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, illustrating today's story. Thanks for reading and sharing this post. 

TODAY'S WORD: le singe

    : monkey


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


    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.



To comment on today's post, click here. Merci beaucoup. More photos here at Instagram

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