Categories for Column

The whole wide world

Tuesday i went to the market and the library. In the library i read the papers. When i walked back home i met a friend. The next couple of hours we spend talking about all sorts of things: sex, our livelihood, friends, conflicts, people we both know.

The day before i had a talk with my current house boss. It was a good talk, he was clear minded and well spoken. He called me fatalistic, waiting for an accident sure to happen soon. I do not agree with him, but i do see his point.

I am getting closer to taking a new direction in my life. My money is running out. It is difficult to describe my feelings to other people. What do i really really want to do with my life? What matters the most to me? What sort of job would i like to work in? What makes my life worth living?

What would i enjoy doing? Singing! I know i’m not terribly good at it, but i love it. Dancing! I love to dance! I love to make videos, but content is hard to reach the past years. I love to talk. Plenty of things i love to do. But it is all not significant to other people. That is not a job they say. That is simply something you enjoy doing! But why should a job be different from the things you enjoy doing?

Yesterday evening i felt a happiness which filled me up right to the top. How come, while i have only enough money to last me a month or two. Am i crazy? Deluded?

I am alone. This gives me pros and cons. I do not need to give attention to anyone. I don’t get attention myself.

I am not the most beautiful woman in the world. I am not the smartest. I am not the most skilled woman. I may be an artist, i am not sure. I may be a singer, a dancer, a talker. I don’t know.

I am determined. I am not letting go. I do not give up.

‘The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.’
Laozi

This step was taken a long time ago.


Source photo: Tao van Poeh, Benjamin Hoff

Published on May 20, 2022 at 6:00 by

Me and the world

It is difficult to keep my head straight. Get a job! Make some money! The past few weeks i’ve been caving in. Almost.

I’m sitting in the cellar. Right now i do the washing of my clothes in a bucket. I never thought things would become like this. I have some friends. One of them lets me stay in his house for free. A good friend.

I gotta keep my head straight. I gotta stay on track. I can not let go. Even though i sometimes wish i could. Get back to the safety of having money, having a house, having things to do i enjoy, giving dinners sometimes. Do not worry. Things are ok.

Things are not ok. I do worry.

It is so easy to forget the troubles of the world in this northwest corner of Europe. The changes in market values by sector state that coal, oil, fertilizers and weapons have shot up in value since the Ukrainian – Russian war began. 1 Is this world all about money? Is it?

Having money equals having power. Having money makes it able for someone to do things. To set up shop. To make things and sell them. Anything you want. Having money makes it possible for you to buy things. Clothes. All the food you desire. Computers. Smartphones. Kitchens. A new house. Anything you want.

I try to stay clear of buying anything i want. I do buy food. I could use some new underwear, but money is tight. I sometimes visit websites where they sell clothes and dream away. I will buy a new dress once i get a bit more cash. Yeah 🙂

I don’t feel alone. Weird of me to say. Because i am alone. We all are alone. We get lonelier by the minute. I feel i need to let go of something. Something that is close to me. My own individuation? My own feeling of myself? My own me?

I wonder what part i will play in the worlds play. Of course i do not know if i ever will. I am watching this world drama unfold, with all different people playing their part in it. I am curious about it. How it would feel, to be part of that story.


1. Source: Who’s Cashing in on the War in Ukraine? Fossil Fuel Firms and Agricultural Traders

Published on May 13, 2022 at 6:00 by

The End of Time

In previous scrapped versions of this post i have written about being covered by a soothing mind-numbing blanket, about left and right politics, about the child benefits scandal, about a conversation with voices from different angles.

I went back to the first question i wrote for this post: ‘why do i make life so difficult for myself?’

I had cut this question. No. There are more important things to talk about.

But for me this is an important question. There was no need. I could have kept working. I could have stayed in my house. I could have rented out a room. My life could have been so much easier. Carefree.

But no, i have burned all the bridges behind me. No way back. No way forward. Yet.

I think back about the beginning of this process. I was going slightly mad at the job i had at the time. I left soon after. After eight years of silence i started working again on lfs.nl in October 2014. The About present marked the end for lfs.nl. That was it.

January 27, 2015.

On February 9, 2015 at 0:00 i published my first post on ellenpronk.com. The About page came online at the same time.

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.

Source About – Published 12 June 2017

This website is my work. I don’t get paid for it. I don’t get the attention i want. Beforehand i thought it would be easier to earn a bit of money with making these posts, each day a new one. It is not easy at all. But it is my work, undeniably.

So here i am at the end of time, sitting in front of my computer, typing away. One part of me is thinking back about the first page i ever published online on 1 July 1997.

I am not sure how these pages will develop, i don’t know how frequent the updates will be. It might be less than i anticipate at this moment. Maybe, when you read this somewhere in the future, you will know more than i do now. Maybe than, where there is nothing now, there will be something for you to discover.

Source jump to the left – jump to the right – one step forward – one step back – twist and repeat – Published 1 July 1997

This is the story of my life. This is the story of me. These choices i have made all by myself. I was happy to work in the garden for five years. I was happy to get to know people who felt sidestepped in this crazy world and with whom i could sit in a communal garden and sing songs and eat food we all brought. We made a story of growing food in the midst of Rotterdam for everyone to see who walked by over the sidewalk at the end of the garden.

But time moves on relentlessly. I am trying to build a life worth living in this world with all its hidden nooks and crannies. It is difficult and hard. Often i have feelings of failing and of sinking back into this mire. But this is me. This is my own handpicked life. I stand by it.

I will start looking for work. I don’t know what sort of work will come my way. But i will take it. I hope. 🙂 I will continue working on ellenpronk.com. I don’t know what i am going to make or write or draw or photograph. As ever.

After these weeks of difficult posts, i’m giving myself a well deserved break. I will see you once again Monday 9 May 2022.

PS. Ooh, i made a new patreon page at patreon.com/ellenpronk. You are welcome to visit.

Published on April 29, 2022 at 6:00 by

Life is messy

It is my own desire for safety which confounds me. Safety, security, a shield against all the dangerous things the world hurls at you. Don’t let it touch! Be invincible, invulnerable.

I am scared of the future. As i should be, of course. I do not know what the future will bring. That makes me come alive with all sorts of defenses against all sorts of dangers coming my way. But what dangers? What defenses?

I don’t know.

I live now, not in the future where all these troubles lurk. Of course, i can cross over the street and be run over by a car. I can fall down a stair and drop to my death. Anything can happen.

I don’t know.

Another part of me revels in dreaming up idolized persons. I will fall in love. Someone else will fall in love with me. I will become famous. Legendary even.

But i don’t know.

I think i know many things. The books i have read, the walks i have made, the dances i danced away, the songs i have sung, the earth i worked in, the drawings i made, the photographs i made. Not all terribly good. Still a work i feel proud of. But do i know these things? Do i really?

And then there is me.

A growing older woman in her late fifties, with grey hair, slightly overweight. That is what i look like from the outside. The inside is a mixture of emotions, some scared, some hopeful. My heart is pounding inside of me.

What am i? Who is this i i am speaking of here? What does it all mean? Is there some meaning? Anywhere?

I do not know.

Published on April 22, 2022 at 6:00 by

In love

Life is confusing. There are the multitudes of things you are able to become aware of. There are the books, the movies, videos you are able to see and hear. There is the music in which you may loose yourself. There is the entire world filled with stuff. There are the other people. All strangers.

The past few years i met some men i liked. It was quickly over. But it was worthwhile. I learned to be more independent. I learned to be more thoughtful. I became more grown up.

I am alone. I don’t mind that. I do wish for being loved and loving someone else. But i am not sure how that would feel. Deep at night, my mind wanders. I am only human. I am a multitude of likes and dislikes. Most change over time. Some things are hidden deep inside of me. Some hardly even surface here, on this website, which is my place, the centre of my being. So it feels.

I write this post and categorize it in Column. Only a year ago i wrote the first post for this category, Contagious. I enjoy writing, rewriting and deleting text. I enjoy drawing, singing, photographing, writing about cooking, about the world and its highlights and atrocities, about myself and my idiosyncrasies.

This post is difficult to write. I deleted whole paragraphs. I copied and pasted text in completely different order. And that while this post was so clear to me during the beginning of the week. I will write it i thought. I will let it all come out of me. Yes! Today it is hard. It seems like i have forgotten it all. But i feel happy with what i have written so far. It wasn’t what i thought about earlier, but it is worthwhile. To me anyway.

And here in my life right now it is peaceful. The sun is shining. In the backyard of the house there is a blossoming tree. Birds are singing.

I am stronger than i thought. Keep it up!

Published on April 15, 2022 at 6:00 by

Believe

The leaf buds on the trees are slowly opening up. Some trees have flowers first. The almond trees in the Peace Garden. Cherry blossom. Magnolia. Some of them are already out of blossom. A light wash of green covers most trees right now. A bit of white or pink of upcoming flowers. Some trees are still bare.

I do my utmost best to remain tranquil. Right now i feel calm. Peaceful. But at the edge of my consciousness is anxiousness. Sometimes it comes to the front. Usually at night, before i fall asleep. And i feel the beating of my heart. Almost pounding. I do believe in myself though. With all my heart.

It can be so easy to let it go, to conform myself to the most common way of living. Safety first. Insurance of course. But my life is getting less far-sighted.

I do worry sometimes. I am trying to break that unsettling habit. I don’t want to look ahead in my life and see what will be occupying me then. To be honest, i don’t think that is possible. Our looking ahead simply projects our life into the future, but many accidents and changes occur during our life’s progress we are not aware of.

The COVID pandemic from the last two years, the Russian – Ukrainian war going on right now and all the changes that brings along with it show that life is unpredictable to the core.

Where will i be in three weeks time? I don’t know.

Truth be told i do not know.

Published on April 8, 2022 at 6:00 by

The harvest market and walking and more

Last Saturday i went to the market, like i do all Saturdays. It was cold, around 5ºC. I like to look around at the people and the children and the dogs. I don’t talk that much at the market. I enjoy listening. I left the market earlier than usual.

I went out this morning and walked to the Essenburgpark. I looked at all the people i walked by on my way over there. Smiling, saying hi to one or two. My head was still full of what i had just read in the book Ultimate Questions. I was wondering what the people i met on the streets were thinking of. I had no idea. I smiled at the people whose eye i caught.

In the park i sat on a bench for around fifteen minutes. I listened to the birds singing their happy song. Even though it was cold, spring is definitely setting in. I saw some people letting out their dog.

I walked to the supermarket. I was thinking of this post while walking. I only remember half of it. Strange how i seem to forget what i thought.

On the street where i live i came across a lady with a lovely dog. The dog looked me in the eye. He was pulling the leash. The lady let go of him and he ran towards me, jumping up at me. So happy! He was so cute. Or she, i don’t know.

Once inside the house i made some tea. I watched Buitenhof. Most was about the Ukraine – Russian war. Terrible what i saw about the ordinary civilians of suburbs of Kyiv lying dead on the streets where they used to live.

It is a strange time. As always.

Published on April 4, 2022 at 6:00 by

Mad as hell

Over the past few weeks i have been lying awake during the night. My mind is worried. Worried about my money running out slowly but surely. The past day i thought about applying for a temporary job. That is not what i want, but it might seem to be the only real way out for me. Because i don’t want to live dependent on the friends i have.

At the same time i want to bump into that money limit. It is a completely imaginary way of almost dying, disappearing from life. That is what appeals to me. I don’t want to go back to working and making a living and dying in some place unremarkable with no history and nothing to show for my life. But, on the other hand, i can imagine my life being quiet and unremarkable and about learning to control my inner urges, which of course i do have. A restful life.

Why do i need to pick a side? Why can’t i simply live my life as i see fit? Well, the world and the people are not that fair. You need to fight for what you want. I have had it easy so far. So buckle up and take it as it comes to you, miss Pronk.

I have been hiding. I crept away. I was satisfied working here on this website with no clear goal.

And of course i am mad as hell. It is no use though. If i want something, fight for it!

Published on March 4, 2022 at 6:00 by

More quiet now

I do enjoy the quiet. The past few days, since the day the war between Russia and Ukraine started, i was very much into twitter, youtube and even television. I watched the news, strangely for me.

I love the quiet, the solitude, the silence. The cars are far away, mostly i hear the birds singing their song lately. Early spring singing. It is my basis. Of course this doesn’t mean i can not handle any upheaval or confusion in my life. I know i can.

Published on March 3, 2022 at 6:00 by

Quiet and angry

With the war going on between the Ukraine and Russia, i’m in between feeling angry and quiet. Angry with the world, with the way things are developing. Quiet because that is me. Of course now is not the time to be quiet. I want to yell. Scream. But no, i am not. Not yet anyway.

This is a confusing time. The war between Russia and the Ukraine goes against anything i can imagine. The deaths, the destruction, the fleeing of people, it is all so devastating. My mind tries to understand something of Putin, but this is too farfetched. Even when reading about people like Dugin – see my post of yesterday – it is alien to me.

I think back on the previous wars: the Iraq war, the war in North-West Pakistan, the war in Yemen, the war in Lebanon, the war in Somalia, the war in Georgia, the Boko Harum uprising, the Syrian civil war. This is just a selection of the wars in the world from 2003 till the present day. Three quarters of these wars i had never even heard about. I live here in the Netherlands feeling safe and protected.

In between the ongoing assault of the war news is a frightening message from the IPCC: “This report is a dire warning about the consequences of inaction”. We are at the edge of counter measures against the climate change. Only for around ten years will measures we take have an effect.

Part of me rejects reading this message on the news website and on twitter. As i do all other messages i read which aren’t about the war. Something i have to fight within myself. The current war is a problem, of course, but there are so many other problems going on in the world right now.

And yet, to me this world seems to be going on and on. Wars, floods, fires, volcano eruptions, it all keeps on happening. There are only moments of peace and tranquility. It seems.

I do want to find rest within myself. And at times i find it. To loose it all once again. Like i did the last few days.

I stand still and straight.

Salute!

Published on March 2, 2022 at 6:00 by