It is warm. The warm stones are nice. My mother points. Behind me. My dad is standing there. With something in front of his face.
This is a dream. A dream when i was in my early twenties.
It is a memory. A memory dream. Something that really happened to me. Not something terribly important. Just me, my mom, my dad. And a camera.
I had the photograph. I was around a year and a half. A chubby white haired little girl. Not looking very happy. Concentrated. Looking behind me. My mom sitting in a chair with dark hair set in a high bun pointing towards the camera.
It was 1965.
My father is not visible in the photograph. He is the photographer.
I misplaced the photo. Lost it, i guess. The memory is still vivid. I can still feel the warmth of the stones beneath my hands. Happy. Careless. Not a worry on my mind.
8 February 1986. Saturday. For two months i have been living by myself in the west part of Rotterdam. Loving it. Still studying Industrial Design in Delft.
This evening i made drawings. I had done a water colour presentation drawing course in Delft. This evening i made a set of drawings which puzzled me. Six drawings, the first three of me and my life up until that time. The last three more general. I didn’t understand them.
When i was done i remember looking at these drawings. Surprised. Puzzled. Not sure when i got the feeling i should give away these drawings. Within a few days at least. The next week i made a box for them. They were small. Around 10 x 15 centimeters.
The first time i gave them away was to my then best friend. We stopped seeing each other within a few months. She gave the drawings back to me, after a couple of weeks.
The second time i gave them away was in ten years time, the mid 90s. A new best friend. She gave them back to me as well. I remember watching the drawings while they were at her place. I think it was clear these drawings ment a lot to me. Maybe that was the reason she gave them back.
These drawings ended up in the cupboard in my living room. I wasn’t looking at them. I almost forgot i had drawn them.
In October 2014 i had my sledgehammer moment. A few weeks after that i got the drawings out of the cupboard and set them in the bookcase. Clearly visible.
In November i thought that it would be a good idea to give these drawings away to Green Gartside of Scritti Politti. Since 1985 i have admired his songs and writings and voice. I tried to get in touch, but i knew he was a very private person. Nothing came of it.
A year later i read that Scritti Politti would be giving a concert in London on 5 February 2016 in the Roundhouse. I ordered a ticket, bought a bus ticket, booked an airbnb close to the Roundhouse. I was set.
That evening, after the gig, i did give my drawings to Green Gartside. It took a bit of time. So many people wanted to talk to him. I was a bit hesitant. His wife recognized me from earlier gigs in 2006. I told her i had something i wanted to give to him. She called him over. These moments are etched in my mind.
This is more than three years ago. I’m still happy i found the courage to gave these drawings away to someone i admire. It is one of the happiest memories i have.
The work i do. The work i enjoy. The work from which i learn. Yes, this here. On the internet. There is of course the work i made before. At home. At artschool. The drawings i made before i went to artschool. A prelude.
I still remember my first steps online. The very first words i wrote online. The first gif animations i made. Glorious.
I made steps. I took breaks. Sometimes a couple of days. A week.
Then eight years.
I remember when i stopped making presents. I didn’t let go, no. I kept it on my mind. The first few years anyway. In the end though, making presents had disappeared. I lived my life. Time moved on.
I still don’t know what happened, why i felt like this sledgehammer hit me. I don’t know what caused it. It did get me back to work. First on lfs.nl, a couple of months later on ellenpronk.com. My work changed. More photography. The short films. Cooking. Singing. And three years ago the garden. I’m not hiding anymore.
Not that every day is a great day, hell no. Great days are rare. But still, quite a few good days. I do enjoy the rhythm this website gives my life. A new post five days a week, at six in the morning. Five weeks vacation each year. Like a regular job.
I am fifty-five. Over halfway my life. There are so many things i still need to work on. My health. My weight. My patience. My anger. My understanding.
The past five years i worked on myself. Trying to let go of anger. Which is difficult. Trying to be kind. Easy with people i do not know. Harder when i feel hurt. I try to look at the world with an open mind. Still working on that one.
I am lucky to be born in the Netherlands. This wealthy part of the world. I am lucky to have had an education. I am lucky i was able to make my own choices. For the most part. I am lucky.
After this post i will take a three week break. And then i will make a decision about my life. What work i want to do. What work i am able to do. I would prefer to keep on working on this website. Keep on working in the garden. But it is not all up to me.
I hope things will work out. I hope i can continue on my path to leading a fuller life. I hope for a bit of happiness. I hope for a bit of love. I hope to meet many people, i hope to talk with many people. How we would like the world to be. Not as it is right now. Something to work towards. Together.
I did find a bit of peace in me. A place of quiet.