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

“The best-laid plans…”

Despite the fact that I had no plan to post today, something delightful occurred yesterday and I wish to share it.

While sitting with my coffee and a worn copy of Ayn Rand’s THE VOICE OF REASON, music began to permeate my thoughts. There is often a delight or two to be noticed at the Place de Ville in Narbonne. I was sitting a few yards away from the Via Domita when I heard the charming sounds of old France. 

Chanteause de Narbonne

The time had come to close my book and allow the coffee to grow cold as my attention was riveted to the strains of her squeezebox, her voice and the French tunes from the 1890s and into the turn of the last century.

I approached her and searched for somewhere to deposit a few coins. The laughter in her eyes followed by “I have all I need.” and I knew that she meant it. She laid down her squeeze-box and opened a portfolio that contained many fliers. Her mission was to call attention to a Nuclear Disarmament Rally to be held at the Narbonne Mediathequé. Activities commence at 10:45 on the 29 February and everyone participating is asked to bring an umbrella or parasol. At noon the umbrellas/parasols will be opened in unison and based on personal experience I know a march around the town will factor into the event.  The demonstration will culminate in the Place de Ville in front of  L’hotel de Ville which contains the office of the mayor. Both locations on a Saturday promise that many will be able to see and join in. Having reached into her portfolio, she gave me fliers for my village and some decals to share. 

Nuclear flier front

  Nuclear flier back

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

20200218_104947

“The world is over-armed and peace is underfunded.”  – Ban Ki-Moon

“It’s useless to disarm the hands, if the heart remains armed.” – Bangambiki Habyarimana, The Great Pearl of Wisdom

“Ultimately the success of any nonproliferation strategy requires a universal standard. Washington’s “Do as I say, not as I do” approach lacks moral authority and is seen as hypocritical. It is like preaching temperance from a barstool.”                – David Cortright

“How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world.” – Anne Frank

In some countries, elections are in the near future. Do your candidates and politicians know where you stand?

 

Paix et Bisous,

Léa

 

 

 

Desiderata

“I see the world being slowly transformed into a wilderness; I hear the approaching thunder that one day, will destroy us too. I feel the suffering of millions. And yet, when I look up at the sky, I somehow feel that everything will change for the better, that this cruelty too shall end, that peace and tranquility will return once more.”      – Anne Frank

“Peace cannot be kept by force; but by understanding.”  – Albert Einstein

The following, I read as a young child. I’ve carried it with me for a very long time. It was always there, within the folds of my heart. It remained a compass for my journey. I’ve never been good at following the main path. I feel strongly about its message and feel the need to share it today. Thank you Max Ehrmann for your words and thank you for reading on.

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 the dull and the ignorant;
they too have their story.
Avoid loud and aggressive persons,
they are vexations to the spirit.
If you compare yourself with others,
you may become vain and 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 with your soul.
With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams,
it is still a beautiful world.
Be cheerful.
Strive to be happy.
Max Ehrmann, Desiderata, Copyright 1952.

 

Paix, Peace, Shalom et Bisous,

Léa

Fear is not an option

Originally posted on 20 November 2015 in response to the Paris attacks and in light of the recent verbal assault of Donald Trump in a Country where more than 300,000 die in gun related deaths each year I have chosen to reblog this post. France is proud to be a safe country where the purchasing and owning of guns is strictly controlled. We are also proud that our children can go to school without the fear of dying.

“When adults tell me, ‘I have the right to own a gun,’ all I can hear is, ‘My right to own a gun outweighs your student’s right to live.’ All I hear is mine, mine mine, mine.”  – Emma Gonzales Survivor Parkland Shooting 

Rightful liberty is unobstructed action according to our will within limits drawn around us by the equal rights of others. I do not add ‘within the law’ because law is often but the tyrant’s will and always so when it violates the rights of individuals.”                                                                                                  – Thomas Jefferson

Virtue has a veil, vice a mask.” – Victor Hugo

I say I am stronger than fear.” – Malala Yousafzai

fear is not an option

le journal

the internet

telematin

France 24

the word floods

all forms of media

as the body count

rises in Paris

islamic states of hate

(i refuse to capitalize hatred)

declared war on France

i set down the paper

address my laptop

john lennon’s haunting strains

filling my head

nous ne nous rendrons pas

our media is not stuck in

shock and awe mode

nous sommes unis

on with life

Liberté, Égalité, Fraternité

unlike terrorist

skulking about the city

hiding behind masks,

headcoverings, disguises

nous ne nous cachons pas

we take to the streets

le café

le theatré

all life is calling

VIVA LA PARIS

et

VIVA LA FRANCE

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

*

stay soft

stay soft

be a sieve

to bitterness

let it run off you

like water

on glass

stay soft

turn away

from the pains

that harden

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

bisous,

lea

fear is not an option

Rightful liberty is unobstructed action according to our will within limits drawn around us by the equal rights of others. I do not add ‘within the law’ because law is often but the tyrant’s will and always so when it violates the rights of individuals.”                                                                                                  – Thomas Jefferson

Virtue has a veil, vice a mask.” – Victor Hugo

I say I am stronger than fear.” – Malala Yousafzai

fear is not an option

le journal

the internet

telematin

France 24

the word floods

all forms of media

as the body count

rises in Paris

islamic states of hate

(i refuse to capitalize hatred)

declared war on France

i set down the paper

address my laptop

john lennon’s haunting strains

filling my head

nous ne nous rendrons pas

our media is not stuck in

shock and awe mode

nous sommes unis

on with life

Liberté, Égalité, Fraternité

unlike terrorist

skulking about the city

hiding behind masks,

headcoverings, disguises

nous ne nous cachons pas

we take to the streets

le café

le theatré

all life is calling

VIVA LA PARIS

et

VIVA LA FRANCE

bisous,

léa

Victory in Europe

Victory in Europe

No

I was not

Even a gleam

In my father’s eye

As he marched into

Paris

Teeth clenched

Jaw drawn tight

It was years

Before

*

Yet today

I stood with

My village

And thought of

Him

And others

I would never

Know

*

Many laid down

Their lives

Others carried their

Scars back home

Like my father’s

A war he never

stopped fighting

Not all scars

Can be seen

*

Another war

Many years before

Both grandfathers

Trod this precious soil

Though they never knew

Each other

Both went home

With damaged lungs

TB and the other

Mustard gas

*

One I was never

To meet

Yet today

As Europe

Honours those

Who sacrificed

I stood with my village

In the land they fought for

The land that I love

And remembered

Them

*

Bisous,

Léa