I am raised in a leftist family. My father worked in the Rotterdam harbour, cleaning the big oil tanks. We had the VARA tv guide. The VARA was a leftist tv company. This was part of the Dutch pillarisation system, the politico-denominational segregation of the Dutch society in the 50s, 60s and 70s. On Saturdays we listened to In de Rooie Haan on the radio, also a VARA program. Our newspaper was Het Vrije Volk, a social-democratic newspaper. The last number of this newspaper was in 1991. On Sunday evening we watched the VPRO, aimed at educated and creative people. In the 70s and early 80s we watched All in the Family and Van Kooten en De Bie. A typical leftist Dutch family in the mid to late 20th century in the Netherlands.
I first voted when i was eighteen years old, in 1982. I voted for the Dutch Communistic Party. Firmly in favor of dividing everything equally amongst all people living. Of course. I wasn’t thinking of Russia or China. I liked Marcus Bakker. I didn’t think about it that much.
In 1981 and 1982 i had the Vrouwenagenda (Women’s Agenda) as my agenda in school. A feminist left-wing agenda. Since i went to the VWO (preparatory scientific education) i went to the Technical University – then called the Technical Highschool, still a university though. I didn’t really think about it that much either. My sister’s boyfriend was a chemistry teacher, so i went for that. After two weeks i sat home crying i didn’t want to do it anymore. Not terribly bright it appears. Not knowing what i wanted to do.
I settled for the PvdA, the Dutch labour party. I voted for them for years. Sometimes i didn’t vote, i confess. A left centric party. I didn’t think about it that much. I was working, living my own life, i had a house, i had my main hobby – maintaining my website lfs.nl. I wasn’t thinking about politics that much. I wasn’t thinking about the world that much.
This changed in 2014. After an eight year long break of working online i got back into it. I started walking, writing, photographing, drawing, singing and filming. I found a garden in which i could work, only five minutes walking away from my house. I met new people there. It changed my life.
Over the last five years i have written a couple of posts about my thoughts about the world and its people. My first posts showed people who were imported to me. I enjoyed picking out the photos and pasting them on the world.
I am a creative person. I like to think about things going on. I always thought of myself as being a left oriented person. But things are changing.
Take abortion. This is a feminist issue, fought over by women all over the world. In the USA in some states the laws are reversed and legal abortion will soon be criminalized, in Alabama, Mississippi, Kentucky, Ohio, Georgia and most recently Louisiana on May 30, 2019. I do feel happy i never had to think about having this performed on myself at all. The only thing i ever did was taking a Morning After pill in 1993. Right now i’m actually a bit confused about this thing. Of course i don’t know if i was pregnant at the time. I took this pill within days after the sex i had, in which the condom tore apart. I didn’t have sex after that time, so i never had to think about it. It is tough, i know. You have an idea of how your life will run its course. A baby is a huge obstacle, taking a lot of money and lots of time to take care of. So i can imagine a woman not wanting this. On the other hand, even though a foetus is not recognized as an independent person, to me it is still the start of a new life, with its possibilities and chances. I’m not saying women should never be allowed to have an abortion, no no. But to me, this is a difficult subject with many delicate areas. I’m not sure that the state should have the latest word in this matter. To me, the state has too many responsibilities all together.
Today’s ecological issues are difficult to grasp. On the one hand i live in the Netherlands in West Europe. Yes, it is warmer generally. But life still goes on as before. The main affected areas are way more south and close to the seas with no dikes. Pollution is everywhere. In the oceans, in the air, in the ground. The way we live on this planet, the amount of land we occupy with industrial-agrarian uses leads to the extinction of species and loss of biodiversity. These are only parts of the current problems. Many people are aware of these things, many people work at things to make it better. But more people are living in ignorance, self chosen or chosen for them. Many people still buy all the clothes they want, all the furniture they want, all the food they want. In our atomic individualized western world what we want is most important. It defines who we are. Who we like to think who we are. Who we like to believe who we are.
I am still thinking about all these things. I don’t have definitive answers. There are of course the simple things: buy less stuff, cook your own food, more vegetable gardens would be great. It is difficult.
I’m still a left oriented person. But i do not think this divide makes sense in our current world with people have shouting matches about who is to blame. It doesn’t solve anything. We have to work together to make things a bit better. Everybody.
Watching the movie which was made of the people working in the gardens, i did have some difficulty recognizing myself as me. I saw an older woman, chubby. I saw her saying things which were humorous at times. I saw her sighing when she sat down.
The people siting sround me were laughing at times. Me too. Some moments were funny.
But i didn’t recognize me. I have an inner idea of myself as being younger. Prettier. Serious. Artistic. Very different from the person i saw.
Everybody else did recognize me. Because it was me. The way i am in my daily life. The way i talk. The way i move. The way i look. Everybody else sees me from the outside. The one way i don’t see myself in. I see myself from the inside.
So this is partly vanity. Sure. But this is also how everybody else feels in his or her own skin. Very different from how they are seen from the outside. The beautiful people. The bright people. The young people. The ugly people. The stupid people. The old people.
I would like to get myself loose from this thinking. This feeling. Not sure i will be able to. Not sure at all.
It does make me wanna loose weight even more though. Which is good for my diabetes. But also good for me and how i feel about myself.
Three cakes i baked, one vegan, one keto, one ‘normal’. Two vegan type cookies. The weather forecast wasn’t that good, but we went ahead anyway. Rain, sometimes hard wind. But in the end it wasn’t that bad. The music was fun. I missed half the talks, but it was fine. The cakes were fine too. And the movie made by Dennis and Marjolein was great! I loved it. Wonderful.
Amd now i’m tired. Really tired. So, good night!
In the silent period in my life i spend time living and working offline and gaming. I remember leaving my work in 2011 and starting as a freelancer. I remember when the diagnosis for diabetes was made in 2011. I remember not thinking about the diabetes that much. I remember i stopped drinking alcohol every single day. I remember i stopped smoking January 2008. I lost around ten kilo body weight. I remember playing World of Warcraft a lot. Making friends, raiding together. Having fun.
I remember i masturbated a couple of times in those years. But it felt quite obligatory to be honest. I felt a desire for a relief. It never really happened. I wasn’t thinking of anyone. I wasn’t in love. My life felt empty.
I remember that feeling of that sledgehammer hitting me sometime in October 2014. I remember sitting or standing in the train with my mind racing and my thoughts blowing through me. I remember leaving the temporary job i had in the middle of the country. I remember one of the last days there, when i climbed all the way up to the roof of the high building i was working in, discovering the cleaners sitting there and having something to eat, walking up to the roof and looking out over the Netherlands in this hazy landscape.
I remember my first thoughts: i need to get back to work. I remember the feeling of haste, of NOW! NOW! NOW! Desperately. I remember falling in love. Strangely. Falling out of love. The sadness i felt around Christmas time. It will not happen. Of course not. Silly girl. Stupid silly girl.
I didn’t give up. That time i worked on the about page of lfs.nl and i realised that was going to be the last page of it. Thinking about it for a week. Yes.
I remember starting ellenpronk.com. Which i had for a couple of years. Which i used for work, for the email. For which i had vague plans to make a website for. Of course not!
Hell no. For me, for my own work. Of course!
I was mad. Crazy. My head full.
I still am.
I did masturbate a lot in those early days. Sometimes two or three times a day. I felt this need. This desire. I didn’t have sex with a real person. I did meet some nice men. Thoughts did play through my mind. This one? Or that one? Maybe? But there was always something or someone holding me back. I have learned to control myself a bit. A little bit.
I felt i needed to get somewhere. I needed to look at myself in this world. This crazy crazy world. Much crazier than i am myself. Insane. This jumble of people expressing anything coming in their minds. Strange. Weird.
I did find friends. In the garden. I love working in it, talking with the other people visiting and working there. Looking outside. Sometimes waving to the people walking by, looking in. My peace and quiet. Mostly. I love to cook. This Sunday it is time for the Harvest Feast. I will bake tarts and cookies. Thoroughly enjoy it.
I do think i have grown up. A bit. I hope so. I feel stronger. More aware. Not that i have my story completely ready, no. But still, more of an adult.
I still would love to meet somebody nice. Creative. Someone to talk with. Play chess with. Cook for. Cuddle with. Have sex with. Of course. But my life is my own.
I feel quiet. Over the past few weeks thoughts about this post went through my mind. Sometimes thoughts rushed through me. But now, i feel quiet. And ready. For whatever life will bring to me.
Source: Jean Fautrier drawings for the book L’Alleluiah by Georges Batailles.
The album Abbey Road by the Beatles is fifty years old today. To be honest, up until today i thought of Revolver and Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearths Club Band as their best. I’m undecided right now. No idea if ever in my lifetime i will decide which is the best one for me. I do really like this one though 🙂
Maxwell’s Silver Hammer
I Want You (She’s So Heavy)
Here Comes The Sun
You Never Give Me Your Money
Mean Mr Mustard
Polythene Pam / She Came In Through The Bathroom Window
Golden Slumbers / Carry That Weight / The End