Last week I did a nice hike at Varaime col. Here is an audio souvenir. What can you hear?
« We all have a piece of monolog under the skin. We should give it to others, even if we are wary of it. » Georges Perros
Always in movement. At someone’s place or someone else. Sometimes in the city, sometimes in the mountains. Living with my suitcase or my backpack. And moving forward, again, always. In the heart of winter and even though it isn’t that cold, I get invaded by the greyness of the season. I can’t write anymore. I don’t know how to plan the rest of my year. I am starting to feel the need to settle in « my home ». Fortunately this week I had planned a little trip to Paris. Nothing better to get some inspiration back!
The weather is dry and cold, I feel lucky. I walk from Châtelet to St Michel fountain the nose in the wind and the eyes in the blue sky. I marvel about the beauty of Paris, still I can’t imagine living here. I decide to enter the book shop Gibert Jeune (massive shop for second hand books) and the Vieux Campeur (shop for high quality sport items). Big mistake for my wallet: I buy not less than 5 books and a super light camping mattress for an eventual future hike not even planned yet. Never mind, it is a constant this year: I spend my money only on travel and hiking items!
Around 7pm, I am meeting with the Writting Factory in the nice book shop of Gallimard editor. The students are mixing with the professionals and the editors. Internet is great but it won’t never replace the face to face meeting. In front of my screen, I feel like blind or anosmic: I can’t « feel » my interlocutor. Therefore I am very happy to meet Sonia Racheline who is guiding me and making me working hard since few weeks. I also have the great pleasure to exchange ideas and tips with the other students. I share with them my auestions and realise how much this workshop is challenging to me: I need to cut and cut again my sentences to keep the essential only. When actually I love choosing the exact right word in order to inject rhythm and music to my sentences. I really enjoy when the words resonate between themselves and make the read fluid and lively. Fortunately on my blog, I am free!
Next to Anita Coppet and Sonia Racheline, Véronique Le Normand shared with us 2 texts from her master in literature: Georges Perros. Lovely moment, everyone is listening carefully to the call of words.
« Greed is not wanting to write in a letter what we keep for a possible book. » Georges Perros
Later, when the bookshop closes its doors, I check my watch. 9.30pm. Do I have enough time? They are probably late. Anyway, I don’t want to miss it! I am too curious and it is the occasion or never. I take the tube. Change 3 times. Pass by the stops Richard Lenoir and Breguet Sabin. I have a thought for my uni years and my friend Gégé. I run again and reach the restaurant.I enter a room full and overheated. Am I in the right place? Yes it is here and they are late. She will read after the break. I go out to breath some fresh air, open my mobile and receive some good news from Anita in Argentina. When I raise my head, I meet her sight through the window. « We start now ». I go back inside and stand behind the comptoir. While ignoring my hunger, I regale myself with the reading of Frédérique Deghelt (author of Another woman’s life / La vida de otra).. She generously reveals a long part of her novel in progress: Libertango. Her text talks to me and touches me. It talks about the encounter of a young man and an Argentinian musician. The first person to accept him as he is: handicapped. It is question of finding a sens to life, to practise our own art and to do it as we are: imperfect. As always I like the rhythm, the music and the sensibility which spring through the words of Frédérique. I feel inspired. Writing, Argentina, music. It is time to buy my tickets for Buenos Aires!
Tuesday evening, it is with a different kind of writer I am meeting. His name is Bernard Ollivier, a confirmed hiker who wrote 3 beautiful books about his long walk on the silk road. I heard about him recently through the charity SEUIL. He founded this charity after walking on St James way. He was convinced that sending, on the camino young people in social exclusion with an educator is the best way to help them to not dive into delinquency. A great initiative which pushed me to contact him. Finally he was late and in hurry and I had only half an hour to ask him my questions. I am a bit disappointed. However he brought me some interesting elements for my article in progress, especially because he disagreed one of my basic ideas. Nothing better to move forward!
cc réseau des médiathèques de Clamart
Having new experiences and getting inspired by new encounters, these are 2 things very important for me this year. In the domain of Bayssac I am not disappointed!
In this house I live at the whim of the a activities of tidying, gardening and cooking, in exchange for free accomodation and food. The rest of my time I focus on writing: my blog, my online writing workshop exercise and my on-going article.
Step by step I discover who are my hosts. I am in the house of artists & entrepreneurs. Sylvie had a previous life as dancer and choreograph. When she stopped dancing she went back to Uni to study philosophy. Now she is studying literature to get a qualification from Montpellier University in order to lead writing workshops. She is actually already leading 3 workshops per week and it is having a great success. Moreover, Sylvie is a lyric singer. Philippe as well is a musician: a professional pianist and piano teacher at the college of music. Together they bought the domain of Bayssac, 10 years ago with the objectif of being able to host every summer some music master-class. Now the project has evolved and each summer they also host tourists and from next summer some writing week workshops. No need to mention that days in this house are cadenced by music scales, vocalises and repetitions, for the delight of my hears.
The domain is huge. Step by step, they renovated the house, cleared the garden, revived the chestnut grove, set up a discovery trail which lead to the river and created a vegetable garden and an orchard. I admire their project and they have been able to realise.
In this peaceful place, I already count many nice moments. There were the encounter with Chloé and Chechek (Tchetcheque for the french prononciation), a nice franco-polish couple who is travel through Europe by van. With them, one afternoon, I tried the writing workshop of Sylvie.
I also enjoy the walks with my new friends Toby & Petit-Monsieur, 2 beautiful and bright border collies. They are great players, always asking me to send them the ball.
And there are week-ends with the visit of the parents, the children and the small children. The big tables, the aperitivo-concerts where all the family go successively behind the piano and play for the others. I really love those kind of family atmosphere and totally felt in my element.
This week I welcomed a new arrival of volunteers. A Swiss couple Anne-Catherine and Raphaël, and a German girl: Nicola. Anne-Catherine and Raphaël are bqck in Europe after 6 months travelling around South America. They came back with a project of vegetable and insect farming to provide for their food needs. They are now looking for a place to settle. Here is an original and interesting project!
First crisis. There were a storm in my head: lot of ideas, high energy but where from should I start? As it happened, two weeks ago, one of my friend sent me a link to a blog which explains how to create a « vision board« . The theory being that we can archive better our dreams, projects and intentions if we are able to visualise it well.
I decided to do the exercise. The first phase appeared to me very simple: I had to brainstorm about my projects for 2016…easy, I simply listed all the stuff I had in mind! In 5 minutes I had a list of big and small projects, as well as intentions for 2016. However at the second phase everything got more complicated: I needed to classify my entire list in 9 different categories (inspired by Feng Shui). Theses are abundance & prosperity, fame & reputation, relationships & love, family, health, creativity & children, skills & knowledges, carrer & life path, helpful people & travel. I distributed my list in each sections and -oh surprise!- there were no travel in the « travel » area!!?! How is that possible? Me , the supposedly great globetrotter! Me, who is claiming since few years that I will go to Argentina! Now that I have the time and the possibility, I am forgetting about that project?
And so started the doubts and existential questions invading me. I had to dive into myself to try to listen to what was going on. In the course of my reflections and interrogations I moved from the « travel » area to the « path of life » one, to later find myself in the « love » one and so one. For 3 days I just tried to listen actively to my heart and it wasn’t working!
Fortunately I have great friends, even thousand of kilometres away they are always ready to Skype. And my friends have a very special skill: they ask THE good questions. The questions which make me think even more and give me the impression I am even more lost. But once I find an answer, then I know I won: everything is unlocked I know again where I am and where I am going.
In the middle of this storm, I also decided to add meditation to my morning yoga. Just like that…to try. And above all, I started to do some sport on daily basis again: long walks, bike rides and even cross-country ski. Because sport is so good when in my head ideas are turning round. Some fresh air and endorphines, always help me to relax and see things clearer.
This is why on my way back from the mountains, after a great afternoon of ski in the forest, I realised I knew exactly what I wanted. That evening I finished my collage on my « vision board 2016 ». And now, I am on the road again!
« Surround yourself with those who bring the best in you. »
« How about your life review before your 30’s ? » I am in the kitchen of a friend. We are preparing a good diner while having a conversation and his question is surprising me. I stop cutting the carrots and think of my answer. I make up a quick one, while trying to think about it seriously « Great years are ahead, with lot of realisations I hope and blablabla… » But I leave his house with the question still running in my head.
In the eyes of society, the balance is null: I am not married, I don’t have children, I haven’t buy any house, nor lawn-mower and I even recently sold my car and quit my job! The balance is not negative neither: I am not divorced, I am not single mum, I don’t have debts and I am healthy. Actually, I do not wish to make a life assessment at thirty years old.
Because on the brink of my 30s something great happened. I suddenly felt a powerful desire to live, to really l-i-v-e. I felt the irresistible need to stop my efforts to enter in the already made society boxes. Instead, I decided to set my head to be more attentive to my heart. And I decided to live my heart guiding me and help me to find my place in this world.
It isn’t easy to listen to my heart in this society where DOING and HAVING are reigning a master in all minds. On St. James way, it seemed to me easier to listen to it. Indeed, there were only one thing to DO: to walk. And there were very few things to HAVE, so my my bag wouldn’t be too heavy. As consequence, I could easily concentrate on BEING. Ha! It is so good to BE, here, now, entirely. And when I felt myself BEING, I could hear the whispers of my own heart, so not used to be listened to.
But there are people who know how to use the compass of their hearts and they haven’t necessary walk for months and months. How do they do? Or how did they do that? It is very simple, they authorised them-self to dream! Yes, I am affirmative! In business they call it « the vision », and the great men and women they simply call it « a dream ». Martin Luther King did a dream, he said it well. And Oscar Wilde advices to dream big. In many books of self development the question is about developing our own dream. A huge dream, even a bit crazy, why not! The aim is not to reach the dream, neither to fully realise it. But to generate in ourself, consciously and unconsciously enough energy to get close to it.
« Wisdom is to have dreams that are big enough not to lose sight when we pursue them! » Oscar Wilde
For now my dream looks like a jigsaw with some very clear and bright pieces and some others rather blurred or dark. However, it slowly takes shape. I know it and I feel it: I experience more joy and also more doubts. I have more positive and creative ideas and sometimes it distracts me from my dream. I have many little projects and above all a lot of energy which I am slowly learning to channel. This is why at the drawn of my 30’s birthday I have decided to become the gardener of my own dream. I have decided to grow it and take care of it. So that I can happily take stock of my life for my 60’s birthday.
It’s Christmas holidays, for the first time after a few years we are meeting at my Grand-ma’s house. The whole family that is all the aunties, uncles, cousins, a gathering of not less than 28 people, is sitting around the table. Discussions and debates about politics, solutions to the crisis are often coming back. I am also asked many questions about the Santiago way and my experience at Place to B during the COP 21. Obviously, my family is wondering and sometimes queries my recent choices. I am 29 years old, I left my well established job in a big multinational company a few months ago. I came back to France and started to seek for a more meaningful life. “A quest for meaning”, this is actually the name of a reportage I heard of so many times during the COP21. So much that I bought the DVD and organised a projection with all my family. Without even watching it before, I installed the screen, plugged the video projector and a 1h30 movie session started with all my family.
Soon everyone was absorbed in Marc’s and Nathanaël’s encounters and discoveries. These 2 childhood friends met by chance in New-York a few years ago. At that time Nathanaël Coste had just finished a reportage about water in India, whereas Marc de la Menardière was working as a marketer in a big multinational company which was selling water. Many things were opposing them despite their friendship: their ways of life, their convictions…However, when Marc found himself stuck in bed after breaking his leg he watched Nathanaël’s reports and began to change his vision of life. So much that once he was better, he decided to quit his job and joined Nathanaël in India. He needed to understand, meet all these bright people who lived differently and were not afraid of change. Nathanaël filmed Marc’s quest of the world. Then they produced the movie together.
Like the road-trip report Tomorrow -more centred on interior change- “A quest for meaning” is mind opening since the spectator watches actors of the sustainable development and today’s philosophers. It shows that it is possible to live differently, stresses important notions such as the difference between pleasure and happiness, the link between human being and nature, the limits of our current system. Through each encounter and testimony the spectator slowly becomes conscious that humanity can be actor in the change, can imagine new structures, places of living and systems which are meaningful. The production of “A quest of meaning” has been financed by crowd funding with the help of not less than 963 internet users. Moreover its licence allows anyone who desires to do so, to organize a pubic movie projection without fees and complications. It just needs connecting on the website and follow the instructions. This report is anchored into today’s world. It does feed our reflections about change, ways of life, current and future systems. A report to be widely shared with your friends, family and social groups. Be the first person to export it out of France!