A Very Short Tale

His name was Doctor Rich but he never made much money being a doctor. You see, he wasn’t a medical doctor but a doctor of philosophy. There had been a time when he had tried writing a book, but that had not worked out for him. He taught a few courses at college which barely paid his rent.

He always felt like he was running out of money no matter how much he tried to budget. There was always something unexpected coming up. A tire that needed to be changed on his bicycle or a glass pot he left on the stove that had scorched so he’d had to replace it.

Each month, he thought that this was it. He would put a bit of money aside for a trip he might want to take in the future. But lack of money always crept into Dr. Rich’s world.

The essence of what he believed in was the heart and soul of every individual, and he tried to live his life in such a way that at the end of it, whenever that would come, he could say that he had lived a very rich life.

Wasn’t it better in the long run to have a rich soul than a rich bank account? The latter was like a tyrant tied around your neck. A slave that was impossible to beat.

He found it strange that when he thought about this, he didn’t worry about his lack of money at all. The only thing that he trusted was that things would work out, and somehow, they always did. 

LISTENING TO JEAN-MICHEL BLAIS AT THE MONTREAL JAZZ FESTIVAL

AUBADES

LISTENING TO JEAN – MICHEL BLAIS AT THE MONTREAL JAZZ FESTIVAL

There are words that I want to write about.

Kindness and joy and other words that fill a dictionary like sunrise and sunset. Words that wobble like a wild wobbling turkey and words that fill souls and warm hearts: Thank you. You are dazzling.

Words like imagination, inspiration and passion although passion can sometimes be a dangerous word that can lead to jealousy and murder and other words that I do not even want to think about.

I want to write about the beauty of an ocean and the rays of a sun shining on a seaway that will lead to that endless ocean.

I want to write words that smell like the apple pie which my father used to make.

Memories of wadding in a plastic pool with my sister and her white rubber bathing cap are also good words that make me feel that she is still with me.

Perfect is also a good word although I have found it hard to end my day without messing up one way or another like having a series of perfect golf shots only to end up on the green with three putts, if you know what I mean.

I want to write about naiveté and vulnerability and being humble.

Words that are unselfish. Everyday words that are too often unused like love and happiness and smiles.

Unpretentious, funny and confident. These are also good words to incorporate into one’s life.

Words that make you dream and hope and believe in faith and the goodness of mankind.

Youthfulness, appreciation and acceptance are also good to have swirling in one’s head.

Persistence, dedication and effort. Difficult words at times but necessary.

Rustling sounding words and murmurs of birds flying by.

Lightness and strength and desire. Good to carry around.

Words that say Hello, Good Morning, How Are You?

Words that are delicate, gentle and relaxing.

You think to yourself that this masquerade of happiness, joy, and spring is all very well, but occasionally you get tears in your eyes, and you realize that there’s maybe a small wound beneath the surface, an underlying sadness to it all, one that you nonetheless contemplate with optimism, with a willingness to turn it into something positive.” Jean-Michel Blais

Pink Carnations

It’s unusual for me to buy myself a bouquet of flowers but yesterday I couldn’t resist and bought this lovely bouquet of pink carnations. I got home placed them in a vase and every time I see them, I smile and bend to smell them. Carnations have such a sweet scent.

The smell of the carnations brought up a childhood memory of my older sisters filling our home with their music. I was seven at the time and I still remember the joy I had listening to this song.

What is the Way to Make Life Happy

With the Russian invasion of Ukraine I have been having an existential moment regarding my writing. Although I am currently in the process of a crime novel I feel myself taking a break from crime and violence. In search of more feel good reading I came across this article published by QUORA. These days we all could use a bit of Ubuntu.

An anthropologist showed a game to a group of children of an African tribe. He placed a basket of delicious fruits near a tree trunk and told them: The first child to reach the tree will get the basket. When he gave them the start signal, he was surprised that they were walking together, holding hands until they reached the tree and shared the fruit!

When he asked them why they do that, when one of you could have got the basket all for them self! They answered with astonishment: Ubuntu.

“That is, how can one of us be happy while the rest are miserable?” Ubuntu in their civilisation means: I am because we are.

That tribe knows the secret of happiness that has been lost in all societies that transcended them, and they consider themselves as being the civilised societies!

https://worldsnews.quora.com/https-www-quora-com-What-is-the-way-to-make-life-happy-answer-Sajeev-Rajan-11

Lessons From A Great Artist

In the early seventies, I spent the summer doing research in London, England and while there I had the grateful opportunity to see Rudolf Nureyev perform. It was one of the highlights of my summer and I will always remember how mesmerized I was as he flew through the stage. Had I had any desires of ever becoming a dancer they evaporated that evening.

Yesterday, on Facebook I came across Jane Burfield who posted an excerpt from a letter Rudolph Nureyev had written about his life as a dancer while dying of Aids. The article which she posted came from Nick Graham who’d posted the letter on Facebook on July 2, 2021.

I am not very adept at using Facebook and so I hope that I am not violating any copyright laws by posting this photo of Nureyev just as I am of posting the letter as I read it on Jane Burfield’s Facebook page.

The letter is rather long in comparison to the usual short entries I post on my blog. But for all you artists, writers, dancers and other creatives it is well worth the time to read Nureyev’s letter. Turn off your cell phones and all your media apparatus to focus on his words for they teach us everything one needs to know about being not only an extraordinary dancer/artist but a truly beautiful human being.

Excerpts of a letter Rudolf Nureyev wrote, to the dance community about his own life as a dancer, while dying of AIDS:

“It was the smell of my skin changing, it was getting ready before class, it was running away from school and after working in the fields with my dad because we were ten brothers, walking those two kilometers to dance school.

I would never have been a dancer, I couldn’t afford this dream, but I was there, with my shoes worn on my feet, with my body opening to music, with the breath making me above the clouds. It was the sense I gave to my being, it was standing there and making my muscles words and poetry, it was the wind in my arms, it was the other guys like me that were there and maybe wouldn’t be dancers, but we swapped the sweat, silences, barely.

For thirteen years I studied and worked, no auditions, nothing, because I needed my arms to work in the fields. But I didn’t care: I learned to dance and dance because it was impossible for me not to do it, it was impossible for me to think I was elsewhere, not to feel the earth transforming under my feet plants, impossible not to get lost in music, impossible not not to get lost in music using my eyes to look in the mirror, to try new steps.

Everyday I woke up thinking about the moment I would put my feet inside my slippers and do everything by tasting that moment. And when I was there, with the smell of camphor, wood, tights, I was an eagle on the rooftop of the world, I was the poet among poets, I was everywhere and I was everything.

I remember a ballerina Elèna Vadislowa, rich family, well taken care of, beautiful. She wanted to dance as much as I did, but later I realized it wasn’t like that. She danced for all the auditions, for the end of the course show, for the teachers watching her, to pay tribute to her beauty.

Two years prepared for the Djenko contest. The expectations were all about her. Two years she sacrificed part of his life. She didn’t win the contest. She stopped dancing, forever. She didn’t resist. That was the difference between me and her.

I used to dance because it was my creed, my need, my words that I didn’t speak, my struggle, my poverty, my crying. I used to dance because only there my being broke the limits of my social condition, my shyness, my shame. I used to dance and I was with the universe on my hands, and while I was at school, I was studying, arraising the fields at six am, my mind endured because it was drunk with my body capturing the air.

I was poor, and they paraded in front of me guys performing for pageants, they had new clothes, they made trips. I didn’t suffer from it, my suffering would have been stopping me from entering the hall and feeling my sweat coming out of the pores of my face. My suffering would have been not being there, not being there, surrounded by that poetry that only the sublimation of art can give. I was a painter, poet, sculptor.

The first dancer of the year-end show got hurt. I was the only one who knew every move because I sucked, quietly every step. They made me wear his new, shiny clothes and dictated me after thirteen years, the responsibility to demonstrate. Nothing was different in those moments I danced on stage, I was like in the hall with my clothes off. I was and I used to perform, but it was dancing that I cared.

The applause reached me far away. Behind the scenes, all I wanted was to take off the uncomfortable tights, but everyone’s compliments and I had to wait. My sleep wasn’t different from other nights. I had danced and whoever was watching me was just a cloud far away on the horizon.

From that moment my life changed, but not my passion and need to dance. I kept helping my dad in the fields even though my name was on everyone’s mouth. I became one of the brightest stars in dance.

Now I know I’m going to die, because this disease doesn’t forgive, and my body is trapped in a pram, blood doesn’t circulate, I lose weight. But the only thing that goes with me is my dance my freedom to be.

I’m here, but I dance with my mind, fly beyond my words and my pain. I dance my being with the wealth I know I have and will follow me everywhere: that I have given myself the chance to exist above effort and have learned that if you experience tiredness and effort dancing, what if you dance sits for effort, if we pity our bleeding feet, if we chase only the aim and don’t understand the full and unique pleasure of moving, we don’t understand the deep essence of life, where the meaning is in its becoming and not in appearing.

Every man should dance, for life. Not being a dancer, but dancing.

Who will never know the pleasure of walking into a hall with wooden bars and mirrors, who stops because they don’t get results, who always needs stimulus to love or live, hasn’t entered the depths of life, and will abandon every time life won’t give him what he wants.

It’s the law of love: you love because you feel the need to do it, not to get something or to be reciprocated, otherwise you’re destined for unhappiness.

I’m dying, and I thank God for giving me a body to dance so that I wouldn’t waste a moment of the wonderful gift of life.”