At The Café des Poètes | Valentina Cirasola | Designer and Author

It is so uncharacteristic of me to write a post like this, but I want to continue on the idea from James Cudney’s Blast From The Past – Inoffensive (read him here) with my own experience, a memory of the past as well.

In my Italian native town, there was the Café des Poètes, owned by a Francophile, a boisterous painter, who attracted a lot of similar people to his coffee shop, artists, writers, university students, philosophers, literature professors, free thinkers, penniless people, but full of ideas and beautiful words. The place was not too big, decorated in the shabby French style with many vintage articles from Provence. The air was smoky (everyone smokes in Europe even today), dark, lit by candlelight and some table lamps, the fireplace was always on, the sofas and comfy chairs came from people’s home who discarded them for better quality, more modern furniture, and a lot of unknown paintings covered the textured walls, purposely maintained decrepit.

Too bad I don’t have a photo of the Cafe’. At the time we didn’t go around with expensive phones taking pictures of every little thing we saw, only photographers captured any moments. There was always a bike or two parked outside the Café des Poètes, this photo of an anonymous French cafe’ reminds me of that.

(Click on each photo to view it larger).

 

Bike-Veuve Clicot.jpg

Bike with a Veuve Clicot bottle.jpg

The Café des Poètes was very friendly, everyone knew everyone and when one of the habitual customers didn’t show up for a week, we started to question the whereabouts of that person. This was not just a cafe’, it was a meeting point of tight net friends, a hub where to create and develop new/old ideas while eating beans and sausage cooked in a clay pot in the brick oven, it was a poor dish served with a lot of toasted bread and a winner dish on the house menu. The menu didn’t exist, the man behind the counter asked us what we wanted and he brought instead what he had, beans and sausage dish was always available.

The Bohemian environment of the Café des Poètes was one of the attractions of the place, however, the heated up discussions we had in there were epic and how we were so very vocal with our opinions was almost at the verge of legality. That freedom to say what we wanted was the real attraction of the place, we did not know how to be politically correct, that phrase had not been coined yet. We didn’t destroy, we built. Our thoughts became actions for the next generation. It didn’t matter how much we disagreed on certain issues, it didn’t matter how much we screamed at each other, at the end of the evening we were still friends.

Years later, when I watched the film with Robin Williams “Dead Poet Society” I relived those same moments I had known so well at the Café des Poètes. In the film, students of a prestigious university snuck out of the school every night and secretly met in a cave to contemplate life from a different perspective. Their goal was to rebel against the conventionalism of society and to encourage everyone to think outside the box as individuals.

 

Dead Poet Society

Members of the Dead Poets Society gather. Photograph: Touchstone/Kobal/REX/Shutterstock

 

Fast forward many years later, here I am commenting on a post from James Cudney, telling the story about how difficult it has been to keep everything bottled up inside for an unbridled outspoken person like me. When I moved to the States, I found it difficult to keep the same tones I was accustomed to in my native land. Here speaking my mind created a desert around me and it would have made me a lonely wolf if I had continued. I was in disbelief, all those discussions in the Café des Poètes never compared to the indifference I found here or maybe the lack of passion for conversation (everyone is on the computer and phone), or even worse the unwillingness to make waves. Yes, it is easy to make friends when agreeing with everyone, it’s also the best way to fall in the trap of brain unification, in my opinion.

In the film Dead Poet Society, the teacher Mr. Keating (Robin Williams) shows Tom, one of the students, how to share what was closed inside of him starting with the sound of a loud “Barbaric Yawp”. What a scene!
I learned to yawp loud and clear to the walls of my home and then I talk to them. They don’t react and don’t attack me, as people would do, I am still my own individual, and I can keep close to those few people who call themselves “friends”.

Do you want to Yawp on my blog and tell your open opinion, go right ahead, you are welcome to speak out here. Ciao.
Valentina
Amazon Author’s Page 

Copyright © 2020 Valentina Cirasola, All Rights Reserved

 

Valentina

Valentina Cirasola is an interior-fashion designer, author of 5 published books, a storyteller, and a blogger of many years. She has conceived a few new books of various subjects to which she is working simultaneously. Her books are non-fictional practical ideas to apply in the home, fashion, cooking, and travel. She never gives up trying new things and doesn’t fear failure. Some years ago, Valentina became a TV producer/host producing shows under her label: Valentina Design Universe. The goal of her shows is to entertain, inspire, and inform, while she is living her passion. Get a copy of her books here: Amazon and Barnes&Noble

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