Category Archives: 3-Day Quote Challenge

Day Three of 3-Day-Quote Blog Challenge

“Avec le temps”

With time, it goes, everything goes away.

Avec le temps is a poem and song composed by Léo Ferré (24 August 1916 – 14 July 1993). I note that I am composing the draft of this piece on the anniversary of his death (also Bastille Day). Léo Ferré was “a Monegasque French [he grew up in Monaco] poet and composer, and a dynamic and controversial live performer, whose career in France dominated the years after the Second World War until his death.” Wikipedia. Worth reading is his bio, for he was an individual who followed his heart, led a fascinating life and became an anarchist. Few have his courage to do so in a positive, compassionate sense, in the global atmosphere today.

Below, I have excerpted lines from the poem. While the poem speaks ostensibly about the lost passion of a lost love, it holds a deeper, or higher meaning. All life is impermanent, transitory. Everything comes and everything goes away. To lessen despair and suffering, it would seem well, then, to adopt a laissez-faire attitude towards life; that is, to not allow ourselves to get boxed into the emotion of the event, but to see it and let it go. Easy to say, I know; nonetheless, Avec le temps gives us pause for thought.

With time …

With time, it goes, everything goes away
We forget the face and we forget the voice
The heart, when it stops beating,  there’s no point
Searching further, let it go and that is very well

With time …
With time, it goes, everything goes
The other we adored, we searched in the rain

With time, it goes, everything goes
We forget the passions and we forget the voices
Which whispered the words of the poor people
“Don’t return too late, mostly don’t catch cold.”

With time, everything goes away and we feel pale and gray, like a tired old horse. Everything vanishes.

Translated from  A number of English translation versions exist, and none can match accurately, not if you’re thinking in English. It is better to think in the French culture, as best you can.

Here is Léo Ferré’s live performance, with English subtitles:

Here is another stunning live performance, by Patricia Kaas. In this performance, she goes away and then returns.

–Samantha Mozart

Day Two of 3-Day-Quote Blog Challenge

“There is no such thing as a problem without a gift for you in its hands. You seek problems because you need their gifts.”

–Richard Bach, “Illusions”

Right off the bat, when confronted with a problem, I think, “OK, what did I do to deserve this gift?”

“Wait a minute,” said Moriarty. “Were it not for the problem of readers not commenting on your blog, you would not have met me, the Phantom of your blog.” We were sitting at the blog round table holding chunks of baguette, mopping up the remaining broth in our bowls from the borscht Moriarty had made, his signature dish.

As a baguette with borscht, this version of Bono singing “One” with Pavarotti and Friends seems a perfect rhythmic pairing for reading this piece:

“Your readers were all padding around in your blog,” Moriarty continued, “rummaging through all your stuff and you didn’t even know they were here. Like phantoms, they were. Am I not your gift, even if I don’t dust? Your readers like me. And contrary to what some say, I am not your imaginary friend. I am a real Phantom.”

With a grand flourish, waving his napkin above the table, he stood up. Suddenly he found himself waving a flaming torch. The paper napkin had caught in the candle flame.

Dickens, Moriarty’s black fluffy dog, leaped to his feet and barked — a single bark followed by three quick, choppy barks: dog code for “fire” or “danger,” apparently.

Moriarty plunged the napkin into his empty borscht bowl and snuffed out the flame, leaving a heap of ashes.

“You’ve done that before,” I said. “Readers will wonder what happened to me, why I haven’t published a post in a while. That is because you might have burned down the blog while I was away — or even before we finish this conversation. That would be a problem.”

“Then you’d have to start over with a fresh draft. Your story might be more fascinating the second time,” he said flatly.

I sighed, stood up, blew out the candle and we headed with our dishes into the kitchen. Moriarty filled Dickens’s bowl with fresh water, ran hot water into the sink, added soap and stood back. “Your turn,” he said. “I cooked: my gift to you.

“At least I made myself known to you,” he went on, as I rinsed the dishes and set them in the drainer.

“Yeh-uh,” I drawled,” by padding up behind me and nudging me over the edge of the catwalk. I fell into a heap of backdrops and then I didn’t know which scene I was in. I thought I was speaking English to an English speaking audience and no one seemed to comprehend,” I said.

“Then you had to stand up for your dignity and cause, didn’t you,” he pointed out. “You had to think in a new way. That just cultivated and strengthened your character. I’m quite sure. I helped you gain more confidence in yourself as an individual. More important than the problem is how you react to it. You have choices.” He looked at me. I lost the thread of the conversation, for, in that moment I saw how pale his eyes were. They weren’t gray or blue, or blue-gray, or green. They were pale, always so pale. He stepped back.

Dickens yelped.

I bent down, patted him and rubbed his muzzle. “Aww, sweetie. He stepped on your foot, didn’t he.”

Moriarty rubbed Dickens’s side, ruffing his fur, topping off the gesture with a head pat. “My gift to you,” Moriarty told him. “I step on your foot and you get more attention.”

Dickens sneezed.

–Samantha Mozart

Day One of 3-Day-Quote Blog Challenge

“The Marquis de Sade invented pointe shoes.”

–Diane Lauridsen, Lauridsen Ballet Centre, Torrance, Calif.

Well, of course the Marquis de Sade invented pointe shoes. Every ballet dancer who has danced on pointe knows this. Through personal experience taking ballet class as an adult for many years, I know this.  Besides, our ballet teacher, a master teacher, Diane Lauridsen, artistic director of the Lauridsen Ballet Centre/South Bay Ballet, told us this.

I proffer this fascinating perceived fact because Susan Scott of Garden of Eden Blog nominated me to take part in a Three Day Quote Challenge, whereby each day, on three consecutive days, I pick a quote, from a person famous or not, and say a little bit about it.  Thank you, Susan.  I am honored you selected me.

Susan quoted  Anna Pavlova: When I was a small child … I thought that success spelled happiness. I was wrong, happiness is like a butterfly which appears and delights for one brief moment, but soon flits away.

Since Anna Pavlova inspired me to study ballet, I decided I must write a spinoff, as it were, of Pavlova’s articulation.

It is said Pavlova put ball bearings in her shoes to create the illusion during bourées that she was gliding across stage. Dancing in pointe shoes with ball bearings in the toes would have the dancer portray the tortured swan rather than a dying one, I should think. Pointe shoes (or toe shoes) are handmade, commonly from satin with a soft leather sole. At the front tip of the shoe, housing the toes, is the box, typically constructed of layers of material hardened with glue. As you might imagine, dancing across the ballet studio floor, which has become suddenly vast, or across the stage in a pair of these would abrade your toes, rendering it very difficult to look like a butterfly when all you want to do is grimace and flop down, the forlorn swan. Indeed, dancers wrap their individual toes in adhesive tape to prevent blisters and bunions, what little good that does. Dancers prefer their shoes old and soft, therefore, wearing them until the satin frays and the shoe completely breaks down. Seasoned dancers resort to all sorts of techniques to soften a new pair of pointe shoes, such as repeatedly bending and kneading them and slamming them in a doorjamb.

Happiness is the process of fulfilling one’s passion for dance. Happiness is receiving constant corrections from your ballet teacher and striving to reach perfection. And maybe for a moment you do; and then it flits away. You know you will never achieve absolute perfection; but with dedication and discipline, you diligently strive after it, gradually improving amid the setbacks.

A dancer must work regularly (ideally taking class five or six days a week) for two years before gaining the strength to go on pointe. Your feet must be strong (no, not because you’re wearing socks you forgot to wash) and you must have the core strength to lift yourself up and off your toes. A child should not be put into pointe shoes until she is 10. Before that age, her bones are too soft, still unformed. To prevent injury, it is essential you research and find a genuinely good teacher.

Not every female who dances on pointe is a ballerina. The term arises from reverence for a  high level of achievement, though not gymnastics in toe shoes but rather possession of a certain je ne sais quoi, “the perfume of her inflections, the projection of a larger spirit or deeper spirituality,” as dance critic Laura Jacobs put it in Pointe Magazine.

In today’s terms, Pavlova created an aura around herself as a brand — vis-à-vis Lady Gaga. Does Pavlova use ball bearings in this two minute film of her dancing “The Dying Swan”?  I doubt it. In her bourées she keeps her feet close together and she’s just quick. She gives the illusion of the ethereal.

“Some of her dances look like improvisations. She looked as though the music was playing and she just got up and danced. She knew how to project magic about her,” said the late British ballet dancer and choreographer Sir Frederick Ashton, in conversation with Natalia Markarova, who achieved prima ballerina status in the 1960s, in this seven minute YouTube video.

So, to rise to inhabit the apparently effortless ethereal spirit, you must be committed to years of practice, years of barre work and dancing across the ballet studio floor, appearing often less like a butterfly, rather more like a mushroom, or as our teacher, Diane, pointed out, “You all look like hawks.”

Read more about ballet training and finding a good teacher at my Carol Child byline portfolio.

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Over the three years I have known Susan Scott, having met her on a LinkedIn writers caregivers group, she has become a good friend, wise, insightful, compassionate and always supportive.  She is author of the book In Praise of Lilith, Eve & the Serpent in the Garden of Eden, which you can purchase on Amazon simply by clicking on the icon in the left sidebar of my blog.

In turn, I am pleased to nominate my good friend T.J. Banks and two new friends, Sara C. Snider and Celine Jeanjean, three delightful and accomplished authors:

T.J. Banks – Sketch People

Sara C. Snider – Sara C. Snider

Celine Jeanjean – Down the Rabbit Hole

–Samantha Mozart