“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 http://emilyspoetryblog.com/2013/09/15/avec-le-temps-by-leo-ferre/. 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 another stunning live performance, by Patricia Kaas. In this performance, she goes away and then returns.
Every things changes; nothing remains the same. Your avec le temp remind me of this and confirms my own perception that life is to be lived to maximise the gifts that have been planted within us.
The French singer, Patricia Kaas, reminds me a lot of the singer Melina Mercouri from Greece. She was an activist and participated in Greece’s revolution in 1967. She had to leave her country and live in exile but later became a member of the parliament in 1977.
So, you avec le temp speaks to my heart. It confirms the necessity of fulfilling your life purpose because everything changes.
You are so right, Patricia — maximize the gifts and live life to the fullest we can. I strive to do the best I can with what I have, to fulfill what I perceive as my life’s purpose, as you do and exemplify so well.
I remember Melina Mercouri — that takes me back. I didn’t know she was a political activist and a member of the Greek parliament.
Yes, everything changes. Thank you for being my constant friend.
A lovely poem, undoubtedly more lovely in the original French. It seems sad, but then that’s just me not wanting to let go. A poignant and beautiful reminder to enjoy the moment while it lasts, but to also let it go when it doesn’t. Thank you, Samantha.
I agree, Sara. Thank you. Wouldn’t it be nice if we could have a basket of the things we liked the best in life and we could pick one out and live the good parts again. Oh, well, I guess that’s what nostalgia is all about. 🙂
Just lovely – so real and true Samantha thank you…just last evening we were listening in the car to a CD that my husband had bought – French music. And we were saying how delightful it is and so different, so little accompaniment to the singing in those deep throaty voices that express so much even if we were not familiar with the language. But – a universal language nevertheless ‘… and we feel frozen in a bed of chance…’ –
I do like French pop music, Susan — well, the classical, too. Even if I don’t understand the language, I get the feeling — the music and the feeling are universal, as you say. There’s that synchronicity again — interesting that you and your husband were listening to French music as I was posting this. There’s something about French thought — melancolique ending on an upbeat; deeply thoughtful yet laissez-faire — feeling frozen in that bed of chance.
I appreciate your thoughts. Thank you.
Lovely post. Yes, with time everything changes. Being able to deal with change is an essential part of life. Many people can’t deal with change… it is sad. Change in life is inevitable.
Both songs are so lovely and compelling. Thank you.
Things come, things change and things go away, Gwynn. It is the chain of events.
Poignant poem, song and performances.
I like the quote. I wish I could think that way more often. But as you say, it’s easier said than done.
Oh, absolutely, Lori, easier said than done — sometimes I just want to hold onto the past in hopes I might magically bring it back.
Thank you for coming by and commenting, Lori. 🙂