Categories for My story
I am feeling better, slowly. Happier. Cheerful. More daring. Like the dancing back home last week. Something i might have thought about earlier, but never did.
I’m not there yet. Not yet at the end. Still growing, developing, learning. Making mistakes, sure.
Like last Friday in the garden, i went home with an uncomfortable feeling. I wasn’t sure about the end, where everybody was asked to help move a couple of wooden banks. Heavy! I didn’t like it. But i still went along and tried to help as much as i can. But at the end i had a short talk with the one person asking us, telling her i could have left if i wanted to.
Also on Friday i had a talk with some other people. I was extreme, saying things i’m not even sure i believe in.
This Sunday i had a second talk about moving the wooden banks. I think it went better. I could say clearly why i am at the garden, working, photographing, sitting, talking. And no, i am not the hardest worker. I do love to be there, being outside my house, being in nature in the center of Rotterdam.
A second talk was with the person i had the extreme talk with. I apologized. Said i was thinking about many things, questioning many things people say as if it is normal. Which i don’t think it is. But i don’t want to convert anyone, i don’t want to push anyone in my way of thinking.
Other things i’m puzzled by, sort of happy with. The girl that came by two weeks ago. What she said near the end. She was there ‘for a bit’, ‘eventjes’. A couple of times that word popped up. I still think about it. Why was she saying it? To not commit? While nobody was asking her to. But maybe she felt something. Still, it was nice she was there for a couple of hours and worked with us. But it keeps singing in my mind, trying to figure out why she used those words.
So many things to think about.
I an reading The Philosophy of the I Ching by Carol K. Anthony once again. I do enjoy it. It gets its message across clear to me. I still don’t believe in God, but there is a lot more in this book besides that.
Modesty refers to an awareness of that which is higher than ourself – we respect the unknown and recognize the insufficiency of our inferior powers. It means we are determined to be led rather than to lead, that we will flow with events rather than resist them, and that we will remain unstructured in mind rather than defend ourself with fixed ideas. It means that we maintain a certain humility so that we protect our dignity as a sacred trust, and do not sacrifice our higher nature for the sake of our lower nature. This sort of modesty, founded on a continuing conscientiousness, accords with our true, original nature.
Source: The Philosophy of the I Ching, Carol K. Anthony – Download
Today i will sell my house. At 11.15 i have an appointment at the solicitor.
This is a mixed bag of emotions. One part of me is sad. I will loose ownership of the house i have lived in for the past twenty two years with pleasure. I can remain living here for the next two years, but after that i do need to move out and find another place to live. Two years is nice, but it’s not that long really.
Another part of me is happy. Over the years i have accumulated a decent amount of overvalue. I will get this money at my disposal. I can use this money to live of for the next four to five years.
I will treat myself a bit over the next weeks. My computers are getting old. The newest one is my laptop from 2011. I will upgrade my iPad, my iMac, my iPhone. I will also buy myself a decent camera. I will show you once i get them, together with my thoughts on why these specific items. It will bring new content to ellenpronk.com.
I am fully trusting myself in this. Yes, there is hurt. But also freedom. To make my life my own. To make this place work. To make myself work. More.
In a week’s time i will sell my house. I admit, i feel sad about it. I will remain here for the next two years, so that does soften the blow a bit. I will get some money, from which i can live for the next four or five years.
It is a mixed bag. For now, i feel happy. I will get some new computer stuff. I will keep on working. And two years does feel like a awful long time. I am hoping things will change in that time for me. I will work hard for that.
For now, i will keep on posting as long as i have internet at home. It could be i’m out of it the next few days. Next week it’ll be back on. I do feel tired. But be sure, i will not give up.
With love, Ellen
A tumultuous year. The greenhouse in the garden burned down. My money was disappearing fast. I decided to sell my house. My computer broke down. For a moment i thought about to stop working on this website.
Friends helped out. In January 2018 i will sell my house. I will keep on living here for two years for a low rent. I have given myself more time to think. More time to work.
I will upgrade my computers. My iPad first generation with iOS 5 will lie peacefully in its box. I will buy a iPad Pro 12.9″ with a pen. Looking forward to making drawings with that. Most likely i will also buy a new desktop, at the moment i’m thinking a 21″. Not sure yet though. I will sell my MacBook Pro 17″ for sure. My 27″ i don’t know yet, the hard drive is broke right now. I might just give it away as it is right now.
And i will buy a watercolour set and a small watercolour book. It’s been years ago since i last drew with watercolour. I hope i can find a good way to use it. Drawing in the garden of course!
And some new clothes. Tank tops, leggings, underpants, bra’s. A new dress!
So yes, forward it is.
Next week i’m having a break. My next post will be on Monday the first of January 2018.
Enjoy the last week of 2017.
I’m not sure why i feel the way i do right now. I have said it the past days, a couple of times. I had this sledgehammer moment three years ago. Since then i feel i need to work. Work hard. On this website. Here.
I don’t earn any money through it. Not right now. Does this justify me selling my house? Wouldn’t it be much better to stay on living here, in the center of Rotterdam. Have a job besides it? For two or three days a week? What is so bad about that? Nothing. Right?
Still, i refuse. I keep on going. I did give in a week and a half ago. But i’m back. Why? Why am i not giving up? Why am i prepared to go all the way?
I am intelligent. My school reports are an early proof. I have also made countless stupid mistakes. It took me years to find a proper education after high school. And even art school wasn’t all i imagined. But, one of the best things i ever did was making things online. I enjoy the technology. I enjoyed the immediacy. One update and it is online. Great! Other than that, i was careful. But still, many mistakes.
I am honest. After the chess game i played this Monday, my opponent, who had won – of course – told me he liked my way of playing. An honest game, he told me. A true compliment. If i don’t feel any space to talk, i am usually quiet. Here on ellenpronk.com i can be blatantly honest. Sex being one of the examples of that. I do enjoy talking with people. People i don’t know, people i do know, friends, acquaintances. Most people talk about themselves. I don’t mind that. Everybody has a story to tell. And sometimes i do talk about myself. Of course.
I have perseverance. I don’t give up easily. Not when something really matters. Not that i know beforehand what i’m gonna do. Right now, fifty three years old, when i look back on my life, i can see it. I’m like a dog biting something it doesn’t want to let go. Grrrr. I can leave something aside for a while. For years. But to this day, i found a possibility to get back to it. When i gave my drawings to Green Gartside two years ago. I was so nervous. But prepared. The right dress. I had written about it a year before here in The world and the people. The one thing i did in my life which makes me so happy. It took me thirty years to get ready to do it. I don’t even know why this makes me so happy. I don’t know if he appreciates the drawings. I hope so. I truly do.
When i got back home after that, there was nobody asking me about it. I did feel a bit sad about that. It made me realize that i am still alone. I didn’t cry over it. But it was sobering. Only half a year after it i talked about it with a friend. I had posted the story to the scritti facebook group, people responded there. But it wasn’t the same as talking with friends about it.
I am single. Everyone is single. We try to forget. We work, eat, sleep. We talk, shop, look at facebook, smile at silly jokes. But we remain single. Always. Even in sex, the ultimate togetherness, we still stay single. If you are lucky, there is love. Tenderness. Whispered thoughts. Gazing in each other eyes. But we still remain single.
Together we have made this world. With all the people who have lived and left a footprint. This world as it is now. With fugitives, hunger, poverty, war, hurricanes. I am lucky. I live in western Europe, in one of the wealthiest countries in the world. The Netherlands.
I know many people trying to do good. Thinking about their lives, the stuff they use, they buy. Working in the garden, eating the veggies they let grow themselves. People playing chess, talking, thinking. Together.
I want to keep things simple. That is not a thought from me. I read that in the 80s in an interview with Scritti Politti. I thought about it then, it struck a chord. But i didn’t really get it. It is different now. When i look at the switch i made between lfs.nl and ellenpronk.com, i can see it. There was more freedom in lfs.nl, i cold pick any time of posting i wanted. Days of not posting, followed by days of posting. I am happy i found a proper ending for it. Even after eight years of silence. And the thrill of starting ellenpronk.com. A proper schedule, a wider set of content. The walks, looking back on my past, the cooking. It all fitted in there.
Simplicity. Trying to talk about my life, what drives me, what i see around me. As best as i can. As some people around me say, a diary. Sure.
To me it is far more than a diary. Some posts i write here are created here. I wouldn’t have these thoughts if i didn’t write my posts. This website creates me, as i do create this website.
My mum calls me up once or twice a week. The last months i always say the same thing to her. I’m good. Fine. Excellent even. It is true. I do feel good. Happy. Smiling. I don’t sleep very good, sure. But it is not because i’m worrying that much at night. No, i think about sex. Not sure where that is coming from, but hey, it is not a bad thing.
My life right now feels a lot more windy than before. Before, when i had regular work, when i didn’t need to worry about money, where i was having fun playing World of Warcraft, my life was quiet. Silent. Now it is a lot noisier.
This is my choice. It is dangerous. More things can go wrong. But with all the risks there are also chances things can go right.
The last months i fell down a couple of times. In the Tuin op de Hofbogen, on a wet day, the wooden board was so slippery i fell down. I was lying still for a short time. I had to gather my thoughts. But there was no blood, nothing too severe was hurt. The second time was when we were building the compost bin. The boards were set up, but not yet fixed. I bent over to get a waste bag. And a pallet fell over straight on my head. I felt a bit dizzy. I was a bit mixed up. No blood. Lucky. Yesterday i fell again. I was so careful, but at the end, walking home, i slipped. Still no major hurt. I don’t feel anything wrong with my body today. Lucky.
There are many different worlds. The world of sport. Of fashion. Of make-up. Of beauty. Of movies. Of music. Of literature. Of books. Of shopping. Of advertisement. Of politics. Of money.
Dreams are present everywhere. In songs. In books. Fantasy. Science fiction. Fiction. I am a good listener. I picked up many dreams in my life. They still are present. Not dreams i made up myself, dreams floating around in the world. Hard, impossible even to get rid of. Not that i really want to get rid of them. There is a huge amount of pleasure in dreaming away.
Still, i do need to go on with my life. Make some kind of decision. An action. I am not stupid.
Think think think Ellen. Turn and look. It is so close. Do not dream away now.
So i let things get to me. Not minor things, big things. My house. My family. My friends. I stopped posting. First of all, because my hosting payment is up in a week and i can not pay it. Second, because right now there are a few things happening in my life which do take my full attention.
During the last week i did change my mind. First, because a friend offered to pay for my hosting. A big thank you! Huge relief. Second, because i’m not done yet. There are still things on my mind. Quite a few i expressed in the talks i had this week. All of them were difficult. Talks in which i tried to express my thoughts. Some talks went better than others. And all left me with many thoughts to think. To feel. To see. In some i expressed some of my deepest dreams. Which felt ludicrous once i expressed them. Like, feeling that is not true. Childish. I dealt with that years ago. From the start. Sure. But still.
I’m not sure why i continue with this. All common sense tells me it is time to find a way to make money. So maybe i can keep my house. Because i know it is a downhill path i’m treading on. Best thing is to keep my house, make a small income so i can pay my monthly costs and buy some food.
I am not done yet. There are still thoughts inside me which i need to write down. Dreams which i need to talk about. Childish they may seem, but they are my dreams. I simply can not stop now. Now, when the solution seems to me around the corner. I still am not sure what this will read like, look like, sound like exactly. But it is so close. So terribly close.
So against all advice, i will keep on trying to show something here. Against all odds, i will keep on going.
Today, Sunday, i saw a double rainbow in the sky.
Today, the people in the garden worked hard.
On the herbal spiral.
On filling up the dug out paths with wood chips.
On painting the shed.
And i played ball with a young boy. Charming. 🙂
This is it. The end.
The thought came upon me earlier this week. Tuesday. I cried. I didn’t want to do this. But yes. I am gonna finish working on ellenpronk.com. For several reasons. First, i don’t have the money to pay for the hosting. So this place will be up and running only for a couple of weeks more. Second, my house will be sold. Next week the real estate agent will come by. I’m lucky in that sense. My house will not be auctioned, but sold regularly. Which hopefully leaves me with enough money to last me three or four years.
This is difficult. But i will be fine. I will still post photos on instagram, post updates on facebook, talk a bit on twitter. I won’t be gone. But this place will be finished. Also, because i feel i have done here what i set out to do. Thinking. Working. Looking. Writing. I found a few things i really like. Singing, yes. Filming, yes. So i have gained an awful lot.
Ending this blog does hurt a bit. I’ve said here multiple times how much i love to work here. Each day was a different day. Some very unexpected, others not that much. But all together the past three years felt amazing.
I’m not sure why i’m ending this now. Well, apart from the practical reasons i mentioned. Also, i do want to stay in control, not feel overwhelmed by what is happening. Compared to what happens to other people, my life still is quiet and not very exiting.
The final page i will give you is the chronological page, with every post i made here linked on it. Enjoy!
I will leave you with what to me is still the best i made here, the video clips.
Finally, as a wave goodbye, one of my favorite songs, Let it go.
Let it go
The snow glows white on the mountain tonight
Not a footprint to be seen
A kingdom of isolation,
And it looks like I’m the queen.
The wind is howling like this swirling storm inside
Couldn’t keep it in, heaven knows I tried!
Don’t let them in, don’t let them see
Be the good girl you always have to be
Conceal, don’t feel, don’t let them know
Well, now they know!
Let it go, let it go
Can’t hold it back anymore
Let it go, let it go
Turn away and slam the door!
I don’t care
What they’re going to say
Let the storm rage on,
The cold never bothered me anyway!
It’s funny how some distance
Makes everything seem small
And the fears that once controlled me
Can’t get to me at all!
It’s time to see what I can do
To test the limits and break through
No right, no wrong, no rules for me I’m free!
Let it go, let it go
I am one with the wind and sky
Let it go, let it go
You’ll never see me cry!
Here I stand
And here I’ll stay
Let the storm rage on!
My power flurries through the air into the ground
My soul is spiraling in frozen fractals all around
And one thought crystallizes like an icy blast
I’m never going back,
The past is in the past!
Let it go, let it go
And I’ll rise like the break of dawn
Let it go, let it go
That perfect girl is gone!
Here I stand
In the light of day
Let the storm rage on,
The cold never bothered me anyway!
Goodbye for now,
With love, Ellen
One thought came up, after i published Now, three weeks ago. One area i missed, one area most people have experienced.
Falling in love. Having sex, together. Drowning in each other. Kissing. Fully. Feeling the warmth of a human body close to you. Inside you. The beating of another heart close to yours. The breath of this person caressing your body. The tenderness of lightly touching this persons cheeks, his hair, his arms. Melting away.
I did only have proper sex with one other person. I wasn’t really in love with him. I liked him. Still, when we broke up, it hurt me. Confused me. I remember thinking that i should be more careful next time. Not knowing it would be at least twenty four years away.
The past three years i was in and out of love. One time somebody i met. Other times someone completely out of reach. As i said a few weeks ago, i like to attract and keep my distance at the same time.
Before, in my quiet period, between 2007 and 2014, sex was almost nonexistant. Sometimes i masturbated, but only once every month or so. It felt almost like i had to. Like imwas reaching for something out of reach. Wanting the desire back, but not knowing how. Then the past three years, it almost felt like it was too much.
It has slowed down a little. And it was still something i did all on my own. My dreams have changed over time. In the beginning it was all very far away. My own needs and desires were what drove me. My own needs and desires are still very important to me, sure. But there is another party involved. Quiet. Yes. But getting closer. More real. To me anyway.
Now. This moment in time, impossible to grasp. It is gone the moment you take it. In love, this moment stretches out to infinity. In love, this moment gives the ultimate presence.
Initially now seems a simple concept. Most people understand what it means. Now. This very moment. The time you are reading this. This. Point. Here.
And it is gone. Part of the past. There is another now. So hard to grasp. Hard to keep a hold on. Impossible.
For children their experience of now comes easy. Their past is so small, their future out of their reach. So they live in this now. And time stretches out for this feeling of an everlasting present. When they play outside, with their friends. Building a treehouse, or running through a field filled with weeds and grasses, playing hide and seek. Running around trees with friends. Laughing.
This is something we forget when we grow older. The joy of now. The joy of being in this world. With all its details and hidden corners and pleasures.
This is something i forgot.
Most people grow up. Grow older, learn to behave, fall in love, fall out of love, fall in love again, make children, watch their children grow up. Enjoy life with them. Watch their children experience life as they had, when they were young.
Now seems to be in a different country. This country we live in, with its insurances, its pensions, its tight schedules, its working weeks and time-off weekends, this country is a firm advocate of the future. The past is behind it. A time long gone. Ten years ago. Twenty. Fifty. A hundred. A thousand years ago. Another world. This past is old. Old fashioned. Dated. Not belonging to our new world. With its smartphones, its self opening doors, its fast driving cars, trains, its high flying airplanes. With us. Here. In this now we live in. All the time.
I like making photographs. Many posts on this site show you my photos. Some good, some simply a document of a time gone past. This click. And it stands. This current now. This current constellation of things existing in this precise situation. Seen from one angle, one viewpoint.
My first memory ever is one in which i am photographed by my father. My mother pointing to something behind me, i turn around and click, a photo is made. I can still feel the warmth of the stones below my hands. One year and a couple of months old. A memory which came back to me in a dream. And yes, the photo exists. Somewhere. I lost it.
Many people make photos. On holidays. On festivities. With family. With children. Catching the now. Catching our world as it is now.
To remember what you saw. What you experienced. Lived through. To share with the people who are not there to live through the same moment. To show on facebook or instagram or snapchat or twitter. To show the world your life.
This week, on Tuesday, i was making photos of the harvest in the garden on the Hofbogen. Yorinde asked me to make a photo of her sitting behind the harvest. After that i asked her the same thing, to make a photo of me behind the harvest. Wednesday morning i posted this photo on facebook. There were 32 likes. Some even thought the photo was great. And yes, i enjoyed this. For me, this is quite a lot of people. It feels good to be seen by my friends and to be liked.
This now we all live on, this ever present top of the wave of time we can not fall down from, this encompasses each and everyone of us. We are all living in the same moment. Some young, some in the strength of their lives, some old, some sick, some demented. The past is gone. Whoosh. The future is not here yet. The future is what we dream about, what we think about, what we wish for, what we work at. But our present is here, to feel. With all our hands and feet and eyes and mouth and ears. To be here now. To feel we are here.
So easy to forget. So easy to live your life in this humdrum monotony of years passing by. To watch the seasons flowing by. To watch the weeks pass you by. To watch television and movies and read books and disappear in them. Of course.
It is hard to live in the present.
I am not sure about my own life. About the things i do. I know i love the things i do. Working in the gardens. Posting here on this website. Cooking. Walking. Thinking. Living.
This is not art. Even though i did go to art school. Even though some posts here are about the work i made then, about the work i used to make on lfs.nl. This is part of my life. A part i desperately love.
The last three posts had the date as title. Wednesday 4 October 2017. Tuesday 3 October 2017. Monday 2 October 2017. I didn’t plan to do these three days like this. But halfway through the week i knew this was what i was going to do. Not a present. Not a now, but a looking back. One day in the past. And this post is the end of it. Not here with me, not here in my now. But with you. In your now. Wherever you are. At what time you’re in right now. Your time. Your now.
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