Saturday, February 26, 2022

Keep calm and clean.



These steps are from the French city of Besçancon. 

They are very old.  They were there when the Spanish built La Citadelle in the center of the city.  And, these stairs were there in 1674 when the French troops recaptured Besçancon and it was returned to France.  The residents of Besçancon ran up and down these steps in 1814 when the Austrians invaded and bombed the city during the Franco-Prussian War, and again during WW II when the Nazis invaded.  They have been worn down and wrecked and then rebuilt and patched and worn down again and patched many times over.  

I took this photograph of the stairs at Marie-Joelle's home in the heart of Besçancon when I stayed there with my good friend, Jessica Lee.  We were interviewing French women for my book, French Women Don't Sleep Alone: Pleasurable Secrets to Finding Love to get their thoughts on love and romance and the secrets on how to be  happy.

The French aren't known for being particularly happy.  They hold their emotions pretty close to their chest.  I always feel overly emotional when I'm with the French.  Actually, I feel overly emotional when I'm with any European.  I tend to laugh too loud, cry at the drop of a hat and basically overflow with feelings.  I suppose there's nothing wrong with this.  However, as I've aged, I've learned the importance of staying calm in the face of tumult.

And yet, here we are.  Russia has invaded Ukraine.  And the future is uncertain.  I am trying not to panic and struggling to remain calm.

Creative Friends, I suspect you might be struggling too.  And so, my assignment for you this week is to find something in your life--your home or your community--that is broken or rusted or falling apart.  

And then, I want you to repair it.  

No, you will not solve the world's problems.  You will not fix what's going on in Ukraine.   You will not end the war.  But you will have worked toward peace.  You will have stood up for goodness, kindness, and caring.  You will have declared in your own small way that you are not giving up.  That you will not surrender to the forces of darkness.  You will fix those steps or clean the gutters or wash your curtains or mend that skirt.  And to this task, you will bring your creative force, your optimism your hope and something good will come of this.  You'll see. 

The universe listens even when all you are doing is sweeping the floor.  

Keep calm and clean up.

With love,


P.S.  Here are a few organizations that can list ways for you to help the Ukrainians:

Unicef, International Committee of the Red Cross, Save the Children and Doctors Without borders

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