My life, edited
My earliest memory is the one where i am around a year and a half old. It is warm. My hands are on stones. Warm stones. In front of me is my mother. She points to something behind me. I look around. It is my dad, with a thing in front of his head. He uses his finger on it.
This memory came back to me in a dream, when i was around twenty years old. I found the photo. It was strange. I remember the feeling of the warm stones under my hands so well. My father taking a picture of me and my mom. I felt happy. And i was looking at this photo and seeing myself and remembering the feelings i had when i was so little.
I did loose the photo. I looked for it several times over the years, but nothing. Still, the memory is ingrained in me.
It is a very structured situation. Me, my mother and my father. My mother pointing at my father. My father hiding his face. Not being present. Looking through the lens. Clicking.
Taking care of the cats of friends, in 1985, while they were on holiday in Turkey. In the centre of Rotterdam. A side street of the West Kruiskade. He had just bought Cupid & Psyche 85, the album of Scritti Politti. I was hooked. Later on i reread my old Vinyl magazine collection. There were two interviews in it. One in 1982, the other in 1984. I must have read them. Why didn’t i buy Songs to Remember? I don’t know.
The three or four weeks i stayed in that house, i was playing Cupid & Psyche almost continuously. The music, the lyrics, i was in love. When my friends came back, i apologized to him, saying i played it so much, i was sure there ticks on the album. He didn’t mind. I bought the album for myself. Yay! I also bought a 12″ from The Word Girl. Loved it too.
Only later i bought Songs to Remember, in February 1986.
It was on a Tuesday. I went to Haddock, a record store in the center. There it was. I remember buying it. When i got home i put it on. I remember hearing the sounds of The “Sweetest Girl” for the first time. I don’t know why, but at that moment i threw coins for the I Ching. Well, i did throw them a lot in those days. I got the thirteenth sign Fellowship with Men with a changing nine on the fifth place.
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 still don’t know exactly what this means.
I do know this has got to do with me. With how i lead my life. With what i am working for.
I had written my very first published html page. A week after, a good friend came by and i showed it to her. She asked me, why had i stopped? Why hadn’t i continued working?
I felt so silly.
The day after i published my next page.
The early days of then home.luna.nl/~ellen were great. The things i made then were a mixed bag. I stopped working on those pages in December 1997. The next year i worked on homebase. I collected images, old works, new works and munched it all together. A maze.
I was asked to participate in a exhibition de Kunstvlaai in the Westergasfabriek in Amsterdam. I prepared some bits. When i was there, i knew i had to change it. So i decided to make a page which would change the whole time. A free day. 14 May 1999. My first present.
This electrified me. This felt great. I don’t even know if people were really watching. Just working on this the entire day, making all these shots, doing my own make up, doing my own hair, it felt huge! I loved loved loved it.
1999 stood out. Flash was a great discovery. I worked almost every day.
2005 stood out. I remember the end of 2004, something happened to me then. I started going to the gym in January 2005, lost around 10 kilos. I felt good.
But it was a last sprint.
From 2006 until 2014 i hardly ever worked on lfs.nl. I worked in real life. In 2011 i started working for myself as an independant front-end developer.
Looking back on that time, i realize now it was a hard time. There was only work and gaming. And television. I hardly saw my old friends. I had stopped trying to make that all work. I saw my life falling apart and nothing much was left over. It seemed.
This year, 2016, i went to London for a Scritti gig in the Roundhouse. I went there with a purpose, to give my drawings to Green Gartside. I had talked about it here, on this site. I remember talking about doing this ten years ago with friends. They advised me not to do this, that it would be awkward. I think they were right.
But this year it felt like the right thing to do. So i did it. After a long wait, having some doubts, having more drinks, i did give them.
It was different from what i had imagined. But it was real. I will not forget.
I hope Green likes them. I haven’t heard anything since, but that is ok. I’m still working here. Enjoying myself. Leading my own life, as i should.
The past two years of my life are extremely important to me. The way i fell in love, the way it disappeared. That i suddenly got back working on lfs.nl. A miracle. No difficult things i needed to do. Simply add a new present.
The time i realized that i was about to make my last present, in January 2015. About.
The time i started working on this website, ellenpronk.com. I haven’t missed a day yet. Apart from a week off between Christmas and New Year. I actually have given myself five weeks off. Like a proper job.
I know this place is not visited that much, but i do hope visitors will appreciate what they get here.
On this website i write about my past, about the current day, the food i eat, the stuff i think about, the garden, the work i have done, the songs i sing, the video’s i have made.
I love this place.
Working here means everything to me. I can still feel new future uses. I do see certain categories slowing down, others coming into existence. I love how it flows.
I love this place.
I will keep on working on it. Until it is time to stop. Not anytime soon!