le don d'organes (The Story of Nai)
faire passer le temps

se livrer

Yellow Chair in Jonquieres (c) Kristin Espinasse
Think too much? Enjoy this calm and tranquil scene outside the hairdresser's in Jonquières (Vaucluse)

se livrer (seuh lee vray)

    1. to give oneself up

    2. to open up to, to confide

    3. to devote oneself to


Audio File: listen to the following expressions  (Download MP3 or Wav file)

se livrer à un vice = to surrender to a vice
se livrer à la boisson = to take to drink
se livrer au désespoir = to give up in despair 

Books on the French Language:

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

"Bon Appétit!: A New Spin on What's Eating at Us"

I took a troubled mind out on a walk through the grape vines. I figured that after fifty or a hundred strides--Obsession would drop by the wayside.

Hélas, like a hungry leech, the untamed thoughts further glommed on to me! So I swung my arms and quickened my step... 

I strode past the fig tree...
I strode past the vine rows...
I strode past Madame Canard...
in the ruisseau, just below...

But all my efforts resulted in no more than a tightening throat. 

This is really eating at me! I shouted in my mind's auditorium, where I listened to my words echo: REALLY EATING AT ME!

"Yes! REALLY EATING AT ME!" I answered back.

And that is when I saw it, plainly and simply: The Ego (or the "Me") in all its grace-damning glory... for isn't the "id" so often the culprit of our ailings? Then it would follow that its annihilement would be a very good thing! And what better way, than by feasting!

In a sudden change of strategy I bid my untamed thoughts "Bon appétit! Go ahead, Suckers, and feast on ME!"

Bon appétit! 

There followed a very long banquet (the "meal" taking place in France...). In the end, I was, quite literally, no longer consumed (there being nothing left of "id" to eat). And there followed peace. 


(P.S.: if you are not familiar with the concept of "dying to self", then this essay must seem very bizarre indeed! Would the idea be any more appealing if we used the French verb "écraser" ("to squash")?; therefore, on this, Feast Day & Earth Day, we might squash the Ego in time to think about others.)

Le Coin Commentaires

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French Vocabulary

hélas! = alas!

Madame Canard = Mrs Duck

le ruisseau = brook

bon appétit = enjoy your meal

mange! = eat!

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Music & Markets in Provence Trip, Jul. 23- live classical music, fascinating markets, and charming S. of France.  Click here for trip info.

LES PORTES TORDUES (The Twisted Doors): The Scariest Way in the World to Learn and Listen to French! Check it out (if you dare).  

Smokey and Braise illustrate the concept of "Overstepping Someone Else's Boundaries". (That's tongue-lolling Smokey in the foreground. Mama Braise keeps watch for the crazy woman who will soon chase them off with a "Just because it's called a 'flower bed' does not mean you sleep on it!!!!")

In French film: Watch one of these classics:
My Father's Glory or My Mother's Castle

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


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Are you sure this is not the true definition of a flower bed! Classic.


Wonderful, thoughtful post Kristin. Happy Earth Day!


Hi kristin, Yes to die to self--who said it was easy? Have you ever read The Tao? It does seems to make the path easier to follow. Your pups know how to get your attention--just like children. Have a super week-end.

Bill in St. Paul

How nice to have a mother who will act as lookout while you take a nap on the flowers.


I loved how you asked the untamed thoughts to dine upon the id (and perhaps the ego) It seems as if they feasted upon themselves as well. I am glad at the end of the banquet there was peace. For some reason it reminded me of a line from Romeo and Juliet in which Friar Lawrence says, "And in their triumph die, like fire and powder, Which, as they kiss, consume." At any rate, thank you for the post. As usual, you have provided "food for thought." :-)


Yes, I confirm that this essay does seem bizarre, because, no, I can only vaguely imagine and glean from context what "dying to self" means - and I'm not sure I really want to know more about it, even it you say it in French. Sounds scary.

Ophelia in Nashville

A quasi-Buddhist friend of mine reminds me that everything changes and that every uncomfortable feeling wants to "self-liberate." The only way for that to happen is doing just what you did.... to name it and let yourself experience it, breathing into it and feeling it literally in the body -- the head, the chest, the shoulders...wherever it settles in you. Unfortunately, sometimes you have to do that plusieurs fois. :) Some feelings are "old friends."

I have found a good walk never hurts either.

Betty Gleason, visting daughter in Dublin, Ohio

The "dying to self" seems very appropriate for Good Friday. Also that the end result was peace. Wish more people, myself included, would realize this.
A thoughtful Good Friday, an enriching Earth Day and a joyous Easter.


Beautiful. I notice this verb repeated often in my Missal this week, but your added meditation is more "food for thought!" Blessings to you and your family, esp. this grace-filled weekend!

Jim Herlan

Bonnes Pâques! Et bonne Pâque aussi!

(Please note my new e-mail address in the information box below.)

Karen W  (Towson, Maryland)

Thank you for tying in the "reflexive verbs" on a day marked by deep reflection. I hope everything is OK.

Smokey, sleeping with that tongue hanging out - well, it's a frightening sight (if one didn't know otherwise...). :o)

Have a wonderful Easter holiday.

Jules Greer

Hi Kristi,

WOW!!! What a great post. It was our conversation on the phone two days ago when you were sharing your thoughts - only now you have reconstructed all into what ONLY YOU CAN DO - a moment in real life turned into a lovely tribute to the answer of life's imperfections.

I honestly don't think I have ever been prouder of you - thank you for this lovely gift...I will treasure this French-Word-A-Day post forever.

I love traveling this road of life with you Honey - God has promised that he would wipe away our tears - I now understand that he sent you into my life as the little handkerchief. Who-da-thunk it???



Gail Jolley

Kristen, je comprends tres bien votre experience. Je fais quelque chose pareil quand j'ai des obsessions. Merci bien pour avoir partage cette experience si personal.

Nan Morrissette

Your post is very powerful today, but delivered in such an elegant, delicate and humble manner. It is to be saved and savored. My husband, Tom, and I have spent the last few evenings with our dear, dear friends down the street, your own Charles McGrath and his Princess Martha. The talk has touched often on Jean-Marc and you. Our prayers and thoughts are following you.

On a separate note... Charles showed me your latest book (on Blurb, with pictures.) It inspired me to do a book of my own writings and photos; mine has the addition of writings, photos and drawings by my mother (87), daughter (43), grandchildren and a few other. It is called "Writing Faith, Writing Life: A Family." It is 326 pages and I uploaded and ordered it yesterday! (Hence the wine celebration with C&M!) Really, Kristi, you inspire(d) me! Thank you.

One day I look forward to meeting you and Jean-Marc. Charles and Martha have promised to bring me to Rouge-Bleu. Until then, I love reading your posts and seeing your pictures. Many hearts are with you.

Peace IS inside you.
Nan Morrissette


The surprise of resurrection, inexorable connected to the cross, is found in the rhythm of ocean waves, the caress of an evening breeze, the rich promise of a plowed field, the coming of spring, the touch of a loved one, the joy for a newborn child, the impulse for human rights, and in efforts toward ecological balance.

Barbara Andolsek Paintings

I simply LOL when I read what you wrote about the 'flower BED'... thanks lots for the smiles.

Candy in SW KS

Sounds like you found that "peace of God
which transcends all understanding", my dear Kristin. I pray that your heart will continue to be touched by such goodness. And that you will continue to pass that on to us, your readers. Oh to have life as simple as Smokey, who can find such joy in rolling in the flowers. We can take a lesson from that, n'est-ce pas? :)

Jeanne of Maumee, OH

Those doggies have nothing eating at them!!

Ken Boyd

all navel gazing chatter [ and you all know it ] I swear, if one just
works hard , toss the P. C. nonsense , find some Love ................

Ken Boyd
Napa Valley


Kristi, Have a Happy Easter. I always love Jules' comments and how she is there for you.
How were JM's test results?

Herm in Phoenix, Az

Salut Kristin,

Years ago I was taught that the Easter bunny brought the colored eggs on Easter morning. I’ve believed that for many years and now I read that in France, the ringing church bells go to Rome, see the Pope and they bring the eggs back! I don’t know what to believe anymore!

À bientôt


This is a most valuable lesson that I, too, am finally beginning to learn. Thank you so much for expressing it in such a simple, heartfelt way.

Therese Terry Stacy

"The most fundamental aggression to ourselves, the most fundamental harm we can do to ourselves, is to remain ignorant by not having the courage and the respect to look at ourselves honestly and gently."
— Pema Chödrön

Kristin, What a wonderful moment for you to share-and what an invitation to remind us to kindly consider where we can learn to unburden ourselves of ego, and it's circle of pain. I love to read Pema Chodron, an American mom now world-reknown Buddhist nun. Happy Weekend!

"One can appreciate & celebrate each moment — there’s nothing more sacred. There’s nothing more vast or absolute. In fact, there’s nothing more!"
— Pema Chödrön


Wonderful blog - so pleased I found you!
I have a writing, books and art blog based in Provence, if that appeals.
Happy Easter.


Glad I am not alone Kristin...it has been a while since I had the time to check you out...I would use se livrer au lieu de ecraser...I think when one becomes submissive it is more effective than when one's ego is crushed...I have talk with my ego all the time...oy veh, whatever that means : ) Happy Easter! xoxo

gail bingenheimer

Bon Pâques

Cindy McDonald

Bon Paques chere Kristin.

Jennifer in OR

NOT navel-gazing chatter.

Beautiful post. Hope you've enjoyed a reflective Good Friday and that your Easter is blessed.

Ellen Sue

Kristen ~ it takes such honesty to discern the dilemma-making mind which is truly not a friend to the peace-loving "true self" making the observation. Bravo for your humble discrimination. Feast on the Love which is your choice in every moment.

Pat Cargill

Kristin, My thoughts are with you and as I gaze at God in my Navel, my prayers reach out to you and your dear family for a blessed Easter.

Those who think that "working hard," i.e., ignoring feelings/emotions/upsets and stuffing it further within, are sadly those whose mental/physical "pressure cookers" will some day pop their valves. Meditation or prayer, whether in motion or seated, always has benefits. The practice of allowing the emotions that arise to fully be felt without explaining/fixing/understanding, but allowing the full force of feeling to be totally experienced--staying in the body, feeling it fully - this is a practice known by many which is effective. It helps in culling out the mental/emotional flotsam and jetsam that have accrued over a lifetime, and which prevent our living fully and happily.

Do continue to be the a brave Warrior Women-- your writings help to inspire others. We die to the self that no longer serves us. Day by day, little by little, healing is possible. Sticking the proverbial "head in the sand" serves to leave a hardened heart even harder.

Walking meditation is a marvelous antidote to worry and fixation on a problem. Good for you!

Jules Greer

I am just 'LOVING' all of my beautiful friends here at FWAD - AND especially a big LOVE to my favorite Ken. We will just keep shining our little light...Ken we just LOVE YOU...i'd never heard of navel gazing til you.



Marianne Rankin

Re dying to self: the Christian concept is more one of "emptying" than "disappearing"; some religions have more the view of fading away, rather than self-effacement. It's good to die to self now and then, even in small ways, such as giving up things so that those without can have something.

The remark to Braise and Smokey was amusing! But I realized I don't know how to say "flower bed" in French, other than "jardin." Is there a separate word or phrase to designate a spot specifically with flowers?

Herm in Phoenix, Az


Flowerbed in french maybe "parterre de fleur"


Joan Simon

"Nothing that has not died will be resurrected." C.S. Lewis "if you lose your life for My sake, you will find it" Jesus.
I just have to say that I had just written in my journal today about death- death of the self, the false self, actually. I see more now the necessity, though I fight it with all my old knee-jerk responses! Then, I read your post and felt God just confirming it- wow!!! Thank you, Kristin.

Have a blessed Easter, Joan


...hello "Little Hanky" - love it!
Great post, even for a (beaten-and-humiliated-by-Catholic-nuns EX-Catholic) non-believer on Good Friday it pressed a button. There IS spirituality without all that institutionalized hierarchical stuff!
LOVE is what it' s all about.....and your blog is awash with it! Happy Eater!

Jules Greer





Herm in Phoenix, Az


Did that ~!%@&* computer do it to you again? You need set that computer down and have a heart to CPU talk with it!


Jacqueline Gill

...loved the essay...what a perfect weekend to reflect on dying to oneself. It's not scary; just a deep thought. Kristin, you say it so well and so creatively. You are a gift. I too would like to know JM's results--am praying way over here in beautiful Pennsylvania. Blessed and joyous Easter(my favorite day!) to all of you..

Jules Greer


I have so many thoughts to share with you on this special Easter morning.

I always remember our first real celebration of Easter in 1980...I know you have an old photo somewhere of that moment in time...you were probably about 10 years old when I found out about Easter.

I wish you were here with me this morning so we could wait together for the Sun to rise in our garden filled with candles and all of our lovely flowers. I know in my heart that you remember that one special Easter, just the three of us together. Heidi would have been 14 and a little taken back by this new-found faith her Mom brought back from Switzerland a few months before.

Now, thirty years later we have a deeper perspective of all that God had planned for us when He showed us the mystery of Jesus on Easter.

What a ride through life this has been!!!

Little did I know that you were the one who was already dreaming of France, I was busy preparing Heidi with French lessons so she could be the one to go on and live my dream.

God works in mysterious ways.

All my praise and love to God this morning for giving me a Savior (no one ever needed one more than me!)

Yes - I am alive this morning and filled with love and expectation about my life again.

Thank You God for sending Kristi into my life 43 years ago - what a walking (and writing) treasure chest of of little jewels she has proven to be.

I will be back later to ramble on about all of my happiness today...most of all Thank God I am alive today to celebrate life.



Maria Cochrane

And we can die to self, because He was crushed for our sins. Hallelujah, what a Savior!
On another note - some of my french students have responded to your daughter with some advice about jobs - what is your snail mail address!


Sara Larsen

Dear Kristin, I love French Word-a-day so much. I don't know how you do it, but don't stop! Please don't forget about my suggestion to write the sequel to The Feasting Season. You sound delightful to me avec lovable dogs, but also like "Meg". Love from Sara

Mme. DuFrance

Chere Kristen,
Quand j'avais jeune j'appris que les animaux mange et les gens dine!

Mme. DuFrance
www.coquillesstgeorges.blogspot (bientot)


Very aptly put dear Kristin! Dying to self is something we are privileged to even be aware of! So many in the world are not.

Self-focused, self-centered, self-image, self-conscious, self-ish....how can we possibly have time to care about anyone else? To make a difference (as YOU do!) in the life of another... if we are "self" focused??

A wonderful Easter discovery that prompts some reflection on my part too!


just read this newsletter today (still catching up....)
and here is "le fil de mes pensées" that emerged from my reading in between the lines:

- untamed thoughts growing to a point of obsession... oh yes, I can figure out the worries turning into a feeling of despair too heavy to handle, obsession absorbing every single minute of the day, and battling through the night ...

- those uncertainties about JM's health were still building up, invading your mind and sucking your mental energy, darkening your thoughts... and making you do what the French describe as: "broyer du noir". Brave and sensible decision to take yourself -and your dark thoughts- for a walk through the refreshing open fields!

- Walking up and down shakes the body into a regular rhythm and can have a calming effect. It can also be quite invigorating. Besides, in the middle of nowhere, you can more easily talk "à haute voix", and shout... and sing... and cry... and laugh ... and get the tightening effects of your untamed thoughts get looser, and looser to the point of throwing them out... and getting rid of what invaded your mind.
I am thinking of the spiritual meaning of "délivrance" ... Yes, I think this is what your mind and soul needed so badly.

- something became clearer in your mind: "Ne pas livrer tes pensées à la bête noire de l'angoisse" that had been spreading its grips all over your mind. You let the untamed thoughts come out, to be eaten away, nibbled bit by bit, thanks to a deliberate will power...

- you freed yourself from those untamed thoughts and let them die away, outside your mind... What got eaten away was the painful and obsessive burden. In doing so, you found your-self 'free' and ready to be more concerned with others than with an ego filled with dark invading thoughts turning round and round and growing madly inside you, blocking your access to others.

After typing all this, I read some of the comments tinted with religious beliefs, Good Friday etc.... and I am now wondering whether my way of analysing your newsletter is far or near the truth, whether I missed the boat...
"Suis-je tombée à coté du sujet?" Maybe... Kristin, you are the only one who can honestly judge.


was I far from the truth?..........
am I too analytical?


Thanks for e-mailing me a quick reply! :):)

end of my tea break
and back to the bottom of the garden now.
You know, this year in the garden, it's all about re-building, repairing, restructuring ... what my husband calls: the 'hardware' jobs ... not just pretty flowery additions.

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