The Lover’s Almanac 24 July – The Searchin’ – Love First, Live Incidentally

Dear ZazieSo, howzit goin’ Z?  Hope all is well.  Hot and dry here.  We could sure use some rain.  Here is today’s Lover’s Almanac from Mac Tag to his muse.  Follow us on twitter @cowboycoleridge.  Hey Z, another Z featured and quoted below!  Do you agree with the other Z?  Love first, live incidentally?  See ya’, Rhett

The Lover’s Almanac

Dear Muse,

mactag a dream

a dream, a haunt,
a memory
been so long
been so long

funny how you cannot see
through the self-made confusion
and how the searchin’ brings no end
you should have gotten the word

and how did it all get so contorted
twists that cannot be explained
sooner or later, you have to take it straight

the one thing I think I do, decent,
is write what I am feelin’
but often words fail
when it comes to missin’ you

it is a particular brew of perdition
that some must taste
again and again

© copyright 2017 mac tag/cowboy Coleridge all rights reserved

Love First, Live Incidentally

Zelda was right
Which makes love
The highest purpose
The reason for bein’

If you have love
Life will take care of itself
No worries man
Be happy

If love finds you
Grab a hold
Till your knuckles turn white
And do not let go

If love does not find you
Take a chance
Reach for it
And do not give up

And if you reach and fail
Well, that happens
And it hurts
But you tried

So love first, live incidentally
Love well, live by the by
Love true, live carefree
Love first and live

© Cowboy Coleridge mac tag copyright 2012 all rights reserved

Alexandre Dumas
Nadar - Alexander Dumas père (1802-1870) - Google Art Project 2.jpg

Dumas in 1855

Today is the birthday of Alexandre Dumas (born Dumas Davy de la Pailleterie; Villers-Cotterêts, Aisne; 24 July 1802 – 5 December 1870 Puys (near Dieppe), Seine-Maritime), also known as Alexandre Dumas, père; French writer.  One of the most widely read French authors, his works have been translated into nearly 100 languages.  Many of his historical novels of high adventure were originally published as serials, including The Count of Monte Cristo, The Three Musketeers, Twenty Years After, and The Vicomte de Bragelonne: Ten Years Later.  His novels have been adapted since the early twentieth century for nearly 200 films.  Dumas’ last novel, The Knight of Sainte-Hermine, unfinished at his death, was completed by a scholar and published in 2005, becoming a bestseller.  It was published in English in 2008 as The Last Cavalier.

On 1 February 1840, Dumas married actress Ida Ferrier (born Marguerite-Joséphine Ferrand) (1811–1859).  He had numerous liaisons with other women, in the tradition of Frenchmen of higher social class.  He was known to have several illegitimate children, including a boy named after him.  This son became a successful novelist and playwright and was known as Alexandre Dumas fils (son), while the elder Dumas became conventionally known in French as Alexandre Dumas père (father).  Among his affairs, in 1866 Dumas had one with Adah Isaacs Menken, an American actress then less than half his age and at the height of her career. 

Les Mohicans de Paris (The Mohicans of Paris) (1854 novel)

  • Cherchez la femme, pardieu! cherchez la femme!»
    • Dumas, Alexandre (1871) (in French). Les Mohicans de Paris. I. Paris: Michel Lévy frères, éditeurs. p. 232. Retrieved on 2009-08-07. 

Les Mohicans de Paris (The Mohicans of Paris) (1864 play)

  • Il y a une femme dans toutes les affaires; aussitôt qu’on me fait un rapport, je dis: «Cherchez la femme!»
    • There is a woman in every case; as soon as they bring me a report, I say, ‘Look for the woman’.
      • Dumas, Alexandre (1889) (in French). Théâtre complet. XXIV. Paris: Michel Lévy frères, éditeurs. p. 103
Alfons (Alphonse) Mucha
Alfons Mucha LOC 3c05828u.jpg

Mucha, in about 1906

Today is the birthday of Alfons Maria Mucha (Ivančice, Margraviate of Moravia, Austrian Empire 24 July 1860 – 14 July 1939 Prague), often known in English and French as Alphonse Mucha; Czech Art Nouveau painter and decorative artist, perhaps best known for his distinct style.  He produced many paintings, illustrations, advertisements, postcards, and designs.

Mucha married Maruška (Marie/Maria) Chytilová on 10 June 1906, in Prague.  The couple visited the U.S. from 1906 to 1910, during which time their daughter, Jaroslava, was born in New York City.


The artist’s daughter Jaroslava, 1920s


F. Champenois Imprimeur-Éditeur, lithograph, 1897


Zelda Fitzgerald
Zelda Fitzgerald portrait.jpg

Zelda Sayre at age 17

Today is the birthday of Zelda Fitzgerald (née Sayre; Montgomery, Alabama; July 24, 1900 – March 10, 1948 Asheville, North Carolina); American socialite and novelist, and the wife and muse of American author F. Scott Fitzgerald, whose work she strongly influenced.

The Fitzgeralds were icons of the 1920s; she was dubbed by her husband “the first American Flapper”.  After the success of his first novel, This Side of Paradise (1920), the Fitzgeralds became celebrities and were seen as embodiments of the Jazz Age and the Roaring Twenties: young, seemingly wealthy, beautiful, and energetic.  They were the center of attention at parties, where their drunken exploits became the stuff of legend.  The couple has been the subject of popular books, movies and scholarly attention.  Their love ended not well.  The marriage was plagued by wild drinking, infidelity and bitter recriminations.  After being diagnosed with schizophrenia, she was increasingly confined to specialist clinics, and the couple were living apart when Scott died suddenly in 1940.  Zelda died later in a fire at her hospital in Asheville, North Carolina.

But I think she was right; love first, live incidentally……

John D. MacDonald

Today is the birthday of John Dann MacDonald (Sharon, Pennsylvania; July 24, 1916 – December 28, 1986 Milwaukee, Wisconsin); American writer of novels and short stories.  MacDonald was a prolific author of crime and suspense novels, many of them set in his adopted home of Florida.  His best-known works include the popular and critically acclaimed Travis McGee series, and his novel The Executioners, which was filmed twice as Cape Fear in 1962 and again in 1991.  Travis McGee is one of my literary heroes.  Wish I had a Busted Flush moored somewhere.

Travis McGee series

The Deep Blue Good-By (1964)

  • I am wary of a lot of things, such as plastic credit cards, payroll deductions, insurance programs, retirement benefits, savings accounts, Green Stamps, time clocks, newspapers, mortgages, sermons, miracle fabrics, deodorants, check lists, time payments, political parties, lending libraries, television, actresses, junior chambers of commerce, pageants, progress, and manifest destiny. I am wary of the whole dreary deadening structured mess we have built into such a glittering top-heavy structure that there is nothing left to see but the glitter, and the brute routines of maintaining it.
  • These are the playmate years, and they are demonstrably fraudulent. The scene is reputed to be acrawl with adorably amoral bunnies to whom sex is a pleasant social favor. The new culture. And they are indeed present and available, in exhausting quantity, but there is a curious tastelessness about them. A woman who does not guard and treasure herself cannot be of much value to anyone else. They become a pretty little convenience, like a guest towel. And the cute little things they say, and their dainty little squeals of pleasure and release are as contrived as the embroidered initials on the guest towels. Only a woman of pride, complexity and emotional tension is genuinely worthy of the act of love, and there are only two ways to get yourself one of them. Either you lie, and stain the relationship with your own sense of guile, or you accept the involvement, the emotional responsibility, the permanence she must by nature crave. I love you can be said only two ways.
  • They have been taught that if you are sunny, cheery, sincere, group-adjusted, popular, the world is yours, including barbecue pits, charge plates, diaper service, percale sheets, friends for dinner, washer-dryer combinations, color slides of the kiddies on the home projector, and eternal whimsical romance — with crinkly smiles and Rock Hudson dialogue. So they all come smiling and confident and unskilled into a technician’s world, and in a few years they learn that it is all going to be grinding and brutal and hateful and precarious. These are the slums of the heart.

A Purple Place For Dying (1964)

  • …it is like what we have done to chickens. Forced growth under optimum conditions, so that in eight weeks they are ready for the mechanical picker. The most forlorn and comical statements are the ones made by the grateful young who say Now I can be ready in two years and nine months to go out in and earn a living rather than wasting 4 years in college. Education is something that should be apart from the necessities of earning a living, not a tool therefore. It needs contemplation, fallow periods, the measured and guided study of the history of man’s reiteration of the most agonizing question of all: Why? Today the good ones, the ones who want to ask why, find no one around with any interest in answering the question, so they drop out, because theirs is the type of mind which becomes monstrously bored at the trade-school concept. A devoted technician is seldom an educated man. He can be a useful man, a contented man, a busy man. But he has no more sense of the mystery and wonder and paradox of existence than does one of those chickens fattening itself for the mechanical plucking, freezing and packaging.

Nightmare In Pink (1964)

  • …it isn’t foolish or wicked to enjoy. Wickedness is hurting people on purpose. I love what you are and who you are and how you are. You give me great joy. And you make horrible coffee.
  • By feeling insecure about our making love, Nina, you make the inference that we are a pair of cheap people involved in some cheap pleasant friction. Pull on the pants and walk away, adding up the score. I think we’re interested in each other, involved with each other, curious about each other. This was a part of exploring and learning. When it’s good you learn something about yourself too. If the spirit is involved, if there is tenderness and respect and awareness of need, that’s all the morality I care about.

A Deadly Shade of Gold (1965)

  • The only thing in the world worth a damn is the strange, touching, pathetic, awesome nobility of the individual human spirit.
  • I know just enough about myself to know I cannot settle for one of those simplifications which indignant people seize upon to make understandable a world too complex for their comprehension. Astrology, health food, flag waving, bible thumping, Zen, nudism, nihilism — all of these are grotesque simplifications which small dreary people adopt in the hope of thereby finding The Answer, because the very concept that maybe there is no answer, never has been, never will be, terrifies them.
  • I think there is some kind of divine order in the universe. Every leaf on every tree in the world is unique. As far as we can see, there are other galaxies, all slowly spinning, numerous as the leaves in the forest. In an infinite number of planets, there has to be an infinite number with life forms on them. Maybe this planet is one of the discarded mistakes. Maybe it’s one of the victories. We’ll never know.

The Girl in the Plain Brown Wrapper (1965)

  • It’s no good telling somebody they’re trying too hard. It’s very much like ordering a child to go stand in a corner for a half hour and never once think about elephants.
  • I am not suited to the role of going around selling the life-can-be-beautiful idea. It can be, indeed. But you don’t buy the concept from your friendly door-to-door lecture salesman.

Dress Her in Indigo (1969)

  • Any man who outgrows the myths of childhood is ninety-nine percent aware and convinced of his own mortality. But then comes the chilly breath on the nape of the neck, a stirring of the air by the wings of the bleak angel. When a man becomes one hundred percent certain of his inevitable death, he gets The Look.
  • And that, of course, is the tragic flaw in the narcotics laws — that possession of marijuana is a felony. Regardless of whether it is as harmless as some believe, or as evil and vicious as others believe, savage and uncompromising law is bad law, and the good and humane judge will jump at any technicality that will keep him from imposing a penalty so barbaric and so cruel. The self-righteous pillars of church and society demand that “the drug traffic be stamped out” and think that making possession a felony will do the trick. Their ignorance of the roots of the drug traffic is as extensive as their ignorance of the law.

The Long Lavender Look (1970)

  • The only thing that prisons demonstrably cure is heterosexuality.

A Tan and Sandy Silence (1972)

  • Up with life. Stamp out all small and large indignities. Leave everyone alone to make it without pressure. Down with hurting. Lower the standard of living. Do without plastics. Smash the servo-mechanisms. Stop grabbing. Snuff the breeze and hug the kids. Love all love. Hate all hate.
  • We’re all children. We invent the adult facade and don it and try to keep the buttons and the medals polished. We’re all trying to give such a good imitation of being an adult that the real adults in the world won’t catch on. Each of us takes up the shticks that compose the adult image we seek. I’d gone the route of lazy, ironic bravado, of amiable, unaffiliated insouciance. Tinhorn knights of a stumbling Rocinante from Rent-A-Steed, maybe with one little area of the heart so pinched, so parched, I never dared let anything really lasting happen to me. Or dared admit the the flaw…The adult you pretend to be convinces himself that the risk is worth the game, the game worth the risk. Tells himself the choice of life style could get him killed — on the Daytona track, in the bull ring, falling from the raw steel framework forty stories up, catching a rodeo hoof in the side of the head.Adult pretenses are never a perfect fit for the child underneath, and when there is the presentiment of death, like a hard black light making panther eyes glow in the back of the cave, the cry is, “Mommy, mommy, mommy, it’s so dark out there, so dark and so forever.”

The Scarlet Ruse (1973)

  • Way over half the murders committed in this country are by close friends or relatives of the deceased. A gun makes a loud and satisfying noise in a moment of passion and requires no agility and very little strength. How many murders wouldn’t happen, if they all had to use hammers and knives?

The Turquoise Lament (1973)

  • Integrity is not a conditional word. It doesn’t blow in the wind or change with the weather. It is your inner image of yourself, and if you look in there and see a man who won’t cheat, then you know he never will. Integrity is not a search for the rewards of integrity. Maybe all you ever get for it is the largest kick in the ass the world can provide. It is not supposed to be a productive asset.

The Green Ripper (1979)

  • When you see the ugliness behind the tears of another person, it makes you take a closer look at your own.

Ever, Mac Tag

The song of the day is Nazareth – “Love Hurts” –

I am wary of a lot of things, such as … time clocks, mortgages, sermons, … pageants, progress, and manifest destiny. – John D MacDonald

I don’t want to live — I want to love first, and live incidentally. – Zelda Fitzgerald

To be a poet is a condition rather than a profession. – Robert Graves

I thought of the perpetual desire of all lovers to talk of their love and how many lovers’ quarrels have come from it. – W.B. Yeats

Quiet – as when long bitterness breaks in tears… – Dag Hammarskjöld


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One Comment on "The Lover’s Almanac 24 July – The Searchin’ – Love First, Live Incidentally"


  1. [...] Zelda Fitzgerald, née Sayre, was F. Scott Fitzgerald’s great muse and more.  He modeled many of his characters after her,…

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