Affair with Hemingway

“I didn’t want to kiss you goodbye – that was the trouble – I wanted to kiss you good night – and there’s a lot of difference.”  –  Ernest Hemingway

“They love me like a pack of wolves.”   – Ernest Hemingway

“Love is forever. Lust is for the moment. Got a moment?” –  Michael Gorman

 

Affair with Hemingway

 

Remote corners du café

Closerie des Lilas

Summer evenings beneath stars

Sidewalk tables and stories

Late at night – mon chambre

I take you to my bed

Crawl deep inside your stories

I have my way with you

You reach out through time

Together, we do Paris

Huddled in corners

Sipping wine and champagne

Dark Smokey tables shared

Avec Fitzgerald, Ezra et

Ford Madox Ford

War stories, the bulls

Nights at Bricktops

Josephine’s rocking the joint

Gertrude’s salon

Champagne et art du jour

Picasso, Modigliani

Breathless with anticipation

I surrender and plead for more

It is the life – it is life

Bereft, insatiable, pleading for more

C’est magnifique!

 

Bisous,

Léa

stay soft

Be soft. Do not let the world make you hard. Do not let pain make you hate. Do not let the bitterness steal your sweetness. Take pride that even though the rest of the world may disagree, you still believe it to be a beautiful place.”                                                       – Kurt Vonnegut

“Constant kindness can accomplish much. As the sun makes ice melt, kindness causes misunderstanding, mistrust, and hostility to evaporate.”  – Albert Schweitzer

“In a gentle way, you can shake the world.”  – Mahatma Gandhi

“Kindness is contagious, spread it around.”  – moi  (Léa)

*

stay soft

stay soft

be a sieve

to bitterness

let it run off you

like water

on glass

stay soft

turn away

from the pain

that hardens

a mind so swayed

reach out to

hold a kitten

hear its mews

as a call to peace

stay soft

tread your footsteps

gently on the earth

les oiseaux

sing eternal truths

listen, listen, listen

you can still learn 

open yourself, let love in

whistling in the wind

secrets softly whisper

stay soft

stay soft 

stay soft

bisous,

lea

You must remember this…

Nearly five years have gone by since I shared this post with you. As Hepburn said, Paris is always a good idea, once it re-opens, and safe to visit. There have been a number of new followers and not everyone wanders back in a blog’s archives so I’m playing it again… and hope you won’t mind?

“Paris is always a good idea.”  – Audrey Hepburn

You will do foolish things, but do them with enthusiasm.” – Sidonie Gabrielle Colette

Too much of a good thing can be wonderful.” – Mae West

No temptation can ever be measured by the value of its object.” – Sidonie Gabrielle Colette

*

You must remember this…

“We’ll always have Paris”

Rick whispers to Ilsa

The memories of

Passion born

Romantic interlude

Lucien taking my hand

Dans la Louvre

His deep resonating accent

Thick as a fine paté,

A call to arms, to lips, tongues…

Two arms guide me

Lost in Ribera’s

Club-footed boy

Spanish room

His favourite,

La Louvre closes

I’m introduced to

The Latin quarter,

Notre Dame,

Secluded niche

Spring grasses,

Canopy of leaves

Along the Seine

City of light

La ville de l’amour

No need for translation

Communication

Flows freely

Play it again…

*

Bisous,

Léa

Courage for today and beyond…

“Courage is the most important of all the virtues because, without courage, you can’t practice any other virtue.”  – Maya Angelou

“You cannot swim for new horizons until you have courage to lose site of the shore.”  – William Faulkner

“Men fear thought as they fear nothing else on earth — more than ruin, more even that death. Thought is subversive and revolutionary, destructive and terrible, thought is merciless to privilege, established institutions, and comfortable habits; thought is anarchic and lawless, indifferent to authority, careless of the well-tried wisdom of the ages. Thought looks into the pit of hell and is not afraid… Thought is great and swift and free, the light of the world, and the chief glory of man.”                    – Bertrand Russell

 

Still I Rise

 

You may write me down in history

With your bitter, twisted lies,

You may trod me in the very dirt

But still, like dust, I’ll rise.

 

Does my sassiness upset you?

Why are you beset with gloom?

‘Cause I walk like I’ve got oil wells

Pumping in my living room.

 

Just like moons and like suns

With the certainty of tides,

Just like hopes springing high,

Still I’ll rise.

 

Did you want to see me broken?

Bowed head and lowered eyes?

Shoulders falling down like teardrops,

Weakened by my soulful cries?

 

Does my haughtiness offend you?

Don’t you take it awful hard

‘Cause I laugh like I’ve got gold mines

Diggin’ in my own backyard.

 

You may shoot me with your words,

You may cut me with your eyes,

You may kill me with your hatefulness,

But still, like air, I’ll rise.

 

Does my sexiness upset you?

Does it come as a surprise

That I dance like I’ve got diamonds

At the meeting of my thighs?

 

Out of the huts of history’s shame

I rise

Up from a past, that’s rooted in pain

I rise

I’m a black ocean, leaping and wide,

Welling and swelling I bear it in the tide.

Leaving behind nights of terror and fear

I rise

Into a daybreak that’s wondrously clear

I rise

Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave,

I am the dream and the hope of the slave.

I rise

I rise

I rise.

 

Maya Angelou – Still I Rise

 

With all that is going on in the world, we each must fight battles as our conscience dictates. Thought and rigorous prioritization will help us to know where to direct our thoughts and most of all, our actions. We can tell someone we love them, but our actions usually get their first and are usually much more credible. Ask yourself where your courage is most needed and dispatch it immediately.

Bisous,

Léa

WORDS TO LIVE BY…

 

“You must live in the present, launch yourself on every wave, find your eternity in each moment. Fools stand on their island of opportunities and look toward another land. There is no other land; there is no other life but this.” – Henry David Thoreau

 

“If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music he hears, however, measured or far away.” – Henry David Thoreau

 

Desiderata

GO PLACIDLY amid the noise and haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence. As far as possible, without surrender, be on good terms with all persons.

Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others, even to the dull and ignorant; they too have their story.

Avoid loud and aggressive persons; they are vexatious to the spirit. If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain or bitter, for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.

Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans. Keep interested in your own career, however humble; it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.

Exercise caution in your business affairs, for the world is full of trickery. But let this not blind you to what virtue there is; many persons strive for high ideals, and everywhere life is full of heroism.

Be yourself. Especially do not feign affection. Neither be cynical about love; for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment, it is as perennial as the grass.

Take kindly the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth.

Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune. But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings. Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.

Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here.

And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should. Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be. And whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life, keep peace in your soul. With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world. Be cheerful. Strive to be happy.

– Max Ehrmann Original text Copywrite 1927

 

This beautiful work deserves our consideration and reflection. Open your heart as you delve into these words and be inspired. We are in need of his wisdom even more during this perilous time. 

Bisous et bonne santé

Léa

I’m back…

“The only constant in life is change.”  – Heraclitus 

In all the time since my last post, there have been personal changes and changes throughout the world. Many of them are troubling. I’ve no doubt that each of you has concerns regarding the state of affairs both where you live and the world at large. 

Always a reader, I often turn to books and the comfort they give. There is a world of wisdom between the covers, questions to ponder and perhaps even shifts in our way of thinking and/or living. 

“If you haven’t changed your mind lately how can you be sure you still have one?”    –  Peace Resource Project ( https://www.peaceproject.com/)

For now, this blog will share quotes, even if I don’t agree with all of them. There may be a few musings, rants and possibly a poem or two… and I would love to hear your thoughts and feelings that these words stir if indeed they do.   Perhaps you will take a moment and share one of your own favorites? At times there may be a focus on a particular author. There are other times when two, three or even more will join it.  On his excellent blog, Charles French will set up a mythical table of authors that one might choose to encounter. Find Charles here: https://charlesfrenchonwordsreadingandwriting.wordpress.com/  I do hope he will forgive me for borrowing from that delicious idea and creating a Café setting where the invited allow us to sit in and listen, ask questions and perhaps simply reflect on their thoughts.  We will, of course, have our excellent French wine on the table. 

It can be wonderful to read from the great philosophers throughout time and acknowledge some shared beliefs. Truth be told, I find I get much more out of the ones I don’t agree with as it makes me dig deeper into my beliefs, challenges me and question myself. I can’t believe anything that I haven’t thought through exhaustively.  Okay, the caveat here is that intuition can have its way as well but here we are having an Empath’s moment…

“It is always advisable to perceive clearly our ignorance.” – Charles Darwin

Thank you to all who chose to join me on this journey. Let us see what we can discover?

Bisous,

Lea

 

Back to School

“ The strongest and most effective force in guaranteeing the long-term maintenance of power is not violence in all the forms deployed by the dominant to control the dominated, but consent in all the forms in which the dominated acquiesce in their own domination.” – Robert Frost

 

”A gentle reminder that all we are aiming for here is stricter gun laws that make it harder for people to get guns (because it shouldn’t be easier than getting a driver’s license) and the removal of Military Grade Weapons from Civilian Society.”                 – Emma Gonzalez

Back to School

 

The lazy days of building castles in the sand

Are melting into memories, those castles

Tossed by waves, without a trace

A trip to the store, or commercial bombardment

Reminds everyone, a new school year is not far away

 

In years, and decades past, visions of new shoes,

Dresses, pants, shoes, and backpack were deemed essential

Somethings never change, alas, they have

With the standard supplies added to the shopping cart

Thoughts turn to the avant-guard in school couture.

A nation turns to uniforms of BODY ARMOR

In hopes, their children make it home from school

 

Trump, Moscow Mitch, G.O.P., N.R.A., Corporations, Mainstream Media,

Dems, who have sold out to big money, they don’t care, your heart a gaping hole.

They won’t be there as you fondle your child’s clothing, planning a funeral

Nights filled with those final moments, and the cold remains

Captured on instant replay, they won’t hear you screaming

For one more moment, waking you from the nightmare that doesn’t end

The freezing numbness that shreds your aching soul

They wouldn’t know, one must have a soul to crush it

 

No need to plan graduations, college applications, future weddings, grandchildren…

There won’t be those faces around the table, calls with those we love

Replaced by capitalism’s greed with waking in the night

Screaming in the dark, in the middle of the day, arms empty and aching

Knowing our children are never coming home

 

 

In memory of those who have died in the hate shootings that terrorize a nation. Lives lost, families left with gaping holes where loved ones used to be. All in the name of dividing the country for profit and domination.  

 

Bisous,

 

Léa

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

Verse out of time… MAXINE KUMIN

Maxine Kumin 1925 – 2014, Poet, Author,  Poetry Consultant to the Library of Congress (now known as U.S. Poet Laureate). Pulitzer Prize winner who left us with a large and varied legacy of her works ranging from Poetry, Essays, Novels, Memoirs and Children’s Books. 

 

How It Is

 

Shall I say how it is in your clothes?

A month after your death I wear your blue jacket.

The dog at the center of my life recognizes

You’ve come to visit, he’s ecstatic.

In the left pocket, a hole.

In the right, a parking ticket

Delivered up last August on the Bay State Road.

In my heart, a scatter like milkweed,

A flinging from the pods of the soul.

My skin presses your old outline.

It is hot and dry inside.

 

I think of the last day of your life,

Old friend, how I would unwind it, paste

It together in a different collage,

Back from the death car idling in the garage,

Back up the stairs, your praying hands unlaced,

Reassembling the bits of bread and tuna fish

Into a ceremony of sandwich,

Running the home movie backward to a space

We could be easy in, a kitchen place

With vodka and ice, our words like living meat.

 

Dear friend, you have excited crowds,

With your example. They swell

Like wine bags, straining at your seams.

I will be years gathering up our words,

Fishing out letters, snapshots, stains,

Leaning my ribs against this durable cloth

To put on the dumb blue blazer of your death.

                                                                             – Maxine Kumin

While there is a wealth of current poets and authors, there is much to be gained by reading the works of those who have gone before us. While reading a book by the late Carolyn G. Heilbrun, I was introduced to the work of Kumin. There is a special joy in discovering another trove of treasures and perhaps some of you will stop by and mention a few that you have discovered recently.

 

Bisous,

Léa

The Peonies

Thank you again Tony. Your work never fails to inspire me. 

Dark Matter

Originally written in 1999.

In the year I turned thirty nine
the peonies did not die
quite the same way
as the peonies always had before 

In the year I was thirty-eight
the fragile man I was then
looked at the peonies
in the backyard

The progress of the year 
seemed so fast 
I thought about how quickly
those pink and white heads

would droop and drop their petals
fade and decay
I feared that if the year of thirty-eight 
continued this pace into

my years of forty forty-one forty-two and beyond
every thing I had learned
by putting myself together 
would come undone

But then in the year
I was thirty nine
I learned that in remembering
the scent of peony

the heat of their pink
the regal ice of their white
in all these memories
there was enough of youth to make

my mortality irrelevant
I learned that thirty nine was an opening and not
an end…

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