haut les coeurs!

"Heart in Burgundy" (c) Kristin Espinasse
Current events have us wearing our hearts on our former façades... and it's a good thing, n'est-ce pas?

haut les coeurs (oh lay ker)

    : lift up your spirit, take heart, be brave! have courage!


Thank you, Carolyn Foote Edelmann, for today's French expression: Carolyn writes, in response to Monday's seisme post:

Small thought - watching their dignity and fortitude, I think [the Japanese] may not want to be called 'victims'.

My Provencal neighbors had a phrase which sounded to me like "o, liqueurs!" - but was, in fact, HAUT LES COEURS! - [High the hearts]... I love it that this word, in France, implies "to infuse with courage".

Thank you for linking those of us who love France with a country I am taught to love (having lived through Pearl Harbor) as I never thought I would, watching their fortitude in the face of the impossible.

 

A Day in a French Life... by Kristin Espinasse

Universal Love

I am rooting through the medicine chest, looking for the small blue box that contains my mouth guard. I haven't worn the protective shield in over a month, but I need it now. Teeth grinding is up, along with that ticky tremblement just beneath my eyelid. Twitching and grinding - it is the body's way of responding to those things that are out of its control: like our dog's destructive behavior, like Japan, like Mother Nature.

I grab the small blue box and pry it open... when something flies past me... landing with a TING!  I bend over, narrowing my eyes, ignoring the annoying tremblement de la paupière. 

I see a heart lying there, on the floor... t'was a heart that had fallen out of that toothbox...

Suddenly it all comes rushing back to me...

I see myself back in Mexico, packing my bags. I see my mom reaching to hug me. I hear her voice: "I've put a little surprise in your toothbox... open it up when you are on the plane."

I'm on the airplane now... reaching into my backpack for the blue box. I open it up and there, beside the plastic tooth guard, is the tarnished locket-heart.

I hear Mom's explanation when I call her that evening to thank her.

"It was a gift," she says.  And she tells me the story of the bus ride, when the Mexican "street man" stepped on board. 

Listening to the poor passenger who had taken the seat behind her, Mom sympathized, pointing to her own losses: she took off her hat and pointed out her thinning white hair. Then she pounded on her chest, pointing out her missing breasts!

When she put her hand on her hip, the man could not possibly know about the once broken bone. Mom didn't have the Spanish words to tell him.

And so, without translation, the odd couple on the bus shared their rotten luck, without drama, without fuss. And when Mom stood to get off the bus, so, too, the Mexican man stood up.

Humblement, the street man reached into his frayed pocket and pulled out the little tarnished heart-locket. He closed Mom's hand over the gift, before sending her off with a mutual heart-lift. 

***

Standing there in the bathroom looking down at the treasure in the palm of my hand... I feel the quiet peace that has swept in all around me. The world outside the bathroom door might be in a state of chaos. But I no longer feel swept up in it, shaken or tossed. 

 

 Le Coin Commentaires
To comment on today's word or photo--or to ask our cozy community a question--click here to access the comments box. Corrections to French/English text most welcome.

  

  July2005 039

Mum's the word! Jackie (pictured sans maquillage, age 7) thanks you for your feedback on her story! She's written three more articles... one of which is très "edgy". (She doesn't seem to have a problem with self-censorship, as her mother does!) I warn her that posting the story might get her kicked out of school. Her roll-of-the-eyes response? "Et alors, la liberté d'expression? What about freedom of speech?" 

Exercises in French Phonics Exercises in French Phonics is... 
" a great book for learning French pronunciation"
"useful and practical"
"high quality material, good value for your money" --from Amazon customer reviews. Order your copy here.

Thank you for the time you've just spent reading this post. If you have learned more than a little vocabulary here and find yourself looking forward to the next story, please know that a one-time contribution helps me continue doing what I love most: improving this journal. Your support is vivement apprécié! Donating via PayPal is fast and easy when you use the links below. Merci infiniment! 
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"Kristin, Your tips and experiences on French and life in France are the best resources I can think of to keep my French alive."
--Amy


seisme

Image made with tagxedo.com

En étant tous des enfants de la terre, on vous envoie, cher Japon, nos pensées les plus sincères. As fellow children of the earth, we send you, dear Japan, our most sincere thoughts.

seisme (sayeezm) noun, masculine

  : earthquake


Audio file: listen to our son Max (Download MP3 or WAV), who wrote these French words:

On se sent tous concernés par le seisme au Japon.
We all feel affected by the earthquake in Japan. 
. 

A Day in a French Life... by Kristin Espinasse

Cousin Audrey is back in France. She returned from Japan last week after representing her parents' vineyard in an international wine fair. 

Though here in Provence, her thoughts remain with les Japonais. All of us join Audrey in searching for words to comfort those who are living in turmoil and fear. I hope the following mots de soutien will help you to express your own feelings at this time:

Quand... 
(When) 

Il n'y a pas de mots assez puissants...
(There are not words strong enough...) 

pour
(for) 

ce désastre, cette catastrophe, cette épreuve,
(this disaster, this tragedy, this catastrophe, this trying time)

Quand on est tous touchés, et on se sent tous impuissants...
When we are all touched by it, when we feel powerless...

Voici quelques mots pour exprimer notre soutien/pour encourager:
Here are some French words to help express our support/to help encourage

"Courage à vous!"
Courage to you!

"La Force!"
The strength (to carry on)!

"Un gros soutien au peuple japonais..."
All our support to the Japanese...

"Une très grande pensée pour le japon"
All our thoughts go toward Japan. 

"prières pour les victims"
Prayers for the victimes

"On est de tout coeur avec vous..."
We are wholeheartedly with you 

On peut envoyer ces mots avec...
We can send these words with...

l'émotion / emotion
la compassion /compassion
les larmes / tears

***

To share your thoughts or wishes or ideas on how to help les japonais... leave a message of support in our community corner. Corrections welcome.

 

P1000463
On pense à vous. Thinking of you. Wildflowers from Cairanne.

Chief Grape in the USA: 03/14 : Meet Jean-Marc (and taste his wines!) in San Francisco on March 16th from 5 to 6 30 PM at the K&L SF Wine store (638 - 4th Street) and in many other US cities !

Thank you for the time you've just spent reading this post. If you have learned more than a little vocabulary here and find yourself looking forward to the next story, please know that a one-time contribution helps me continue doing what I love most: improving this journal. Your support is vivement apprécié! Donating via PayPal is fast and easy when you use the links below. Merci infiniment! 
♥ Send $10    
  ♥ Send $25    
    ♥ Send the amount of your choice


"Kristin, Your tips and experiences on French and life in France are the best resources I can think of to keep my French alive."
--Amy