Crossroad

If only one could freeze some memorable minutes or seconds that you treasure into blocks of dark chocolate or some frozen apple or blueberries pie where you can occasionally scrape off some of it and savour bits of those moments. Time passes whether you are doing anything or nothing.

For me, I find the evenings too short as that is the only time I feel guilt free when I do what I want to do, essentially reading and writing. I do enjoy watching a film but I have to be selective because it takes up  time for my reading. I do not want to end up feeling that another evening has just gone to waste. But why is productivity so prized upon? Anyway some nights I catch an episode or two of heartwarming sitcoms like Kim’s Convenience or Friends created by David Crane and Marta Kauffman. Kim’s Convenience is based on a play of the same name by Ins Choi. It is about a Korean-Canadian family running a convenience store in Toronto.

Recently I binge watched On the Verge and did it for a few nights in a row allowing myself half hour to forty-five minutes every evening. I like that the show  does  not try to be politically correct and it is smart and funny.

 Set in Los Angeles, On The Verge follows four middle-aged women, Justine, Anne, Ell and Yasmin (played by Julie Delpy, Elisabeth Shue, Alexia Landeau and Sarah Jones). The series is about how their friendships help them grapple with their marital conflicts, raising their children, and their professional careers. Justine is a chef, Anne is a fashion designer, Yasmin is a stay-at-home mother who hopes to revive her political career and Ell has three children fathered by three different men. In the story, Justine is also aspiring to publish a recipe book and as she writes, she muses. Her manuscript is thus interjected with her wise quips about life and cooking. She is married to Martin who has not been able to find jobs in America since he abandoned his career as an architect in France. As Justine’s career takes off , Martin becomes narcissistic, mean and petty. Yasmin is forty-six years old. In one scene, she is all melancholic and says to her friends, ” Sometimes I think we’re just grieving for the person we hoped we would become.” Yasmin is aware of her place as a professional Black woman in an all-white world given the privileges she has and being married to William, a wealthy tech guy who cares about her. She is prone to panic attack. Ell is in dire financial position having to take care of her three children on her own, she has to think fast and be enterprising. She becomes a vlogger and makes her own reality TV show entitled ‘Priceless’. Anne has a disapproving mother. When she realises that she is not a materialistic person, she decides to stop accepting money from her wealthy mother.

On the Verge is a series created by Julie Delpy who also directed some of the episodes. The satirical comedy reminds me of Woody Allen’s films, for instance in episode two entitled Viva Italia where Martin and Justine hold a dinner party and invite all their friends, and during the course of dinner, the women spill secrets that they have never told their spouses before. It is hilarious.

I have seen the entire film Before Sunrise but I have not watched the sequels, Before Sunset and Before Midnight. Glad to have caught a YouTube video by Cinemartin where the  Before Trilogy by Richard Linklater had been edited. I should watch the three films separately but for now I will settle for the edited version since I have far too many books to devour.

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When you feel you’re drifting, it is advisable to get an early night or do some meditation to re-centre your mind. Instead you turn on the television, surf the channels and cannot seem to find anything that interests you. That happens to me though at times I do stumble upon some interesting documentaries or films. I am glad to have caught the new drama series On the Verge. The twelve-part drama series is a comedy that is a mix of absurdity and humanity, quintessentially French.Some critics review that the show is about bourgeoisies but I find it relatable as there is a sense of verisimilitude in that we are living in a materialistic society full of its trappings. We are surrounded by conventional values and we do have to fend ourselves against some rooted societal attitudes.

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I certainly had been more given to caprice in my youth, and had apparently carried on in a way that is seemingly uncharacteristic of me but if anyone truly believes that he or she is steadfast and reliable, think again. I definitely change my mind about a lot of things all the time and I endeavour not to stigmatize anyone (unsuccessfully at times) or even expect anybody ( me included) to be consistent and not fickle-minded . We are all entitled to our perceptions and changing attitudes. That is why we are living in a society that is full of rules, be them Confucianism, cultural, tribal, Christianity and various faiths, governmental or the laws. Brave New World by Aldous Huxley has been hailed as one of the books to read to forewarn us about the totalitarian world that we may find ourselves willingly surrender to in the name of a safer and prosperous world….. My copy of the book has finally arrived.

Huxley’s genius consists in showing that you could control people far more securely through love and pleasure than through fear and violence.

When people read Nineteen Eighty-Four, it is clear that Orwell is describing a frightening nightmare world, and the only question left open is ‘ How do we avoid reaching such a terrible state?’ Reading Brave New World is a far more disconcerting and challenging experience, because you are hard-pressed to put your finger on what exactly makes it dystopian. The world is peaceful and prosperous, and everyone is supremely satisfied all the time. What could possibly be wrong with that ?

  • Excerpt from 21 lessons for the 21st Century,Yuval Noah Harari Chapter 18 Science Fiction @ page 252

I have only read Time Must Have a Stop by Aldous Huxley. click

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Here is one specific thing that is definitely taking up some of my time. As I upload photos for a post, I end up looking at some of those photos and jog my memory trying to remember a thing or two from the cities I visited during the trips taken years ago.

Rocamadour, France September 2005

ROCAMADOUR

This small medieval town is carved right into the limestone rock of a huge cliff, situated above the Alzou River, a tributary of the Dordogne River in southwestern France.

Thanks to Wiki search, I read that Rocamadour has inspired many writers.

Rocamadour inspired 20th-century Latin American novelists Julio Cortázar and Giannina Brashi who lived in France for some sometime and wrote in Spanish about immigrants, expatriates, and tourists.’ Rocamadour is mentioned in Soumission a French novel by Michel Hoellebecq, published in 2015.

The town with its medieval charms is absolutely enchanting and spectacular. On arrival, I was in awe of the quaint architecture of those centuries old buildings that cling to the steep face of the rock cliff. It is a pilgrimage site since the 12th century and the city gives you traces of the Middle Ages. Rocamadour is mystical and magical , you could imagine a dragon flying through those stone walls. Whimsical.

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