May 21- the moment before the transformation: Lyndi Sales

Hello dear rainy May,

this was a challenging day because I went to an exhibition where my mentor-to-be was presenting some of his own work. It felt difficult to face him after he refused to participate to my first project, last week. At the same time, I run into people who are examining another of my proposals. People who decide if they like it or not. If they like me or not.

It is not easy to feel judged. For me. There is a part, that wants to blend in, be accepted and recognized by my reference group, peers, etc. There is another part that wants to follow my instincts. This could make me look different. But it is me.

Just after, I went to lunch with someone who is coming from my hometown, we had met when I was planing to move to Paris and was looking for advice. We had a lot to catch up. I am happy for the path I have taken. Still, talking about the challenges I faced in the past, made me feel uncomfortable. Because I have tried to affirm an independent stance, to defend the territory I was creating.

My label.

And it is still not solid enough. Or is it?

I realized I need to focus on connection. To go towards those with whom I have an understanding. To forget about those who don’t want to understand.

Easy to say, but we are all part of the Platform, I can’t ignore this reality.

Maybe Lyndi Sales, the South-African artist, is giving an answer. I run into an installation of her work by accident and looked for more information on-line.

Lyndi Sales  talks about “Real Imaginary” and works on the limits of our perception. With the object to grasp the moment that precedes a transformation. She evokes a multitude of parallel universes that reflect, influence and respond to each other.

Vesica Piscis – ontology
aquarelle sur papier Fabriano et découpage
102×156 cm – 2014

 

http://www.marialund.com/fr/artiste/lyndi-sales

 

Her work is presented in the art gallery of Maria Lund in Paris: 48, rue de Turenne 75003 Paris – T. +33 1 42 76 00 33 – galerie@marialund.com

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May 20- “Bath in motion” and how to hit on a guy

Dear May,

I was going to call it a day, after having woke up at 5.30, been to the Platform, the artistic event Matrix I belong to…  I put some posters for the next exhibition I prepare on Thursday, and had a few business meetings.

It felt so much better to have texted B, to have told him that I like him as a person, regardless of what this might mean for the future. It is as if a weight has been lifted off my shoulders.

So, when I came back home, all I wanted was to relax and maybe talk to some friends. K who had just come back to Paris called and we agreed to meet for a drink. She is going to a job interview tomorrow and probably needed some moral support.

We were to meet somewhere in the center of Paris. But, as I was walking towards our meeting point, I noticed an event was taking place in a beautiful Bath store. “B’Bath” offers the concept of “Bath in motion”, associated to well-being. We were welcome for a cocktail, and admired the way a bath can bring us a feeling of harmony, while drinking wine and tasting strawberries in an envelope of dark chocolate.

I was impressed to observe the way a girl was hitting on a guy : she was touching his arm several times just a few seconds after they had met. I am usually shy, so I wondered if this kind of approach is effective. A little bit later, I saw him again by himself.

I don’t know if I could generalize and say that men -in Paris- don’t like women to take an initiative. I doubt that. It is probably that touching someone right away goes a bit too far.

And I am not sure this is enough to create a connexion.

I include the link to the exhibition, in order to thank them for the nice cocktail.

D’DAYS 2014 : B’bath crée le mouvement

Bath in motion,  l’exposition événement du 19 au 25 mai 2014

May 19-love, fantasy and reality (2)

Hello May,

how was your first day of the week? I don’t know if you see the difference between weekends and the other days, but for many humans there is a change of rhythm.

My personal rhythm was accelerating and then slowing down, depending on the activity I was doing. There was also a repetition of a music theme: very often, I was going back to thoughts on love fantasies and whether I should get out of my last one.

I reread B’s sms. B is the guy who interests me. He sent me a sms yesterday, where he told me he doesn’t have time for me at the moment, between his job and his son. Should I forget all about him and even change café? Should I instead, try to understand? After all, we hardly know each other. It is not as if we were engaged in a relationship. He was also asking me how I was doing. Should I answer that?

I had lunch with a good friend who was having similar questions. She is in love, and was complaining about the sms culture in relationships. She needs to communicate with her partner, and writing a sms seems a very limited way to do so. Not enough to fight, to explain, to reconcile.

Or is this an advantage? Limited space is after all what we need to condense our feelings and learn to cut to the chase.

So I sent B a sms. I said I understand, and I am happy to run into him in our usual café. I told him I like his group of friends, the way he is mixing up people of different origins. Because it is the true.

I felt better after that. More free. Time and space are important. Rhythm also. But isn’t it more important the way we use them?

Speaking of rhythm, there is a wonderful Jazz Festival in the area of Saint Germain, ending on May 25, I hope I will make it to one of the concerts.

(http://paris-ile-de-france.france3.fr/2014/04/24/festival-jazz-saint-germain-des-pres-paris-465423.html)

640x360_bis.jpg

 

May 18- Rue de Buci: love, fantasy and reality

Dear sunny May,

this is the second post I write for the day. I have accidentally erased the first one before having the time to save it. There is no accident of course : I was a bit troubled by the topic, which is love.

I spent the biggest part of the day, Rue de Buci, between café, and aperitif. I met some friends, and talked among other things, about relationships. Is X more than a friend? Is Y manifesting romantic interest?

I received an sms from B, my favorite café guy, saying he is completely absorbed by his work and his son -as a divorced father- he hardly has time for anything else, which is me, and he is sorry. Our casual meeting at the café is almost his only fun time.

I know parents of young children are extremely busy and B is doing a demanding job.

But, if he wanted to, he could have made some time for a drink!

This is going in the direction of what an Italian friend had told me: if a guy wants something, he will act. Turn the page April!

Of course, I would have liked him to say instead: “I am sooo busy, but I always make time for you, April”!

I have not answered yet. I will continue going to the same café when I feel like it and I still like B. Too bad I will not get to know him for real.

Between the fantasy of love and reality, I prefer reality, with a fantastic guy!

http://www.tripadvisor.fr/LocationPhotoDirectLink-g187147-d545892-i78663543-Marche_rue_de_Buci-Paris_Ile_de_France.html#78663543

Rue de Buci Paris

May 17- The night of the Museums, in Paris

 

 

Hello dear May,

Saturday, beautiful spring weather, the tourists are conquering Paris and it is the European Night of the Museums!

Museums stay open late, are free, and offer original spectacles, tours, concerts! So, what did I choose? The Museum of the “Légion d’Honneur” the highest distinction the French Republic can offer to military and citizens.

Why did I choose this museum? Is it something I decided after considering the best of the best? Was there a friend who wanted to go there?

I have to admit that no. It is just opposite to the Musée d’Orsay, the Impressionist Museum that was our first choice, and offered dance classes. But we had to wait for more than an hour to enter. Just across the street, the Museum of the “Légion d’Honneur” without queue at the door, was waiting for us. We said yes, and entered with my friends.

Maybe his is a frivolous way to get in touch with history, power, merit. We had recently been in the terrace of the Odéon theater for a drink, and not in the mood to contemplate national glory.

It is a Museum we would never have visited, a friend said, a nice opportunity to do something different!

Definitely!

It is Napoleon the 1rst in 1802 who institutes this way to distinguish citizens for military and civil merit; mostly men, women start to appear in a timid way and now form 20% of the people decorated. It is inspiring to see the example of women at the resistance, artists, scientists, … recognized little by little.

From an aesthetic point of view there was the collection of the Italian Ambassador Spada, with the highest decorations of different countries, in gold and diamonds…

Honor and Glory, are they still important outside a military context? How can I transform them in everyday life to motivate action?

Do we need someone else to acknowledge our merit, for example in the form of a decoration? For the “Légion d’Honneur”, I think you need to wait 40 years. I don’t know how fast you can claim a Nobel Prize.

So if the decoration comes late, how do people maintain their effort for at least 40 years? Do they have a group of supporters? The necessary means?

I would need to investigate this. But as a guess, it could be that they have a sense of purpose. Of contributing something important.

https://i2.wp.com/www.musee-legiondhonneur.fr/mlh/galerie/1024/60_CD-4---legion-29---jarretie.jpg

http://www.musee-legiondhonneur.fr/00_koama/visu_lh/index.asp?sid=320&cid=10861&cvid=10874&lid=1

May 16- Into the woods 3- the Luxembourg garden

Hello dear May,

Yes, I did write for two hours, as I committed myself to do yesterday. At least that is the time I spent on my manuscript. I made a plan and took notes. Instead of working on one topic and stress on the way it advances, I decided to experiment working on three topics simultaneously. They are different, but complementary at the same time.

I did well of that. At lunch time, I was in the whereabouts of the Platform, where a lot of artists, producers, and event organizers meet. I went to the Platform café where I run into N again. N, in case April has not told you, is a guy I have some difficulty communicating with. Yes, I have been attracted to him in the past but we didn’t share a common language. He seemed to like me too, but he was criticizing my lifestyle and I was defensive about it.

Anyway, he confirmed that he will come to my summer event, which is great. He even thinks of spending part of his holidays on the spot, in the south of France, and will arrive two weeks earlier, with friends. He asked me for contacts in order to rent a place to stay.

I will put him in touch with one or two people. I was warm, but business-like and tried to find if he could help other participants with cheap flight/train tickets. He refused, saying he could only find a way out for himself.

But my question is not N. My question is B, my favorite guy. Will I be able to get out of my business-like talk and show some emotion? Will I be capable to tear down the wall that is supposed to keep me safe but also keeps me apart?

B, I don’t care if you like my events or not. (Ok, you’d better do). Let’s go out for a walk, leave your mom and friends for a while and let’s kiss in to the woods.

The weather is beautiful, the sun is shining this weekend and the birds are singing.

So should we!

Photo de l'équipement Jardin du Luxembourg - Horaires d'ouverture

http://equipement.paris.fr/jardin-du-luxembourg-horaires-d-ouverture-1793

 

 

 

 

May 15- A night with the OULIPO writers

Hello May,

how was your day? Sunny most of the time…

The highlight of my day has been going to the “OULIPO” lecture at the National Library in Paris. What is OULIPO?

A group of writers, not just French, and a style of constrained writing full of humor and with an inspiration from mathematics. I refer you to Wikipedia for more details (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oulipo). The group was created in the 1960s but is still very active, and they are reading their texts once a month, on Thursday’s at the National Library.

Italo Calvino for example, one of my favorites, was a member.

To go back to my day, the theme of the lecture was the use of “feet” in literature. It was much fun and sexual connotations were present here and there. This is the first time I joined them, and decided I should do it again. I should even use some of their experimenting technics in my writing.

Just outside, I run into a friend, a writer, I haven’t seen in three years. He told me he would like to read extracts from my novel, which is great!

So OULIPO members are using constraints to write. I might need some constraints for the rest of May:

One form of experimentation would be getting in touch with potential mentors without waiting three years to pass.

Another, two hours writing every day: starting from tomorrow morning.

And finally I dare myself to express feelings. Of love, affection, appreciation to someone I find attractive.

Let’s have fun with constraints!

 

Logo: http://www.placepublique-rennes.com/2010/11/rennes-capitale-oulipienne/

 

May 14- at the Kurdish restaurant

Hello May,

yes, I went out again tonight, what do you mean it is the middle of the week? It was the birthday of a good friend, you just can’t say no in this occasion!

At first I thought we were to go to a Turkish restaurant, but finally it ended up being Kurdish: “Zagros” named after the chain of mountains in Kurdistan. It is situated close to metro Père Lachaise. Very nice lamp with eggplants, by the way.

M invited friends she has made in different settings, so I practically didn’t know anyone but her. I got there at 21.30, and was among the first of the group, the other six friends came after 10.00. We were a mixture of French, Greek, Kurdish, Turkish, Iranian, Americans. There was one person she was particularly eager to see: a Kurdish musician, who would play traditional instruments. He arrived late, a real star, and after having drunk some wine, smoked and eaten, he played the Tanbur and sung nostalgic love songs.

It was beautiful.

We forgot our everyday questions, the music was enough to create a unity between people who had never met before.

Everyday questions, as for example: what will happen if all the men I am interested in come to my summer event?  Two of them seemed decided to do so, this afternoon.

Can I handle this?

Of course I can!

 

 

https://i1.wp.com/js.aichelbaum.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/zagros.jpg

Photo from: http://francois.aichelbaum.com/restaurant-zagros-du-mediterranneen-au-pere-lachaise/

May 13- full moon and flirting

Hello May,

you were showering us with storms, brought sunshine, and changed mood every half an hour, today! Is this why I was a bit moody or should I attribute it to the full moon?

Anyway, I decided to take it easy and slow down a bit, because working and stressing the last few days made me nervous. And when I get nervous I am not effective any more. It is also bad for love. So I decided to take a break and stop putting demands on myself other than take it easy. No projects, no contact with impatient colleagues, no respect for deadlines. Nothing.

Instead, I did things normal people do on Saturdays that I have been postponing. For example, buy vacuum cleaner bags. Batteries for my clock. Go for a run.

I finally went to a local café-bar for a drink. A charming couple in their forty’s was chatting with the owners about Palermo in Sicily. The woman contributed to a publication on Palermo and was showing everybody beautiful photos. The owners wanted to visit too and started planning a trip. Everyone was excited. The couple was in love, and very demonstrative.

Is it spring, the full moon was beautiful, everybody in the café-bar got in a flirtatious mood. It is so inspiring to see people in love!

You get happy, and in this case, you want to follow their example.

I thought of B. I wish I could kiss him also in this or another café.

To contribute, in my turn, to the amount of happiness in the world.

Lever de pleine Lune sur la Seine

http://www.panoramio.com/photo/51969918, photo by  Gary Wasilowski

May 12- the “Odéon” theater in Paris

Hello dear May,

I just came back from Odéon, “Thêatre de l’Europe”, one of the 6 Parisian national theaters, where the director and some of the main artistic figures presented next year’s theatrical season. What I loved the most was the 88 year old Michel Piccoli who told us why he became an actor: as a young boy, he was chosen to perform for a school play. It was the first time the adults were stopping their continuous mumbling to pay attention to what he had to say. And he loved it.

Don’t we all need a stage to perform our play, choose the actors and attract the public’s attention? And if my blog is my stage, what do I have to say?

Am I capable to channel feelings, to touch those I like and love? Have my relationships become more profound? Do I know myself better? Have I taken more risks for true love?

I realize how important it is to me to channel feelings on a daily basis.

Have I become more confident in writing? Because you know, I had been discouraged by some people in my profession who criticized my writing style. And this kind of thing blocked me. It has taken away some of the pleasure. Some 🙂

In this respect I haven’t become more productive since I started bloging. Apart from my daily post, my daily chat with you, dear May.

No, I am not going to answer all these questions now. But I will reflect on them.

The difference is that writing a daily post has been a real source of pleasure!

Oh, and here is the theater lobby where we had a drink just after the event 🙂

http://www.theatre-odeon.eu/fr/les-lieux