs : oranges dégringolent, they tumble down, right?

It happens for all men and women on the planet. A big betrayal, realizing something bitter, a failure, and you tumble down. You crash. You want to cryscream, you want to be hiddendead, you wanna kill the sky!

The common name for dégringoler is dégringolade, and it’s a word so funny (though everybody knows it here) that it becomes strange. Unlike your “fall” or “tumbling”, I reckon. You have your own strange words, right? “Betrayal” is strange…

Dégringolade

Some day, you see your spouse in full dégringolade. It’s messy. Your love or your partner is desperate, has lost it. Total failure.

And of course, it’s NEVER a total failure. You have to stand now, OK?

There’s a “Duty of Apology” here. You have to move your ass and pull your partner up, right? It can be a spouse, a collaborator, an associate. When someone’s down : ACT.

Apology : FIND WHAT’S GOOD here, and say it! Beat the drum! She needs it!

It’s your duty.

Thanks for reading!

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Instagram : _bodylanguage_

Like watching a tree in the wind for a long time, it becomes…

“It wasn’t a mini-tornado, these don’t exist”

As the weather is a bit stormy these days in France, some trees fell, some houses lost their roof, and you read articles in the press telling about mini-tornadoes, with an explicit picture (you can google.fr “mini tornade”).

Immediately, weather specialists stand up in furia and learnedly explain to the community that “It wasn’t a mini-tornado, these don’t exist”. You see their point : categories, how “real” tornadoes appears, etc.

As if you’d slap your little boy in the face because he plays with cars. “It’s not a car, silly, it’s a toy car!“. Bim!

There is something to notice here, a pattern we should watch closely.

At first you want to say “Breathe, buddy”. This thing looks like a mini-tornado, so why can’t people use this word? What’s the point with definitions, here? Isn’t, like a “toy car”, mini itself enough to say “not real”? What if we obey? It’s not a mini tornado. So what?

 

It’s like a cristallization of our problems with words and reality.

  1. Reality is real. Your house really lost its roof, even if mini-tornadoes “don’t exist”. Words are impartation, values – and names are conferred words.
  2. When we think about someone, we have a bunch of labels all ready, and the person disappears under stickers. It is convenient, but wrong.
  3. We often amalgamate the word and the reality, which deprives us from intelligence. A word closes the box, letting us stuck in stupid simplicity.
  4. What else?

 

“Haecceity” is about Labels on your Forehead, from where I copy paste this :

Deleuze says we are more accurately longitudes and latitudes, a group of different speeds and slownesses, an individual, a singularity, constantly inventing grapes of possibilities, a play of forces or encounters.

 

Thanks for reading!

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Instagram : jenamalone

 

 

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All your blog articles are translated

Building words
It’s a strong energy

 

When you write a blog article, you use a combination of processes, which are all similar to translation.

  • You have a confused “big picture” idea you need to put into an article
  • You have a necklace of confused ideas you need to put into sentences
  • You have the words and they go fast, you don’t type fast enough
  • You are, while typing, parasitized by the process of shaping it
  • While you write and shape, the critic into you judges what’s written
  • All these are disturbed and jostled by new spurting ideas pushing in the back
  • You have to link your paragraphs
  • You have to check your spelling
  • You have to work through your reasoning, from beginning to end

 

All these (and I forgot probably a dozen more) are a like a translation between your boiling brain AND the words you see dancing on your screen.

 A big part of writing is choosing…

Therefore what?

I don’t know!

What do you think? Do we need to be aware of that? What levers are available? What can we change? What for?

 

Have a nice day!

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Instagram : ninoleone60

Epistolarian

If I had to give a few words to define me, epistolarian would be in the list. Letters writer lover.

Old letters are as useful as old diaries. You can find back some old ideas you forgot, you can understand where you were – therefore where you are now, etc.

A real human being never trashes informations. The past stays in the past, and it’s interesting to have maps – for example : to find new paths.

So when an epistolarian meets another epistolarian it’s blissful. It can appear in the guise of twenty pages of “this is what happened” or one email of “kind but precise questions” or just like a slow paced tennis conversation, games and smiles, what ifs and helping hands, curiosity and musics or books discoveries.

Like in tennis, it’s like having a respectful opponent who sends back the ball to challenge you. Oh OK it’s more like a dance…

It’s like a secret. It’s slow. It’s a common silence too. Written words.

Good epistolarians are rare. They have to love words, ideas, telling stories, sharing, but also the process of elaborating. And they have to like the pace of it, determined by the other responses too. It’s like a dance, I agree. A dance of spirits.

 

Sometimes we MEET someone with whom we shared letters for years. The person is likely to be very different from the Epistolarian Friend you played with before. It happened to me (almost 30 years ago). It was intense, interesting, very different, and it… supplied a great new blood to our future letters!

Epistolarians know something : No “in real life” meeting can change the person you danced with with letters. It’s the last phrase of this notebook page : “Rien ne peut changer ce que vous êtes à mes yeux” : “Nothing can change who you are in my eyes”.

 

Thanks for reading! Have a nice day!

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The Desire of Definition Syndrome

Hi everyone!

I opened a book about Fernando Pessoa and found a phrase about a strange feeling I recognized immediately.

After the rain, roofs are wet, but one can see some blue in the sky, reflecting in the streets’ puddles. It’s the occasion to be joyful, but there’s… a weight, an unknown worry, a desire of definition

I’m sure that some of my readers will click on this. The Desire of Definition. What can it be?

I’d link it to incompleteness (“I miss something, but I don’t know what it is“) : Something is lacking. But here it’s more precise. It’s like a rush you can feel into yourself, an impetus.

In a way, it’s vague, imprecise. Therefore you feel another impetus under the first one. This is it : the desire of definition. You have a surge of cristallization : PUT SOME WORDS ON IT. Find the nature of it. The source. It’s not to “put words on it”, but more “to express is clearly”.

Maybe to find what it is, simply? Maybe to share it. Or to get rid of it – because how can you be in peace when you feel this spider web stuck on your face without knowing the nature of it. It burns you into your heart, too. It’s… lacking. “I need words”.

One thing can maybe help. Go outside for a walk. Do something with your body : washing the dishes, sortfold the laundry.

The desire of definition leads to words, phrases, explanations, dialog venting if you have the chance to have a soulmate (who is a “birth giver”, like all good friends).

It can also be put in a blog article.

Oh foot! This is exactly what I’m doing here, right?

 

Thanks for reading!

Jean-Pascal

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The Good Teacher type, Verbalizations & The Power to Act : Chronicle 27

Ahhh when some human being, an artist, an actor, whoever, says : “I wouldn’t be there without…”. A teacher, who SAW the possibilities hidden in a toady lazy kid. Thanks to a word. An advice. A book. This person gave the impulse.

This makes me thoughtful. How to keep the awareness to be there and say the right thing to a person who desperately needs it? What is the impulse and how do you find it? What do you trigger here?

It’s rarely in actions, I’m pretty sure. It’s in words. The teacher verbalizes what he/she foresees. Or not. Foreseeing but unsaying what he/she guesses. Impulsing in the forms of seeds. But with words, right?

Words as levers. I like that!

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Spoiler to Sophie’s Choice here : don’t read this if you want to read the book one day.

Sophie is a Polish immigrant who comes to the USA just after the war. When she arrived to Auschwitz a few years before, she’s been forced to choose between her two kids : one will be gassed, the other sent to a children camp.

Of course, the idea of the choice is unimaginably terrible, but the scene, in the book, is worse : the nazi who decides to let her “choose” appears just after his lunch. He’s a bit drunk and has… “a sprinkling of boiled-rice grains on the lapel of the SS tunic”.

There’s something like a horrific one more layer here. Why is it worse to be mistreated by someone who doesn’t care that much? Why are we wounded by a lack of empathy? What kind of tropism is to mistreat someone… casually?

One day, in Paris, I was with a person who was absolutely happy to see me suffer after a break up. She became silent, never explained anything, silence treatmenting me, exhilarated to create confusion in my head, hilarious on the phone describing my despair. I was paralyzed, glued in something… I think it’s been the only time in my life I’ve witnessed this dark joy.

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Bloggers have maybe realized that they have to write & share about what they know/found. Words again. If you read me here, you know I’m obsessed with them…

What kind of place is a blog? Who listens?

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It’s been all fascinating to discover these two different American women the same week. Both of them let me in an awe. I never heard their name before. And, oh, it’s the first and last time I talk about politics here…

I discovered Ann Coulter recently, randomly, on Twitter, and I now follow her, fascinated like by a spider – to see how far she can go. “Hate-Monger”, they call her. Or “bilious”. And in fact, I never thought a person like that could exist.

The democratic political game is normal and I understand a country needs to have some Democrats moments and then some Republican moments. But Ann Coulter is something I can’t understand. I read some of her tweets or retweets, wondering how could someone be so attention seeking, ignorant, full of hate, fiddlesticky and, oh… there are some YouTube movies you can watch, just type her name and “supremely” or “complete”.

I see the spider, obsessed by religion and purity, wanting to “clean” her country from the 11 millions illegal Mexican immigrants (oh really, how would you do that, Ann?) and daily asking for “The Wall” on the border (40% of illegals come by plane with a visa and stay). Outrageous to sell books, right? I watched her first movie on Facebook like “How is this possible?”. She is almost… barking.

Not so long ago she tweeted that “Sharks are doing the jobs Europeans just don’t wanna do” after this incident in the sea “Migrants are eaten by SHARKS during rescue operation in the Mediterranean after their boats sank, claiming 31 lives” ( http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-5120909/Migrants-eaten-SHARKS-rescue-operation.html ).

The only dial I could watch here is this : to ask GOP lovers what they think about this woman. But I know none. I wonder if, for people who preferred Bush to Obama, from where it is becoming “too much”…

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Happily I watched a good documentary about Katharine Hepburn, and heard about Deborah Nadoolman Landis (on the left on the picture), a film and theater costume designer I never heard about before. She’s now also and historian and a professor at UCLA. She designed costumes for Michael Jackson in Thriller, the Blues Brothers, and… Indiana Jones. Yep, she wrote books too!

I loved her smile, her finesse, her genuine sparkling happiness to talk about Katharine Hepburn. I read things about her on Twitter too. All about her grace, her enthusiasm and generosity in teaching.

Deboray at IMDB : http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0618966/

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Facets of America…

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Fidget spinners have been fascinating to watch : it was over as soon as it began. So when kids needed them it was constantly out of stock, and as soon as stores were full of spinners, they had to cut prices : NOBODY wanted to buy such shitty things for that much money.

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There are a few motifs, patterns, I like to call “tools”. It is one of the reasons why my articles are to brief. It’s not about theories, but about little structures.

A single wisdom underlies, though, any idea of “What do I do?”, thanks to Marcus Aurelius, who says that we can divide the world in two camps :

Where we have a power to act, and where we have not.

Then, worry about the first territory only.

In a way, we can consider the second camp (“I know it’s here, and what it’s doing, and I can do nothing about it”) like the WEATHER. The whole society, or war, or idiots around us : there’s little we can do about it. If I want to act, I watch the levers I have within reach, and move thy ass, gallivanter!

Choose your field : job, couple, creativity… It’s just a little analysis game.

 

There are some states, in life, where your camp, your levers, all is just INSIDE you. You are powerless on anything you have around (for example if you’re a lonely prisoner in a cage). Then, all you can do is to work inside yourself…

 

Then…

Signals. At intervals. Intermittently. Hoping they’ll be seen. You need a mate to talk about things, right?

 

Thanks for reading! Bonne journée !

 

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Thanks, Beth, for the picture!

“To take dust for gold” : Chronicle 21

If you obey all the rules you miss all the fun.
Katharine Hepburn

 

I talked ten minutes with an old man, an organ maker. I bombed the poor man with so many questions! One was : “As the organ’s sound is made with pipes, how do you standardize the sound?”. Well it was interesting. He was really happy to tell me these things, and admitted he was writing a book. “Organs & Frigates”. Boats?? He gave me some hints :

  1. In the 18th Century, the two more complex machines were organs and sailboats
  2. These needed complex building and craft
  3. Both use the wind to run on

mu9

Write a short story of a person, after a break up, who is angry to be stalked on the Internet – but he/she is not.
Similar pattern : a TV star is stuck in an elevator with another person… who never watches television and thus has NO CLUE the first one is a celebrity expecting to be recognized.

mu9

My father had a first aid certificate. He taught me that a wounded person absolutely needs a beautiful dressing, a clean and well done bandage. A real need.

mu9

“Words are nothing. Actions are everything. Don’t tell me. Show me.”

Ahhhh we like that, right? Dumbsimple and satisfying! I found another outrageous quote about that :“Don’t talk, just act. Don’t say, just show. Don’t promise, just prove”.

Blah blah blah. My sarcastic mind agrees, nods, and immediately jumps over the fence of fake simplicity to see what happens “really” in life. The facets of plain stupidity are innumerable… because :

Words are nothing? Ah lalaaaa… These motivational quotes are so moronic that I want to die. Or to hit the author on the head with a good hammer. BIM. Then I die, scouic.

Talk to your lover, silly. Don’t be that “He’s silent” type! Act when necessary. If your spouse is like “Don’t tell me show me”. Well : climb a ladder if you like…

mu9

If you hide a Family Secret, it will seep out messily and everywhere in your story…

mu9

She puts her hand on her heart, to show she is wounded
Montherlant

 

Bonne journée, messieurs dames !

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(filthyratbag)

 

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“This is BLUE” – A child story

We live in words, our intelligence plays with them constantly. We dialog with them (as good tools!), we think in words and images. So much that it can become a problem. Philosophers (who said Wittgenstein?) thought a lot about this. And we books-lovers like to think about the limitation of our world with words. Poets and photographers (and others) try to evoke “richer” things, moods that can not be completely defined with words – which simplify reality. Words are not enough, and the world (us included) is moving

I talk sometimes with people who work with poor people, homeless or living in a very poor condition. Educators, teachers in special schools, or unpaid helpers who give a few hours from time to time, volunteers.

One of them, a former philosophy teacher, lives in my street. A few days ago she told me she met a little boy who didn’t speak. Not a word, ever : mute. She said this kid had been well taken cared of, but no one was speaking to him.

So she stayed around, for months, speaking to him, reading him stories, never asking for anything. Like “When I come, I’m with you, that’s it”. Like nourishing him with words.

Months later, a morning, she said the kid watched her, pointed out something in a book, and said : “C’est bleu !”.

 

This

Is

Blue

 

Thanks for reading!

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The Merciless Intimacy of Driven Conversations

Paul Valéry, in his notebooks, wrote a little paragraph about conversations.

We all know what is a good conversation, right? Valéry throws some elements, like a puzzle (each one could become an article), to understand “this” type conversation :

  1. Conversations with your own kind, your “very own kind“.
  2. It’s driven, there’s a thrust.
  3. You need a favorable evening.
  4. You drive the conversation together as far as you can.
  5. It’s a melt of hate and love, it creates a merciless intimacy.
  6. There’s a growth of mutual divination, clairvoyance.
  7. There’s a fury, a will to go faster, deeper.
  8. It’s like a fight, a chess game, intercourse, it’s like running together.
  9. It’s one proof of the existence of humanity…

 

What would you add? How is the subject of conversation chosen (or does it fall from the roof, pushed by mood, events, words)? How is it colored by wine, vodka, whatever? What would add, for this puzzle?

Thanks for reading!

JP

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Word’s Power : “Une Araignée” vs “A Spider”

Some words have a power.

Therefore, because they have a form of newness, foreign words can have a very strong power. For me, for example, the world BETRAYAL is almost diabolical. It frightens me! Betrayal. It sounds like – maybe because of Belial? – the essence of the Devil. Who we call in France : Le Diable. Brrrr…

“Spider” sounds very innocent – is it? I think of spiderman, or of a little spider, an harmless one. I wonder what it is for English speakers… The French word for this fascinating animal is ARAIGNÉE.

For a French, the word ARAIGNÉE is horrible when you examine (and hear) it. You immediately see a frightening dangerous horrible spider. You don’t laugh anymore. You feel the chill along your backbone… It’s not cute at all. At all! And, oh, sorry, it’s feminine…

This word, araignée, is like containing the essence of it all. It’s haunted. You feel the creepyness of it, just with the sound : araignée. It’s awful, complex, vicious, archetypically incomprehensible…

Have you met someone like une araignée one day? What happened? Did you survive? Did she trapcatch you? Was she haunted by death or a curse? How come you realized she was one? A web? Dead eyes? Some weird skill? What was her venom made of? Did you sicksleep, or die slowly, or lose all reason? Did she have bored slaves (like the flies on the first picture)?

What are other terrible words? Why? Why are some words so charged?

Yes, yes : their buttonlike many eyes… Brrrr…

 

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