Wow, finally I found this wonderful song on the Youtube: Le temps s'écrit sur ton visage by Yves Duteil. I heard it for the first time twelve years ago when I had got my first real teaching job in Stockholm and was desperately looking for teaching material and found a cassette in the dusty school archive called "Chansons d'aujourd'hui", a title that once had been valid, but that wasn't even at that time anymore, I assure you. But some songs are just timeless and this is one of them! Throughout these twelve years I've never managed to hear it again, except for in my own head and heart. This wonderful French singer with his velvet voice sings to his wife about how he loves her although age is marking her face. This makes me think of my parents but also of this lady I photographed some years ago in China in a restaurant nearby a Bhuddist temple my friends and I were visiting. She first didn't understand why I wanted to take a photo of her, because she thought she was just so old and wrinkled, but you get it, right? A big hug to her and also to my own Mum for the Swedish Mothers' Day on Sunday!!!!!
My new musical discovery: Lisa LeBlanc - a Canadian francophone singer with a FANTASTIC voice and attitude and Chiaque ACCENT! I especially like her songs Y fait chaud, Câlisse-moi là and Juste parce que j'peux. I found her on France Culture so on Saturday evening if you're too bored by the Eurovision Song contest pls click on the photo and listen to this radio program. Lisa LeBlanc - vingt points!!!!!!
This gentleman payed my school a visit last week to give a workshop about songwriting! Rana and I were both there and were both, I think, touched by the somewhat rough gentleness of this Welsh singer-songwriter. I had heard of him for the first time less than a year ago from a very fervent Christian friend of mine, and I think I had somewhat wrong expectations about him being a Christian artist. But at the same time this was not a disappointment to me. I've been very much preached to in my life and that has made me discover that neither do I like being approached nor would I like to approach others in that way. Also he would never have been invited to my school if he had been a typical Christian type of singer.
I was so surprised some months ago when I accidently found out a colleague of mine organised concerts with Martyn Joseph close to Leuven and that one of them was taking place in May this year! Plus a song-writing workshop. Wow, I thought, and managed to change a class to be able to attend.
What especially touched me was his honesty and vulnerability, mentioning briefly his experiences of bullying and being in psychotherapy (both of which I can refer to very closely) and at the same time showing very much of personal integrity. He spoke of his work as a singer-songwriter in a way that made me think of one of my professors of Greek literature at the KULeuven who repeatedly stated that a poem is not "nice" or "beautiful" but good or not good, like an artefact which either does the job or doesn't. No focus on the person but on the work. A poem doesn't only have one meaning or "moral" but if it's good the listener co-creates it and gives it meaning. That way of thinking is so rich! And not only is it rich but I think also godly. God is not a God who is anxious to be overly clear. He doesn't force, neither through words or deeds, but even hides Himself (Isaiah 43,15). A fact upheld by the two Jansenist heroes of mine, Pascal and Racine. Also it was the gospel hidden in the allegory of the Chronicles of Narina of C.S. Lewis that first, although in an indirect way, managed to open me up to Christianity.
So thank you Martyn Joseph for your visit! You have surely left some tracks. And if you'll ever read these lines, may it be clear that I think Bruce Springsteen should look up to you more than you do to him, that you are fantastic live performer and song-writer but that I hope your next album will be more like "Evolved" than like your last one, "Songs for the Coming Home", which is also very good, but misses that acoustic, plain, raw sound that I liked so much with "Evolved". Also I prefer to be punched in the stomach by the quite shocking lyrics of a song like "Working Mother" to listening to "Clara" which, although it is a touching song based on a fantastic story, I find it too packed with words. But of course myself I'm only a frog jumping up the steps of the Parnass inch by inch : )
This weekend I was very privileged to receive a dear visitor from Sweden/Norway. We have known each other for almost 20 years, from the time we went to Bible college in Uppsala. We were even flatmates for a very short but crucial period. Those were the days of strong tea, long prayers, loud proclamations, early mornings, late nights and exuberant visions. As we parted, she went via Irkutsk into marriage and child bearing and raising (the result is stunning, I tell you!). I went via Albania via studies of different kind and at different universities into work and more studies...and...hm...Belgium! I am very happy fate brought us together again for a short week-end in Leuven. We have both changed a lot since we met for the last time, but I am glad we are sisters and would like to post this song as a remembrance of our intensive summer together back in 1995! Not that we sang it a lot back then, but it speaks of unity between brothers. Not a unity of opinion but of heart.