Categories for My story

Cupid & Psyche 85

Today, the day i write this post, it is thirty years ago that Cupid & Psyche 85 by Scritti Politti was released.

10 June 1985

I completely missed this release. I didn’t even know Scritti Politti. I vaguely remember an interview from 1982 in the Dutch magazine Vinyl. I just didn’t buy the record Songs to Remember then. I was happy listening to Prince, 23 Skidoo. I was getting more into dance music, away from the experimental music i used to listen to, like Captain Beefheart, the Residents and other bands i have forgotten about.

A month later i stayed in a house in Rotterdam centre for a month, taking care of the cats of friends while they were away on holiday. The guy was dj’ing in his spare time, he had loads of music. He had made tapes with hip hop which i loved! And yes, he had bought Cupid & Psyche as well.

I remember one warm day where i was lying on the floor, the sun shining through the window. Listening to this music. I simply couldn’t resist. I did play other music during that time, yes. But most of the time it was scritti on the record player. I even told the DJ that i should get him a new copy of the record once they were back. I thought i had played the record grey!

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I tried to write about my fascination for this music, for the lyrics. For how the music made me feel. The happiness it exudes. I did write a paper about scritti on art school. When i was done i wasn’t happy with it. I couldn’t explain my feelings. I couldn’t put this record in an art historical context. The teacher Jeroen Chabot talked with me about this paper over dinner. It was a great evening, but it didn’t make me much wiser.

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Many people write about the music. Marco Raaphorst wrote a post today about Cupid & Psyche. He is a musician, a soundmaker. This article on Wales Arts Review does say a bit more about the big change from post punk to the polished sophisticated mainstream pop music.

Even the intro of ‘Wood Beez (Pray like Aretha Franklin)’ represented a huge leap forward in confidence: sledgehammer drums, keyboard stabs and bursts of white noise; a synth bass and precision-engineered hi-hat part; and a guitar riff that owes more to Shalamar than any of the post-punk bands Scritti Politti were usually bracketed with. And this was all in the first sixty seconds.

To me it felt like a giant plaything which simply bursts out of its box with joy.

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I did look at the packaging. When i made a post of my most favourite album covers, this one wasn’t part of it. I was thinking of adding a scritti cover, but i didn’t know which one. So i left it out.

I actually bought another Cupid & Psyche a few years later. I gave it away as a birthday present to a friend. I regretted doing that so many times! It had the US version of Perfect Way on it. And, i’m not sure about this, but i do remember gold letters on the cover. If it had, i simply can not believe i gave it away. Grrr!

I do like this cover. But it is weird to me. It’s not what i would have designed myself. This is a design where many thoughts have gone into. And it does work well. But my work is very different. I have learned this over the years. One of the reasons i do like blogging is the daily stream of little thoughts. They do add over time. This is very different from making music. Many details, lots of work, months, maybe years of thinking, making decisions. Blogging comes down to the same details, but its all out in the open, plainly visible. With faults, days off, mistakes. All clearly visible. In the archives 🙂

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Later this evening i will play the album. The old vinyl yes. Well, if my record player still works that is. I haven’t used it for years. But its still standing in my front room. Right now i have the youtube playlist embedded at the end of this post on with all the songs of the album. It’s been a long time since i heard the entire album.

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Over the years i have tried to pick my favourite song of my favourite album. The last couple of years i settled on The Word Girl. I love all the songs, but this one does make me feel extra happy. Absolute of course too! And ooh.. A Little Knowledge! But that song is saved for my funeral. 🙂

Listen to the entire album on this youtube playlist. Enjoy!

Published on June 11, 2015 at 6:00 by

Love

Love. It is very hard for me to say anything sensible about love. I do think it has been mostly missing from my life. But, there are many different versions of love. Family, friends.

I have love from my family. It’s old. It has its place.

I’m not sure i have love from my friends. I’m also not sure i have love for my friends. It was hard for me to realize that it was so easy to leave my friends behind. I didn’t contact them. They didn’t contact me. For years. Their lives kept on growing. They got children. My life stopped a bit. I made some friends in World of Warcraft, but that is limited in scale, usually. I got to know some people i like. But friends? Not really.

I did get back in touch with my friends the past months. Part of me wants to get back with them, but another part wants to stay alone. I’m not angry. No. The hurt is gone, mostly. It’s more a memory. Some friends do leave more painful memories than others. I do see my own faults, feelings i am not proud of. Those feelings have faded away, bit by bit. I do think i finally am capable of thinking about a relation, feel what i feel, and not act straightaway. Not run towards somebody and ask for forgiveness. Not run and try to make things better. Now! I am finally able to leave something behind. To see it is not right, to accept that. And see if there is a given time in the future to talk about it reasonable. Or not.

A day like yesterday, a happy day. I felt so happy. When i walked outside, i was so focused on everything i saw. The houses, the shops, the people. The sky, the trees, the green, the wind, the sun. I’ve had these days before. These feelings. But not sure it was as vehement as this.

I’m not screaming though. I’m quiet. I don’t see if other people feel the same way as i do. I do try to look most people in the eyes. Most people simply walk past me, not looking. Some do look. Some say hi. Some smile. I still walk on the little curb i made a post about. So few people watch me do that. In all those months, only one person smiled and said something about me. That is it. But that is living in a big city. In western Europe. It’s cold.

When i visited and old friend a few weeks ago, i said that i want to stay my separate self in a relationship. I don’t want to change. I still live my own life, try to do as best as i can. But yes, i still would like to find my boyfriend. I’m not sure how i mean that. I do think there are few people in the world i could really fall in love with. Have sex with. Yay! I’m not thinking there is only one person around for me. But, i would like it to be somebody who is cautious with himself.

When i think back about my past I do see a development. I do see myself learning all the time. Trying, failing, crying, laughing, enjoying, feeling sad, working, trying. And my final years, being alone.

I still feel like i may fail terribly. I’m nowhere near perfect. I am this person, living here in Rotterdam, with very few friends. I desperately would like a little bit of happiness. But it is very hard to find it.

It is hard to let go of the fantasies. I am trying. Today, i felt myself thinking more reasonable, straight forward. It does make me feel sad. But i didn’t cry.

It is very hard for me to be truthful. Here on this blog, in this post. I hope i can be it for you a bit. I mean, i am doing my best.

My mind is too full of feelings and i do think i am rambling on too much.

But still. Still trying.

Published on June 5, 2015 at 6:00 by

Memories

My earliest memory came back to me in a dream. Around my twenties i dreamed i was crawling on a short stairs with maybe 2 steps. It was warm. I felt the warmth in my hands which were resting on the steps. I felt the warm stones beneath my fingers. My mother was sitting in front of me. She pointed to somebody behind me. My father. He was standing there with a camera in front of his face. He clicked. I had the photo. Somehow i lost it. I searched for it quite a few times. I still hope it’s somewhere in a book or a notebook. Somewhere hidden. I do love this memory. I can still feel the warm stones. I was like a year, a year and half old.

When i walked to the kindergarten, i was scared by the door with a message on it and a drawing of a skull. I think it was black and yellow. I remember walking around it.

When i was six i got a cold. I was only a few weeks at school. I remember my mum going out on the balcony. I was standing in the kitchen looking out. My mum told me not to get outside. That evening it got worse. We didn’t have a phone, so someone went to the neighbours and made a call to the doctor from there. I had pneumonia and croup. I was carried outside, going down the stairs. The ambulance was driving fast with the siren on. Red lights seemed to spin around me.

In hospital i did say to the nurse that i didn’t like carrots. She still gave them to me. I threw up. Mushed orange carrots on a pale blue blanket.

I loved my teacher in the fourth and fifth class of the lower school, meester van der Staay. I was 9 – 11 years old. One day i dislocated my ankle in a school break. He carried me upstairs.

In the first class of high school, one day, a friend was hit in front of my house. I walked with her to school. But halfway, when i realised i was going to be too late, i went on my bike and let her walk alone. I shouldn’t have done that. A teacher said so to me in front of the class. Everybody hated me. It seemed.

I think in the final year of high school, one day, the first spring day, me and a couple of friends went outside to the park and walked in the sunshine. When we got back, we were called by the dean. When we said where we had went and why, he couldn’t hold back a smile.

After my exams, i went on a holiday with a good friend and her family. We were going with the train. We went to Italy, in the north part close to the Alps. Aosta was the town close to where we camped. The day we left, i called her on the telephone. She didn’t answer. I got in a panic and walked up to her house. As it turned out, i was calling the wrong number. Stupid me. The whole time we were hardly talking, until one evening we had a huge fight. I left the next day, or the day after. Afterwards she gave me the photos with me on it. I never saw her again.

When i studied at the Technical University one day in spring i went to ‘t Platenmanneke in Delft. I listened to Tracey Thorn’s then new album Plain Sailing. For the most part i had my eyes closed. When i bought the album, the person behind the counter looked at me. Like she or he might have looked at me while i was listening. I was swept away by that record. I still love it.

The first year at art school, in the first weeks, we got an assignment to go outside and, i’m not sure, but i think draw. It was in September, late summer. The sun was shining through hazy thin clouds. The light was warm golden. The trees had lost their freshness and were turning yellowish a bit. And the smell! I smelled it again later on in that same period. I cannot describe the smell in words. It’s too subtle. For me anyway. I felt so happy.

In 94, while i was working temporarily at a printer, i knew they were looking for another DTP person. I didn’t think about myself. At all. But one day i was working there, and they were guiding this person around who was applying. I remember thinking then “He doesn’t fit here at all!”. And then i thought “I might! If i would just say something?”. It dawned on me i could simply get the job if i wanted it. I had to think. I knew it would mean i would leave behind art. It would be my first real job. So i took it. The next five years were hard work. The hardest of my life. It was also a lot of fun. I actually did sing at work. Chatted with my colleagues. Some of whom were friends. It did wear me out. After five years, i couldn’t keep on going anymore. But those five years will always be a special memory.

It does seem to me memories in later periods of my life have grown less. I do think it also has to do with me working on lfs.nl. On that site i mostly make things, i talk about music and memories and such. Also, the things i made are connected with my dreams a lot. So to me it feels like my dreams are already out there, like for instance Dancing Queen.

The past eight months are really special. They still are. I do know i’m closing in on the end period. I’m still not sure what i will be doing with my life. I am in for a change.

*hugs*

Added monday 14:00

My first volunteer job at the Rotterdam Film Festival, i think in 1992. It was a Saturday morning. It was so crowded! In the newspapers there were photos of the cues! I worked at the Lumiere cinema check out. A small round glass building with i think 4 or 5 check outs. I tried not to look at the people in front of me. I was happy there was glass between us and the rows and rows of people in front of us. It was mad! At one point i think i simply felt i needed a bit of break, not sure. But i did turn around and looked at the check out person sitting there. She stood up, took my place and told me to go outside for a bit and get some rest. I cried. I did go outside and stood against the door and took some deep breaths and tried to regain a bit of control of myself. Than i went back inside and started working again.

The farewell party from my job at the printer. I never said it’s name! It’s Tripiti, in the centre of Rotterdam, the area called Cool. I always enjoyed that name. It’s also the name of the main central road of Rotterdam, where the city hall is situated, the Coolsingel. You don’t say it like you are doing in English. It’s pronounced as ‘coal’. But, getting back to the memory, my farewell party. A client helped with making the snacks. We bought a shiny disco ball to hang up high above the printers. My friends came, Pieter and Rens from 75B were there. Jelle van der Hijden was there, Femke and Martine. Jeroen en Han. And i got way too drunk! I actually at one point sat outside and threw up. They put me in a cab and sent me home. But it was glorious!

Published on June 1, 2015 at 6:00 by

My diaries 1973 – 1987

I’ve kept a diary for the most part of my life. My first page is when i was nine years old, 1973. The last page was 2006. The last nine years of my life i didn’t keep one.

In this post i show you some pages from my diaries up until 1987. The first page is from my oldest one. I photographed this page before for Homebase, a project from 1998, but so much smaller, it was hardly readable.

The next pages are from my diaries i kept from 1985 until 1987. I wrote a lot during that time. Multiple times a day sometimes. It’s bewildering reading those diaries now, in 2015. It’s so much, so many thoughts, crazy, wild, messy. I was desperate trying to find some peace, some rest. In those days, i couldn’t find it.

I didn’t read the diaries very thoroughly. Part of why i want to show them is the look. The handwriting. Some drawings, doodles in the sidelines. And i did use the I Ching a lot in those days.

I do feel a lot quieter now. More peaceful. And happier! The past nine years have worked out good for me. Even though my thoughts are still racing, it’s not racing in circles. My thoughts are still changing daily, moving forward.

Like today, my initial thought was to write about February 11 1986. I was going through my diaries to look up what i wrote. It is in this post. But i decided that, since i had already written about that day, i would show you the pages themselves. And some more.

I did translate some sentences in the captions. But it’s too much to translate. Still, enjoy!

Edit May 22 17:15 – I am translating the pages now, adding it to the captions.

Read more…

Published on May 22, 2015 at 6:00 by

My father

Saturday i made a new post with the title ‘Love’. I did plan to write that post. And in my mind, towards the end of that post, my family, my father would come into the post.

That post ‘Love’ is still here, waiting to be filled. Today i made a new post, this one. My father. I don’t think i ever wrote about him on lfs.nl. I don’t talk about him a lot. Only with my family, very rarely.

I haven’t seen my father for around 27 years. He does still live. I know my mother will hear it once he has passed away. Some pension thing. He is 85 now.

When i moved out of the house i am born in, where i grew up for the first 21 years of my life, my mother decided to divorce. I did agree with her. I do remember, when i was 14 years old, saying to my sister that i didn’t understand why my mother stayed with him. There was no love. No contact. No joy. So, it wasn’t a big surprise that after i left the house, the last daughter to leave, my mother left too.

In our house, my father wasn’t a big presence. He worked, he slept a while after dinner, always too long. He sat in the kitchen when he woke up, smoked cigarettes. He was hardly there. Me and my mum were in the living room, watching tv, chatting.

I do think it was difficult for my father. He had three daughters, all intelligent, outspoken. Not afraid to speak up to him. He might have tried to make it work, but i don’t remember. I don’t remember any real interest of him. No questions. No hugs. Nothing. Ever.

I did try to keep in touch with him. I remember coming at his birthday. I rang the doorbell. A face with eyes wide open surrounded by foam from douche gel appeared for the little window in the door. I was the only one there. Later on a friend came by, which was a relief to me.

He did call me. Sometimes he talked, other times he didn’t say a word. I knew it was him. I could hear the water bubbling from the aquarium, close to the phone.

He refused to fill in the forms for my study allowance. The parental contribution would be set to maximum, if there was no information given. I talked to the dean at art school. She said the only solution for me was to get two signatures from people and a signature from my father himself, to get me uncoupled from my father.

The dean gave me one signature. I went to my family doctor and asked for his signature. I had to explain to him it wasn’t a judgement on my father, but a judgement on the relationship i had with him. So he gave me a signature too.

I don’t remember talking to my father. I know i went there. I don’t know if he yelled or just said no. I simply wiped that talk from my memory. I know i got into the house of our neighbours. I do remember the wife getting angry and telling me to leave the papers with her. She would take care of it. And she did.

I do clearly remember the last contact i had with my father. He called me up. I don’t know if this was after or before the signature talk. But, he called me up. He asked me if i wanted to let my blood be taken and be checked. Because he didn’t believe i was his daughter. I responded very calmly. Sure. If that was what he wanted, i would let my blood be checked. No problem.

There was no argument. We had a simple talk over the phone, like two mature people.

It wasn’t a simple talk though. And we were not two mature people.

That was the last bit i ever heard of him. I received no more phone calls from him. This must have been 1988. 27 years ago.

My feelings of hurt, of anger have diminished over the years. I hardly think about him anymore. I do sometimes wonder if maybe i would like to see him once more. But no. Our ending was final. I do feel rejected, yes. He is still my father. But all the usual feelings a child has towards his parent have faded away.

I really do pity him. He had a row with my middle sister, a day after she had her first child. She was still lying in the hospital. He didn’t even look at his first grandchild. The other three grandchildren he never saw. He never saw his three children again. All the things which make a life full with pleasure, he pushed away.

I do not write this piece asking for pity myself. Each life has its own pains and sorrows. You simply need to deal with it, go through it as good as you can. I did spend time yesterday and today thinking about this article. I even cried a bit. Some memories do still hurt. Or maybe they hurt more now.

This is an old pain though. Not too present in my life now, more a faint memory.

Tomorrow i’ll write a new post. I don’t know what that will be about.

Make a good day!

Published on May 11, 2015 at 6:00 by

School diaries

A couple of years ago i cleaned up my diaries collection. The last ten or twenty years i used a refillable one, up until i finally got a smartphone. I threw away all the fills. There was nothing of interest in it. But my old school diaries i couldn’t throw away. Especially the two which i photographed for this post, the ones from 78/79 and 79/80. The pages of these diaries are filled with pictures of pretty girls, stories and most of all, music!

You can actually see the shift in my taste. Up until 78 my taste was very much influenced by my elder sister. She is eight and a half years older than me. So Steely Dan, Little Feat, the Eagles, Crosby, Stills Nash and Young, J.J. Cale, Stevie Wonder and so many others were coming out of her world. Over the years, Steely Dan has come back into focus and is now one of my favourite bands of all time, but the other bands didn’t fare that well.

The first band that got my attention, fired me up, with bells and ringlets and triangles was the Nina Hagen Band. She performed on a Dutch show from Sonja Barend and i was totally in love!

Other new bands from this time were Gruppo Sportivo, Elvis Costello and yes, of course the Police.

Enjoy!

Read more…

Published on May 5, 2015 at 6:00 by

A woman

Being a woman is a given to me. It is not a property which i question. I am actually quite happy being a woman. I love my own body. I know i should loose a couple of kilo’s. Well, let’s say ten, or well, twenty. But i am not that bothered by it. Not anymore.

In the last talk i had in the company i worked at last year, my boss there said to me:

You’re such a woman!
Je bent zo’n vrouw!

To which i replied

You are so right!
Daar heb je helemaal gelijk mee!

There was also a bit of an eye movement going upwards. A bit of a sigh. At least that is how i remember that moment. This was towards the end of the talk.

After this talk, i walked a floor up and asked the team i had promised to do some work for if they really needed me. When they said no, i said i was going home that day, or rather, in few hours or so. I went back to my workplace, went out for lunch to get a bit more quiet, got back and turned of my computer and brought it to the service desk. I then gave the remaining moo cards to my then present colleagues and exchanged phone numbers. I then walked down to the cafeteria. I told the barista that i was leaving. He did react surprised. He actually got a bit more angry than me. But it was ok.

He gave me some coffee. After a few minutes my boss came in. We had a short talk, i don’t even remember what was said. Then i saw the scrummaster of my team. I went up to him, shook his hand, told him i would be at the farewell lunch the next week, and said goodbye. With my boss i walked to the reception, i gave my key and left the building.

I know it was a mess. This has never happened to me before. But i also felt that this was enough. I could see an upcoming fight to try to get things a bit more right. I wasn’t sure i would succeed at it. But i felt the road ahead was closed to me, partly by my own actions and feelings. So i left. Relieved.

The expression my boss had when he said to me ‘you are such a woman’ was mostly one of exasperation. Which to me meant that i wasn’t supposed to act like a woman. I was supposed to act like a man? Like a child? Like a hermaphrodite? Like something neutral?

I’m not even sure what behaviour of me caused that remark. But the remark is still with me. I still think about it. I’m still puzzled by it.

Today i read two articles about Joris Luyendijk and his book about the London City people working at banks and making millions: Dit kan niet waar zijn: onder bankiers (This cannot be true: with bankers), which he wrote after interviewing many of them for The Guardian. The first article was in the Dutch paper Trouw: Het amorele systeem waarin wij leven. Joris speaks about this travels through the Netherlands and the speeches he gives. People keep telling him: it’s not like that only in London City, it’s here too. There is no inherent value anymore in our work, it’s all measurable targets, figures, efficiency.

Joris: ‘Morality has become suspect. There is only one thing which gets moralized about and that is that we can not moralize anymore. But the absence of a talk about who we want to be leads to a shattering.’

The next article was in the Dutch paper NRC (you need to get a initial subscription and read Dutch): Bankiers leven in een amoreel universum.

Joris: ‘The biggest compliment in the world of the amoral shareholder value is calling someone ‘professional’. It means that you keep your emotions outside of work, including moral convictions. Those are for the home environment.’

Being called a woman by a man or a woman means, for me, being called emotional. Being called a person who feels. Being called unprofessional.

I do not consider myself unprofessional. I do enjoy delivering quality in my work. I do enjoy thinking along and together with the customer. But there have only been a handful of customers who appreciated that from me, in the twenty years i’ve been working. Most simply want me to do what they ask from me. Even if what they want is so wrong for them.

As i said before, this post does not end in a definite answer to last for eternity. I’m thinking. And talking to you, the person who reads this. I do have so many questions, about the world, about the people, about us leading our lives, with fear and uncertainty and love and friendship and loneliness.

I wish you many thoughts. Enjoy.

Published on April 30, 2015 at 6:00 by

The world and the people

There are many more people who do know more than me about this world and the people, the animals and the plants living on it. You just follow facebook, twitter, the news to get links to the places where they talk. I just discovered ideas.ted.com, no videos, but articles. Earlier this week i wrote about Brain Pickings, a site i only know for a couple of months. Earlier this week i found Undernews through a twitter link by Jorn Barger.

It is deafening.

The uproar earlier this week about fugitives drowning in the Mediterranean. They flee from their countries in ramshackle boats paid for by their hard earned money. They flee from war, terror, sickness, cruelty. They flee to us, Europeans. This still rather safe haven in the world. Where we have spring. With yellow green leaves opening up towards the sunshine. With purple bluebells in big patches growing between the roads. With yellow daffodils waving in the wind.

hallerbos20070421
Natural bluebells flowering in the Hallerbos south of Brussels. Photography: Denzil

This week i watched part of a program about Alaska on Discovery. A family was flown back to where they lived in the north western part of Alaska, the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR). They had a short talk about the government wishing to get to the oils in the earth there. I had never heard of this issue.

There are so many things to worry about. IS, the USA, people who don’t believe in global warming, Chinese and other Asian countries fumes spreading out, old people in the Netherlands getting less taken care of, escargots being put into another snails shell, the EU wanting to destroy the boats fugitives might get into to get into Europe, the war in the Ukraine, a pilot killing himself by diving down a flying plain from Spain to Germany, the financial crisis in 2008 and its after effects, bee families suddenly dying and not helping us anymore for fertilizing crops, TTIP giving companies the ability to actually charge governments when they make rules minimizing their chance for making a profit.

It is deafening.

I do not know how to proceed with my life. I can only follow my heart. My heart that still dreams.

My dreams are not very complicated. I just don’t have the husband, children and friends who will make the dreams go away. Which is what happens to most people. Their lifes take over.

My dream still is to join Scritti Politti. As a singer. I used to be in love with Green. I’m not anymore, not since he got married. But i love the music and the lyrics. And i would love to live in London once again. And have friends there. And i would love to travel a bit more, see the world, meet new people, talk with all different sorts of people. People who work on making this world a better place. To actually write about them on this blog. Because yes, this blog will stay with me.

It is hilarious, preposterous. Crazy. But i actually do fantasize about Scritti doing a gig in Rotterdam on the big market square where i get interviewed by Matthijs van Nieuwkerk before. And then i feed my newborn baby, walk on the stage and say ‘Hi Rotterdam!’. And then we start to perform a great gig, which is getting recorded and broadcasted all over the world, or well, youtube. And then we get so famous, so rich. And then we set the whole world right. Everybody wants to rule the world. And then i ask Joss Whedon to think of a clip he can make for us. And he does! Because he has a bit more time now he stops doing the big Marvel movies. So yay!

Crazy.

The baby is very unlikely. The interview by Matthijs too. The gig on the big square, hmm.. bit far of too! Joss Whedon… pffff. These are all things i simply would love to happen. But i’m still sitting at home.

There is one thing though which is a bit more plausible, which could happen.

The past months, since the sledgehammer moment, i’ve been thinking about these drawings i made, in 1986.

about-verse

I gave these drawings away, twice. First time i gave them to Iris, who was my friend when i made these. She is actually on the first drawing. The girl dancing with the yellow hat. After a time she gave these drawings back to me. Maybe because, if i remember correctly, i was looking at the drawings a lot when i was at her home.

The second time i gave them to Femke. She gave them back too. I don’t remember what she said. But i have the feeling she felt it was too much.

After that i kept these drawings. I actually almost forgot about them. Until the sledgehammer moment. I got them out of the cupboard. I made a photo of the seventh card, which has only text on it, which is the last part of the song A little knowledge by Scritti Politti.

I always felt that i shouldn’t keep these drawings. I was actually thinking of giving them to Green in 2006. I talked about this idea with friends, who advised against it. I do think they were right, then.

Now, I actually would like to give these drawings to Green.

No strings attached. Well, apart from my crazy dreams, but hey!

This could go many ways. First, of course, is that nothing will happen. Which seems most likely to be honest. But i hope not. And there are of course a million other ways this could go. Yes, i have thought about this too! For many many years. And its scary. Yes. But i do feel i gotta do this. To sort of liberate myself? Maybe? And i know i could let it go. Which is what i said two days ago. No i won’t write. No no nononono. I have my pride. I’m not gonna do this.

But every dream i have comes to this point. And i can’t get around it. I always get stuck. I change things, twist them, but it always happens. And i don’t know why.

I’ll miss my drawings. But i do think they will go to a good home.

Hopefully.

Published on April 24, 2015 at 6:00 by

Thinking

My head was spinning around all over the place today.

First i thought i’m gonna write Green! Then i sort of stepped back, thinking hmm.. no i won’t. I might send it to Rhodri first. And then i .. hmm.. i don’t remember! But no, i won’t write anything.

This evening i suddenly became so angry! I thought i don’t want to live this life! I don’t wanna have a mortgage. I don’t wanna have insurances. I don’t wanna pay all these silly things like VAT, like taxes. Take it away! Which is silly. Well, i still don’t want to be here and grow old quietly and obediently. I don’t want to get sick and be left all by myself and be taken care of by uninterested young people. I don’t! I wanna have friends and a family. I want to have a warmness around me. I don’t even know if warmness is a word. But i don’t care! Fuck!

FUCK!

Last saturday evening i spend with an old friend. She asked me on facebook. We ate something simple. We drank three bottles of wine. One of which was a Reichsrat von Buhl Pfalz Riesling Sekt Brut 2012 – not entirely sure this was the one, but it’s close! – , which i bought and took there with me. One of my favourite bubbly wines ever. We talked about many many things. Also about my dreams. And about love. And sex. And men. And age. And children. Her two almost mature boys. A fun night. And my following sunday a bit hungover. But still good.

And now i’m a bit more quiet.

I’m reading Brain Pickings a lot lately. I love it. Today there was a new post, The Art of Stumbling: David Brooks on Character, “Résumé Virtues” vs. “Eulogy Virtues,” and the Humility Code of Living a Meaningful Life. In this article was a reference to an earlier article about Joss Whedon’s commencement address. Which was wonderful too! I will quote a piece here, but there are many more quotes which i could have picked.

This contradiction, and this tension … it never goes away. And if you think that achieving something, if you think that solving something, if you think a career or a relationship will quiet that voice, it will not. If you think that happiness means total peace, you will never be happy. Peace comes from the acceptance of the part of you that can never be at peace. It will always be in conflict. If you accept that, everything gets a lot better.

And a quote from the David Brooks article.

We are all stumblers, and the beauty and meaning of life are in the stumbling — in recognizing the stumbling and trying to become more graceful as the years go by.

The stumbler scuffs through life, a little off balance here and there, sometimes lurching, sometimes falling to her knees. But the stumbler faces her imperfect nature, her mistakes and weaknesses, with unvarnished honesty, with the opposite of squeamishness. She is sometimes ashamed of the perversities in her nature — the selfishness, the self-deceit, the occasional desire to put lower loves above higher ones.

But humility offers self-understanding. When we acknowledge that we screw up, and feel the gravity of our limitations, we find ourselves challenged and stretched with a serious foe to overcome and transcend.

The stumbler is made whole by this struggle.

It’s like, i have read these sort of words before. I have read psychology books, filosophy books, literature. I have also read many science fiction, fantasy, romantic books. I read Tolkien. I love young adult books: Harry Potter, His Dark Materials, Tonke Dragt books. I’m not sure why words from Brain Pickings now hit me so many times.

It does have something to do with that sledge hammer feeling i had in October 2014. Since then i feel more alive. And i do remember the first half of 2014, in which i felt so empty. So silent. I don’t think i even cried then. But i do remember thinking then, that i couldn’t see a life worth living. That i would rather die. Well, not straight away. When my cats have died. Not with any seriousness. But i did feel hopeless.

So now i’m here, in 2015. There are so many things i dream of, it’s like almost too many. There are so many things i want. It’s hard. But, it’s also just in my mind. Outwardly i’m quiet, friendly. I chat to people in shops. I smile. I actually do enjoy that. That’s true! I bought some kibbeling (fried cod fish) today at the market. I sat in front of the markthal and ate it slowly. And looked at all the people passing by. Just watching them. Some quiet, others loud. Little children. Old people. Young people. Why am i looking now, and why wasn’t i looking a year ago?

This post will not have a big final. It will not point to a grand solution. I’m not saying my life is just beginning. It started 51 years ago. I can see my whole path towards this point in time. Some parts i have forgotten, some parts have stayed with me.

I’m not sure where i will end up. Where i will live. Where i will work. I still have hopes for myself. Wishes. Wants. Needs.

I’m tired. I will go to bed. Hopefully for a good night’s sleep.

See you tomorrow 🙂

Published on April 22, 2015 at 6:00 by

My futures

The night between last saturday and sunday i was lying awake thinking. Thinking about choosing between a private life and a public life. At one point i got out of bed and took the I Ching out of the bookcase and started reading it. I was looking for the line about that same choice. Which just happened to be in the first hexagram of the book.

I Ching Hexagram 1 – Ch’ien / The Creative
Nine in the fourth place means: Wavering flight over the depths. No blame.

A place of transition has been reached, and free choice can enter in. A twofold possibility is presented to the great man: he can soar to the heights and play an important part in the world, or he can withdraw into solitude and develop himself. He can go the way of the hero or that of the holy sage who seeks seclusion. There is no general law of his being. If the individual acts consistently and is true to himself, he will find the way that is appropriate for him. This way is right for him and without blame.

A part of me wants to shout out and go and bang and dance. Another part wants to stay quiet and think and observe.

The past months have been sort of crazy in my mind. I had many many daydreams, all different kinds. I did feel happy most of the time, but i also felt sad, hurt even. It usually stayed in me house. The walks… i love the walks. Going outside, looking around, watching the trees and shrubs and houses and roads and birds and people. A time out. Sometimes it felt hard going back inside once again.

These few months mean something for me. It’s six months ago since i had that sledge hammer feeling. Since then i am on this journey. A tightrope. One step at a time. I remember writing the about present on lfs.nl. The sudden realization that it was the last page of lfs.nl. This wasn’t me thinking rational. I just.. knew.

At the time i didn’t know i would start blogging on ellenpronk.com in a few weeks time. But that is what i did. After a week of designing, working out the categories, the layout i was. The domain i already registered a couple of years ago. I never got around of setting it up as a work website. I had tried. But i thought of a better way of using it.

My life has been very solitary so far. On the whole i didn’t mind that much. I enjoy my own company. But i would like to have friends. I would like to cook for more people. More people than just me. I would like to laugh a bit more. Talk some more.

I do listen to music a lot these days. I actually do sing along too. I like that. But it doesn’t fill the void.

I know the private life. I have lived it for the past thirty years. It’s difficult and hard work. There is peace and quiet. And loneliness.

So, if i have to make a choice, i’d rather choose a public life. It will be equally hard work, it will be equally difficult. But it is also filled with friends. I will not have complete freedom in choosing the things i do. But on the whole, i think i will be happier. A bit messier too. But that’s alright.

Ooh, in both scenario’s i will continue with ellenpronk.com. Of course. It’s what i do. I love this place. Truly.

Published on April 15, 2015 at 6:00 by