Reflection

Sunday. The garden.

I started with cleaning up the sides of the garden, the round square in front of the garden and the surrounding grass fields. It was quite messy. Plastic wrappings, plastic bottles, capsules for laughing gas, cigarette buts, plastic straws, cigarette wrappings, small plastic bags for candy or pot, stuff from MacDonalds. I don’t know why people leave that all just lying around.

When the rest came, we drank tea and coffee. Ronald had brought cookies. Too sweet, of course. Still quite yummy. I took one. But when Daniël came with a chocolate letter, the S, i couldn’t resist.

I ended up working alone in the main garden. The rest went to the other side for a walk through and of course the chicken run. I weeded one side and half a part of the rows. The sun started to shine more during the afternoon. I sat for a while at the table and ate a bit of my apple and yogurt salad i had brought with me. After that i sat still, with my hands on the table, my glasses of. I listened to the sounds surrounding me. The cars driving by. The trains. A few birds. People talking. A tram passing by. The sun was shining in my face. Sometimes hiding a bit behind the clouds. But peeking through a lot. I felt so quiet.

I will meditate. This week. I have done this before, but the past ten years, no. I am looking for quietness in myself. Or simply listening to everything outside me.

Still… sshhhh…

Published on February 20, 2017 at 6:00 by

Thursday

A quiet day today. I did go to the garden to empty my compost bucket. After that i went to the supermarket Jumbo and got some bread, peanut butter, sunflower oil. In the Italian shop i got olive oil. I’m making an onion soup right now. The onions, seven cloves of garlic and some celery are on the stove for an hour and a half. They are still not brown. But really soft.

Tonight there is a home owners meeting in my house. I have already told that i don’t have coffee or cookies in the house. Tea and water. That is it.

I have cleaned up my house more. The toilet. My couch. Put my freshly washed laundry away in the cupboard.

I am reading the party program of the Partij van de Dieren. I do agree with their economical chapter. With most chapters really. A very high chance i will vote for them in the upcoming Dutch election 15 March.

I still feel quiet. I’m thinking, or rather, let the dust settle down a bit.

Ssshh…

Published on February 17, 2017 at 6:00 by

The little things

For breakfast i made myself some oatmeal porridge.

I played a little warcraft after that. Doing quests in Aszhara, exploring it at the same time. I love that area.

I ironed my clothes. I’m such a slob. These clothes were hanging in my backroom for like six months or so. Summer clothes. I also mended the pink shirt, a small section of the neck area was getting loose. Luckily i had some pink thread. I also went further with my handkerchief i started yesterday. Finished up the orange thread i was using. I will change color for the next bit. Red. Or light blue.

For lunch i made an omelet with onions and bacon and spinach and feta and two eggs. Half an avocado on the side.

I am still thinking about the e-mail i want to write. I collected the books i want to return. I’ve had them for around 35 years maybe? Way too long. One book is from Ayn Rand: The Fountainhead. I read it a couple of times. I did enjoy it. But it is time to give it back. The e-mail? Hmm… tomorrow. Yes tomorrow!

I did just vacuum cleaned the house. That was needed! It looks a bit better now, i’m happy to say. Still, i need to get my old loudspeakers to the cellar. They are broke. I also need to get some old paper to the paper container. The bag is overflowing. And i need to empty my compost bucket. Tomorrow.

Hmm…

I think i will do a washing of clothes today. So many things to do tomorrow.

Ooh! This morning when i put on my onesie and i found out the zipper was broke. But when i took it off and put on my normal clothes, i checked again, pushed and pulled a little and hey! i fixed it. Yay!

Published on February 16, 2017 at 6:00 by

Doing small things

This morning i made my breakfast. The past weeks i make a double egg omelet with bacon, cottage cheese and spinach. I read a bit after that, the Philosophy of the I Ching. Then i went sitting behind my computer. Going through my mail – mostly spam. Looking at facebook to see if there is anything going on. Going through twitter as well. Then a bit of World of Warcraft. For an hour or so.

I made an oatmeal porridge for lunch. Some raisins, a bit of cinnamon, some palm sugar and a knob of butter. Yum.

The market next. I’m gonna make myself some onion soup this week. So i bought a kilo of onions, three knobs of garlic and some Elstar apples. The Albert Heijn next, buying some broth cubes, beef, vegetable and chicken. Eggs. An avocado.

I was thinking about some things i want to do. Some e-mails i want to write. Several. And i want to make a handkerchief, all by hand.

So when i got home i put everything i bought out of the bag in its proper place. Then i got the old torn bed linen out of the cupboard and cut out a square piece. I picked an orange thread and started to make a rolled edge. This is quite a lot of work, i only did around five centimeters. I will go on tomorrow.

I was wondering if the fabric of the old bed linen is fine enough for a handkerchief. I could make little pockets with it too, to put in seeds or nuts or anything else. Not sure.

After i stopped i wrote one e-mail. Inviting a friend to the garden. The first time i’m doing that. I do hope she will come.

A short phone call with my client about the current assignment. Still doing preliminary work on it, in a week or two i will get the final texts to work with. But in the next two weeks i can work on the cover, the preface, look at the house style elements and colors carefully and decide what elements i want to incorporate.

I did have a cup of tea around four o’clock. I first made myself a rye open sandwich with appelstroop. Then another two open sandwiches with peanut butter. I was hungry! That means only a cup of pea soup for diner.

Not sure what i will do this evening. Read a bit more. Watch a bit of tv. Just be quiet. Like, yesterday, i danced! Woah! Thoughts rushed in my head. I might watch a movie. Still plenty of time to decide.

Bye bye!

Published on February 15, 2017 at 6:00 by

A quiet walk

Monday morning i worked. In the afternoon, after i was done and had e-mailed a pdf file to the client, i went out for a walk. It was cold, sunny. Not that much wind. It was still quiet in the center. Mondays usually are.

I walked to the Euromast park. The zooming of the cars is all around it. On one side the cars go into the Maastunnel. Another side is the Vasteland, a busy street. Zoom. I heard it while i sat for around ten minutes at the water. There were quite a few other people in the park. The sunshine gets people out. And many birds flying about and walking to pick up food from the ground. A heron was standing right besides the wooden board at the end of the garden.

I picked up some Euromast entrance cards lying on the ground. Some plastic bottle caps were lying in the grass. I picked those up too. With a bit of a sigh. I couldn’t clean up the whole park. No way.

I walked back home. Through the center once again. The thought of getting something to eat, like a Vietnamese egg roll did come up. But i guess Monday is their day off. So no. I thought about the apple and yogurt and cottage cheese and walnut mix i had in the fridge back home. Good for an afternoon snack.

I do feel quieter. A lot more quieter than yesterday. My phone’s glass broke yesterday. I let it fall. In the garden. Today i did go to a mac store to ask for the price of fixing it. They don’t, they simply replace it. For 199 euros. Pffff. Since i don’t really use my phone to look at that much, i’ll let it pass. Maybe one day i’ll take a new phone. Depends.

Goodbye for now. Cheerio!

Published on February 14, 2017 at 6:00 by

The Philosophy Of The I Ching

Last Friday i wrote about a book called The Philosophy of the I Ching. I found a pdf file on archive.org. I’ve been reading it over the weekend.

This to me is a rare time. It feels like the, i know the Dutch version of this, de schellen vielen me van de ogen. Literally this means scales fall from the eyes, but i’m not sure this is commonly used in English. This saying is originally used in the bible, Acts 9:18: Immediately something like scales fell from his eyes, and he could see again. Hmm, i guess i was wrong about the English translation.

But i digress. I do feel an opening in myself and a rush of thoughts coming through, looking at myself, experiencing what happens and thinking about it. Trying to find a place outside myself to deal with everything that happens.

I’m not saying this book will mean the same thing to you. I do think each and everyone of us has its own path to follow. But to me right now this book is here just at the right time. I even tried to meditate at the end of today. Not terribly successful, but i do feel i should do this more often.

This time remind me of the follwing signs: 35 Progress and 43 Break-Through (Resoluteness).

Now i do know i’m not peacefully quiet right now. No, i feel myself thinking and getting to conclusions which were out of reach for me only a short time ago. I also know i should calm down. Really.

So i did throw my coins just yet. And yes, of course, it is a completely different sign. 36. Ming I / Darkening of the light.

Ellen, calm down. Please.

My apologies for this hectic post.

Salute!

Published on February 13, 2017 at 6:00 by

I Ching

I am not looking for some irrational mystical guidance. Instead, I am looking for a release from the prison of competing certainties, a way of letting loose the simmering doubts and confusions that accompany all thought, so that I can take advantage of their creative richness. In other words, I use the I Ching not as a certainty machine, but as an uncertainty machine. Dissolving false certainties, it integrates the fact of unknowing into the fabric of my thinking, opening me up to hitherto unimagined possibilities, scattering the monotony of my either-or dilemmas into a myriad of forking paths.

The uncertainty machine

I’m not sure when i bought the I Ching. I do know i still lived at my parents’ home. So it was before the end of 1985. The memory is vague, i’m not sure at all about it, but it could be my sister had the book. And i was mystified by it. So yes, i got me a copy.

Writing in a diary was a big part of my life over the next years. And i usually threw coins to read a hexagram of the I Ching afterwards. I don’t think i had any specific question. It was more asking for a comment on what i felt, what i had written just before.

Some throws i do remember. The one after i had bought Songs To Remember, only a few days after i made the drawings i gave away last year. That one still stands out for me. Not that i understand it. No. But it felt, well, true. Real. Number 13 ䷌ Fellowship with Men with a changing line on number 5. Confucius said the following words, connected with this 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.

Another sign which i felt was true to me, was number 56 The Wanderer ䷷. Even though in my life i have been in one place, i don’t feel truly at home. I have found a place where i can live quietly, by myself. But that is it. It still feels like a place of transition.

This week i did read the I Ching. I focused on the preface written by Prof. Dr. C.G. Jung, the second book The Material with background information about the hexagrams and the third book with the comments about the hexagrams. The images and concepts connected with the eight trigrams are all from the old world. Parts of the body, the family, animals and the world. The wind, the sun, the mountain, water, wood, thunder and lightning are part of this. In the I Ching wikipedia article it says: In its current form the current compilation is dated to the early decades of the reign of King Xuan of Zhou, in the last quarter of the 9th century BC.

I do enjoy reading the book in hexagrams. Throwing the coins gives you one or two hexagrams to read and think about. Sometimes it gives you a lot of information, sometimes not. I’m pretty sure it depends on yourself how the message comes through. It has given me a growing knowledge of this old world.

Today i downloaded a book called The Philosophy of the I Ching written by Carol K. Anthony.

Fate, as an obstruction, is a door that can be unlocked, but only by the proper key – which is a correct attitude. Upon correcting our attitude we find that our situation improves; but if we then become careless and revert to the incorrect attitude, the door closes once more. Fate, as an obstruction, seems to match us move for move once we have come to this impasse; where we once seemed to be free to err, with no penalty attached, now we have to immediately pay for every mistake; it is as if we have our credit card taken away.

This does remind me of the past two years. I love working in the garden. But i did have some conflicts with other people working there. I remember feeling opposed, as i feel i’m such a nice and good person. This is not true. Of course it isn’t true. I have many sides specked with darkness. Selfishness, thinking of myself alone. It requires work to deal with these parts of myself.

I won’t be able to discuss the I Ching in its entirety in this post. Hell no. There are so many parts which i need to learn more about, and i’m not sure i will have the time to do so in my life. It is the outdoor or the indoor life once again. I don’t know what life will come my way. I don’t know if i have the courage to grab it once it passes by. If it passes by. I still have hope.

I did throw my coins today. With the general idea that writing this post would be an important issue.

45. Ts’ui / Gathering Together [Massing]

above TUI THE JOYOUS, LAKE
below K’UN THE RECEPTIVE, EARTH

This hexagram is related in form and meaning to Pi, HOLDING TOGETHER (8). In the latter, water is over the earth; here a lake is over the earth. But since the lake is a place where water collects, the idea of gathering together is even more strongly expressed here than in the other hexagram. The same idea also arises from the fact that in the present case it is tow strong lines (the fourth and the fifth) that bring about the gather together, whereas in the former case one strong line (the fifth) stands in the midst of weak lines.

THE JUDGMENT

GATHERING TOGETHER. Success.
The king approaches his temple.
It furthers one to see the great man.
This brings success. Perseverance furthers.
To bring great offerings creates good fortune.
It furthers one to undertake something.

The gathering together of people in large communities is either a natural occurrence, as in the case of the family, or an artificial one, as in the case of the state. The family gathers about the father as its head. The perpetuation of
this gathering in groups is achieved through the sacrifice to the ancestors, at which the whole clan is gathered together. Through the collective piety of the living members of the family, the ancestors become so integrated in the spiritual life of the family that it cannot be dispersed or dissolved.
Where men are to be gathered together, religious forces are needed. But there must also be a human leader to serve as the center of the group. In order to be able to bring others together, this leader must first of all be collected within himself. Only collective moral force can unite the world. Such great times of unification will leave great achievements behind them. This is the significance of the great offerings that are made. In the secular sphere likewise there is no need of great deeds in the time of GATHERING TOGETHER.

THE IMAGE

Over the earth, the lake:
The image of GATHERING TOGETHER.
Thus the superior man renews his weapons
In order to meet the unforeseen.

If the water in the lake gathers until it rises above the earth, there is danger of a break-through. Precautions must be taken to prevent this. Similarly where men gather together in great numbers, strife is likely to arise; where possessions are collected, robbery is likely to occur. hus in the time of GATHERING TOGETHER we must arm promptly to ward off the unexpected. Human woes usually come as a result of unexpected events against which we are not forearmed. If we are prepared, they can be prevented.

THE LINES

Six at the top means:
Lamenting and sighing, floods of tears.
No blame.

It may happen that an individual would like to ally himself with another, but his good intentions are misunderstood. Then he becomes sad and laments. But this is the right course. For it may cause the other person to come to his senses, so that the alliance that has been sought and so painfully missed is after all achieved.

12. P’i / Standstill [Stagnation]

above CH’IEN THE CREATIVE, HEAVEN
below K’UN THE RECEPTIVE, EARTH

This hexagram is the opposite of the preceding one. Heaven is above, drawing farther and farther away, while the earth below sinks farther into the depths. The creative powers are not in relation. It is a time of standstill and decline. This hexagram is linked with the seventh month (August-September), when the year has passed its zenith and autumnal decay is setting in.

THE JUDGMENT

STANDSTILL. Evil people do not further
The perseverance of the superior man.
The great departs; the small approaches.

Heaven and earth are out of communion and all things are benumbed. What is above has no relation to what is below, and on earth confusion and disorder prevail. The dark power is within, the light power is without. Weakness is within, harshness without. Within are the inferior, and without are the superior. The way of inferior people is in ascent; the way of superior people is one the decline. But the superior people do not allow themselves to be turned from their principles. If the possibility of exerting influence is closed to them, they nevertheless remain faithful to their principles and withdraw into seclusion.

THE IMAGE

Heaven and earth do not unite:
The image of STANDSTILL.
Thus the superior man falls back upon his inner worth
In order to escape the difficulties.
He does not permit himself to be honored with revenue.

When, owing to the influence of inferior men, mutual mistrust prevails in public life, fruitful activity is rendered impossible, because the fundaments are wrong. Therefore the superior man knows what he must do under such circumstances; he does not allow himself to be tempted by dazzling offers to take part in public activities. This would only expose him to danger, since he cannot assent to the meanness of the others. He therefore hides his worth and withdraws into seclusion.

I was first a bit caught off guard by the second sign, Standstill. In my understanding this sign is not a positive one; a time of standstill and decline. But, the final paragraph of The Philosophy of the I Ching says the following.

Our job is no less than to put the world in order. We can do this only by being responsive to the Divine Will. The ability of man to act as a conduit for the Divine Will makes him the third primal power, giving him a unique capacity and responsibility to “further.” As the top of Standstill (12) says, “left to itself,” everything changes toward “stagnation and disintegration. The time of disintegration… does not change back automatically to a condition of peace and prosperity; effort must be put forth to end it. This shows the creative attitude that man must take if the world is to be put in order.” This creative work falls to each person who sees that the job must be undertaken, and who cannot turn his back upon the task.

To me, this does say something about my current situation. For the past two and a half years i felt woken up, that sledgehammer feeling i talked about here at times. I have worked hard, these past two years. Actually, today, 9 February, the day i’m writing this post, it is exactly two years that this blog exists.

I have touched many areas. I have written about very personal things here. I have tried new things. And yes, i am surprised that not more people are coming here. I am. But, parts of me thought that living with this blog in the shade was giving me time to think my life through, to come to some sort of decision.

To say yes?

Published on February 10, 2017 at 6:00 by

Groceries

Going out today for some shopping.

First i went to the Gimsel. I was curious about an alternative for cleaning my ears and for non plastic waste bags. Someone was filling the rows in the health and skin care area, i asked her about it. She showed me a liquid ear cleaner and an ear candle. Both were really not to my liking. I did get compostable waste bags. Small ones. Since i have not that much litter anymore, i can do with this small bag for a week or two, three. My plastic goes in the plastic container, paper in the paper one, glass in the glass one, and vegetable and catty litter stuff goes in the compost heap. Such a great difference with a year ago!

I went to the Albert Heijn next. Full milk for my oatmeal porridge, old cheese with a bonus, eco toilet paper and six tins of cat food.

I’m gonna make me a rye sandwich with some cheese with mustard next. Yum!

Published on February 9, 2017 at 6:00 by

Tuesday

Market day. I went to my Turkish kebab place and told Beker (I hope i’m writing this correct!) about my diabetes and that i shouldn’t eat a sandwich kebab anymore. He gave me a cup of red lentil soup. Yum!

I felt different while i walked to the market. A bit like a blanket was wrapped all around me. A bit fuzzy. I did smile to people whose looks i caught. But that was it. It is cold. Wet. Grey.

I am reading the I Ching book. The middle part, not the hexagrams itself. Information about the structure of the book, the connection with the world. It is very far from our scientific world with its mathematics and chemistry. Some thoughts in the I Ching are so far gone. Forgotten. We don’t get water from a well anymore. We simply open the tab and it comes out. Clean and clear.

This is it for today. A muddled day. A befuddled day.

Quiet

Published on February 8, 2017 at 6:00 by