"For my part, I am constantly dazzled by the phenomenon of life." Pour ma part, je suis sans arrêt ébloui par le phénomène de la vie. - René Barjavel Do not miss the entire quote. Use the link below (when reading this by email) to click through to the online version of this post, where you will hear the recording in French.
(from éblouir, to dazzle)
: dazzled, awe-inspired, blinded; carried away
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A DAY IN A FRENCH LIFE
by Kristi Espinasse
I was about to tell you the story of an amazing encounter... when I got sidetracked looking up the word éblouir. A web search led me to a French sci-fi author and his dazzling thoughts. I leave you with René Barjavel's words, read aloud by Jean-Marc. The English translation follows...don't miss it.
Il ne suffit pas d'être en vie, il faut être vivant . C'est à dire savoir à chaque instant qu'on est au coeur d'un prodige et être en contact, en harmonie avec lui. C'est difficile, mais lorsqu'on parvient à en prendre conscience, on en reçoit un perpétuel émerveillement qui paie au centuple des effors que l'on a consentis. .. Le plus souvent, nous voyons, mais nous ne regardons pas, nous entendons, mais nous n'écoutons pas. Les choses nous bousculent au lieu que nous portions la main sur elles. Nous devrions en disposer pour notre bonheur, et ce sont elles qui nous possèdent pour notre angoisse. Pourtant chacun de nous est au centre de tout, au milieu de l'univers entier. Chacun de nous possède les portes que le créateur (ou la nature, comme l'on voudra) lui a données pour y pénétrer. Mais nous oublions de les ouvrir. Pour ma part, je suis sans arrêt ébloui par le phénomène de la vie. --René Barjavel
(It's a rough translation. Feel free to offer corrections in the comments box, below)
It's not enough to be alive, you have to feel alive as well. That is to say, we have to know at every moment that we are in the heart of a prodigy and we are in contact, in harmony with it. It's difficult, but when you realize it, you get a perpetual wonder that pays back a hundred times the effort you've made. Most often we see, but we do not look, we hear, but we do not listen. Things jostle us instead of us getting a grip on them. We should get rid of this for our happiness, and it is this that brings on our anguish. Yet each of us is at the center of everything, in the middle of the entire universe. Each of us has access to the doors that the creator (or nature, if we prefer) has given him to enter. But we forget to open [those doors]. For my part, I am constantly dazzled by the phenomenon of life. --René Barjavel
Some books by René Barjavel
The Immortals - "This book is a masterpiece of politic/fiction. Barjavel shows amazing mastery and errudition in creating an incredible fiction that happens to fit all the major events in the world during the cold war." Amazon reviewer. Order the book
Une Rose au Paradis - "Love this book, but he is also my favorite author." -Isa
Ravage - (French edition) "what would happen if there was suddenly no electricity, and no way to bring it back? This scenario is visited by Rene Barjaval in "Ravage". Hauntingly predictive, this book will make you think" -Amazon reviewer
Searching my photo archives for a door to illustrate today's quote, I found this one (taken in Les Goudes fishing village in Marseilles). It reminded me of why we don't always open the proverbial door: because we are so often distracted by all the flotsam that hides it.
Feedback from a reader of this word journal....
I found this blog by accident around 2004 and was enthralled with the concept. As a school administrator and former French teacher, I encouraged my language teachers to use the blog as a resource in their classes. For years and years I have been a devoted francophile. Kristie, you provide a service that includes entertainment and education. Your photos are inspirational. I look forward to reading your blog as often as you can write it. Do not stop! --Gabrielle
Thank you for the time you've spent reading my column. If you have learned more than a little vocabulary here and find yourself looking forward to the next story, please know that ongoing support from readers like you helps me continue doing what I love most: sharing these missives from France. Your support is vivement apprécié! Donating via PayPal is fast and easy when you use the links below. Merci infiniment! Kristi