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

To Live “according to nature”… Nietzsche

 

“Sensuality often hastens the ‘Growth of Love’ so much that the roots are weak and easily torn up.”  – Friedrich Nietzsche

“He who establishes his argument by noise and command shows that his reason is weak.”  – Michel de Montaigne

“Let us give nature a chance; she knows her business better than we do.”                      – Michel de Montaigne

Do you want to live “according to nature”? O you noble Stoics, what a verbal swindle! Imagine a being like nature – extravagant without limit, indifferent without limit, without purpose and consideration, without pity and justice, simultaneously fruitful, desolate, and unknown – imagine this indifference itself as a power – how could you live in accordance with this indifference? Living – isn’t that precisely a well to be something different from what this nature is? Isn’t living appraising, preferring, being unjust, being limited, wanting to be different? And if your imperative “live according to nature” basically means what amounts to “live according to life” – why can you not just do that? Why make a principle out of what you yourselves are and must be? The truth of the matter is quite different: while you pretend to be in raptures as you read the canon of your law out of nature, you want something which is the reverse of this, you weird actors and self-deceivers! Your pride wants to prescribe to and incorporate into nature, this very nature, you morality, your ideal. You demand that nature be “in accordance with the stoa,” and you’d like to make all existence merely living in accordance with your own image of it – as a huge and eternal glorification and universalizing of stoicism! With all your love of truth, you have forced yourselves for such a long time and with such persistence and hypnotic rigidity to look at nature falsely, that is, stoically, until you’re no longer capable of seeing nature as anything else – and some abysmal arrogance finally inspires you with the lunatic hope that, because you know how to tyrannize over yourselves – Stoicism is self-tyranny – nature also allows herself to be tyrannized. Is the Stoic then not a part of nature?… But this is an ancient eternal story: what happened then with the Stoics is still happening today, as soon as a philosophy begins to believe in itself. It always creates a world in its own image. It cannot do anything different. Philosophy is the tyrannical drive itself, the spiritual will to power, to a “creation of the world” to the causa prima |first cause|

Friedrich Nietzsche Beyond Good and Evil

 

“It is better to change an opinion than to persist in a wrong one.” – Socrates.

 “Knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom.” – Aristotle                                             

“To find yourself think for yourself.” – Socrates

 

Time is precious and each of us is allotted a relatively small portion. Self-examination is crucial and a necessary investment in ourselves, routine maintenance so to speak. If we can’t be firm in our convictions, do we have any? Or do we simply parrot those of another? If we don’t change our minds, from time-to-time, examine our beliefs, are we sure we are capable of doing so. The world does not stand still and we need to be mindful that even the road less traveled bends, rises, and falls.

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

Joyeux Anniversaire Monsieur William Shakespeare!

“We are such stuff as dreams are made on, and our little life is rounded with a sleep.”      – The Tempest Act 4, Scene 1

 

“Lord, what fools these mortals be.”  – A Midsummer Night’s Dream

 

JOYEUX ANNIVERSAIRE! In honor of the Bard’s birthday, I offer one of his well known and much-loved sonnets. Yet when I read it, or think of its message, for me it is not just about romantic love but the love of family, friends, humanity, and our struggling environment.

 

Sonnet 116: Let me not to the marriage of true minds

 

Let me not to the marriage of true minds

Admit impediments. Love is not love

Which alters when it alteration finds,

Or bends with the remover to remove.

O no! It is an ever-fixed mark

That looks on tempests and is never shaken;

It is the star to every wand’ring bark,

Whose worth’s unknown, although his height be taken.

Love’s not Time’s fool, though rosy lips and cheeks

Within his bending sickle’s compass come;

Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks,

But bears it out even to the edge of doom.

If this be error and upon me prov’d,

I never writ, nor no man ever lov’d.

 

Perhaps you have a favorite, and perhaps there is too much to choose from to eliminate others?

 

Bisous, Léa

“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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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“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

 

 

 

Lies, lives lost and more blood… America’s legacy will be?

Children in cages never have a nice day.

“The government is literally taking kids away from their parents and leaving them in inappropriate conditions. If a parent left a child in a cage with no supervision with other 5-year-olds, they’d be held accountable.” – Michelle Brane, director of migrant rights at the Women’s Refugee Commission

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Photo by Bess Hamiti from Pexels

“We will take America without firing a shot…….We will BURY YOU! We can’t expect the American People to jump from Capitalism to Communism, but we can assist their elected leaders in giving them small doses of Socialism until they awaken one day to find that they have Communism. We do not have to invade the United States, we will destroy you from within.” – Nikita Khrushchev

“Make the lie big, make it simple, keep saying it, and eventually, they will            believe it.” – Adolf Hitler

“The man is the only animal that can remain on good terms with the victims he intends to eat until he eats them.”  – Samuel Butler

History keeps repeating itself.

 

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Photo by it’s me neosiam from Pexels

 

How many more innocents must die at the hands of this fascist regime? The survivors will be forever scarred. America can no longer call itself the home of the brave. Brave people do not behave like this. They look to help and to heal. What do you see as the future for such a country? Kidnapping, bigotry and child abuse on a grand scale, is this to be the nation’s legacy?

Bisous,

Léa

 

 

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