Categories for My story

The story of my life

The past four weeks i have been working towards an important post on Friday. The idea for each weeks post i got the week before. When i had posted Friday’s post the idea popped in my mind. The same goes for this post. Last Thursday, lying in bed, the idea came to me. Of course. So simple. The story of my life.

I have told parts of this story before. Here, on this website. To my old friends, years ago. Parts. I never told the complete truth. Hiding away from it. Ashamed perhaps. Not believing it. Not a full 100%. Thinking, i am a normal woman. With a normal life. Running away from it. But still. A memory that never faded.

That Saturday, 8 February 1986, the day i drew these six images in the evening, i still remember parts of it. I remember i started on a A3 size water colour drawing book. I had divided the paper into eight parts with pencil. I started to draw. With a wooden drawing pen en ink. No pencil sketch first. Straight in with the ink. Water colour paint to fill in with colour.

I was still studying Industrial Design at the Technical University Delft. I had water colour lessons there, for presentation drawing. I loved it.

The first two drawings have faded from my mind. But the last six would stay with me. I remember staring at them when i was finished. Silent. A bit stunned. I don’t remember when i made the seventh one, the one with the text.

Here’s a verse for nothing
An introduction
To the way the world will be
Now we’re apart and alone
Mustn’t be unhappy
When you remember
Lovers never lose each other
Oh
Such a lot to be learned

The final chorus of the song A Little Knowledge from Scritti Politti.

The next day i made the box to fit in the drawings.

That Tuesday, i went through records in Haddock, a record store in the centre. I wasn’t looking for it, but there it was. Songs to Remember, from Scritti Politti. Their first album. I bought it. Happy i drove back home on my bicycle. And yes, i loved it. When i heard the last song “The Sweetest Girl”, for some reason, i threw the I Ching. I got 13. T’ung Jên / Fellowship with Men with a changing line 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 remember sitting on the ground, in front of a seat, reading these lines.

I knew.

I knew for sure. This was true.

I also knew there was nothing i could do. Nothing i wanted to do.

The rest of that week is vague. I was completely overthrown by these drawings and that weird premonition. I gave away my drawings, the next week or so. I knew i had to give them away. So i gave them to a close friend, Iris.

She gave them back to me, a month or so later. I stared at the drawings when i was in her home. I didn’t ask for them back. But that is what she did.

When i applied for art school in July that year, i didn’t bring these drawings with me. I was further along, of course. Into Giacometti at that time. I thought about these drawings on the application day. Lucky for me i didn’t need them. I got in all the same.

Life goes on. Friends come and go.

In the 90s i gave away the drawings once more. Another close friend. But she gave them back, after a month or so. This time i saved the drawings in my sitting room. To wait.

In 1996 or 1997 i met Erika Chang online. She had made a website about Scritti Politti, “the Archeology of the Frivolous”. We got into a email conversation. She was the one who told me about superbad.com. We met in London two or three times.

And then in January 2006 news of a Scritti gig came by on the Yahoo scritti group. In a pub in London, under the name Double G and the Traitorous Three. I didn’t say a word to Green. I watched.

I did talk with friends beforehand. The thought of giving the drawings to Green did pop up. But they gave me the advice that it would not be any good. I agreed.

Time does seem to go faster when you grow older. The past seventeen years seem to have flown away. I do remember them. But it is like, your life reaches a plateau. You work. You have a few friends. And another year is gone. Wham.

The sudden sledgehammer moment in October 2014 will stay with me. It did upset my life. I was awake and confused for months, years even. Talkative. Looking out. Seeing and thinking all sorts of things. Some right, some wrong. And i started working again. On lfs.nl. I felt it. The quiet time was over. Back into gear.

Looking back on the previous eight years, it made me sad. I saw myself struggling with it. Playing World of Warcraft. Making semblances of friends, at a distance. I wanted to work, but nothing came to mind. Nothing. I saw myself grow quieter. Forgetting what i used to do. Simply living on. Day by day. Watching television series. Most i downloaded through tvtorrents.com – now offline.

I don’t know where the sledgehammer moment came from. Well, apart from the most obvious answer.

Me.

The past week i have been thinking about this post. Ideas popped inside my head. Whole paragraphs i thought beforehand. In the end, it comes down to this single point.

Me.

I have thought so many things, my entire life. And yes, most things i have kept to myself. Embarrassed. Ashamed. Like i said, i am a normal woman with a normal life. Then again, to me, i am not normal. I am rather special. I know all the ins and outs of my mind. All the ins and outs of my fantasies. My deep night imaginations. My wishes. My dreams.

I never really understood the latest work i made in art school. Making self portraits seemed a bit narcissistic. A bit self absorbed. I still did it. But it was hard to continue making self portraits after i graduated. So i tried other things. Which didn’t work.

Only a few years later, when i started working online, i looked back at these self portraits. The earliest photo i used in Selfportrait on 10 July 1997. Another photo i used in Watching myself on 16 July. Then another one on 17 July, a big picture in Watch me. The titles of these works made sense to me then. They still do now.

For years i rarely made any photos of myself. Most failed. The ones i made in 2010 were OK. I picked one and used it as a profile picture on several websites. Only the last years i have been making more good photos of myself. I am happy with them. I am older, yes. But i still like the way i look. I am no stranger to a bit of vanity.

So.

It is late in the evening now. A washing machine is on upstairs with the neighbours. Centrifuging. Sounds form the outside drift in. People talking. Birds whistling. Cars driving.

I wrote a piece called An empty life a few months ago. It was not my choice to have my life still this empty. But it happened. Not that i feel unhappy. Not at all. The last two and a half years i feel truly happy. Joyous. Active. Open. Working again on lfs.nl and later ellenpronk.com is the most important reason for that. Especially the work i do on ellenpronk.com makes me feel good. The walks. The gardening since last year. My videos. The singing. The food i cook.

I love this place. I love thinking about new posts to make. This week i enjoyed making the summer borshch, reading aloud Allerleirauh, making a walk to the garden the Enk. I love it to do all these things. They make my life special.

These stories which have filled up my life, they have stayed with me. I treasured them. All by myself. Stories are important. Their structure makes sense to us. A beginning, a middle, an end. The beginning is usually sudden, unexpected. Something happens outside of the normal course of events. The middle is the boring bit. A long time of work. Repetition. A slow change. The end is equally sudden. But with more preparation. A grand finish. Kaboom!

In our lives these structures are everywhere. People fall in love. People have children. Children leave the house. People grow old. This is all part of a story structure.

I like my personal stories. I have one main one. And many minor ones.

Giving the drawings to Green Gartside last year in London is a memory i will treasure for the rest of my life. It makes me truly happy. Looking back on it, i don’t know where i found the courage to do this. But i did it.

And then of course, my life moved on. The garden came into view only two months after it. A whole new bunch of people connected with that. Now this fills my life for half. The rest is mostly for this website.

And then there is this world. Grrrr.

Well, this post is not for that. That is a whole other issue.

I am living my own life. As much as i can. Money is an issue. I don’t have lots of it. I’m behind paying my bills. But i am not giving up. No sir.

There is something i want to say. Something i want to make clear. We all live here on this world. For better or for worse. We are all responsible for our own lives. And our children, until they are grown-up. We pick what we want to do. If we don’t, the world will pick something for us. Usually not to our liking.

This work i do here is extremely important to me. I try to make it easy. Easy to read. Easy to watch. With purpose. I like to communicate. So it makes no sense to make things difficult.

I know art is not the best environment for me. It is still in my past, but it is not where i see myself grow. So it is hard. What i can call myself is a blogger, an occasional vlogger, a still not too good singer with some potential, a video-clip maker, a gardener, a cooker and a walker. I love this.

There is no end to our lives until the day we die. Each day is new. Each day you wake up and you should think of what is the best thing to do. To make things a little bit better. Me, at fifty three years old, i still feel young.

I’m telling you this.

Shall we begin?

DAENERYS TARGARYEN Game of Thrones S07 E01

Published on July 21, 2017 at 6:00 by

Honest

Since i started working again, October 2014, i knew this. I want to turn my life around. Desperately.

All my energy went into this. Making the final post for lfs.nl was a step. Starting up ellenpronk.com another. Making my walks, cooking, talking about my past work, my past mistakes, making the videoclips, singing the songs. All part of the same process.

I got the idea of this post last week Friday. Sex! Ooh, of course. Right now, i’m not so sure. It is not i am ashamed of my sex life, my erotic feelings. But sex is not my main interest. I like it, sure. But right now it is all by myself. A single activity.

What i really want is love. True love. Friendship. Joy. Pleasure. In all its many intricate little ways. A best friend.

A few weeks ago i met someone new. I liked him. I could have left my dreams behind. But no. He said something which made me think again. He didn’t want anything. It took me some time, some thinking, some letting go of my emotions. It worked! This makes me so happy. I am not that easily smitten girl anymore. I can see my feelings, feel them, and come clear with them. Not let them influence me like i used to. Keep my life on track.

I do look at people when i am outside. Sometimes man, mostly young man, take that the wrong way. They do approach me. It happened twice. I very politely and decidedly say no. No thank you. No i am not interested. Which works. I’m happy to say.

This week i have been tired. Not sure why. I am working towards something, which is sometimes clear, other times not. Right now, it is not clear at all. So i’m gonna leave this post for now. It didn’t turn out like i imagined. I wished for something glorious! Not today.

Have a good weekend. Salute!

Ooh, and enjoy the photographs. Made today. I like ’em. 🙂

Published on July 7, 2017 at 6:00 by

A walk early in the morning

This morning, Wednesday 5 July, i woke up around five. I did check my rss feeds, still a bit sleepy headed. Until around half past five i decided to get out of bed. I dressed up, sliced a piece of the courgette cake i baked yesterday and went out, towards the garden. The moment i passed the Pompenburg i searched for the sun, which at that moment was only halfway up the horizon. I stood there for a short bit, in the midst of the street. It was still quiet. Fifteen to six.

I sat in the garden and slowly munched the courgette cake away. Looking up to the sidewalk where some people were already walking by on their way to work. Still very much in their own minds. I thought about making a photo on the Luchtsingel from the sunrise. The sun was higher now, still a lovely view. I walked on further.

I did a round through the center. Through the Central Station, over the Schouwburgplein, through the Lijnbaan, over the Hoogstraat, the Meent, back home.

I had short chats with several people. One who was sitting in the Biergarten. A homeless person. He offered me a cigarette. Since i don’t smoke, i said no. A plumber was just getting out of his car and getting his work stuff. He didn’t want to go to work. Another homeless person asked me if i liked the flowers i was looking at on the Schouwburgplein. I did. But i like simple flowers better than those big exotic ones.

I looked around. The sun still low. People already working. Standing outside, looking up. Other people walking fast to the station. Still inside their heads.

And me? I was thinking. Thinking about my life over the past two and a half years. I am trying to change it. Make a turn. The garden work. Meeting people who try to live their lives in their own ways as much as possible. Not tied up in a rut.

I do worry about me sometimes. Of course. But there is this distance between me and the world. And this morning i was looking at the world from the distant viewpoint. Quiet in me. Looking out at it. Cleaning up a few little things i came across. The bunch of laughing gas capsules lying on the street, which i kicked to the side. A metal drinking can and a plastic bottle lying in the grass before the Central Station which i put in a waste bucket. Many other things i simply watched. The sale of the Bijenkorf. All these names in the display windows.

When i got back home, i got back in bed. I did fall asleep. Around ten i got out again. Made me some oatmeal porridge, looked at all the photos i had made during the walk and picked the ones i liked the best. Then i watched the Tour de France. Yay 🙂

2017-07-05-06.11.46
2017-07-05-06.12.14
2017-07-05-06.17.52
2017-07-05-06.18.27
2017-07-05-06.26.56
2017-07-05-06.28.05
2017-07-05-06.35.07
2017-07-05-06.48.02
2017-07-05-06.49.05
2017-07-05-06.50.53
2017-07-05-06.53.13
2017-07-05-06.57.29
2017-07-05-06.58.06
2017-07-05-07.03.25
Published on July 6, 2017 at 6:00 by

A talk in the garden

Today the weather turned from cloudy and a bit rainy this morning to a blue clear sky with the sun shining bright right now.

I enjoyed my time in the garden. Some weeding. The bit behind the raspberries. The corner bit. Lots of thistle, grasses and coltsfoot. Not too warm. The sun shining more and more during the afternoon.

Several talks. I liked them. One about the Dutch word eigenlijk, actually.

Another about me and my website. I was asked where the drive came from. I tried to be as honest as i possibly can. Which is hard. Because i have been hiding so many things deep inside over the years. Even for myself. I honestly believe i need to keep on going till the end. I can not play it safe. I can not put a bit on a alternative reality, to keep as a safe place for me to run to once everything goes wrong. I have to stay with this a full 100%. With nothing left to spare. No holding back.

Which is scary. Extremely scary. I honestly do not know what will happen. I need to keep it all in the air and see where it leads me.

I do know time is running out.

But also, timing is vital.

The sun sank lower and lower, and their hopes fell. It sank into a belt of reddened cloud and disappeared. The dwarves groaned, but still Bilbo stood almost without moving. The little moon was dipping to the horizon. Evening was coming on. Then suddenly when their hope was lowest a red ray of the sun escaped like a finger through a rent in the cloud. A gleam of light came straight through the opening into the bay and fell on the smooth rock-face. The old thrush, who had been watching from a high perch with beady eyes and head cocked on one side, gave a sudden trill. There was a loud attack. A flake of rock split from the wall and fell. A hole appeared suddenly about three feet from the ground. Quickly, trembling lest the chance should fade, the dwarves rushed to the rock and pushed-in vain.

“The key! The key!” cried Bilbo. “Where is Thorin?”

Thorin hurried up.

“The key!” shouted Bilbo. “The key that went with the map! Try it now while there is still time!”

Then Thorin stepped up and drew the key on its chain from round his neck. He put it to the hole. It fitted and it turned! Snap! The gleam went out, the sun sank, the moon was gone, and evening sprang into the sky.

Source: The Hobbit, or There and Back Again, J.R.R. Tolkien

I’ve read this story when i was around eleven twelve years old. The last light of this special Durin’s Day shows the keyhole. This story and the sequel, The Lord of the Rings, are a part of my life.

I’m using these stories dramatic timing to guide myself. I can not simply tell you what is in my mind. I do not know that, not yet. I’m slowly crawling up the mountain, each turn giving me a different perspective.

But, it is not like that. The truth is that i am using these metaphors, these mechanics, these stories to pull me through these uncharted areas.

I am getting closer. I can feel it in every bone in my body. In every dream i had.

Nearly there.

Thinning out the carrots makes a nice harvest
Nasturtium flower
Tomatoes
Plum tomatoes
A pear
Pumpkin flower
Almond
Apples
Blackberries
Julien!
Hilde
Julien once again
The working gear shed
The kitchen and greenhouse shed
Diamela eating some beetroot
Published on July 3, 2017 at 6:00 by

This is art

The thesis i wrote at the end of art school surfaced a few weeks ago. It has been lying on my desk since then. Sometimes i pick it up and browse through it. De Nieuwe Zakelijkheid. The New Professionalism. It’s main subject are the strategies used by several artists to deal with the continuous stream of criticism written by professional critics who try to fit the new art in the approved history of modern art. Jeff Koons, Gran Fury and the Guerilla Girls are the artists discussed.

Paradoxically, nothing more clearly reveals the logic of the functioning of the artistic field than the fate of these apparently radical attempts at subversion. Because they expose the art of the artistic creation to a mockery already annexed to the artistic tradition by Duchamp, they are immediately converted into artistic ‘acts’, recorded as such and thus consecrated and celebrated by the makers of taste. Art cannot reveal the truth about art without snatching it away again by turning the revelation in an artistic event.

Source: The end of art theory, Victor Burgin, 1986

The introduction gives a global overview of the development of art in the twentieth century. In Western Europe art used to make visual creations made in assignments by the church, royalty and merchant organizations and families. Photography, film and graphic design have taken over these functions of art. Art has settled in its diminished field of use and stated that its core feature is an essential lack of usefulness and applicability.

Ai Weiwei, 1957

I have written my thesis in 1991. Reading it back, it feels like there hasn’t changed that much. Of course, some things did. There is the internet. Digital photography. Wars. New young music artists. New writers. New television shows. Facebook. Twitter. Instagram. Snapchat.

But change? Real, profound change? I’m not so sure.

I started a job in September 1994. I thought about it for a weekend. Things weren’t going that well. I didn’t like the art world in Rotterdam. I didn’t like the talking and mingling. In that weekend i knew i was going for something new, something i didn’t know the end of. I said yes to the job.

After five years i was exhausted and decided to leave. I did get another job. By that time i was making work online. Started 1 July 1997, now twenty years ago. I love the immediacy of the medium. I love the techniques. Gifanimations. Photos. Little games. Flash! I loved it!

At some point i stopped getting inspired. Things weren’t going that well. I withdrew. I started playing World of Warcraft. I didn’t see any of my old friends for eight years or so. Towards the end i did see some eventually. A bit.

For two and three quarter years i have been working again, since October 2014. To me, it has been the greatest gift i could have ever given myself. I still remember sitting in the train going to the center of the Netherlands, looking around me at all the people sitting there, busy with their smartphones, reading a book or staring at the fields passing by outside. Sometimes a conversation started. Jaap with his Rubik’s Cube.

Now i’m here. Sitting in front of my computer, typing these words. Sounds from the outside drift in. A moped. Cars. The tram. People talking, making sounds. It is clouded. Summer.

I kept on learning my entire life. I finally found the courage to do things i had only dreamed of before. Giving away my drawings to Green Gartside is one of those things. Something i feel so happy with. It is hard to believe. But my life is not a stop or go story. Even the years i didn’t work, i was still learning. The years i tried, i failed, i stopped, i cried, all those years are special to me. This is my life.

This doesn’t make it more important to you. You, my dear reader. Each and everyone of us lives his or her own life. To each and everyone of us our experiences make our own life, our experiences are what shapes our believes, our hopes, our despairs. It is very difficult for each and everyone of us to make a link to someone else and share our believes, our hopes, our despairs.

This is art.

The photos with this post are artists. World famous artists. At the start of this post there is a famous work by Damien Hirst, For the Love of God, 2007. I truly admire this work. I truly admire Ai Weiwei. I’m a bit more apprehensive about Jeff Koons and Damien Hirst. But i do think their work says a lot about the world we live in today. Their work is important.

This website, ellenpronk.com, is this art?

My website, ellenpronk.com, is not a commodity. It only exists because i keep on working on it. Making a post five times a week. The work is hard to sell. It is hard to exhibit in a museum or art gallery.

To me, that doesn’t matter. What i want to do is to show you photos i made, photos i found, talk to you about the garden, about thoughts i have about the world. I don’t need to exhibit this work anywhere. It is already out there. Ready for you to visit.

This is my work. I don’t care what other people think. This is my work. It takes all my time. And i am not letting it go.

I do hope you will find something here which interests you. Something to lighten up your day. Something to make you smile. Something to make you think.

And yes, to me, this website, this blog, this is art.

Most definitely.

Published on June 30, 2017 at 6:00 by

My life

I have been writing about my life on this website. Most of them are in the category My Story. Some are about my work, some are about my dreams, some are about sex, my possible futures.

One is about my father.

Several are about my memories and more memories.

Two are about the contactsheets i made at art school.

One is about the Scritti Politti gig i went to last year, 5 February 2016.

Another post is about how i feel. Many others are as well. Me trying to be as honest as i can be. My dreams, again, and my fight with them.

Ultimately, an empty life. Which is true.

Ending up with the truth. For now anyway.

I have said it here before, i love this place.

I really do.

Published on June 28, 2017 at 6:00 by

The truth

The truth. These words mean so many different things to all different people. Here, i can only write about the one truth i’m familiar with. My truth.

The truth of my life. My life as i have been leading it for the past fifty three years. I have made many mistakes. I have learned from most of them. Some because i was told i had done a wrong thing. Others because i experienced doing something not quite right. I have also done some things right. I have been careful. I am sensitive, easily hurt, taken away by a thought. So yes, i have been careful. I will rather be alone then with people i feel uncomfortable with. I like to be on my own. Listening to music. Reading a book. Sitting at my balcony and stare up to the sky. Watch some television. I enjoy that.

I do like to think about the world. I don’t follow all the news, but i do like to keep up. There are many other things besides the news which tells you something about the state of the world. I am an optimistic person. But i do understand why some people fail to see the good side of the world.

I do think there is something wrong in the world. It is the people getting used to lies, untruths, deception. People becoming used to not trusting others. People saying something and meaning something else. Not even because they want to lie, it is because they don’t feel the difference. They assume this is how the world works. Saying something because it is your job, for instance. Saying something because you want other people to believe you. To get something back. Money. Power. Status.

In this Western Europe, in the Netherlands, this country i live in, i am falling through. I try to catch something to stop my fall, something to hold me up. I have only a few weeks left over. Not that i’m anticipating the worst then. I still have the value of my house, which i bought twenty two years ago. I can monetize that, of course. But it is not the way i want to go.

Yes.

I still want it. I still want to get famous. I still think i can keep up with the pressure put on you in that situation. Yes, i need friends. Most importantly, i need a boy friend. To keep me sane. To cuddle with. To love.

People around me, people who i have talked with, about this subject, tell me i’m crazy. It will never happen. Never. Two people have said that. Of the people who only think that and don’t tell me, i don’t know how many of those there are.

Everybody leads its own life. The life they know, they grew up in. The experiences they had, which shaped their world. I tried to fit in. For years. Desperately. Until i stopped.

So i have given up working. Or at least, given up looking for it. I won’t say no if somebody asks me to do something. But hardly anyone asks. I have said it last week, in the About post, this website, maintaining it, writing the posts for it, that is my work. Honestly. Five days a week. With at the most five weeks of holiday a year. I do need to find a way to make money with it, of course. I don’t want ads. I don’t have enough visitors for that anyway. So becoming famous would be a way.

I enjoy the conversations i have with the people in the garden. They are feisty. Most of the time people don’t agree with me. But it is fun. Enjoyable. And i do learn about things i don’t know enough about. Taxes. Anarchy. Weeds. Compost. Flowers. Worms. And so on. I love that.

But i want to stick to my story. The story of my life. Which isn’t finished yet. I have only been working in the garden for a year and two months. I do feel i need to bring something out in fruition. Something in me.

So this post is a part of that feeling. Me trying to bring something out. Not for someone else, but for me. Because i feel my life will not be complete without it.

The truth of my life. Simple words. As i am sitting here, listening to the sounds of neighbours, the noises of cars and trams on the streets, this truth does escape me often.

No, this is not the right time. Not yet. I don’t feel a thought in myself coming up. But i am still happy, thinking, feeling where i am.

Have a good weekend. Salute!

Published on June 23, 2017 at 6:00 by

A warm Sunday

A really hot Sunday. I did go to the garden, i did a bit of work, some weeding, picking red berries, but i also spend a lot of times sitting or lying on the couch in the shadow, talking with the other people. About Islam, the Koran, the bible – my add to the conversation – terrorism, countries and their dividing of violence and power. About Mars once more, i still objected to the thought of going there in 20 years or so, about artificial intelligence, to which i listened, i had some remarks in my mind, but didn’t speak them out.

Well.

I spend time this evening, since i’m home again, thinking. Thinking about the talks, about what i said, about what i felt, what i didn’t say. And also feeling that it isn’t the place to talk high and mighty. There is never a place to talk high and mighty, first of all. I hope i’m not the person to talk like that. But i should talk and join these conversations. But it is always hard, because people say things, and behind what they are saying are so many thoughts they don’t say, but which are still there.

And i’m still working on it. Working on what i want to say, what i want to express here. This place, all my own. This place where i feel free. This place where i can say anything i want. This place which i have made my own over the past two years and five months.

Earlier this evening i read an article The empty brain.

Worse still, even if we had the ability to take a snapshot of all of the brain’s 86 billion neurons and then to simulate the state of those neurons in a computer, that vast pattern would mean nothing outside the body of the brain that produced it. This is perhaps the most egregious way in which the information processing metaphor has distorted our thinking about human functioning. Whereas computers do store exact copies of data – copies that can persist unchanged for long periods of time, even if the power has been turned off – the brain maintains our intellect only as long as it remains alive. There is no on-off switch. Either the brain keeps functioning, or we disappear. What’s more, as the neurobiologist Steven Rose pointed out in The Future of the Brain (2005), a snapshot of the brain’s current state might also be meaningless unless we knew the entire life history of that brain’s owner – perhaps even about the social context in which he or she was raised.

We are not computers. We do not store information data in data banks. We do not access data banks.

We are human beings. We think in emotions, feelings.

I think in conversations with people i know, or complete strangers, or people i hardly know. I think in posts on this blog. I think in falling in love. I think in walking. I think in the sun shining, the rain falling.

When i think about my past, i think about the people who were my friends. I think about some moments which are standing out for me. The Saturday i made my drawings. The Tuesday after that when i bought Songs to Remember in the shop Haddock. I remember going through the records in that shop. A bit dark. I wasn’t looking for it, but i simply came across it. And i was excited, i remember that. I remember going on my bike back home, excited. And playing the record. Which i loved. I don’t know why i threw the I Ching when the Sweetest Girl came by. I was sitting on the floor, before a chair. And i didn’t believe it. No way. Of course not. That would be insane. Truly insane. But i never forgot about it. And i still don’t get it completely. I still wonder about it.

And i don’t think i ever talked about this with friends. I mentioned bits and pieces. But i never explained the whole thing. Which was engraved in my mind. I was hiding it away. Embarrassed. Ashamed.

And i tried to live on. I tried to make it work. And i always failed. I didn’t find a group of friends. I didn’t find the love of my life. I didn’t get children. I remember crying over that, ten years ago, something like that. It’s not that it is the one thing i really want. But i wouldn’t have said no either. But no. Nothing.

And i don’t get it. I know i did many things wrong. I made many mistakes. But don’t we all? And i did learn from every mistake i made. I’m trying so hard to get my life back together. And now my money is running out. I get emails from companies saying they cannot get money from my account, because it is empty. And i don’t fucking care. I’m not stopping. I am going forward. Absolutely.

Because what is my life worth if i stop? What if i go back to work? Nothing. Absolutely nothing. I’d rather die. Truthfully.

It is difficult.

Sorry, i’m sitting here in front of my computer trying to get myself together. Calm myself a bit.

Well, this is enough for a post, for now. Maybe i will add a bit more tomorrow. Not sure. I’m gonna leave it.

The last word isn’t said yet.

Published on June 19, 2017 at 6:00 by

Why?

Why is this world now as it is?

Why are we humans as we are?

We are born. A baby. In a family. We have luck. Or no luck at all. We grow up. We adjust. We respond. We think. We go to school. More thinking. We work. We like men or women. We like sex. We get children, if we are lucky. And so on.

And so on.

This is the super abridged generic version of a possible life. Nobody will recognize him- or herself in this version. We all have specific memories, specific moments standing out in our minds. Nothing generic about that. Extremely specific. Moments we will never forget.

We get born in a world already running. With people already living their lives, having opinions, having children, having loved ones. We do adjust to that life. We conform ourselves to this world, with its expectations. Little children can shout out on the streets, can laugh and play and climb walls. Adults are adjusted to this world. Most of them anyway.

That makes perfect sense. You live and learn. From a small child until you are an adult. Twenty five plus, so to say.

I lived my life like that. I did make some decisions other people might think are not smart. Like switching from university to art school. But i was happy with that. When i look back on that whole period i am happy i gave myself the chance to experience that feeling of freedom i had in art school. The feeling of making something i want. Not that i completely understood what i made, but it was good. For me. Then.

And then work. The first five years were tough. I worked hard. With people who i felt were more my family than co-workers. We made a music cd as a Christmas present. That was great! Until i was wiped out and simply couldn’t continue anymore.

Life’s pace got faster. Work got more boring. Friends left. Other friends came by. But less so. I was hiding within myself. Giving up.

I’m so happy that time is over. I’m so happy with my life as it is right now. I’m so happy i found the courage to look at me, my work, and make changes. I’m so happy i started ellenpronk.com. So happy i’m still doing this. So happy i’m working in the garden. Making new friends. So happy with the changes in myself.

I’m growing up. Becoming a true adult. It still takes all my conscious effort to be aware of what i feel and what i do. A conscious effort on how to respond to people around me. Respond to what people say to me. Sometimes i don’t agree with what they say. But it is alright. I know myself a bit better.

Money is an issue. But i’m so much happier with my life as it is right. I look back on the life i had a few years ago and it makes me sad. I have found the courage to do the things i had only dreamed of before. Like giving away my drawings a year ago. I’m still so happy i did that. So terribly happy.

So here i am. I do not know the why of my life. I only have the memories of its past. And the dreams of its future.

I hope this is enough. For me.

To keep on going.

To keep on living.

All by myself.

Published on June 16, 2017 at 6:00 by

About

My About page was the first text i wrote for this website, way back in the first days of February 2015. Two years and five months ago. It feels like ages. And also yesterday.

Since then i have been working regularly. Five updates a week, published at six in the morning. Which of course means i make the post the day before, giving myself a bit of time to let the post settle, reread it and make minor alterations, if i want to. I haven’t missed a post yet. I have given myself five weeks a year to not post anything. A vacation, so to speak. Last year i had two weeks off in summer. And both years i had a week off at Christmas and New Years Eve.

Publishing content on ellenpronk.com is my official work. Yes. I don’t get paid, but to me, that is a minor issue. This is what i want to do with my life. Talk about myself, my old work, my new work, the songs i sing for you, the clips i make, the articles and books i read, my walks, my gardening work. And more!

To me, this website is a coherent whole. All the content comes from me. I know every detail, every little thought, every change i made. Every doubt, every certainty, every post i was unhappy with later on. And every post i was happy with too.

To you, this website is a completely different experience. Most of you do not know me, do not know my history. Most of you do not know i have been to art school, do not know i went working a few years after doing my exams because i didn’t feel at home in the art world. Most of you don’t know i made my first page online 1 July 1997. Most of you don’t know how i made 640 presents on lfs.nl. How i loved flash in those days. So if you really want to see what i made then, you will need to install or update your flash plugin. Exactly what i just did myself. The following list is a selection of my favorite presents.

I did stop working on presents in 2006. I felt empty. For years i wanted to get back into it, i missed it so much. But i couldn’t. Until October 2014. I felt alive once again. I fell in love for a very short time. And i got back making presents on lfs.nl. I felt like i was hit with a sledgehammer. Truly.

This lasted for a couple of months. Until January 2015. Then i made a present called About. And i knew it was going to be the last present. I thought about it for a week. It felt right.

Straight after that i started to work on the design for a blog. I already had the url ellenpronk.com. I had used it for work and for the email. I had planned to make a work website on it, but i was never happy with the design. So i changed my plan and made it a personal website. Two weeks later, 9 February 2015, i published my first post Hello World! With an about page with a short introduction.

That is two years and five months ago, at the time of writing this on 12 June 2017.

Since then i am working hard. I started out with posts about my past work, on paper and online. Walks i made in and around Rotterdam. Clips i made using my iPhone 4. Songs i finally found the courage for to sing. More than fifty today. And a year ago i started to work in the garden. Getting to know new people. Because yes, i still was very lonely. I know i had given up fighting to keep my friends. I was hiding away in World of Warcraft, playing, having fun and raiding my life away. Making game friends. But yes, hiding away.

I tried to get my life back, to get my friends back. It worked, a bit. I had some meetings, some talks. But the lives of my old friends had moved on. They had children. Other jobs. Other things had happened of which i didn’t know anything. So i still felt lonely.

My post yesterday, Friends from the garden, is the first post in the category Friends. I had set up this category when i made the design and set-up of this website. And somehow i wasn’t able to fill this up. I tried, in the beginning. But it didn’t work. And last week, when i made the draft for yesterday’s post, i selected the friends category just like that. It felt right.

So here i am. Working on this website, ellenpronk.com. Which i love. The most important thing in my life. Absolutely. My work.

I hope you will enjoy visiting my thoughts, my mind, my face, my work, my story, my garden work, my friends, my walks. My clips, my songs, my presents, my food, my beauty.

You may feel lost at times. Not understand why i made something. That is ok. I don’t understand everything i made either.

Five updates a week. Published at six in the morning. That is my rule.

Bon Voyage


My clips

My songs – This can be painful, i am still learning!

Published on June 13, 2017 at 6:00 by