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.



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La bataille de l’Elysée

La 24eme bataille de l’Elysée est terminée et François Hollande sera officiellement investi des pouvoirs présidentiels le 15 mai 2012.

Cérémonie solennelle mais sobre (comme le demande un président anti-bling bling), gardes républicains, poignées de main, passation des pouvoirs.

Viendra ensuite, si ce n’est déjà fait, le partage du gâteau. L’on n’en parlera pas en public (ce serait indécent de montrer une curée), mais les chefs de file de la 24eme croisade sont en droit d’espérer quelques morceaux de choix.

Depuis des temps immémoriaux, le partage du butin a toujours été une affaire délicate et tout le monde se souvient encore du Vase de Soissons.

Les centurions qui se sont battus de taille et d’estoc entendent bien récolter leur poids en sel. Les autres de même.

Et une attention particulière doit être donnée a ceux (Marine le Pen : 17,90% et Jean-Luc Melenchon: 11, 10%) qui ont rassemblé un grand nombre de voix. Car comme a dit Le Parrain: « Sois proche de tes amis, et plus proche encore de tes ennemis »

L’on pourra se permettre de négliger sans trop de risques Eva Joly (2,31%) et les deux “Trotskyists” Philippe Poutou (1,15%) et Nathalie Arnaud (0,56%)

Tous les chefs de file brigueront des postes de ministre et comme il n’y a seulement que 32 postes (autant que d’ânes dans un pré) a octroyer, il va falloir jouer serré.

Les fidèles qui seront adoubés parleront évidemment de leur devoir de servir la patrie, mais ne vous méprenez pas. L’ambition personnelle prime toujours le bien de la nation.
L’on ne devient pas ministre par amour de la patrie, mais plutôt pour paver un éventuel chemin vers l’Elysée.

Pour DSK le partage du butin aurait été plus facile. Si il avait été élu, il aurait probablement offert a ses mignons quelques parties fines et tout aurait été dit.

En attendant, toute la France est suspendue aux lèvres du Président qui est dans la position peu enviable d’avoir promis beaucoup et de ne pouvoir offrir que peu.



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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.