Taking a Knee In Support

Last night, I was not having a good night and, as a result, I had trouble going to sleep. And, I kept reading about events happening in Paris, London, Russia, Iran, Germany, China, and in the USA. until I managed to work up a high state of anxiety and despair.  And, somehow, when I read this poem, I calmed down.  So, I am posting it here, in case you might need to calm your soul.  And then this morning, I resolved to beat “death in life”.  To live while I am alive, no matter what.  In other words, let go.  These are things that are beyond our control.  Beyond my control, at least.  I will do what I can.  But, maybe the best some of us can do is to live life while we are alive.  Many thanks to my friend who posted this piece on social media.  She often knows just what to say in her postings.  (I think.)

The Laughing Heart – by Charles Bukowski
your life is your life
don’t let it be clubbed into dank submission.
be on the watch.
there are ways out.
there is light somewhere.
it may not be much light but
it beats the darkness.
be on the watch.
the gods will offer you chances.
know them.
take them.
you can’t beat death but
you can beat death in life, sometimes.
and the more often you learn to do it,
the more light there will be.
your life is your life.
know it while you have it.
you are marvelous
the gods wait to delight
in you.
You might be saying to me, “But you are in Paris. ”  Believe me, I cannot escape from my thoughts.  And, my mind works overtime.  I read this this morning on the Internet.  It has been 43 years since I was 40.  So, double everything!  I am sharing it with you (with a few corrections by me).
What are some warnings that should come with being over 40?  
This is the age that starts mirroring your past, most recent and present lifestyle!
I have friends who have smoked for years. Its effects are clearly showing.
I have friends who have drunk alcohol frequently. Its effects are clearly showing.
I have friends who have used drugs often. Its effects are clearly showing.
I have friends who have followed an unhealthy lifestyle and eating habits. Its effects are clearly showing.
I also have friends who have followed a healthy lifestyle including eating healthy and exercising regularly. Its effects are clearly showing.
It is up to you how you live your life but remember that around 40 no makeup or spandex will hide your lifestyle.
Live wisely!
(by Peter T Mayer – I’m 41 and most of my friends are around 40 or above 40 years old so this fact I guess qualifies me to answer this question.)
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Taking a knee,
Best, Jay

“It’s going to be a bumpy [ride]!”

This morning, it is even worse. I follow a historian online and this greeted me this morning:
“If we cannot yet fully know the dynamics of the protests, there are a few things we do know.

First, the protests have wiped from public discussion all the major stories that were distressing Trump: the deadly toll of the coronavirus and his administration’s abysmal response to the pandemic, the skyrocketing unemployment as the economy falters, and Friday’s revelations about his 2016 campaign team’s collaboration with Russian spies.

Second, the president has gone missing in the midst of this crisis. While presidents traditionally speak to the nation to try to reassure Americans in such times, neither he nor Republican leaders are trying to calm the nation.”

JAYSPEAK

Yes, fasten your seatbelts. This morning is full of good news and HORRIBLE news.  I feel good and horrible.  Just when I think that things cannot get worse in the USA, things get worse.  This is the quote that greeted me this morning:

“The old world is dying, and the new world struggles to be born: now is the time of monsters.”      ― Antonio Gramsci

Who was Antonio Gramsci, you ask? Antonio Francesco Gramsci was an Italian Intellectual, born in Ales, Italy in 1891. He wrote on political theory, sociology and linguistics and died in Rome on April 27, 1937 (almost one month after I was born).   

Yes, it does seem like the old world is dying and the new world is a mess.  And, the leaders are a mess and often behave like monsters.  But, the good news (for me, anyway) is that the Jardin de Luxembourg…

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“It’s going to be a bumpy [ride]!”

Yes, fasten your seatbelts. This morning is full of good news and HORRIBLE news.  I feel good and horrible.  Just when I think that things cannot get worse in the USA, things get worse.  This is the quote that greeted me this morning:

“The old world is dying, and the new world struggles to be born: now is the time of monsters.”      ― Antonio Gramsci

Who was Antonio Gramsci, you ask? Antonio Francesco Gramsci was an Italian Intellectual, born in Ales, Italy in 1891. He wrote on political theory, sociology and linguistics and died in Rome on April 27, 1937 (almost one month after I was born).   

Yes, it does seem like the old world is dying and the new world is a mess.  And, the leaders are a mess and often behave like monsters. A historian who I follow online said this about the rioting:

If we cannot yet fully know the dynamics of the protests, there are a few things we do know.

First, the protests have wiped from public discussion all the major stories that were distressing Trump: the deadly toll of the coronavirus and his administration’s abysmal response to the pandemic, the skyrocketing unemployment as the economy falters, and Friday’s revelations about his 2016 campaign team’s collaboration with Russian spies.

Second, the president has gone missing in the midst of this crisis. While presidents traditionally speak to the nation to try to reassure Americans in such times, neither he nor Republican leaders are trying to calm the nation.”

But, the good news (for me, anyway) is that the Jardin de Luxembourg is open for the first time since lockdown.  Two months or so.  This morning, I walked in the Park!!!!   And, the cafes and restaurants are opening on Tuesday – just outside patios.  No problem.  Gorgeous days in Paris.  Unbelievable weather.  Sunshine.  So, I took a lot of pictures in the Jardin.  And, the neighborhood florist has gorgeous roses outside.  Listen.  We have to take it where we can get it!!!!!!  People were smiling at each other.  The guard at the Senate was smiling.  People were walking and jogging and visibly happy to be ‘liberated’ and in the park.  So, I am going to post happy pictures just because I want to. 

First, some roses to get us started. FYI, I stopped and smelled the roses.

The gates were open for the first time!!!

I am definitely happy that I can just sit down in the Jardin and do nothing. Just “BE” , surrounded by trees and green grass, on a bench. I miss being surrounded by nature. So, I will try to share some thoughts that have been on my mind of late. I know that many of us expats want to “do” something to help. I read the postings of my friends on social media. And, these are a few of my thoughts.

It is going to get worse before it gets better – whatever that is. I shudder when I think of the possibilities. So pay close and discreet attention to what is occurring in your environment. Do the right thing. Take stock. Use discretion and tact in these tense times. Be that international diplomat. Pay sharp attention. Don’t lose your concentration. Look for ways to bring opposites into harmony. And, most of all, honor your intuition.

I am not asking you to agree with me. Just be open and flexible as to what lies ahead. We don’t have to “like” it. Stay strong. And, tighten your seat belts. This may turn out to be an opportunity in disguise.

Best, Jay

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TAKE TWO! A JAYSPEAK MOMENT!!

I have corrected this post and think it needs a reblog. Thanks in advance. Jay

JAYSPEAK

Jay, speaking here! I have been thinking a lot about what people are saying and doing. Also, I am thinking about expectations. AND, ego and lots of things. But, I mainly want to say that I have enjoyed this time inside this tiny Studio in Paris. I have been working a lot on myself and my self-taping. As a result, I have been called “narcissistic” and “delusional” and probably other things. Well, I am now trying to bloom where I have been planted. And, trying to find ways to do that. I am working hard to get beyond my ego because “Ego is the Enemy.” And, people’s expectations are unrealistic (I think). There is NO WAY POSSIBLE to please everyone who has an opinion these days. And, what we are going through is nothing compared to a LOT of people.

Where am I going with this? Remember, we are in…

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TAKE TWO! A JAYSPEAK MOMENT!!

Jay, speaking here! I have been thinking a lot about what people are saying and doing. Also, I am thinking about expectations. AND, ego and lots of things. But, I mainly want to say that I have enjoyed this time inside this tiny Studio in Paris. I have been working a lot on myself and my self-taping. As a result, I have been called “narcissistic” and “delusional” and probably other things. Well, I am now trying to bloom where I have been planted. And, trying to find ways to do that. I am working hard to get beyond my ego because “Ego is the Enemy.” And, people’s expectations are unrealistic (I think). There is NO WAY POSSIBLE to please everyone who has an opinion these days. And, what we are going through is nothing compared to a LOT of people.

Where am I going with this? Remember, we are in the middle of the biggest angst, game changer any of us has ever known because it is worldwide and unpredictable. An enemy we can’t see. Everyone is crisis. Which brings me to something that I want to point out. I have lived longer than a lot of you. And, I sorta “have a clue”. But I doubt a lot of you do. So, take a moment to get a small amount of perspective.

Daddy and Mother were born in 1902. On their 12th birthday, World War I started, and ended when they were 16.  Later in the year, a Spanish Flu epidemic hit the planet and ran until their 18th birthday. On their 27th birthday, the Great Depression began. Unemployment hit 25%, the World GDP dropped 27%. That ran until they were married and ages 31 with a little girl (Patricia Ann Jewell). The country nearly collapsed along with the world economy. When they turned 37, they had three little girls (Patricia, Barbara, and Janet), and World War II started. They weren’t even over the hill yet. On their 39th birthday, the United States was fully pulled into WWII until they were 43.  At 48, the Korean War started. At 53, the Vietnam War began. When they were 60, the Cuban Missile Crisis threatened to end life on the planet as they knew it. When they turned 73, the Vietnam War finally ended. 

Perspective is amazing. Yes, we are in a challenging time nowadays. Try to remember everything that those born in 1902 endured and accomplished, and have faith that we will endure as well. Let’s be smart, and help each other out – we will get through all of this. MEET DADDY. MEET MOTHER.

(NO PERFORMANCE TODAY. JUST SOME THOUGHTS DURING INTERMISSION)

BEST, JAY

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FIRST POST of – “A Moment in Time” (Hazel)

JAYSPEAK

Welcome! This is my first attempt at “self-taping” a moment in time. She is a character, named “Hazel”. Be patient with me. I am getting this rusty machine up and running. In reviewing this video, the sound is off. Is it something I am doing? I taped it into my Mac on iMovie, save it to a file, uploaded it onto YouTube, transferred it onto WordPress, and uploaded it onto social media. So, somewhere there is a technical problem. Also, I am experimenting with all of this. So, I have problems to solve tech-wise and with my performances. I cannot control the my age. Sorry about that. So, we have to aim for characters. (sigh)

ALSO, wordpress has a new editor. And, I am posting my first attempt to make “A Moment in Time”. As I said last week, I plan to practice “self-taping ” so that I get better…

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FIRST POST of – “A Moment in Time” (Hazel)

Welcome! This is my first attempt at “self-taping” a moment in time. She is a character, named “Hazel”. Be patient with me. I am getting this rusty machine up and running. In reviewing this video, the sound is off. Is it something I am doing? I taped it into my Mac on iMovie, save it to a file, uploaded it onto YouTube, transferred it onto WordPress, and uploaded it onto social media. So, somewhere there is a technical problem. Also, I am experimenting with all of this. So, I have problems to solve tech-wise and with my performances. I cannot control the my age. Sorry about that. So, we have to aim for characters. (sigh)

ALSO, wordpress has a new editor. And, I am posting my first attempt to make “A Moment in Time”. As I said last week, I plan to practice “self-taping ” so that I get better at it for whatever. Actually, it gives me an opportunity to act in my own space in this tiny Studio apartment here in Paris! Big whoop! I still cannot believe that I am actually in Paris.

AND, if that were not enough (new video, new editor), I got an new haircut! I had my hair cut again this morning in a little out-of-the-way salon, and it was fun. Not high fashion or anything spectacular but I enjoyed going there and getting my hair done. It was a little salon named Fifi Art Coiff in the 5e. I don’t know the stylist’s name but I liked her. I had passed by it on my walks, walked in, made an appointment for Friday (today) and went in. Here it is, with hair and makeup.

AND, coming home, I saw a pret a manger on Saint Michel open and got a delicious fresh sandwich and a cookie for lunch. I also saw two dress shops with dresses I like to visit once I begin “shopping” once again. So, a lot is going on. Be prepared for weekly moments in time because I plan to work an hour a day on my “self’-taping. ” Fun times. Ok, I am working on all of it, especially my attitude. Stay tuned……….

Best, Jay

NOW! WHERE WAS I? IT WAS 1957…… AND, I WAS IN PARIS, FRANCE, AND I……

What I have on my mind today is NOT the news.  I am so alarmed and depressed about the news that I need to help myself “get a grip”.   I am walking and thinking and planning and thinking until I have OVERTHOUGHT everything.  Ouch.  I have time.  I am in Paris.  I am still alive, not dead.  Not sick.  What????  How dare I be not sick or dead or NOT feeling alive?  Haha!!   Well, Last night, I watched a SAG-AFTRA Streaming session about self-taping auditions.  And, I realized that I can do that.  I have to learn how to do it.  What if I got a role that I did from my apartment in Paris!!!!!   Why not?  I can try!!  I have time.  
Lately, I have been thinking a lot about art and what I can do to help myself get out of this deep funk I have been in since Steve died.  How?  What makes me feel good?  I know!
I know I love to act. It is not just “act”.  It is more than that.  Getting inside of another character and expressing a deep feeling, an observation, a momentary passing of an experience.  I have loved doing that since I was a little girl.  Maybe it was a deep need to communicate.  Really communicate with another human being.  I used to wish I had the freedom to explore that part of me.  Well, I have it now.  The freedom.  So, I plan to ponder this some more.  The passage below speaks to me.  I understand what he was saying.  At least, I think I do.  That said, I miss the creative experience.  Acting.   I am going to explore and try some things.  Maybe draw?  Paint?  Creative photography?  Stay tuned…..    
These are some shots from my roles in the past…..
A friend of mine posted this interview (see below) on Facebook. Marlon Brando says what I want to say!  I want to do this again.    This is what I experienced when I first started out.  But, I got sidetracked.  It is NOT too late.   The trick will be finding ways to do this at my age.  Not for show.  But, just for myself (I think) to recreate that feeing  that makes me feel so alive!!!   I may show some of it as I explore.  On Jayspeak.  As I said, stay tuned…….
Marlon Brando/Interview with James Grissom #LakeOfTheMind 
“I have found that most of us who want to act or write or make music or paint things or sculpt things are trying to remember, re-create, share, and pitifully hold on to a particular memory or memories that allowed us to continue living with some comfort. In everything I’ve done as an actor, I want to tell people, somehow, how it felt to feel my mother’s hand on my forehead when I was sick. I want to tell people how it felt when I protected my mother from my father’s rage. I want to tell people how it felt–how it changed my life–when my sister came to my aid, over and over again. Art is autobiography made flesh. Art is sending the message that life has merit, that people have merit. I think we should see things that make us all want to go out and live better and share the good things we have seen. I think we should, without ever meeting, let it be known that we are here to support and protect each other.”
–Marlon Brando/Interview with James Grissom #LakeOfTheMind 
Marlon Brando and his sister
(Photo of Marlon Brando and his sister Jocelyn)
WOW!!! YES!!!! I have work to do……….
Best, Jay
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EXPERIMENTS IN CREATIVITY!

 

I am excited because all of this zooming has given me an idea.  And, today is the beginning.  This video was /is an experiment for me to work out technical difficulties with iMovie, YouTube, and WordPress.  So, I will be getting all of it better as I learn more about it.   But, here it is!!!!The beginning. 

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I should have redone it, but I am dizzy from thinking so long, trying to figure all of this out.  I know. I know.  I should have done hair and makeup but that was my director’s fault.  “Au natural” is what that role requires.  AND, this is an attempt to return to acting, but as we all can see, everything is rusty, and I am not in my mid-30’s. And vanity re actresses is that they need to be “pretty”.  (sigh).  But, it takes courage to go online without makeup.  A “before” and “after”.  (sigh).  And, I need better lighting and voice work, memorize my lines, look up and lose the glasses  and………

What is on my mind?  Well, let’s see.  I am not sure.  I have a lot of thoughts, but none that seem particularly earthshaking.  The problem with writing a post every weekend is that I want it to be interesting to a reader.  For me, this week I got some great photos of pretty roses.  But they were in front of a florist.   And, they will come and go with the seasons.  I have not found a “rose garden” like the one that I had in Nice at the garden behind the Monastère de Cimiez. 

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I see beautiful buildings, but they are interesting but for a brief moment.  I have a lot of deep thoughts, but they are interesting only for a brief moment. 

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I hear beautiful music, but it is over when it finishes.  Ah, c’est la vie. Actually, I love living in Paris.  And, I haven’t really seen it yet.  I had four weeks before the virus hit town and I was in “lockdown”.  WOW.  How weird is that.    Now, several weeks later, I am trying to regroup.  Now, where was I?  What is next?  I don’t know.  But, inside, I feel I am in “turnaround”.  From what to what?  From not knowing to knowing!  It is on the tip of my consciousness. Haha.  Maybe I will get better at these creative videos.  I have a lot of ideas – favorite monologues, readings from my seven, published books, singing a song AT 83. Like “Time After Time”.

Janet - posing

I have gotten the writing bug back.  I am re-editing my favorite book,  “Janet Tallulah”, And, I am working on a new book, working title “Black Swan Rising – in PARIS.”  Or,   “Through the Eyes of a Black Swan in PARIS”.  I went through a down time when I first got here. I thought I would be seeing things and going places where I thought I would go, and things I thought I would do.  Oops.  Did not happen. May never happen.

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Life outside my window is changing.  Paris is changing.  My motivations are changing.   I keep asking myself each day if I am motivated to do something or finish something – just wandering up and down streets and regularly checking my motivations.  Now, I must put this in context.  I have been a driven, goal-oriented person all my life, and I did not relax much at all.  Now, that has all changed.

In my mind, I am finally connecting with the girl inside.  And, there are things that I have realized I don’t want to do, and people I realize I don’t really like.  And, all of that is OK.  I don’t have to do them, and I don’t have to like them.  Do I get bored and lonely?  Sometimes.

I don’t like women (or men) who are “know-it-alls”.  It seems like I have met a lot of those during this journey.  Am I one?  I don’t think so.  I don’t like people who are weird in their like and dislikes.  Weird how?  Weird to me.  That is an intuitive thing.   I know it when I see it.  I realize that I am jealous of people with money.  I am jealous of people who walk easily up and down steps.  I want to be able to afford a better apartment with a lovely view on a pretty street with trees.  It exists.  But, space and loveliness costs money.  I want to be able to walk and wear pretty shoes. (sigh)

And, yet I have a lot.  And, I am thankful for all of it. I am in PARIS.  I am not sick (knock on wood.  I love my family.  I love my friends. I love the law.  I love my writing.  I love my cat.  (Haha)  So expect me now to start acting on my own channels.  Why not?  I am excited because I have a LOT of ideas that will be fun to develop – interspersed with some gorgeous photos of Paris.

Stay tuned…….

 

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Best, Jay

 

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MAY FAVORITE PHOTOS OF MINE – PARIS! 6e AND 5e!

Today, I will treat you to some of my favorite photos that I have taken during the last two weeks of lockdown .  I am going to miss the empty streets without a lot of people and clear skies with birds chirping.  Yesterday, I went into some new streets in 5e and encountered some unpleasant people.  So, the tension is out there.  It is time for all of us to be careful.  Nerves are on edge.  Just sayin…….  Give it a week or two (or more) to calm down.  (Hopefully.) This is all exhausting.  And, during lockdown, I took a break from wine.  Not because of a reason other than I was too cheap to stock up on it and did not want to go to the grocery store.  So, my nerves could use a good glass of wine or two about now.  On Monday, the shops will open, but not the restaurants and cafes.  So, life will be a little different.  (A LOT)    Already, the rudeness is prevalent.  So, all the consideration that I got for a brief moment in time is gone.  (sigh.)  Meanwhile…….  the favorite photos.  You may have seen some of these before.  I think most of them are new. Sorry I cannot identify all of them.  I will try.

My neighborhood florist’s window.  Stanislas Draber, 19 rue Racine – 6e

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The Panteon.     5e up the street from me.

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I bought a bouquet of gorgeous tulips for Easter at Stanislas Draber.  He took a risk selling them to me (on the street).

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I was walking down a back street in 5e (avoiding people) and saw this building.  Frankly, I don’t think a lot of buildings are pretty.  But, this one caught my eye.  I wish I had gotten the top of it with more sky.  But, I like the photo, anyway.  I don’t know what the name of the street is.  For me, it is a “cut-through” .   But it goes by the Sorbonne and will be crowded once the students are back in class.  ???

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This is Odeon Square near my apartment.  I like photos of the sky and this shot is a “sky” picture.

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This is the University of Paris Philosophy Library of the Sorbonne.  I sometimes sit on the fountain in the area in front of this building and drink my fresh orange juice that I got a Carrefour for my walk.  It probably has another name, but I don’t know what it is.

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This is Church of Saint-Sulpice  I was looking for somewhere to light May candles for my family but everything was closed.

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Jardin of Luxembourg.  Up the street.  Gates are closed and locked.  This shot is from outside the iron gates.

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This is a statue of Auguste Compte, a French philosopher.  It is in the square where I drink my orange juice by a fountain.

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This is a church in 5e.  I just liked the shot.  Closed with a garden behind gates.

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The Seine down the street.  Petit Pont Bridge to the other side.  Paris 5e.

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The Odeon   Closed.  Gorgeous inside.  6e.  Down the street from me.  (sigh)

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It is not that easy to find flowers on my walks.  As I walked down Saint Germain in 6e, I saw these geraniums.

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I just like this shot of the Luxembourg Garden trees.  So, I will close with this one.

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So, you see, I am just walking for an hour, more “wandering” with my camera.  The shots are interesting to me and I enjoy the time spent outside.  I am hoping to go further once the cafes and restaurants open and I can sit and rest, get a coffee, and go to the rest room.  But, for now, I am staying 1 kilometre from home (rules of lockdown).  So, that is just a taste of Paris in May.  Springtime in Paris.  (sigh).  And, I am lucky that my friend is allowing me to rent her 6e Studio apartment for a year.  Stay tuned……

If you will,

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