Lightly Child, Lightly.

I have also, I think, learnt what it is to love: being capable, not of ‘exaggerated’ initiatives, of always going one better, but of being thoughtful in relation to others, respecting their desires, their rhythms, never demanding things but learning to receive and to accept every gift as a surprise, and being capable, in a wholly unassuming way, of giving and of surprising the other person without the least coercion. To sum up, it is a question simply of freedom. Why did Cézanne paint the Montagne Saint-Victoire at every available moment? Because the light of each moment is a gift.

So, despite its dramas, life can still be beautiful. I am sixty-seven, and though it will soon be over, I feel younger now than I have ever done, never having had any youth since no one loved me for myself.

Yes, the future lasts a long time.

Louis Althusser, The Future Lasts Forever: A Memoir


Notes:

  • Painting: “Paul Cézanne: La Montagne Sainte-Victoire” via Culturium
  • Quote via “Alive on All Channels
  • Post Title & Inspiration: Aldous Huxley: “It’s dark because you are trying too hard. Lightly child, lightly. Learn to do everything lightly. Yes, feel lightly even though you’re feeling deeply. Just lightly let things happen and lightly cope with them.”

Comments

  1. Quite incredibly beauty-full…. First I was attracted by the Cézanne painting. Then I read the prose – twice! It sums up beautifully what I had to learn (quite a long time ago, but better late than never): If you don’t expect anything, everything good is a welcome surprise.

    I had high (some would say, very high) expectations, most of all from myself. But also towards others. Why wouldn’t my little son not pay a bit more attention at school. (because I loved school and it wasn’t an unwanted obligation, and bec. I was eager to learn day and night – all things my son wasn’t interested in – AT ALL). ‘If you loved me, you would….’ – nah, it’s not like that. Now, every little and smallest sign of love, attention, every touch is a ‘oh, how lovely, what an unexpected’ gift and I’m feeling much better about me and my world.

    This is – again – an unexpected beauty, a gift on this day – and I appreciate it. Very much.

    Liked by 4 people

    • Oh Kiki, this is beautiful and so wise…💕

      Liked by 2 people

    • You captured it beautifully Kiki. Right there. Thank you.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Yes and yes and yes…

      Liked by 1 person

    • Christie says:

      Kiki, as I read what you wrote I thought of how recently you share that your son is a landscape architect …he is part of you and he creates beauty…he see’s and implements a plan…and those who see his work, appreciated it…I’ve seen a snip-it of your photos and they are amazing (you have passed along to him an eye for beauty)… he found his soul’s calling and as his mother you have grown in grace…we are all works in progress and “Each Breath is a Gift” – so much happens within an inhale and an exhale…

      Liked by 2 people

      • Christie, thank you for your kind words. I mustn’t however take those compliments on my account. It’s true, I seem to have the eye but it’s foremost the ‘inner eye’ or what I call ‘viewing with the heart, the soul’ – and this doesn’t fit into/onto Dave’s blog.
        Secondly, my son is a learned landscape gardener, not an architect. But he also has become a perfectionist, which I never was nor will be. That’s not something I strive for. He now also only works in gardening as a ‘hobby’ (although you can’t be a part time gardener, once you’re in, you’re sold!) – but he still sees the smallest development in nature, the beauty of a grass blade and he delights indeed in my rare photos. I haven’t uploaded anything in donkey years but of course i still photograph and make tiny videos with them.
        Breathing in and out has become a bit of a mantra lately – so many very personal things happened and I find my body reacting fiercely and unexpectedly strong to them. You are so right!
        (Sorry Dave, as always, for hijacking your blog! Luckily I know that you are a very forgiving friend)

        Like

  2. what a wonderful passage. ‘accept every gift as a surprise.’ yes.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Like Kiki, I was initially drawn in by the Cézanne ( such a magnificent artist) and then further enchanted by the passage. Its revelations are so poignant…made my heart ache. And yes, “the light of each moment is a gift.” A hard won lesson from the past year.

    Liked by 4 people

    • Yes, that’s it Lori…

      Liked by 1 person

    • The pandemic has a way of constantly reminding us that our lives are deeply intertwined. But it also shrinks our daily existences into small, isolating little worlds. Every day presents a new way to feel helpless, a new wrinkle of loneliness. We can’t counter the current risks of the outside world on our own. But we can find agency, even comfort, in their smallness. We can mow our backyards, or even just tend the flowers in our windowsill, and ready them for a time when we can share them — and ourselves — again.

      — Anne Helen Petersen, I Used to Go Out. Now I Go to The Home Depot, (New York Times, Sept 10, 2020)

      Liked by 5 people

    • Yes, yes, yes Lori. And not ‘only’ the past year – every breath we can take, every sweeping view we can see, every smell we inhale, every bird song we are permitted to hear – so many gifts, hardly noticed, taken for granted instead of With Gratitude. And I so miss the wet nose of a dog, cuddling up to me…..

      Liked by 1 person

  4. So poignant and hopeful. Despite what is missing we can appreciate the small shifting gifts. This has been my experience of the pandemic…. and thank goodness for the internet, FaceTime and Zoom to keep me connected to beautiful souls around the world.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. I love this. Must be one of the reasons I keep taking pictures of the same thing. it always has a little something extra. You must feel this also, David, on your morning ambles…

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Christie says:

    Louis Althusser,…”never having had any youth since no one loved me for myself…sad and I know that her feelings are accurate and unfortunately I feel that many in their lives do not feel valuated…

    Liked by 1 person

    • Christie says:

      Ha, to my own reply after I typed my thoughts I googled Louis Althusser, discovering he is a man not a women….

      Liked by 1 person

      • Yes he is.

        Like

      • Ha, Christie, it’s a Louis not a Louise…. In French, this problem is omni-present. I have a niece with the nickname Sasha and her brother called Dominique and when they were still both living at home, Alessandra (Sasha) was always addressed as a man and Nicki as a woman 🙂 It seems to me that even my nickname in France is NOT a name to have – but nobody ever told me why not and I didn’t want to know either. it didn’t really sound too positive.

        Liked by 1 person

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