Poor

On the whole i feel calm. At times i do get worried. Especially when i talk to other people. My mum, friends. Sometimes, when i walk on the street and i get spoken to, i say i don’t have any money. most people don’t really react to that. It is too far away from them. I understand that. Your own worries are always so much bigger than those from somebody else.

I don’t mind listening to people. Quite enjoy it, really. Learn from it. Some terrible things you hear though. Selfish selfish people doing abominable things to other people. Take away their money. Their stuff. Simply because someone didn’t really pay attention and gave it all to his girlfriend. Not married of course. No legal document. So it is all gone. When the girlfriend has died.

What the man said when we talked. Health. A clear mind. Waking up and going outside. Your head raised. Hmm, that last part is from me. Still. He is right.

But also sweet things. A man talked about his children. Three of them. And his seven grandchildren. All doing well. Made him feel happy. Good.

So yeah, the photo above is all my money. I thought i had a bit more on my bank account. But earlier this week i had a return of money, which made it possible for my energy bill to be paid. Four euros left. And i do need to buy ProZinc for the diabetes of my cat. Fifty five euros. Hmmm. It’ll last for around four months i think. Well. Thinking. Thinking.

This is difficult. Also, in November i need to pay Mediatemple for the the gridserver my website is hosted on. As it looks right now, i won’t be able to. And then of course my mortgage.

Calm. Serene. Don’t let it worry you. You have a life. You have your work in the gardens. You have friends. It won’t go all to pieces. And yes, if it does go to pieces, it is for a reason. To learn. To live through. You know that.

Well, if someone reads this and wants to help me, i won’t mind. Of course not.

You can send money to this bank number:

N.E.Pronk
IBAN NL33 TRIO 0338 6788 24
Triodos bank

I will make a Friendship page on this website and send postcards or a drawing or something else which comes up in my mind to you if you send me me some money. Above ten dollars / ten euros i add. Below ten dollars / ten euros you will just be named on the friendship page as a sponsor. You can of course also use my Patreon page. That page is really quiet. I haven’t fully described what i will do for the people supporting me. I know, i should work on that soon!

So, calmness. A clear mind. Awareness of what could happen. But also faith in myself. In my own abilities. In my own strength.

Have a good weekend. Salute!

Published on September 22, 2017 at 6:00 by

Green Rotterdam

Today there was a get together of people professionally interested in all the green developments in Rotterdam. Last Sunday Sander did a trial run of weed parcels. I said then i would come today, Wednesday 20 September. As it turned out, the meeting was replaced to the Peace Garden. There was still work done on the concrete pavement on the Tuin op de Hofbogen, so it wasn’t possible there.

I mainly focused on the food. I did see some people i knew from time gone by a long time ago. Good.

And now, i’m tired. Really tired. It was a bit of a rush. A photo. That is it.

Published on September 21, 2017 at 6:00 by

A busy Monday

Last night, between Sunday and Monday, i hardly slept. I was in bed, tossing and turning. Around four i turned on the light and read a little. For fifteen minutes or so. To try to sleep after that. I did fall asleep eventually. To wake up really late. Of course. I got out of bed around ten in the morning. Still feeling tired.

I made my oatmeal porridge. Yum! Like i do each day, for the past couple of months. I turned on my computer and checked my e-mail. Played a little warcraft. Some questing, in Nagrand, with my level 65 death knight. For around half an hour or so. Then i took a shower. Washed my hair. Felt good. I don’t shower that much. Once a week usually. A bit later now. My hair was getting a bit greasy. And i started to feel my skin. Not especially dirty, but i could feel it sliding differently. So yes, clean and smelling fresh once again!

Listening to music after that. Singing along with some tracks. Daydreaming away. So clear. So much… here. And still, i’m still feeling that i shouldn’t go and look for work. I still feel i am doing the right thing. Working in the garden. Staring to play chess in the library. Talking with people. It is good. Good! Not really knowing how this will work out, but i know, deep down, i know for sure it will turn out right. I do trust myself. Completely.

Around two i did a quick blow dry of my bangs. I usually do this once i washed my hair. It’ll stay good for around thirty minutes. But i do like to do it. Then i went out. First i brought a package with my tv reception machine for KPN to the post counter in the supermarket. Since i have canceled my television subscription, i got this brown carton box from KPN to send it back. I do still watch television, but on my iPad or computer.

Then i went to the library. I did watch the end of a chess game before going to look for new books. Some people i know were sitting around the chess board.

Then i turned in the book i finished last night. I went up to the third floor, to the English section. Walked past the cupboards, looked for books by Philip K. Dick, but didn’t see any. Then i thought of the books written by Robert Jordan, the Wheel of Time series. I do have twelve books of that series myself. There were a couple more, and yay! i found them. Number thirteen Towers of Midnight and fourteen A Memory of Light. These books are not my favourite books, but still, i enjoyed the first ones. The ones in the middle are a bit boring. And it is really really long. Fourteen books. Pffff. Still, i am looking forward to reading the end part. Finally.

I went back to the chess game and watched another game. Not terribly exciting, i admit. Everyone plays differently. Defending. Attacking. Going for the small pawns, medium pieces. Or go straight to the king. Put pressure. Fight. Or not. Withdraw. Make a better set up for another attack. So many different variations. I like it. But i still have to learn so many things. Analyzing. Thinking more steps forward. It is good i found the courage to play chess with other people. Happy. So happy with that.

A quick run through the supermarket. Then home. And yes, i’m still a bit tired. It’s five o’clock. I lie on the couch for a bit. Read a little. But my eyes close after a while. I almost doze off. Almost.

Around six i get up and start making a salad for dinner. Kale, green beans, spring onions, feta, bacon. Nice.

The rest of the evening i watch television. De wereld draait door. Koken met van boven.

And now i’m sitting here, behind my computer. Typing this piece. A report of this day. Not a very special day. But also, a very special day. With special moments. So many special moments i don’t even talk about here. The smile i feel when i walk outside. Looking at other people. The joy when somebody looks back and smiles back. Small things. But still, important. In this small area in Rotterdam i live in.

I’m gonna add the photos to this post. And then it is time to go to bed. It is still early, but i don’t mind. I like to read in bed, watch some youtube clips. Anything.

Hopefully i sleep a bit more this night. I do feel tired. But that is no promise.

To you, when you read this tomorrow morning, i hope you will enjoy your day. Filled with work, family, friends, shopping, little talks, maybe big talks too!

Salute!

Published on September 19, 2017 at 6:00 by

Pumpkin cake

Last Friday we harvested pumpkins. I promised to make a pumpkin cake for Sunday. I searched for a good vegan recipe. I picked this one for a vegan pumpkin cake (in Dutch). With some small changes. First of all i divided the ingredients by two. Which was still enough for me and the gardening group of people.

Ingredients

  • 500g pumpkin, weighed with the skin and the pips removed
  • 1 tablespoon apple vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 2 tablespoon line seed (milled)
  • 250 g flour
  • 1 little bag vanilla sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • 60 g dates
  • 50 g raisins
  • 60 g dried figs
  • 125 ml soy milk
  • 25ml sunflower oil
  • 100 g lightbrown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons mixed spices

First i cleaned the pumpkin, cut it in four, removed the seeds and the skin. Boiled it for around 15 minutes. Then i used the hand blender to puree it.

Cutting the dates and figs. Milling the line seeds. Then put all the dried stuff, the flour and sugar and spices and salt together with the dried fruit. Added the pumpkin puree, then the oil and soy milk. This gave a good batter which i put in the cake tin. Forty five minutes in the oven at 180 ªCelsius and done!

This gave a lovely spicy sweet pumpkin cake. A bit wet, but i admit, i like this. I did treat myself to a slice Saturday evening, another slice Sunday morning. Hmmm.

If you are gonna make this cake, enjoy!

Published on September 18, 2017 at 6:00 by

Wealth

How much money is there in the world all together? There are many different answers to this question. One is to simply state how much paper and coin money there is in the world. The answer is simple: $5 trillion. Considering the source of this number, i assume this means 5 million million, $5.000.000.000.000. With another definition you could take the world’s easily accessible money: $28.6 trillion, $28.600.000.000.000. This includes all the world’s paper and coin money and deposites available in banks. In the CIA Factobook it is stated the total value of the world’s money is $80.9 trillion, $80.900.000.000.000. This includes all the paper and coin money, saving, checking and time deposits. The global debt is $199 trillion. And then there are derivatives. A low-end estimate of the size and scope of global derivative markets is $630 trillion. What is a derivative? It is a contract between two or more parties that derives its value from the performance of an underlying asset, index or entity. No one really knows the exact size of this market.

What is money? I am copying this text from the Wikipedia entry about money.

Most modern textbooks now list only three functions, that of medium of exchange, unit of account, and store of value, not considering a standard of deferred payment as it is a distinguished function, but rather subsuming it in the others.

The money itself is not as important as what you can do with it, in our current world. In most situations, money can buy you anything. Any house, any car, any food, anything you want you can buy with money. If, of course, someone else is willing to part with it and exchange it with you for money.

If it is something which you can exchange. Some things you can not. For me, a good example is this website. A blog. A simple theme. WordPress. All pretty basic stuff. But the content is different. Some days i walk and make photos. Some days i work in a garden and talk about that. Many times with photos. Some days i stay inside and meditate. Not so much i admit! Or i make something with animations. Or tell a story. Or sing a song. Sometimes i make a clip. Not so much. It is a lot of work. Inspiration doesn’t always hit me. I need music for a clip, which is not easy to find. I actually need a better camera. And a faster computer. That is money business. Something i don’t have right now.

Anyway, enough talking about this website.

Wealth.

I don’t think wealth is something negative. Wealth means your life is prosperous, your actions pay off. To me, wealth is a very positive way of being in your life. I can imagine all the things i could do once i receive enough money. Helping the people working in the gardens. Buying the land for the gardens as well. Plenty of temporary gardens need to stop once the property developers have the will to start building on their land. So buying the land seems to me a good thing. Getting school gardens ready, with people working on them, helping the kids to learn about plants and animals. Getting more local vegetable gardens in cities. All things which to me are important.

Paul Graham : A surprising number of people retain from childhood the idea that there is a fixed amount of wealth in the world. There is, in any normal family, a fixed amount of money at any moment. But that’s not the same thing.

When wealth is talked about in this context, it is often described as a pie. “You can’t make the pie larger,” say politicians…

What leads people astray here is the abstraction of money. Money is not wealth. It’s just something we use to move wealth around. So although there may be, in certain specific moments (like your family, this month) a fixed amount of money available to trade with other people for things you want, there is not a fixed amount of wealth in the world. You can make more wealth. Wealth has been getting created and destroyed (but on balance, created) for all of human history.

Source: How to make wealth – Paul Graham

I am reading this book now, Capital in the Twenty-First Century, written by Thomas Piketty. I’m only at the second part, the dynamics of the relation capital/income. I do enjoy reading it. I’m not an experienced economics reader, i’m struggling a bit through some parts. Still, it is not a technical and mathematically written book. I would like to finish it. In between all the young adult books i am reading now as well. 😉

We are driven creatures. While our lust for status, money, power and sex can be harnessed towards creative ends, it is more likely to block any spark we might have had. Our consumer culture is happy to cater to these drives. We lose decades of our lives chasing money to buy luxury goods and climbing through artificial hierarchies in the workplace. We struggle with the health problems caused by high-calorie, high-fat diets. We become caught in webs of addiction, trying to distract our minds from the emptiness left by our lost creativity.

Source: Sparks will fly

I know i am pushing things to a boundary. I am not going where it seems to me we are all drive towards. I am making a decision. Money, to me right now, is not the most important thing in the world. However much there is of it. It is not. It is my own creativity, my own thoughts, my own work in the garden, my work on this website which matter to me right now. I know it can not last the way it is going. It is hard. But i do have trust in myself. And also trust in the world. Trust in people. In a way. Not terribly much, no. But still, a bit.

I am still here. Talking to you. My listener. My reader.

Hey 🙂

Every single day, I get emails from aspiring writers asking my advice about how to become a writer, and here is the only advice I can give: Don’t make stuff because you want to make money — it will never make you enough money. And don’t make stuff because you want to get famous — because you will never feel famous enough. Make gifts for people — and work hard on making those gifts in the hope that those people will notice and like the gifts.

Maybe they will notice how hard you worked, and maybe they won’t — and if they don’t notice, I know it’s frustrating. But, ultimately, that doesn’t change anything — because your responsibility is not to the people you’re making the gift for, but to the gift itself.

Source: John Green’s Superb Advice to Aspiring Writers and Creators in the Digital Age

Money is a way of measuring wealth but is not wealth in itself. A chest of gold coins or a fat wallet of bills is of no use whatsoever to a wrecked sailor alone on a raft. He needs real wealth, in the form of a fishing rod, a compass, an outboard motor with gas, and a female companion. But this ingrained and archaic confusion of money with wealth is now the main reason we are not going ahead full tilt with the development of our technological genius for the production of more than adequate food, clothing, housing, and utilities for every person on earth.

Source: Alan Watts on Money vs. Wealth

Published on September 15, 2017 at 6:00 by

Progress

35. Chin / Progress

above LI THE CLINGING, FIRE
below K’UN THE RECEPTIVE, EARTH

The hexagram represents the sun rising over the earth. It is therefore the
symbol of rapid, easy progress, which at the same time means ever widening
expansion and clarity.

THE JUDGMENT

PROGRESS. The powerful prince
Is honored with horses in large numbers.
In a single day he is granted audience three times.

As an example of progress, this pictures a time when a powerful feudal lord
rallies the other lords around the sovereign and pledges fealty and peace. The
sovereign rewards him richly and invites him to a closer intimacy.

A twofold idea is set forth here. The actual effect of the progress emanates
from a man who is in a dependent position and whom the others regard as
their equal and are therefore willing to follow. This leader has enough clarity
of vision not to abuse his great influence but to use it rather for the benefit of
his ruler. His ruler in turn is free of all jealousy, showers presents on the
great man, and invites him continually to his court. An enlightened ruler
and an obedient servant–this is the condition on which great progress
depends.

THE IMAGE

The sun rises over the earth:
The image of PROGRESS.
Thus the superior man himself
Brightens his bright virtue.

The light of the sun rises over the earth is by nature clear. The higher the sun
rises, the more it emerges from the dark mists, spreading the pristine purity
of its rays over an ever widening area. The real nature of man is likewise
originally good, but it becomes clouded by contact with earthly things and
therefore needs purification before it can shine forth in its native clarity.

I am not sure why i am throwing the coins for getting an I Ching sign once again. I used to do this many years ago. When i was still writing in a diary, pouring my thoughts out onto the paper. It grew less over time. Stale.

Not anymore. Not since i got this sledgehammer moment, now almost three years ago. But it is hard to keep myself going. It is hard to not let myself be drawn back into the normal working days of old. The money earning days.

It is strange that people around me, old friends and new friends, simply do not see the things i see. I try to tell them, but it is like talking to deaf men. Or women. I do think about it. I do think about what i was trying to say. And i see the complete misunderstanding of what i say. So clear. It all comes down to me. To say something clearly. Not to be misunderstood.

I hope i can manage that. To be clear in what i say. Close to me. Not denying myself, but also with an understanding of the position the listening person is in.

It is difficult.

Of course.

Published on September 14, 2017 at 6:00 by

The “Sweetest Girl”

The “Sweetest Girl”, i remember the first time i heard this song. 1986, 11 February, a Tuesday. That afternoon i went to Haddock, a record shop i didn’t go to that much. Browsing through the records, i just happened to come across it. The summer before i got to know Cupid & Psyche ’85. A record i loved. So this one i bought straight away. Songs to Remember.

Riding home on my bike, i was excited. Happy. I put the record on straightaway. Loving it. Yes, it was different that Cupid & Psyche. Of course. But i still loved the songs.

I still remember what happened when i first heard The “Sweetest Girl”. I did throw the I Ching. I have mentioned it here before. Not sure why i did, but in that time i threw the I Ching a lot, so it wasn’t out of the ordinary for me. I got number 13 Fellowhip with Men with a changing line on the fifth line.

Life leads the thoughtful man on a path of many windings.
Now the course is checked, now it runs straight again.
Here winged thoughts may pour freely forth in words,
There the heavy burden of knowledge must be shut away in silence.
But when two people are at one in the inmost hearts,
They shatter even the strength of iron or of bronze.
And when two people understand each other in their inmost hearts,
Their words are sweet and strong, like the fragrance of orchids.

I didn’t know what it meant. Not apart from what first springs to mind. I was in love. Or so i thought. Not that i changed anything in my life. I was too old to take this at it presented itself. I knew i believed it. I knew it felt true. At the time. But no way i would let this change my life in any way. But, i never forgot it.

Only recently, two years ago or something, i realized i wasn’t in love. I idolized Green, sure. But no love. I never even dreamed of having sex with him. It was some strange calling i felt. Like i felt with other groups, like the Talking Heads. It was always strongest with Scritti though.

Looking back on this string of events running through my life, ending with me giving my drawings to Green, i do realize this does make me feel terribly happy. It is not a big thing, but it is something i cherished within me. At times it went into the background, at times i almost forgot. Almost. But it always remained a part of me and of my life. Something which makes me feel extremely happy.

Last week i suddenly realized i wanted to sing this song, The “Sweetest Girl”. I did mean to do it for last Friday, but my Walking Back Home post simply came into. I love the title of that post. It came so easy, and it is literally true. It is what i did at the time. But there are more meanings surrounding that title. Of course.

Today i did sing this song. Not perfectly. But with my whole heart.

Enjoy.

Scritti Politti
The “Sweetest Girl”

Sweetest girl in all the world
His eyes are for you only
Sweetest girl in all the world
His eyes are for you only
Sweetest girl in all the world
His words have died before me
Sweetest girl in all the world
His words have died before me

When they walk in the park, I never can tell
When they walk in the dark, I never can tell
It’s just loving – ooh loving

The sweetest boy in all the world
His life has got so lonely
Sweetest boy in all the world
His life has got so lonely
Sickest group in all the world
How could they do this to me
The sickest group in all the world
How could they do this to me

What I want I will take, what you think that you know
Oh such an awful mistake to never let go
It’s just loving – ooh loving

The weakest link in every chain
I always want to find it
The strongest words in each belief
Find out what’s behind it
Politics is pride too
Vagaries of science
She left because she understood
The value of defiance

When the government falls, I wish I could tell
When, oh when necessity calls, I never can tell
It’s just loving – ooh loving

Sweetest girl in all the world
These words are for you only
Sweetest girl in all the world
These words have died before me

When they walk in the park, I never can tell
When they walk in the dark, you know that it never can be told

Published on September 12, 2017 at 6:00 by

A good Sunday

This morning i baked another courgette chocolate cake. Hmmm. In the garden most people enjoyed it. Hellen came by with a vegan banana date and blueberry oatmeal cake. Lovely!

I picked a whole row of green beans. After that i wandered around and made photos. Talked a bit with the people working. Talked with Nina about her tiny hands, nails and feet. Daniëls hands were bigger than her feet. Not by much, but still… bigger.

I went home in time, around six. Made something to eat, some potatoes and green beans with a bit of cottage cheese and sambal. Listened to some music. Then Daniël called, asking me if i could come by and help close the wagons. Someone else had forgotten to give back his keys. So of course. I took my compost bucket with me to empty.

A lovely day. Dry. Quite a few talks. Some good ones, some a bit less. But still ending up good. And no, i’m not an angel. 😛 Still have many faults, many thoughts in my mind which i shouldn’t have. Aware of them more now though. But still a struggle. But it is getting better!

Published on September 11, 2017 at 6:00 by