Poisson d'Avril - April Fool's Day in France & Paper Fish Tradition

Sur la production de la passion

In pursuit of one's shadow... read on. (P.S.: ever seen the shadow of a tongue?)

Sur La Production de La Passion
(On Manufacturing Passion)

During a telephone conversation last night, Mom and I talked about passion and peace (a dichotomy?) On the one hand, our passions drive us... and yet we are always looking for the road to La Paix.

"I spent several hours cruising the internet yesterday," Mom tells me. "I navigate from one creative site to the next." It is all overwhelming in the end. Finally, Mom concludes:

Perhaps I need to manufacture my own passion!

...Maybe I'll go out and buy some paint thinner... but then, I am so happy here (away from the blank canvas), resting quietly by the window, sharing this chocolate-chip cookie with Breezy!

Some say peace is what happens when we give up our passions. Just a thought and, along with Mom's cookie, quelque chose to snack on today....

Le Coin Commentaires
Your thoughts are welcome here, in the comments box.

Mustard-flower passion beneath still-sleeping vines.

Some are passionate about orchids... here's a wild one for you.

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Kate Dawson -Taylor

Hello Kristin,
Just a little thought about peace. When I was a little girl,and had probably driven my mother to her wit's end,she would pop me on top of the kitchen dresser,and encouraged me to learn these words.

"Still and quiet in my seat,
folding hands,and crossing feet,
nothing will I think about ,
but, my breathing ,in and out."

Seventy five years on,when in clamour or in doubt,these words passed on through the generations are still the key to hearing that still small voice of calm.

With love,kate D-T


My life would definitely be more peaceful without my takes up so much of my time. 3 night-time practices a week, all those weekend concerts. All that for small town bands as an amateur. I keep saying this is the last year I do it...



What a surprise to see our conversation staring me in the are too much,

Oh - The peace of release.

Kate - your poem is wonderful, we must teach it to Jackie.



Pat Cargill

I often see that peace and contentment are derived from one's passion. Puttering in the garden, working until I drop, I am at total peace. Creating another tiny watercolor card, letting the girls out to strut their stuff and have their say, I am happily at peace and laughing, to boot. Being w/my beloved miniature schauzer, Maxine, walking w/her, napping w/her, total peace. They are all passions, parts of my life I cherish.

Peace and quiet are a beautiful pair, as well, and a necessary part of every single day. But passion brings its own peaceful state as well. It seems to happen when we get out of mind, out of judgment, and allow the creative flow to have its way.

Peace to all in all you do.

Jennifer in OR

I love the poem Kate shared, and will pass it on to my children.

When I saw the title of the post, and before I clicked over here, I thought with Easter coming up the story would be about the passion of Christ, perhaps there was a production coming to your area? I was totally off! But His passion was certainly about giving up, in a way, when he begged the Father to let the cup pass from him. There is something powerful in the release of the passion that ends up bringing the blessing.

Stacy, Applegate, Oregon

Stirring question which I struggle with myself as my passion, or desire, to create a certain look in the garden, or on paper, at times gets in the way of enjoying the moment, or the process. Though other times I am doing what I love, motivated by passion and peace is present in the process.

For me peace and happiness are best found when I’m in nature or with my beloved animals, who offer both inspiration and comfort, letting all just be as it is and breathing it in!


I am surprised that your passion isn't photography. I love your photos. Kristin, I think you are a better writer than you think you are. When you are truly inspired it stands out. As for finding peace in life, well that may never be what you find if you are always seeking it and not enjoying things as they are. I speak these words from my own experiences and one thing that gives me peace is reading about your life in France. It still reminds me of when I was raising my children and we lived on twenty acres. Day to day life can be so busy that we don't relax, find our calm, or know that what we have is truly our own peace. This is just too profound coming from me, but I hope you understand.


Greetings! This is NOT a specific comment on today's article - which I enjoyed, as always. It's a general comment, as well as a suggestion / request. I am a struggling new learner of French - I didn't even do it in school so I am a complete and utter beginner - but moving to a mostly-French speaking country makes it a requirement. There are many web sites which offer useful information on French, and I subscribe to a few. But I enjoy yours most, because I find I enjoy the humour and the stories to which the new words are linked, rather than trying to learn rather dry new words by heart. So, thank you, you are appreciated!
My request is a query and perhaps I could suggest that you answer my query one day when you are not sure what to write about (does that happen?) :-) I am confused about the difference between "bon" and "bien". I have been told that "bon" is used for food (i.e. tasty) and bien for anything else which is good. But I have also been told that you use bon when someone's done a really good job, while bien means that you are happy but the work wasn't brilliant. Add to this the fact that pure French is only spoken sometimes where I now live, together with Creole, bastardised French and bad English (not that I can comment, as my French is abysmal!), and I end up very confused.
Thanks again, your site is most enjoyable and helpful!

Julie Schorr

Salut Clare,
Here is a simple rule. Bon is an adjective. C'est un bon repas. ( a good meal) Bien is an adverb and should generally be used in this sense. Elle chante bien. (She sings well) That is the general rule. It is true that bon or bonne would be used to describe food and other things that are good. Bien should be used generally to describe actions. I know you will hear some variations though. Hope this helps a little bit!

Marilyn Thomas

I bought your book and was half way through when I discovered Word-A-Day. I didn't realize you were one in the same! Your email is the first one I scroll down to every morning so imagine my disappointment when I read that this is the last Word-A-Day. I was so disappointed and began to mourn your passing when I realized today's date..April Fools Day! I really hope this was just a joke on all of us who really love what you do. Thanks for being a bright spot in my crazy, mundane, raise five kids and dreaming of France life! :) M


Thanks for the orchid, Kristin! According to the blogger justaddice, your area "boasts over twenty-six species of orchid," among them: military, pyramidal, bee, spider, butterfly and lizard orchids. I know where I am supposed to be right now -- THERE! (And that's not an April Fool's joke!) As always, I also loved the photos of the most beautiful dogs in the world. Judy

Mindy (Manhattan Beach, CA)

Great post!


Hi Kristin,
I didn't get any e-mail to announce this extra FWAD I read just now.

I could steal 3 lines from Jennifer in OR's post to tell you what I thought when I read "La Production de La Passion". Yes, I was expecting something about a religious play to be performed during Easter week!

From reading FWAD I have always understood your Mum's best hobby is painting. No idea whenabout it started, but it seems more than the artistic expression of a talent. It's a 'passion'(isn't it?). We heard over and over again that your photos inspired her and she could just "see" such scene, landscape... as a painting for her to get on with.
Jules might have given her passion a little rest and put it in a 'dormant mode' for the time being. I'm guessing but I don't really know. From time to time one needs to stop and have a 'free' look at the world just around us, from a different angle. What used to be a passion either springs back, in its own time, or may carry on along a different track. There is no 'fixed rule' for everyone.

To be absorbed in one's passion you've got to give a great deal of your time, multiply your efforts, increase your dedication and creativity... It gives an enormous sense of peace and pleasure to the soul - a different type of peace from the "peace and quiet" type of relaxation found when sitting comfortably, in a place one can enjoy, not involved in anything special.

Yes, I agree, this extra FWAD was only a little 'snack'. To make a proper meal out of it, you might need to dig a bit deeper in order to define what you consider as a passion, a dream, a hobby, a beaming soul, inner peace, creativity, "raison d'être"... involvement & efforts ... and more 'chapters' -> too much for a newsletter!

One thing for sure is that I disagree with people who say that 'peace' is what happens when we 'give up your passion(s)' ( unless your passion is ... 'war'? )

Merci mille fois for the wild orchid!
The shadow photo is great fun!



when we 'give up your passion(s)

It should be:
--> when 'you' give up your passion(s)

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