Categories for Column

A short conversation

Today i sat on a bench with a newspaper i had just been given for free ready to read a bit before i had to go to the practitioners assistant for my diabetes appointment. A man stood still in front of me and said something about Jesus and the Lord. We started a short conversation. I did not agree with him. He told me he once had an experience in a time filled with doubts, that he knelt in his dark room and saw Jesus standing in front of him. He saw the marks on his hands. He gave himself over to him.

Just before i had to go, he told me he would pray for me, wish me luck in a barren time. Something like that.

Thank you!

But i still don’t agree with you.

Published on June 9, 2021 at 6:00 by

This world

I am living in this world. Our world. I hear the cars driving by outside. I feel the warmth of the air, in late spring. The sound of people talking, the music they listen to while they walk by.

There is also the image of our world shaped by the news, entertainment, books, politics, economics, business. Shaped by people standing on the shoulders of other people. That seems another world. Bigger. More complicated. Different from my own world.

It is difficult for me to get these two worlds together. My own private experience of this world. The image of another world so difficult its almost unimaginable. But i know they are the same.

There is only one world. Each person living on this world experiences it different. Each person lives its own life in this world. Past experiences shape what people expect to happen. We all come into this world with our own web of relationships knitting the fabric of this world together.

It is difficult for me to think of what to write here. I hope i get through this.

Published on June 3, 2021 at 6:00 by

Not wanting

I have been thinking about not wanting anything over the years. Difficult. Impossible it seems to me at times. Conflicting thoughts run through my mind occasionally. What do i want? Money? Freedom? The world? Fame?

Almost impossible it seems to me. And, do i really want any of those things? I’m still not sure.

I would like to sing with more confidence. It does seem to me i’m getting closer to sounding like myself more. But still on my own most of the time. Expressing myself more clearly. Yes. But still scared. Aah. Not being scared of other people. Simply being myself, expressing myself, smiling, being happy. Singing, dancing. And sometimes being quiet, looking out at the world, thinking about the world. That is something i want. Being myself, not hiding anymore, like i have done for so many times for so many years.

It’s a bit like the story of The Matrix. Am i able to find the trust, the strength within myself to see through all the bullshit going on in the world. Will i be able to find the freedom to look outwards and see all the lies floating around. To uncover the truth plainly on top, but so hard to see.

Or am i just making this up? Is this world simply the way it is. Slowly growing from one phase to the other with no possible way to stop it. And what does this corona-thing really mean?

I have no idea.

Published on May 3, 2021 at 6:00 by

Taking care of myself

Today i watched a part of the House of Representatives debate about the records of meetings from the Dutch cabinet in 2019 publicized last week. I am in two minds about this. A a part of me thinks this is a good process, members of the House talking about these diffuse messages from the cabinet, trying to make up their minds. Another part of me is a bit cynical, doubting the members of the cabinet and their aim for truth. Well, to be honest, i doubt many people’s aim for truth, especially all politicians. Trained in the theater and public debates of politics. I prefer to be with people i trust. Mostly people from the garden.

Some things members said in the debate made me think of my own situation. The people being set back as fraudsters. The people targeted by the tax authorities. The people the Dutch government should be taking better care of.

For me, that is exactly what i do not want. If anything, i would like to get away from this, not being taken care of, not being interviewed on television with tears in my eyes, lamenting my own sorrow. Right now, i still live of the money i made with selling my house. For another ten months or so. I do sometimes think of what sort of work i would like to do, would fit in my life. Writing a column maybe. Drawing. Singing. Making a short movie. All things i would love to do. Maybe i am too old? I don’t think so. That is not my world, with everybody young and pretty and lovely.

I don’t know where this feeling i have comes from. I am growing, developing, growing up. I still have some things to do, i’m sure. This feeling of everything going right. Nothing in my world points to that. I have no friends who encourage me in this feeling. It is not something i think of every minute. But i do almost every day. But yes, not there yet.

I still need to grow up more.

Published on April 30, 2021 at 6:00 by

Honesty

I fell today. I tried to keep myself walking on, did a few steps half bend over, and fell. My knee is scraped. I put a light bandaged over it. It is not too bad.

I was on my way to the Albert Heijn. Bought some veggies, salmon for dinner this evening, cream for the coffee.

And now i’m home. With my hurt knee. I decided not to make a walk today. I read an article on the Guardian website: The clitoris, pain and pap smears: how Our Bodies, Ourselves redefined women’s health. It brought up a thought to write some more about my own experience of my sexual feelings. I don’t have a to-do list, so i hope the good ideas stay in my mind and i will remember it. I watched half a youtube video (Dutch) called Het ongemak van vervreemding. Maybe i watch it further. I am not sure. It did remind me of myself, my decision to stop living according to the rules in our current society. Well.

I was thinking of the political issues in the Netherlands. Politicians not speaking the truth. That is what brought me the title of this post. We will see one day where this story ends.

Honest. I can use that. I can be that. In my quiet life.

Published on April 23, 2021 at 6:00 by

Laboratory

c. 1600, “room or building set apart for scientific experiments,” from Medieval Latin laboratorium “a place for labor or work,” from Latin laboratus, past participle of laborare “to work” (see labor (v.)). Figurative use by 1660s.

Source

Last night i woke up around four o’clock. I had this word on my mind: laboratorium. The Dutch word for laboratory. It stems from the Latin laborare, meaning to work. In the current society it means work for scientific experiments. It stayed on my mind for a while. Thinking about science being the predominant explainer of the world, the universe, the natural laws. Science being the current maker of vaccines for the corona pandemic we are in right now. Science being the clear voice of where we are now and where we are headed.

Science in our day and age is an empirical endeavor. “Its work employs the best and the brightest in every corner of the globe, and its modes of thinking and reasoning have come to dominate the way mankind understands itself and its place” [source]. It does miss a moral touchstone. The old religions, the old philosophy are more and more devoid of meaning and put aside.

In my life, it is warmth and love and generosity which rules. I do hope i can keep myself afloat with this. It is difficult. I found some warm spots in this world, the garden most importantly. The technocratic and bureaucratic world outside my life is chilling. It is difficult to find good words to describe my feeling of being alive in this world right here and right now.

I’m still assuming i am bright enough to manage my own life. To direct my attention away from my own worries and look into the world and see what i can do about the problems i see there. I hope so.

Published on April 22, 2021 at 6:00 by

My own choice

During the week i enjoy watching Escape to the Country on BBC at 16:00 Dutch time. I do notice the usual reasons people give for deciding to move to a house in the country. Peace and quiet. Not that much traffic. Sitting in a quiet corner, one’s own road up to the house. Several acres of country surrounding the house. For the horses, the chickens. For retirement basically.

But it is not for me.

I do not have wishes to quiet down my life, to live on peacefully until the day i die. On the contrary, i would love my life to be full with people to talk with about the world and it’s problems. Not my life as it is right now. Please no. Of course, for now it is ok. For now i enjoy the walks. I enjoy sitting on a bench and read a book. Sure. But not for the rest of my life.

But if i could make my own choice, i would live inside a city, Amsterdam, Rotterdam, London, New York. Any big city in the Western world.

The sad part is though, i can not make my own choice. I can only follow my own life as it goes along.

Published on April 19, 2021 at 6:00 by

More voting preparation

I am still struggling with th decision who to vote for next week in the House of Representatives Elections 2021. I know i am influenced by the recent events in Dutch politics. Naturally.

Never did it cross my mind i could actually vote for a right-wing party. But i must admit i really do admire Pieter Omtzigt [Dutch], member of the CDA the Dutch christian democratic party.

Today i watched the video embedded below, with David van Overbeek in conversation with Geerten Welling, historian and writer of the book called Zetelroof. The main focus of this talk is the role of the members of the House of Representatives. Are they under control of the party they belong to or are they independent thinkers. Pieter Omtzigt is talked about, his growing support in the Netherlands does change his role in the CDA. Curiosity on how this will develop in future is expressed.

This video is in Dutch.

Published on March 11, 2021 at 6:00 by

House of Representatives Elections 2021

In two weeks time, 17 March 2021, the elections for the Dutch Tweede Kamer, the House of Representatives will be held. To be honest, i am not that much in politics, but at times i do read and watch video’s about it.

Over my life i have traveled through the whole left side of the political parties in the Netherlands; from the Communistic Party, to the Dutch Labour Party (PvdA), GreenLeft (GroenLinks) and for the past two elections the Party for the Animals (Partij voor de Dieren).

Today i did the test Stemwijzer for people to check what party best fits their view points. The two highest parties with both 71% results are GroenLinks and the PvdD for me.

One viable option for me is to stick to the Party for the Animals.

I did follow the childcare benefits scandal the past months. I am genuinely impressed by the interviews Renske Leijten, member of the SP, made on Wiebes and Blankestijn, her to the point questions, giving no time to the interviewees to settle after they could not answer a question with clarity. I think it is required of people in high office, either a minister or an officer in fiscals to have a clear memory of past events. I can imagine the anger in the interviewers being confronted with the unknowing of these officials.

I haven’t made up my mind yet. I’m not clear yet what i think of all the different programs. My doubt about what person to vote for is telling to me. Not the party, but the person is becoming more important to me.

Pieter Omtzigt is becoming a favorite of mine. The fact he is a member of the christian party CDA does make it a bit harder for me to decide to vote for him. I am still thinking and reading.

I leave you with some video clips with Renske Leijten and Pieter Omtzigt in it. All four are in Dutch.

Published on March 3, 2021 at 6:00 by

Surrender

Today, Thursday 25 February, i went out for a walk. I took a book with me. Tijd van Onbehagen written by Ad Verbrugge, philosophical essays about a culture adrift. Out of the heritage from my stepfather this book came to me, a couple of years back. I have been reading it slowly over the past few months. Today sitting on a bench in the park close to the Euromast in this warm springlike day in February 2021.

I walked back, went into the AH to get some salmon for dinner this evening. I treated myself to some sate with peanut sauce. Not fitting into my keto diet. There are worse things to eat though. Cakes and sweets and breads are of the menu. The sate is a bit better. And once i will give it up. Hopefully.

An ordinary day. Tomorrow, Friday 26 February, is my birthday. Not doing that much about that either. I will buy a nice bottle of wine to treat myself. And some chocolate to share with friends on the garden. That is it.

I do feel determined. To set my life in the right course, going the right way. The past few weeks i have been thinking about surrendering. Not holding on to all the things in my life right now. To yield, give up, give over. Ellen, surrender. Give up the idea you yourself shape your life. Let it be shaped by the world and the people. Scary, yes. But worth it.

Have a good weekend. Enjoy yourself. Go outside!

Salute 🙂

Published on February 26, 2021 at 6:00 by