In Memoriam: George Whitman

“Be Not Inhospitable To Strangers Lest They Be Angels in Disguise” – George Whitman

Today, this blog is dedicated to the man who made this Mecca for writer’s and reader’s  all that it could be. George Whitman, an Angel in Disguise, died on Wednesday at the age of 98 years young.

No doubt, his spirit will linger on in every corner of the shop, between book and page now safely in the hands of his daughter and those entrusted with Shakespeare & Company’s care. The highlight of my first trip to Paris was when they accepted my first poetry chapbook and added it to Poet’s Corner. The receipt is safely tucked in the journal I carried around France.

Recently, on my other blog: foundinfrance.wordpress.com, I focused on Shakespeare & Company. It is a place that holds fond memories and I shall return.

If you have not experienced a visit to Shakespeare & Company, it is an unforgettable experience. When you cross George’s threshold, you enter another world. This is a world of books, writers, readers and a remarkable chapter in Literary History. George and Shakespeare & Company are each legendary in their own right.

Sleep well. Your rest is well earned and know you have made a difference in countless lives. To George’s daughter Sylvia and the many others who are dedicated to continuing George’s legacy, I offer my sincere condolences.

Bisous,

Léa

Bread & marriage

“The first thing I do in the morning is brush my teeth and sharpen my tongue.”     –  Dorothy Parker

BREAD & MARRIAGE

years and years

of baking bread

bread I did not eat

did not want

the emptiness remained

feeding family

feeding others

the staff of life

kneading

always

needing

divorce

can be a beginning

i don’t bake bread

anymore

but the emptiness

has gone

other hungers

emerge

-Bisous,  Léa

Finding voice

Finding voice…

Be tells me to keep writing

Cait tells me to just write

My past tells me I can’t write

Fear writes for me

Anger writes the loudest, and is most prolific

Joy is silent, nearly invisible

Sadness drones on and on

Pain is sharp, isolated, and intense

Journals are scattered about my home

Tossed into the recesses of the car

They harbor numerous attempts of binge/purge

When moving I will devalue their loyalty

As I shove them through the shredder

The ghosts of childhood critique every effort

They silence me with threats to expose my failure

Deep inside the struggle

To break through the barriers

Quakes with revelatory thunder

Bisous,

Léa

Bonjour, bienvenue and caution: enter at your own risk!

“Sometimes when you think you are done, it is just the edge of beginning. Probably that’s why we decide we’re done. It’s getting too scary. We are touching down onto something real. It is beyond the point when you think you are done that often something strong comes out.”     – Natalie Goldberg

We embark on the scary journey with each writing effort. For some it is a desire to write, publish, and make money or fame. For others, it is a need to learn about what hides inside us. Most find it combines elements of both and the numerous variables that make us unique yet us in the world of words.

While much of my work in the past came from the angst, I find it is the darkest times where the writing stopped. To write is to sift through the perceptions, wounds and wonders that color and shape our words and our lives. The exquisite sting of creation motivates us onward.

Bisous,

Léa