Luck

Glücklich, chanceux, lucky, afortunado, udashni…

The word “lucky” exists in most languages and has many disciples. People who believe and pray for happy accidents.

Luck is this indefinable quality that brings good fortune upon somebody by chance, rather than through one’s own deliberate actions.

Be it in sports, finance, love, war, being lucky is a blessing that few can do without. Being accomplished at something is good, but being lucky is definitely better. All successful people have one day been enormously lucky.

But luck is a fickle lady. She has to be wooed properly. One date is not sufficient to win her heart. If you want more luck, you have to be more proactive and be more willing to take chances. “Luck, like the old Trabant car, generally only works if you push it. “

In pétanque for instance, in order to win, it is better to take a chance on a risky shot rather than to concede a point, for Lady Luck smiles upon the audacious. If you miss your target the Lady might be willing to grant you a few bonus points just for trying.

And you cannot win at the lottery if you don’t buy a ticket.

Luck has also something to do with being in the right place at the right time.

Seneca (Roman philosopher), wrote, “Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity.”

As an amateur photographer I try to always carry a camera with me, for you never know when the “one-in-a-thousand” shot is going to pop up. If a magnificent rainbow suddenly appears, you better be ready to bag it.

Like a flighty woman, Lady Luck will give you only a small window of opportunity to take advantage of her benevolent mood.

If you are not ready, you won’t be lucky.

To conclude:

I believe in luck: how else can you explain the success of those you dislike?” Jean Cocteau

Alain

 

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Relationships

A few days ago, somebody I knew fairly well passed away.
I learned about it through an e-mail from my ex-wife.
Oddly enough it left me cold. It left me unmoved because our old bond withered and broke a long time ago.

But such is the way of relationships. Just like living things they live and die. When properly nurtured, they thrive. When neglected, they shrivel and disintegrate.

Relationships are born out of a common desire to share and enjoy similar interests. It could be food, art, sport, sex, anything that two people take pleasure in doing together.

But relationships are eminently fragile and fraught with perils.

As the French say:
« En amour Il y a toujours celui qui embrasse et celui qui tend la joue » (in love there is always one who kisses and one who offers the cheek).

After many kisses, one gets tired of getting the cheek.

Because relationships, regardless how neatly packaged, are always a trade. And to be durable, the balance of payments should be even.

Subconsciously or not, one keeps track of shared experiences.
If it is perceived that the relationship is lopsided, ties will fray and break.
If when going go to a restaurant with a friend, you always end up with the tab, a few strands of the rope will break.

Relationships are like tango: it takes two to do it properly.

The minute one seems to lose interest, it is up to the other person to sense it and to rekindle the romance. If it is not mended on a timely basis, the relationship, like an old hemp rope, will unravel and break.

And that’s what happened to my old connection. It seems that neither of us were keen to pursue a limping partnership, so we parted ways.

It happened a long time ago.

Now, no crocodile tears shed, just the fading memory of things past.

Alain

 

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Mais la vie sépare…

Mais la vie sépare ceux qui s’aiment
Tout doucement, sans faire de bruit…

But life separates those who love each other
Very slowly, very quietly …

In 1945 Jacques Prévert wrote a beautiful poem called “les feuilles mortes”  (the dead leaves) in which he laments the passage of time and the pain of lost love.

In life, this is a recurring theme. With the advent of globalization, people are more prone to leave friends and lovers behind to resettle in another state or even another country.

Those that were once close to you are suddenly living in the foggy beyond of the universe and you might not hear from them for a long time. Out of sight, out of heart, goes a French saying, and it is sadly true.

You tend to dismiss people you don’t see on a regular basis.

But should old friends be disposable items? I think not.

New friends are good, but old friends, like old sweaters, are more comfortable to wear. You know their qualities and their flaws, and you are less likely to be offended by their antics, for it is often the memory of youthful stunts that binds you together. A little bit like cellmates or army buddies.

But at the core of any friendship, there has got to be a mutual desire to keep memories and old bonds alive. And this requires work, and very often a “locomotive”, a dedicated individual who can put into motion and propel forward a group or a project.

One needs to remember that most friendships are made during our formative years. The older you get and the less likely you are to find kindred spirits. This is why you should nurture comradeships like old vine stocks.

Properly cared for, they will keep producing enjoyable clarets that will delight you and keep you warm in your advancing age.

Alain

 

 

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