Happy Birthday…

I’m sorry for those who’ve seen this pass today already and who are fed up with those chains.

It has nothing to do with the release of the Hobbit by Peter Jackson.
It has nothing to do with a chain.
It is a spiritual practice.

Today is the anniversary of the Death of my Master. He’s been for years, and for years I’ve been celebrating in secret. Like a shadow passing on my mind when the day comes, as Frodo feels when the anniversary of his sacrificial wound comes.

My projects about his works are plenty, but I never fulfill them as if I feared I might pervert his Great Work. But their presence wax and wane, like the tide and the moon… And I am in a new high phase. It resonates in me like the Great Music of Illuvatar and the Valar. I was foolish to wonder about it, now I know why.

Happy Birthday.

Hail to the Dead Poet !

I found an article first thing this morning, by chance, reminding me that today is the birthday of Jim Morisson.

I have been suddenly sick, so I won’t be able to make it to the Cemetery, unless I feel a little more eneryg. I am dizzy right now, weak, making a walk alone in the cold and rain… not cautious. I wonder if he will have his party today. Because, as I’ve explained a lot before (see the “Sacred Ground” category), Jim’s grave is always a party. People come to his grave everyday, every 15 minutes at least. Even one day under the pouring rain, as I was waiting for Ryan, I’ve seen people desert the cemetery… and yet people came to Jim’s grave. So, I guess today some will remember, and come with a special intention ? Ah, the power of remembrance… it is a powerful capacity that we mortal have, but do people realise it ?

Today I will hail to Jim, and try to meditate on his life, again. Poet he was to me, and shaman. I will try to see what lessons he can teach me as I walk through the Doors. It would be a good day for writing…

T.S. Eliot

The great mystery to me. His writing is always bewildering, on the verge of non-sense. But in his writing I find deep spiritual echoes to my experiences….

Time present and time past
Are both perhaps present in time future
And time future contained in time past.
What might have been and what has been
Point to one end, which is always present.
Footfalls echo in the memory
Down the passage which we did not take
Towards the door we never opened
Into the rose-garden. My words echo
Thus, in your mind.
But to what purpose
Disturbing the dust on a bowl of rose-leaves
I do not know.

Four Quartets, “Burnt Norton”

Well, this is what it is to work on memory and wyrd…

Happy Birthday D.H.Lawrence

“It’s not art for art’s sake, it’s art for my sake. ”
― D.H. Lawrence

Hail ! D. H. Lawrence (David Herbert Lawrence) was born today in 1885; he died in 1930.

You made my life anew with your painting-writing. Your Sons and Lovers marked my soul with it’s poetic stamp. You’ll be my inspiration from now and ever.

I really need to find you some quotes…

 

So after dinner he lay down on the sofa, on the warm chintz cushions the children loved. Then he fell into a kind of doze. That afternoon Mrs. Morel was ironing. She listened to the small, restless noise the boy made in his throat as she worked. Again rose in her heart the old, almost weary feeling towards him. She had never expected him to live. And yet he had a great vitality in his young body. Perhaps it would have been a little relief to her if he had died. She always felt a mixture of anguish in her love for him.

He, in his semi-conscious sleep, was vaguely aware of the clatter of the iron on the iron-stand, of the faint thud, thud on the ironing-board. Once roused, he opened his eyes to see his mother standing on the hearthrug with the hot iron near her cheek, listening, as it were, to the heat. Her still face, with the mouth closed tight from suffering and disillusion and self-denial, and her nose the smallest bit on one side, and her blue eyes so young, quick, and warm, made his heart contract with love. When she was quiet, so, she looked brave and rich with life, but as if she had been done out of her rights. It hurt the boy keenly, this feeling about her that she had never had her life’s fulfilment: and his own incapability to make up to her hurt him with a sense of impotence, yet made him patiently dogged inside. It was his childish aim.

She spat on the iron, and a little ball of spit bounded, raced off the dark, glossy surface. Then, kneeling, she rubbed the iron on the sack lining of the hearthrug vigorously. She was warm in the ruddy firelight. Paul loved the way she crouched and put her head on one side. Her movements were light and quick. It was always a pleasure to watch her. Nothing she ever did, no movement she ever made, could have been found fault with by her children. The room was warm and full of the scent of hot linen. Later on the clergyman came and talked softly with her.

Paul was laid up with an attack of bronchitis. He did not mind much. What happened happened, and it was no good kicking against the pricks. He loved the evenings, after eight o’clock, when the light was put out, and he could watch the fire-flames spring over the darkness of the walls and ceiling; could watch huge shadows waving and tossing, till the room seemed full of men who battled silently.

On retiring to bed, the father would come into the sickroom. He was always very gentle if anyone were ill. But he disturbed the atmosphere for the boy.

Sons and Lovers

James Joyce

What did he look I like I often wondered when I started reading and studying him. Then I saw some photos, which reflected his particular character. And yet often I tell myself that shots are not like seeing a person walk and behave… I am partly exauced today !

James Joyce in Paris, 1920s
:

Source

A Threefold Visit, Père Lachaise III

A very, very, special day ; 4th September.

I keep observing that when you are open to the world, the world(s) get at you. So I might be a crazy bitch who sees signs everywehre… but it makes sense. So, I went to the Père Lachaise on Sunday to go see Jim and Richard Wright again, having a very special tour, it was pure spontaneity. But on Monday, Ryan tells me that it’s Richard’s birthday coming on the 4th ! It was too huge a sign for me, and I guess there is no “too frequent” service to the Dead. So I planed to go again ! I’m beginning to take hold of my new playground, and I may actually go there daily if I can. It would be part of my need to walk daily, and it would fit so perfectly to a daily honoring of the Dead and Spirits ! I guess I wasn’t moving so close for nothing…. anyway.

I planed an actually symbolic Tour. I use no map. I check on a very little and undetailled map I have before I go, but there are only the bigger alleys and lines. For once, my Tour didn’t either begin or include Jim’s grave aha, you’ve had your lot, now we need to pay attention to many more. So, I wanted to go to Richard’s for his birthday, but that was at the center of the cemetery and so to be last. It occurred to me I had this very significant comment to Ryan again about Sarah Bernhardt “I didn’t find her…. but I’ll go soon enough” and I was to be heard ! So that was a visit and two landmarks, and I thought that three is a good number. It was quickly obvious that I needed to complete the tour of the famous ones by an anonymous grave. I took my water, my candles (red!) and my matches and off we go.

The treasure of the place is that you always discover new things. It’s a place of wonder, plus it’s a real maze. I never understood why I made this choice of going about without a map, without having a structured tour…. but I kept to it. I never have a map inside the cemetery. The very small map is in my head, and the images I gather from my visits build both a virtual and practical map. But you need to be open to what comes and passes before your eyes….

The first step was to go up the cemetery via central alley. From the start, there was a strange mood. During the week, at certain hours, there are not so many people. I chose the wrong hour by the way, misreading my info I believed the cemetery was closing at 18:30/19:00, while it closes at 17:30/18:00. It made sense then, this sentiment of space and calmness…. the descending light of the hour was also particular. Golden and warm, but descending. I wondered at the fact that I never went up this way because it’s usually so filled with tourists. It’s beautiful ! You have the great structure in front of you, and the two small rows of tombs…. with little stairs on the side. Before I went up, my path was stopped for the first time. First wonder :

I thought that such a blank and untouched stone could not be the one of our great Antonin Artaud…. and yet, there was spirit around the tomb that draws me closer. I don’t why and if it’s true, but I felt his spirit down there. Quotes I meditated upon months ago popped to my mind suddenly, I had names of his works, I felt… energy. I thought about my dissertation this year, which will definitely talk about the origins of theater and Dionysos…. and today that I was planing to post, I learnt thanks to Ryan that yesterday the 4th was also the birthday of Antonin Artaud…. coincidence right ? So funny I stopped at this grave and felt so much… And I resumed my walk, climbing the very cute stairs on the side which pass under a beautiful tree (pine tree? yew ?). The colors were so great… Ahhh. For those who have the eyes, you enter another world truly.

The second step was following the path and going round to catch the other alley that goes up to the center. I was stopped on two points. Again, some ruins called to me by their grace and… energy. It’s always the meeting of something internal and something that resonates on the other plane. And as you receive it, you hang between the worlds. When it happens, be it even for 3 minutes, I stop and commune with it. So here, I had to stop and look at the marvel, let my feelings express themselves, and immortalize the grace and moment with my camera.

It’s also funny to look at people’s attitude when you do anything.Tourists that walk by looking ahead without caring, people that are curious and look discreetly, people that directly but softly come near to look at what you’ve seen and what you do. Why does she stand there in front of that broken tomb ? Did she find somebody famous ? what does she care taking picture of ? What touched me is sometimes, people can feel the reverence in you I guess. That time at least, I was doing nothing particular but standing and then taking shots, but I guess I didn’t look like a tourist or photographer. So sometimes people really wonder and try to see what you have seen. I wonder if we can transmit grace, or reflect its presence in our attitude.

It was getting higher, so I followed the alley up again, which was drawing me closer to my purpose. But, say that I’m such a child if you want, I had new short epiphanies. At the crossroad I had to turn left before going up again, and as I did, spirits and life made themselves known : two ravens flew in front of me at the same time, and I came across a cute (thin) black cat. Ryan told me the Cemetery used to be filled with cats, but before we met in June I had never seen one and still rare do. But I guess in this undisturbed atmosphere of the closing and end of day it was quiet enough for them to get out and I saw this one. It made me think of the hidden life of the Cemetery, while people see the place like dead matter or history. At the end of the road, there was a statue I had never seen even if I had been in this part before. A winged figure on an obelisk, which was struck by rays of light that fell between the rows of trees. Another moment when you really can feel the energies of the place and those inhabiting the place… Gosh I wish people could see the world through my eyes sometimes.

The third step was the hardest bit. I found easily Allan Kardec’s grave (the most famous French Spiritualist) which was to be my landmark to go to the infernal grave of Sarah Bernardt. Thrice I went there without finding her ! But this time I was determined…  I went the rows up and down, checked, re-checked…. and then I found the huge vault that was supposed to be hiding her – and it did ! You should have seen my “hurrah” face when I finally saw her name, caught in such a tiny path. So just for the fun or the curious ones, follow the guide lol !

Sarah tombs is just behind the vault, straightforward, two tombs, and then on the left.

Noone was there and I was glad to be at peace for my office. Is that a shame that I had to wish to be alone to have some peace ? Damn’, we’re in a cemetery… Our come and go as tourists is really disturbing me. And it occured that maybe… maybe my job is also that. Remembering the dead, honoring them, but also to be seen doing so, in a place where all seems lost. So that people can actually remember and realise that we are in a place of rest, of reverence and devotion… that we come to see the graves and pray, and commune, and not just to curiously see famous names, hollow caves. I was glad then to open my bag to offer water and light to Sarah’s spirit. I chose red because she actually showed me that color when we came with Ryan and tried to find her. She also sent me flavors and fragances, so that my candle was red and smelling of red berries. It is one of the first tomb I find is surrounded by peace and respect. I felt a quiet atmosphere, a resting spirit, and people’s true love and devotion. When I looked inside the sight of roses, candles, stones and prayers delighted me. Some had left a bouquet with a rolled paper and a yellow candle. So I put mine on the other (left) side, and lit it, but I also chose to lit someone else’s prayer. It felt… so good. Communion was there.

She’s finally there.

Traces of past and recent love.

Let the celebration begin. Water, matches and my red candle.

May you be honored on this day.

We remember you.

I had time to take my shots and be left in silence and peace. I didn’t not feel the urgency of her cry when we wandered with Ryan, but maybe it was precisely because she was peaceful I came back finally. I also told her I would be back again, it was my own tribute and I was to give a proper ceremony for her on behalf of Sufenas Virius Lupus. I had the time to pour my water before a guide and two people came up. I was told that candles were forbidden because of fire risks, and so I did put them out – but I have to check that because what the fuck ? You’re in a cemetery and you can’t honor your dead with a candle ? The guide explained a few things, and the two people were looking at me with weird (but not mean) eyes. What was she doing ? Yes I was smiling, I was silent before the tomb, bent almost on my knees, and I had brought a candle that I lit. I guess it speaks for itself right ? Maybe there were not conscious of what was happening, of what their brain was trying to analyse, but the look was there. It was unexpected to see someone mourn / revere the dead (damn’!).  But I felt that something I emitted something that touched them. Oh I wish I could be better at that, be not such a newby… but I guess the sacred can be shown and conveyed. And that would really touched my heart if people could feel that a cemetery that is famous is nevertheless a sacred place, and that technically we are supposed to come to do sacred acts.

They quickly left, and the guide told me the cemetery was closing. I had to be quick.

The fourth step was not planed. I wanted to honor anonymous spirits that would call me. And the graves around Sarah’s are actually totally defaced or ruined (except for the two huge vaults), and like with the scattered vault I had seen before, I was called. I felt recognition I guess, the fact that I actually came up but didn’t only look at Sarah’s grave. That I stopped and looked around, and came to see if there were names…. and that I thought about them, stayed even for short minutes. And so I took my dark red candle and put it on one of the several anonymous tombs. I regretted not to be able to lit it even for a minute, but I could stay to check since I still had to go find Richard for which I had to do something special.

The defaced grave with my unlit red candle.

The fifth and last step was easy. I came out of this stuck path and then I had to look for the golden dome of the chapel to get to the Columbarium. Nobody except a wandering man was there. I must have looked to be in a hurry indeed, and he looked at me with wonder as I get to the stairs in front of Richard Wright’s tomb and sat down, opening my bag and putting my stuff on the floor. I got my notebook out and starting writing…. what was proper for this special day ? Christ I was so afraid of being kicked out before having done anything and miss the whole purpose of my coming… I made it simple. Then I taped it to the wall and talked to Richard (Ryan I told him hi for you 😉 ). I put down my light red candle, which evoked me a celebrating mood, and lit it. I tried to calm myself and commune, but I didn’t really manage lol, still freaking out I might get “caught”. I was so pleased to see that in the lapse of two days, stones had been brought to his slab and glued ! A very strong sign of reverence it seemed to me… all the more so since he is not so well known. I took my shots and then remember I wanted to offer him a drink for this day ! I don’t think I said “cheers”, but I apologised for having only water on this day. Yet I felt something like thirst at the moment, so that might be a good sign. I took a sip myself, looked at the candle…. and that was it. I was glad I did it, that his birthday was “proper”, after having been there just two days before. I took off.

The shots are terrible… I had such shaky hands it was crazy.

The small note.

Note and candle, a short moment of communion.

The shot after the libation. I felt the thirst, remembered to pour… and then wind rose so suddenly, the time I took the shot, the candle was put down ! And you know what they say about wind…

On my way out, with a heart satisfied and open, I still saw great things. I went to Proust which I found this time, and just around the corner of the descending alley I saw a marvellous spiral on a grave.
And then I saw the war monuments, and passed through the door.

*******

The tale is not finished for I made an even more intens discovery (personally) as I came back home, but it’s too long already, I’ll do a new post later.

Please go honor the memory of Richard Wright and Antonin Artaud at Ryan’s dedicated article.

The energy of rebellion is the energy of light, Breton

My friend is just so gifted at finding quotes…

“C’est la révolte même, la révolte seule qui est créatrice de lumière. Et cette lumière ne peut se connaître que par trois voies : la poésie, la liberté et l’amour[…]” – André Breton, Arcane 17

Which means if I translate into English :

It is the revolt itself, the revolt only, which creates light. And this light cannot be known but through three ways : poetry, freedom and love…