TODAY'S WORD: le singe
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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.
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