This week I am in Paris — one of my most favorite places on earth. Thanks to an old friend who came all the way in from where she now lives in Bretagne to spend the day with us, we slipped into the Chagall exhibit going on at le musee de luxembourg.
I have not been carrying my camera much (photo above was taken Monday from the rooftop of au printemps) so my memory card may be empty but my heart is full of the color and floating figures of Chagall.
And? As we left the last room of the show, on the wall the following was written:
plus clairement, plus nettement, avec l’age,
je sens la justesse relative de nos chemins et le ridicule de tout
ce qui n’est pas obtenu avec son propre sens,
sa propre ame, qui n’est pas impregne par l’amour
I scribbled it down on the back of scrap of paper to share it with you here. This is an excerpt from a talk he gave in 1958 to the Committee of Social Thought in Chicago.
My (super rough) translation: as I age, I feel more clearly, more precisely how our life paths reflect our choices and how utterly ridiculous everything is that is not gained by following our heart, by following our soul’s prompting– that is not saturated with love.
I’ll come back and try to smooth out that translation but right now I am late for a yoga class–
:: :: :: :: ::
okay— on the way back form yoga, we got waved into the local neighborhood bar “pour prendre un pot” and now I am buzzed and would have even less of a chance of translating that well– instead, I can share this which is someone else’s translation of something Chagall wrote for the same group at about the same time. More goodness.
For me life divides itself into two parts–Life and death–
and for me whatever is not an inner truth is death.
But maybe–to be a little more concrete–of, if you prefer, more truthful,
one must use the word ‘love,’ because there is the true color,
not only in art but in life.
Without love an art is not art, and a life is not life.
Without love we see all the chaos into which art and life periodically descend,
in which I fear they find themselves at this moment.
The great crisis of art and of life is a crisis of Love.