Tiens bon! How to say "Hang in There" in French
Is your work good? Truth, Chiaroscuro, and the Creative life

Monkeys, Encouragement and French

Smokey-heart-window
Smokey, illustrating today's story. Thanks for reading and sharing this post. 


TODAY'S WORD: le singe

    : monkey

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Les singes sont bien trop bons pour que l'homme puisse descendre d'eux.
Monkeys are much too good for men to have descended from them. -Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche

A DAY IN A FRENCH LIFE...

    by Kristin Espinasse

La Vie en Rose... rose as a monkey's nose!

I started my day with two swift emotional whacks. I tell you this not for sympathy, but because the alternative would be not to tell you, and then to write about something else (I'd planned to write a humorous essay about my fear of the telephone.)

Normally, I'd have gone ahead and written the light-hearted essay, just as so many of these feel-good posts have been composed:  the midst of chaos. Perhaps writing the non-story, at those times, has helped me find my way back to emotional ground zero. More likely I have written because I have sponsors and the show must go on.

But I am still the ringmaster of my life. I choose which animals jump through which hoops. Or, as a popular saying goes:

    This is my circus. These are my monkeys.

(Incidentally, it took me the longest time to figure out the meaning behind that one!) I think I get it now. Or at least as it relates to my current situation: helplessness.  I am helpless in being able to help someone I love to wholly love herself.

(The tears just burst out. So the end of the previous paragraph seems to have hit the bull's eye!)

And I am helpless in getting others to understand me (same circus, different monkey). So without going into too much detail--and to sum things up:  I woke up this morning in the same situation as most of the human race. And, seemingly, a little more helpless than the day before. But the question remains: how to pull ourselves together? How to show up for work (or school, or an appointment) in a million little tear-stained pieces? 

I was about to give you the answer when I realized I have completely misquoted the popular  "Circus - monkeys" idiom! -- which should read the exact opposite of how I've quoted it! The original words are:

    "Not my circus. Not my monkeys.

I guess I have remembered the quote in the way that it most speaks to me: All of life's problems ARE my problems. My family's problems... my friends' problems... the world's problems - these are my problems - these are my monkeys. 

The answer, then, as to how to soldier forth, is this:  Love thy monkeys! Listen to them, hold them, forgive them, assist and reassure them. And remember: you're a monkey too. So love you.

 

Smokey-lemons

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For more online reading: The Lost Gardens: A Story of Two Vineyards and a Sobriety

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