Echos From Shadows of The Past…

“The Law was made for one thing alone, for the exploitation of those who don’t understand it, or are prevented by naked misery from obeying it.” – Bertolt Brecht

“A man who sees another man on the street corner with only a stump for an arm will be so shocked the first time he’ll give him six-pence. But the second time it’ll only be a threepenny bit. And if he sees him a third time, he’ll have him cold-bloodedly handed over to the police.” – Bertolt Brecht

In 1933 the Nazis seized power, and like many German dissidents, the writer Bertolt Brecht had to leave. After several moves, he ended up in Denmark where he and his family accepted the offer of a house in a remote village. It was there that he penned an essay which quickly began appearing in different European cities. The journal responsible was Unsere Zeit (Our Times). It was even smuggled into Germany and distributed under a plain cover. The title “Statutes of Reich Association of German Writers.”

The actual title of this work was “Funf Schwierigkeiten beim schreiben der Wahrheit,” which translates to “Five Difficulties in Writing the Truth.

Brecht went on to say that if one chooses to oppose lies and ignorance, and to write the truth, there are five difficulties that you must overcome.

The real title of the essay was “Fünf Schwierigkeiten beim schreiben der Wahrheit,” or “Five Difficulties in Writing the Truth.” Brecht wrote:

“These days, if you want to struggle against lies and ignorance, and to write the truth, you must overcome at least five difficulties. You must have the courage to write the truth when everywhere truth is repressed. You must have the wit to recognize the truth, though everywhere it is concealed. You must have the skill to make the truth into a weapon. You must have the judgment to choose those in whose hands the truth will be effective. And you must have the cunning to spread the truth among such people.”

While the obstacles he faced were epic under fascism, they are also present in the lives of writers who have suffered exile, had to flee their homes and also for those who live in countries that claim to be democracies when they are not. Today we live in a world where fascism is rearing its ugly head. In some countries more than others, it is quickly become the rule of law in some parts of the world.

I believe that it is time to dust of Brecht and to committ to exactly what type of writer each of us will strive to be. Remembering his circumstances and reading his words, I shall endeavor to follow his ideals.

The Courage to Tell the Truth

It seems obvious that, as a writer, you should write the truth, in the sense that you ought not to suppress or conceal anything or deliberately write things that are untrue. You ought not to bow down before the powerful or betray the weak. It is, of course, very hard not to bow down before the powerful, and it is highly advantageous to betray the weak. To displease the possessors means to become one of the dispossessed. To pass up paid work or to decline fame when it is offered may mean being unpaid or unknown forever. This takes courage.

Any truth worth writing is one that those in power do not want you to tell, and the enemies of truth will try to exact a price. They will leak your personal information to the press or to your enemies. They will dox you. They will try to make it embarrassing or frightening or dangerous to tell the truth. A man who corrupts whole countries gets less prison time than a woman who votes by mistake. This is what power means.

In times of oppression, there is usually much talk about elevated matters. To write that you are “in the resistance” feels dramatic and important. You can get the feeling that you are a truth teller, because truth ought to feel dramatic and important. What is this feeling of drama? Surely, it must be the truth. In such times, it takes courage to write of low and boring matters such as food and shelter, access to healthcare, the rights of refugees.

When every channel is blaring the message that strong feelings trump knowledge, and that a man without compassion is more deserving of attention than one who cares for others, it takes courage to ask: Who profits? When all the talk is of who is a real American, it takes courage to ask: Who is unreal?

It also takes courage to tell the truth about yourself, about your own defeat. You lost. They are drinking your tears. Many of the oppressed lose the capacity to see their own mistakes. It seems to them that the persecution they suffer is itself the greatest injustice. The persecutors are wicked simply because they persecute; the persecuted suffer because of their goodness. But this goodness has been beaten, defeated, suppressed. It was therefore a weak goodness, a bad, unreliable goodness. For we cannot accept that goodness must be weak as rain must be wet. Weakness is not goodness. Goodness is not a weakness. It takes courage to say that the good were defeated not because they were good, but because they were weak.

Naturally, in the struggle with lies we must write the truth, and this truth must not be a lofty and ambiguous abstraction. When we say of someone, “She spoke the truth,” we imply that some people said something that was not the truth—a lie or a generality—but she said something practical, factual, undeniable.

It takes little courage to mutter a complaint about the triumph of barbarism in a place where complaining is still permitted, even prized. Many writers pretend that the guns are aimed at them when, in reality, they are merely the targets of influencers, trackers, and ads. They shout their generalized demands to a world of friends and followers. They insist on a generalized justice for which they have never done anything. They ask for generalized freedom: Alexa, make the government change.

These writers think that truth is only what sounds good. If the truth turns out to be difficult or dry, they don’t recognize it as such. Because what they crave isn’t the truth but a feeling and a status: the feeling of truth, the status of being a truth teller. The trouble with them is: they do not know the truth.

Upcoming Post: The Wit to recognize the Truth

Bisous,

Léa

Hard Work and the Good Life

Randall is one of my favorite bloggers. There is always beauty, inspiration, and each post filled with life. If you are not familiar with his work, give yourself a gift that is only a click away.

Global Sojourns Photography

Cool, quiet days in a small village in the middle of Bohemia come to life in a way I imagine they did centuries ago. The smell of wood stoves, sun rays making their way through the mist, and people preparing for a good day of hard work.

The work is exhausting but full of vitality. Energy created by the confidence of giving each day the best, a hallmark of a successful life. Faces of workers mapped with lines, each etched with a tale stretching back in time. One day falling into another, each story taking us to where we are now.

Days constructed with skill, hands crafting together a life of quality to stand the test of time. In the end, if everything goes right, life will be made a bit easier for those who carry on after we are gone.

Small miracles surround us daily, people who embrace the…

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You Think Climate Change Is Not Real? Watch This And Think Again! — Art Expedition

I’m working hard to keep my blog a place where you can find happiness and maybe some distraction from your hectic everyday life by sharing my art which is mostly inspired by my love for nature and animals. I don’t often talk politics or religion – both of which can present a lot […]

To watch the video, please follow the link to the original post. Thank you.

via You Think Climate Change Is Not Real? Watch This And Think Again! — Art Expedition

Bisterne Scarecrow Festival Trail 2018

Too good, too much fun to resist reblogging this post!

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CLICK ON ANY IMAGE TO ENLARGE. REPEAT IF REQUIRED

This afternoon Jackie and I followed:

Pokestop carries a Pokemon.

I just squeezed The Bisterne Royals into one frame.

Worzel is in trouble with Aunt Sally required a couple of shots, one from across the road.

We surmised he had been on the tiles with his next door neighbour who was Half Cut.

Head over Heels about Scarecrows also required a vantage point on the opposite side of the road.

Intergalactic Beastie Boys were suitably attired.

Rusty Diesel Engine is a reincarnation of other trains in previous years.

As happy as a Pig was made from a hay bale.

The stretch of Oh Look, there’s a Dragon required two frames,

and its recently hatched baby warranted her own.

Scary Crows lurked beside each other in the trees.

Baked Beans on Coast has to win any pun competition,

and the tins in…

View original post 153 more words

Dear Mother Earth 2018 — Annas Art – FärgaregårdsAnna

“Progress is impossible without change, and those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything.”  –  George Bernard Shaw

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”  – Margaret Mead

 

I am so sorry you have to experience anthropocene. Since I wrote to you in 2016 it feels like we humans haven’t done a single thing to make the anthropocene an anastrophe (opposite of catastrophe). I’m sorry for your melting glaciers, your burning forests, the tsunamis and all asphalt and concrete we humans smothering your […]

via Dear Mother Earth 2018 — Annas Art – FärgaregårdsAnna

The Art of Theodor Kittelsen

Enchanting! I just couldn’t resist sharing.

SindrElf

1904 nøkken

Theodor Severin Kittelsen (1857-1914) is my all-time favorite painter.

In this article I will show you some of my favorite works by him while attempting to explain how he has influenced my creativity.

1900 Far, far away Soria Moria Palace shimmered like Gold

Kittelsen was present in my life since I started school. The image above this text (Soria Moria Castle, 1900) was used as the cover of Norwegian literature textbooks.

This was because the image is based on a classic Norwegian fairytale by the same name. In fact, a lot of Kittelsen’s work was based on stories and fairy tales, as he often was contracted to make book illustrations.

1906 Skogtroll

One of the main reasons why I love Kittelsen’s work is his use of thematic contrasts.

He often mixes the beauty of Norwegian nature with the creepy horror of Norwegian folklore.

1907 The Svælg waterfall

Sometimes he gives nature intelligence, or gives concepts a physical presence.

1888 Ekko

The image above is another example of this.

You can faintly see Kittelsen has painted a…

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The Owl, The Pussycat… Fabulous Felines in History #2

Our human, Léa, has this and one other blog on her own. Since she is merely the typist on our blog and rarely mentioned by name, we decided to let her reblog today’s post. Colette et Simone

Les deux divas: ma vie en rose

The Owl, the Pussycat and the feline behind the scenes…

Oh yes, there was also the fabulous man who wrote of my adventures. His name was Edward Lear. He was devoted to me and to other felines who came to know him. In addition to my long luxurious fur, I am world class at the art of cuddling and along with the other felines entrusted to his care, we are equally devoted to him.

Lear was born the twentieth child of a London stock broker and his wife. In his late teens he left the family home with his eldest sister and began providing for himself with his skills as an illustrator. He continued to draw and paint throughout his life.

This prolific writer and artist (animals and landscapes) was compared to the work of the great Jean-Jacques Audubon. In addition to his writing and drawing, he gave drawing lessons. It…

View original post 650 more words

Bleu

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Armand in his atelier

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Le croix de Cathar

Bleu

Cobalt

As the tiny rivers

Winding beneath

Papery thin skin

I watch as they have slowed

But remember their faster pace                                                    

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Armand et Auguste

Cerulean

As the plastic cannula

From oxygen tank

To your nasal orifice 

Easing each breath

Your hands reach for me

Offering each cheek to be kissed

Royal

As the dancer

In the flames

As you welded and forged

Iron and steel into magnificent forms

Gates, railings but also art

A band of musicians

Prominent upon your mantel

My own, croix de Cathar

A gift like your friendship

Armand

Bleu shall forever

Be the colour of you

Increasingly fragile

As you reach out for Auguste

The great-grandson who shares

Your sparkle from cobalt eyes  

Bisous,

Léa

And the result is in…

 

 

LA CHATTE NOIR
LA CHATTE NOIRE

Several weeks ago, I asked for your help in finding a name for my business. There were several wonderful submissions. With the help of some very special trusted friends, and a few of the feline variety, the struggle has come to an end. However, that was not before spending hours trying out the suggestions, a few of my own and variations of them all. On 10 June as I drove away from the lovely beach village of Leucate after my weekly French class, a title popped into my head. There has been some criticism as the famous Black Cat painted by the late Henri Toulouse Lautrec was Le Chat Noir. Yes, I do love that cat. However, I am a female and what I write, publish, paint, photograph… is with a feminine perspective and I desire that the name reflect that. Ergo, I present to you for the first time, LA CHATTE NOIRE PRESSE.

LA CHATTE NOIRE PRESSE can also be found on my LinkedIn page.

My sincere thanks to all who participated and all who lent their support. Thank you to my friend Natalje who hashed it out with me last night and gave me valuable feedback and aided me in realising this is what I had been searching for.

 

Bisous et calins,

Léa