alskuefhaih
asoiefh

Saturday, February 20, 2010

a birthday

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"She sat there filled with champagne.
S
he talked about hashish and its effects.
I said, 'I have known such effects without hashish.
I do not need drugs.
I carry all that within myself.'
At this she was a little angry.
She did not realize that I achieved those states
without destroying my mind.
My mind must not die, because I am a writer.
I am the poet who must see."



- Anaïs Nin, talking to June Mansfield,
wife of Henry Miller, in Henry and June

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Anaïs Nin was born in Neuilly, France,
February 21, 1903 (died January 14, 1977).
Her diary was her closest friend.

Power to diaries. Power to blogs.
Power to the word, to the poem,
and to a clear mind.
Observe, feel, tell the details.

See in · · · out · · · through · · · across · · · beyond · ·
· · along · · · around · · · within · · · underneath · ·
· · outside · · · past · · · into · · · behind · · · ahead · ·
· · onto · · · toward · · · until · · · upon · · · among · · · at · ·
· · over · · · on top of · · · inside · ·

No one else sees the way you see.






window on
rue des Barres, Paris
May 2006

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76 comments:

Gwei Mui said...

What a great, informative piece. So true no one can "see" like you yourself do. It's brilliant to be reminded of our unique abilities.

Judy said...

I’m spending time gazing at your picture here…. Brings back memories of a trip 5 years ago…. Makes me smile!

dutchbaby said...

Power to blogs! Especially if they are like yours, bringing together perfect words, stunning images, wisdom, a zest for life, and above all, love.

I would like to stand in front of that window and be reflected upon its panes, but better yet, be inside that house looking through the window, watching the well-dressed passers-by, reflecting upon my great fortune for being in Paris.

amuse me said...

What a wonderful post and picture. I have always kept a journal, and now a picture-a-day and a blog. When I look back over all these years, I understand some of my emotions that rattled me in younger years. :)

CottageGirl said...

Haunting pictures, Ruth. Anais had such a delicate beauty about her along with an air of sophistication ...I'd like to know more about her.

I LOVE the picture of the window ... The reflection of the other building, the texture of the wall, the lush ivy. I could stare at it all day.

There is a power to writing down your thoughts and feelings. I've always tried to keep a journal, but I found myself using it when I was very sad or extremely happy.

With blogging, there is more of a creative process at work with the addition of the photography and challenge of technology AND the great and interesting people I've met ... like you!

margie said...

ruth these are great photos. excellent!!! and who doesn't love a little anais nin.

*jean* said...

yes yes yes!!! i had a creative writing teacher that saved my life by making me write in a journal, a habit i have kept since high school...it's true, no one sees like you do...thank you for writing this post today ruth...

Jodi Anderson said...

This quote is beautiful and powerful. I had to immediately share it with a friend that would appreciate it.

Brenda said...

Simply said but so meaningful. I think we all need this as a reminder to continue blogging/ writing or creating from our uniqueness.

Susan said...

So important to remember, Ruth, when we ask ourselves why we should add our voices to others already speaking, already so brilliant.

No one sees things the way we do.

Gayle Carline said...

Beautiful poem, wonderful post to second the motion, that writers go to "that place" without chemicals (altho I confess, I partake in a little wine from time to time). BTW, I didn't know I shared a birtday with Anais. It's also Erma Bombeck's birthdate. Lucky me!

Bob Johnson said...

Ruth so true, "no one else sees the way you see", very profound.

♥ Kathy said...

How awesome

Babs-beetle said...

So true. I often wonder how another person sees what I see when I look at something.

Reya Mellicker said...

Anais Nin! Wow. Hadn't thought about her in years. I read all her books during my twenties. Imagine me reading and weeping dramatically. My goodness.

Hey Anais, wherever you are: fly high sister, fly high.

What is remembered, lives. Thanks for this.

Ann said...

Recently someone suggested to legalise marijuana for medicinal purposes, there is plenty of discussion on this.

shicat said...

Amen sister! Clear minded, rational and most of all feel it,even when it hurts. Love this,love this, love this.

Maybe we can meet this spring? I still have your email:) What do you think?

Bella Rum said...

"No one else sees the way you see."

I try very hard to remember this when I feel unoriginal and dull.

Reading about how others face the repetitive everyday occurrences in life is what I love about blogging. It's the little things (not the big things) that draw me into the world of another blogger and keep me coming back.

Deslilas said...

I'm very proud to live in a street called "rue de la Barre" in Radonvilliers. That's not so far from the "rue des Barres" !
I may feel as a neighbor to Anaïs.

Susan said...

Having my own "voice", as you so sweetly put it in one of my comments, has always been important to me; but, until now, until this magical avenue appeared on my radar screen, I've never really spoken in that voice.

Thank you for reminding me that my voice matters, even if it's only to me.

I echo CG's thoughts on the window picture. Just perfect for the post.

Sandy said...

That window is beautifully photographed Ruth.

gemma said...

Anais Nin is quoted in my own journal many times over. She brings me peace with myself. One of my favorites is: "We do not grow old chronologically. We are mature in one realm, childish in another.The past,present and future mingle and pull us backward, forward or fix us in the present. We are made up of layers,cells,constellations."

Oliag said...

Each time I have returned to blogging from one interruption or another I save yours for last to catch up with to savor it...like saving the short stories in the NewYorker for last because they are my favorite part:)...I always get beautiful, inspiring photos here along with something I know I will think about for awhile...

I have frequently been a journal starter but not a completer...I admire those that write daily and wish I were one of them...the blog helps immensely...yes, no one else sees as each of us sees. You put it into words just right...

I have never read any of Anais Nin...I think I should change that...

xo

shoreacres said...

The distortion of the reflection in the window is so perfectly illustrative: no window reflects precisely like another, just as none of us sees the reflection precisely as others do.

Anais also said, "We do not see things as they are. We see things as we are."

I'm thrilled to discover this post today - a lovely, uniquely Ruth-like affirmation of something I wrote only yesterday in my new entry.

“None of us is meant to travel another person’s road. None of us is called to take our neighbor’s path or speak with another’s voice. We are meant to discover the open highway running through our own heart. We are called to claim our right to travel freely to our own destination and rejoice in the pleasure of telling our journey’s story with our own voice.”

Here's to Anais, and here's to women, writing.

Vagabonde said...

This is a great post with strong feelings behind the words. I like the window picture. You know I miss those French windows that can be totally opened. The windows here are different; ours go half way from bottom to top or vice versa but cannot be completely open to the outside air. My cousin in France, every morning, places her sheets on the window side to air them, I could not do that here. I also like the shudders that can be closed at night. Here I have shudders on the side of our windows – first of all I would not be able to reach them, and second they are not movable or too small to cover the windows. To cover the windows with shudders brings extra insulation from heat or cold and I just can’t understand why they don’t use them like that here. So, I miss my French windows.

Nancy said...

Wow, this has so many facets. I'm more than intrigued by Henry and June.

Ruth said...

Gwei Mui, you are a poet of word images and artistic ones. Your blogs show your unique abilities. I would like to see you on the stage too.

Ruth said...

Judy, memories of Paris mean you always have it inside you when you need it. I think you'll be making memories somewhere else here very soon.

Ruth said...

Dutchbaby, we were in the home of one Frenchman once, the only time we had that chance. He was the owner of the flat we rented on Ile St-Louis, and his place also was on that island. To get to know the French this way is much nicer than the quick encounters on the street.

Ruth said...

Dutchbaby, I'm saying I agree with you, to sit inside a home, and look out on the street, and be in Paris!

Ruth said...

M, you can talk with yourself. It reminds me of what someone said, "How do I know what I think until I hear what I say?" I have to write out in a process. My brain doesn't take a thought far enough along without that. And wow, blogging has really helped me with this too.

Ruth said...

CottageGirl, I started reading Henry and June, and then I realized I wanted to start earlier. So I'm reading her early diaries, started when she was 11. Her powers of observation and language even at that age are remarkable.

You're so right about blogging and pulling together other ways of being creative. It's like something in me came alive in this medium. I couldn't have known what I've discovered here, without it.

I love your blog book!

Ruth said...

Thank you, Margie!

I just checked out 3 Nin diary volumes. I think I will be reading a lot of Nin, and I think I'm going to keep loving it. Her 11-year-old diary is very sweet. I look forward to watching her grow up. (And how.)

Peter said...

Was Anaïs for a while more "fascinated" by June than by Henry?

The three are somehow very closely linked to Paris history.

Ruth said...

How amazing is that, Jean, she saved your life. I'm sooo glad.

Ruth said...

It really struck me, Jodi, and resonated.

Ruth said...

Brenda, it's funny how people think their own lives are boring, but we each look at things differently, so they aren't.

Ruth said...

Susan, that's how I feel about writing a book. As long as Anne Michaels' books are there, I don't see a need to write one.

But blogs are different.

Ruth said...

Thank you, Gayle, Happy Birthday a day late!

I drink wine too.

Loring Wirbel said...

I've always been such a huge Anais Nin fan - loved her diaries.

Jeanie said...

What a wonderful post -- as always, I learn when I'm with you! And the photo is a stunner!

photowannabe said...

The artistry of words. Profound. It is so true that no one sees things the way we do and we don't see things the way others do either. I think that's what makes life exciting and worth living fully.

Ruth said...

Bob, I've missed seeing the way you see, you know.

Ruth said...

♥ Kathy, thanks.

Ruth said...

Babs, I'm glad you're not serious like me. I need your humor.

Ruth said...

Reya, it sounds like Anais is a microcosm inside you. I'm just starting to digest her words, after all, I woke up just a few years ago.

What we remember, lives. Yep.

Ruth said...

Ann, I don't really have anything to say about marijuana or hashish for myself. But I do like the idea of a clear mind. That doesn't keep me from drinking a glass of wine though.

Ruth said...

Cathy, I have a friend who embraces emotion, whatever the type, and however raw. There's something to it, not resisting it.

Yes, of course, I'm ready when you are. Maybe when snow is not a looming threat, eh? Maybe March?

Ruth said...

Bella, the thing is, we relate to each other through the minutist details of life. If you are interested in what you post, chances are we will be too.

Ruth said...

C'est vrais, Daniel. But your places looks all country to me, like my place.

Ruth said...

Susie, I don't think we can bloom until we let our voice speak. I spent most of my life shaping my voice the way other people wanted to hear it. I was well into my thirties when it started becoming my own.

Hail, blogs. Hail, diaries. Hail the voice of women. Hail my sweet Susie's voice, sister-soul-friend.

Ruth said...

Thank you, Sandy. I converted it to B&W for this post.

Ruth said...

Dear Gemma, I believe that. And who wants to mature in every area anyway? Not me. I'm actually getting more childish in some ways. I didn't ever really know how to be a kid.

Ruth said...

Oliag, your comment was like rain on dry parched earth. Thank you. What a treasure.

What I'm learning from Anais is a way of looking. It doesn't matter what she's looking at. That's immaterial, yet I also care about that because she does. It's how she perceives, how she expresses it, how she finds authority in herself while also feeling insecure. Just like any of us.

Ruth said...

Linda, our posts echo each other wonderfully.

I have found a sense of authority through my four years of writing here. Friends have helped me think. A few who were not friends too. But the ongoing process of writing, thinking, exploring, interacting and watching and listening as others do the same, has been remarkable! I rejoice that women have found this medium, especially women.

Ruth said...

Dear Vagabonde, you describe from personal experience what I have felt my entire life out of a wistfulness for living with real shutters. I detest fake shutters, for looks alone, not useful. I want real windows that open and have real closing shutters!

No wonder I love France.

Ruth said...

Nancy, I got only so far, and then I wanted to start earlier in Nin's life, so I stopped and began her early diaries.

Ruth said...

Peter, oh yes. She was quite taken with June. I stopped reading and will finish it later after reading her previous diaries.

Ruth said...

Loring, in my typical way, I'm waking up late to such wonders.

Ruth said...

Thank you, Jeanie. One day soon we will sit and talk about Paris.

Ruth said...

Sue, our experiences, circumstances, genes - so many things contribute to our perspective. Every day something new happens, and there is a subtle shift.

Arti said...

Beautiful post and ideas, Ruth! The power of words, your poem, your photography, your quote by Anais Nin. Keep them coming, Ruth, words, poems, images, I've enjoyed them all!

Lori said...

WOW! This is great!

Ruth said...

Thank you so much, Arti. You've really got me humming after reading your Theater essay . . .

Ruth said...

Hi, Lori, thanks so much.

rauf said...

The Previous post first Ruth.

Richard Dawkins talks about some experiments conducted to prove that the prayers don't work. Its very long. i thought it was pretty absurd of him to conduct such silly experiments.
He may be right in concluding that the prayers don't work. In theory, unfortunately i have to agree with him.

But what are prayers what are wishes ? Don't we all wish that something good happens to some one dear to us or to some one we know or don't know ?. Don't we all sincerely wholeheartedly wish that pain and suffering in the world come to an end ? It may not work but we all wish nonetheless.
i join you Ruth in wishing Barry a speedy recovery.

This post.

"I have taken more out of alcohol than alcohol has taken out of me."
you know who said that Ruth. Stimulants have brought the best out of some brilliant minds. And some times suffering brings out the best in people like Jalaluddin Rumi. if i say the the holy Khurraan came out of seizures all Muslims including my own family would jump on me. i may be beheaded. it is a fact that Prophet Muhammad suffered epileptic seizures.

rauf said...

oh i am sorry i forgot Ruth. Stimulants are not necessary to bring out the best in us.

Nasser a friend of mine is a famous Tamil movie actor. during his student days he said he has no hopes of entering film industry as his life is simple. he can be a good actor if his life was complicated and tension and suffering would bring the best in him. He said all the famous actors lead a complicated life. i laughed Ruth.

Alright what would you do to make your life complicated i asked him.

He said i think i should have an affair.
okkay have an affair with a cow, that'll help you. then i said don't be stupid you don't have to be complicated to bring out the best in you

Ruth said...

rauf, I used to pray a lot, every day for my whole family, every sibling, their spouses, their children, my parents, Don's family, our kids, etc. I don't pray now, and you know what? I don't spend as much time thinking about each of my loved ones. I have such a big family, if I don't focus my attention on each person, I can go days or weeks without thinking consciously about someone. Maybe if prayer does this alone, to get me to focus my attention on someone, that's really just loving them, and that is needful. I don't want to forget about my family between visits.

I had to google that sentence because I didn't know Winston Churchill said it.

I don't know about drugs like hashish or marijuana, but I know alcohol can make people more relaxed, a little bit of it. It opens up people's tongues, sometimes too much. I think it's tricky to figure out what is just the right amount of wine or beer to feel good and have a nice time with friends, but not get overly emotional (angry, weepy, stuff like that) and lose control. I like having a glass of wine, but I don't have one before I'm going to sit down and write. It's when I want to disconnect with thoughts that I do it.

Ginnie said...

Since no one else sees the way I see, sister, it behooves me to live my own seeing...and to believe it is not only good but divine. It connects me to your next post and what Aimee Mullins was saying about disability/adversity. If we will allow ourselves to see what we see, the divine potential within us is transformative, I truly believe...even to those around us.

Terresa said...

An empowering post and quote. And again, I am so glad to have found your blog, this bright and shining spot.

Ruth said...

Amen, Boots, well said.

Ruth said...

Hello, and welcome, Terresa. This is similar to your post about creating what we can, not just crafts, but whatever is inside us.

ds said...

Beautiful: simple and profound. No one else sees as you do, Ruth, and for that we are all grateful.
Thank you.

Ruth said...

Thank you, DS, and I am grateful for you and your insight, your voice, your tender heart.

brett said...

This is fascinating.
I’d been taught that left-aligned labels are preferred, to support the prototypical F-shaped eye-tracking heatmap of web browsing. The idea is that it supports easy vertical scanning.

study abroad

deb said...

Ruth,
I came here today to catch up ,
and have been reading through some of your archives.

You amaze me.
I can't tell you how much I appreciate that you share this space . The words, the photos, your soul.

I will be back again and again. I want to read all of it.

You inspire me, teach, sing, empower, and touch the very core of me ( and others of course ).

that is all.
I was in Ann Arbor briefly this weekend and wondered where in Michigan you lived and worked.. but I've noticed that you are U of M , not MU.

anyway, sorry for the ramble.
I've been a little out of sorts , and this has been a luxurious way to spend some rainy afternoon time.
thank you.