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Life is Pain au Chocolat

According to William Golding, “life is pain, highness. Anyone who says differently is selling something.”

And folks like Jack Kerouac or Charles Baudelaire, just to name a few of the best known, certainly agreed with him. On pain, singers like Kurt Cobain or Janis Joplin have built a career, and even today it seems to hear the echoes of their verses coming from the bowels of this state of mind. Suffering with a romantic flavor, actually due to a form of sheer discomfort and inadequacy towards life — in Kurt’s case, to a real physical pain.

Janis Joplin performing in New York City on April 18, 1969 – Photo: Elliot Landy

Life is pain, but what do we mean when we say it? We live in an age that allows us less and less distractions, as if we are on the spot, unable to find alternatives to a single form of thought, again based on anxiety and fear. Fear of getting sick, or dying.

An era with medieval nuances, where being yourself and having a completely personal idea becomes, perhaps more than ever, a real act of rebellion — not wanting to be sad, not wanting to define a rainy day as bad weather … An era in which every experience is virtual, lived in third person, and smiling freely is viewed with suspicion.

Chuuuttt !!! (Shush!) – Jef Aérosol at Place Igor Stravinsky, Pompidou Centre, Paris

Is that what we mean by pain? Perhaps it’s but a matter of points of view, and probably only an open mind or true experiences are able to provide us with a multiplicity of ways of seeing and enjoying emotions. A bit like what happens when two contexts of the same word are merged together. “Traveling” between France and UK, or the United States, here is that the word “Pain” takes on completely different meanings, just like in one of the many writings on the wall we run into by chance.

In the south-west part of France and in Quebec, pain au chocolat is a type of viennoiserie sweet roll consisting of a cuboid-shaped piece of yeast-leavened laminated dough, similar in texture to a puff pastry, with one or two pieces of dark chocolate in the centre … A total riot.

Pain au Chocolat – Ginny Joyner

So if on one hand Chuck Palahniuk said that “it’s so hard to forget pain, but it’s even harder to remember sweetness,” on the other, Jim Morrison reminds us that “pain is a feeling. Your feelings are a part of you. Your own reality. If you feel ashamed of them, and hide them, you’re letting society destroy your reality.”

You should stand up for your right to feel your pain,” said Jim, and we’d like to add “and make it sweet and shareable”.

2 thoughts on “Life is Pain au Chocolat Leave a comment

  1. > As a French guy living in the southwest France, Occitanie, I must say that it is called “Pain au Chocolat” throughout France EXCEPT in the southwest where we call this viennoiserie “Chocolatine”. There is a very hard debate in France about the origin of this name and who is right. Either way Chocolatine will WIN …


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