Category Archives: emotions

Fuchsia rose

I pick a rose on my way to the airport. A few hours before you arrive. The first sunrays and pieces of blue sky come peeking through the white clouds. Just before coloring into layered strokes of baby pink and baby blue. I wear blue jeans and a leather jacket. The high heels are compulsory. They are my favorite ones. Made of purple suede. Three minutes away from the pretty rough beach, surrounded by vibrant nature, I enjoy the inapropriate me-outfit. This part of New Zealand’s beach  reminds me of The Netherlands. It’s the texture of the sand, the color of the seawater, the wind. At 9.30 pm I walk down Pandora street, towards Beach road. The lush rose seduces me with her color. I approach it. To stick my nose in it’s velvety petals. Her sweet strong scent blows me away. It’s as heavy and deep as it’s bright. Just like it’s color: fuchsia rose. It’s for you. 

Because the feeling I’ve got for you is the same. Deep, heavy and bright, like fuchsia, rose, beautiful, no sharp edges, velvety, no over excited tantalizing shivers. As fantastic as they are and as wonderful they form part of us. For now the edge is replaced by something complete, equally alive, equally real, but almost placid. You are my rose.

My love for you opened a box of Pandora. I contemplate as I walk to the end of the street. But only muddy earth full of shit, is like fertile grounds for a beautiful rose, an unique deep, heavy, bright fuchsia one. The bus arrives. It travels to the central bus interchange. There I wait 30 minutes. Before hopping on the 29 bus. Nine more minutes to go before the airport. And some more before I see you again. 

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On Beyond The Edge

On Beyond Zebra is a beautiful children’s book by the infamous Dr.Seuss. My second daughter Mahdee is reading it with me. Every letter invented as a continuation of our alphabet beyond the letter Z, she points at and excitedly exclaims:’wow, that letter is beautiful!’. We indulge in Dr. Seuss’ fantasy of ‘a List of Letters for People who Don’t stop at Z’. We marvel together at the Yuzz for Yuzz-a-ma-Tuzz, the Fuddle for Miss Fuddle-dee-Duddle and the Spazz for Spazzim.

Life has got the capacity to go on beyond the edge of the end of the alphabet. To me it seems to shift into another realm, surpassing common sense and exploring the whereabouts of unique sensability. I read back the ‘About’ page of this website. It talks about living in the present moment. Like we all do nowadays. I pledge to somehow differentiate from ‘something else’, my five senses, i.e. how to experience life solely based upon the impressions generated by the senses.

How can we experience life other then through our five senses? I am talking about experiencing life through the mind. Which ridiculously enough opposes mindfulness. More on that later in life. Experiencing life through the mind goes by applying filters. Filters that tell you how life should be, as opposed to how it presents itself in her naked form. Superego, religious paradimes, legislation, society and it’s set of rules and ethics; all are examples of filters. It’s all like taking a camera and viewing the world through a lens, manipulating the edges, the brightness and the sharpness-depth of what we are exposed to.

What does life look like beyond these manipulations? What does life look like beyond the controllable frames? Words fail to communicate. We can share in words what is known. We can’t get the unknown across, other then living and witnessing it together.

The Endless Journey

 
Let’s just be difficult. And challenge our fellow souls who successfully demonstrate the purpose of traveling rather then that of reaching a destination. So let’s just be annoying and ask ourselves the question: ‘what if the beginning and the end are contrary to current wisdom, all about the destination rather then about the journey? Just for the sake of it. Or to be brutally honest, because reality has it that sometimes or suddenly, life, or at least my life, is all about a certain, specific destination. Which wonderfully leads me to the realization that without realizing it, at specific yet undefined moments the present is presenting me with an endless, continuous journey.

‘What ifs’ bring me in a wondrous world of fantasy and imagination, seducing me straight onto the way out of a sound and surrounding reality. Exit, green signs pointing towards flights of stairs. The ones you physically find next to and metaphysically as opposed to, the elevation mechanism called a lift. What ifs generally don’t have the tendency to lift you up. What ifs often lead to a place where it isn’t about logic and cognitive abilities. It makes me browse another reality. An inner reality of inside stories that float and rave upon the waves of feelings, cravings and longings. It made me tattoo at the back of my shoulder: ‘dreams are wishes of the heart’. A reality where satisfaction hardly is possible, yet always just around the corner. A reality shaped by the rhythm of a constant pendulum of frantically searching and researching at one end, while at it’s other extremity finding balance by blockage and deprivation.

Let’s assume that the concept of destiny equals our so called point of satisfaction. We assume things the whole day. In particular about other people’s thoughts, emotions and intentions. So now let us assume something about our own conception. We do have the capacity to feed ourselves with whatever it is we want, to such an extent that at a certain point we say: I’ve had enough, I am done, full, satisfied. At that point we experience a sense of satisfaction. But then, as chance unsurprisingly has it, we quickly find a new spot at the horizon to reach for. And so we accumulate a wealth in experiences. We diversify the richness of our taste palette. We widen the scope of our possessions, let them be made of material, bare power or fulfilling relationships. Eventually we end up being experienced, rich and possessed. But are we ever really satisfied? Or let’s put it this way: does satisfaction actually exist? It makes me compare a sense of satisfaction to the concept of destiny – or there being a destination in life.

What if? I bluntly put forward that a destination does not exist other then in our mind. That the concept of destiny merely functions as a tool, an apparent focus point, allowing us to thrive, move forward, push along, using, or driven by, forces of nature comparable to water whirls, blazing winds and striking lightning. We need our destination and our point of focus as an excuse to flow with those forces of nature. The conceptualization of a destiny, a point of focus and the idea that it is due to our own doings, that it’s us ourselves getting us there, give us a sense of mastering those forces of nature, that we control and that we lead instead of being led by human nature. Why do we call such a vast thing as nature, human anyway? Smells like an effort to master or at least control The Force.

We assume the continuous development, proactively unrolling, dynamically pushing like sprouts do, is led by our own genius. And it’s exactly this assumption that tricks us into being haunted. As human beings, we turn into human doings, restless, never satisfied, always (de)parting, never arriving. And you know what? To stop the motion is not an option. Stop, hold back, like pulling the reins of a galloping Arabian horse, resist the race, back out of it by trying to repress forces of nature that are so much bigger then a bit of consciousness wrapped in a human body. Inertia makes us wonder about the difference between repression and depression. Inertia leads us to believe, have faith, divert into the realm of dreaming, finding distraction and the ephemere satisfaction of multiple addictions. Closing the circle I like to put forth that the absence of a conceptual triplet evolving around being destined, destiny and destination frees the way to literally realize what it actually is that the present beholds. I assure you it’s more then just cruising along.

As I wake up in empty morning space

As I wake up in empty morning space, it’s virginity is corrumpated by a thought. The first thought that comes to mind is: ‘something of you is not here’. The part of you that has filled up my almost every morning since days, weeks or is it months? – time is relative, so is distance – your voice isn’t here. I ask myself what physical presence is. Is a voice to be described as a physical presence? Waking up by hearing your voice makes a deep impression. Your voice has grown on me. To me it’s a physical presence. Leaving me with a vast emptiness if it isn’t there to listen to.
After the morning looses it’s virginity because of this first thought, more thoughts easily follow.
Hours and what seems like a life time later my mind is up and functioning at full capacity. Emotions are trying to peek through. Popular pop songs in the back ground, a sweet little daughter calling my name once every couple of minutes. I resist life as it tumbles over me. Safe guards and barriers are raised to keep me from engaging. Why? I wonder why, giving my mind another bone to suck on.
Does meditation brings back that virgin empty morning space? It does. Because the outside is a reflection of the inside. My conscious is empty as I wake up. So it projects space and emptiness into my surroundings making me clearly see and encounter what’s around me. Meditation is clearing my mind from emotion provoking thoughts. As I open my eyes consequently, I project my inner emptiness onto my surroundings, making me see clearly what is.
Every tree, every sun ray is a projection of the mind Plato discovered. This for me this is still difficult to asses. Does it mean the sun ray giving me joy upon waking, does it not exist or does it exist? Hamlet resonates. To be or not to be. If everything only exists as a projection of the mind, we can make it appear and disappear as we like. Don’t pay attention, don’t nurture and it doesn’t exist. Pay attention and nurture and bring out the potential. You know that smallest particle all material is made of? It flips in and out of potential existence and detectable presence and is called a quark. Why do some particles cling so densely at each other that they become as solid as a rock? Whereas others don’t get to see the light of day only if you focus closely. What’s the true difference between a tree and a thought? Blows my mind, feelings explode and little children fall asleep on my lap.
At the end of the day.

 

Breath in

   
   
Beaver building a dam

How serious and demanding about ourselves should we really be?

Skipped meditation & yoga yesterday. Normally the monday morning session sets me up for the new week. After the typical weekend often prohibiting focus and concentration. After having leisurely taken the kids and myself to sport events, birthday parties, play dates, the tea shop around the corner, obliged interrogations of other European languages and last but certainly not least, catering work. So hurray for Monday mornings’ dawn. 

But this Monday body & mind are telling me something different. It’s a bit difficult to comprehend and as such difficult to act upon. At 8.30 am, instead of making my usual way to the underground meditation & yoga cellar that serves as a refuge to both body and mind, I set myself up in the waiting room of the house doctor’s practice. A newly employed young woman listens to my story and pays it a lot of attention. I like that. Because I rather not focus on problems but at solutions instead. However discussing solutions does get bothered or restricted if resistance towards elaborating on problems is admitted. So what is your problem? asks the fresh doctor. I turn my head around curious after who’s standing behind my back. 

We settle for the conclusion that I’m ready to open up, at least a little, or at least that it is worthwhile to give it a try to open up a little. I rather shut the door close again right away after our twenty minutes chat. Which literally I do, leaving her small but bright ‘talk room’. The sign on the door post says ‘talk room’. I shut it close. But I do make the required follow-up appointment. There’s people that spend three to ten years studying physical and psychological conditions. I’m successfully convincing myself. Who am I, if I wouldn’t be able to tap some water from their sources?

An hour later I find myself in another waiting room. Physiotherapist introduces himself. Fortunately in this room I only need to concentrate on distinguishing left feet from right legs: ‘the other right leg please’ and rolling over tummy side up or the other way around. It doesn’t go by itself but definitely is a lot easier then what was being asked from me in the last health practicioner’s room. Follow up appointment is made and another little bag of homework carried outside. 

I didn’t come up with the first sentence of this little piece of brain sandwich if it weren’t for yet a third waiting room I attended within the following hour. This queen of allergens (the people I work with know exactly what I mean) did the most dreadful thing. For the first time in her life she took it seriously. She didn’t take it as a an act arising from the need for attention ‘I can’t eat fish if the head is still on, I can only take it if you can’t actually see where the meat comes from’. ‘So you mean, you only eat fillet of fish when it comes in translucent supermarket wrapping, perfectly groomed and colored, like as if it’s artificial?’ ‘Yes, that’s the only way I can handle fish’. ‘Okay of course I fully understand. As you wish miss’. 

This princess of abstention for one Monday morning also didn’t take her physical resistance towards most of the ingredients of a regular diet, as an act of proving to be strong willed. ‘I do at times feel the urge coming up to smoke a cigarette to give myself a break. I do at times feel the urge coming up to have a beer and not think about what’s next. I also recognize at times the lack of a stimulating boost of coffee, sugar or a little red spicy chilly’. ‘But I do not give in to all this divertimento’. ‘Seen it, done it, had it all’ is the firm line, cutting the border of one of the important five senses: taste. Because taste evokes emotions.

So yesterday morning this tough girl is temporarily locked in a closet. Just for a bit. The tough girl doesn’t really let go, she agrees to resign a tiny bit, just one Monday morning. In exchange she pledges for an explanation. An explanation of this ridicule behavior, spending an entire Monday morning walking from one waiting room into the other instead of focussing at what needs to be done. What needs to be done, it resonates. What needs to be done? Can you hear it too?

Third and last waiting room is a quick one. The homosexual bright and extremely witty nurse, fifty plus, considerably stylish, quickly points a needle in my left upper arm. We make jokes about I don’t know what. It doesn’t matter what’s it about. Fun and laughter fill the smallest room of the three I visited this morning. And I’m done. For now.

It’s not about results I tell myself. It’s about intention. And yes, it certainly is about attention. Their attention follows mine. I start. I did it. It relieves me in ways I don’t comprehend. But also that doesn’t matter. My blood is tested on allergens and other internal signs of physical misbalances. The mind will be dressed up to undergo some necessary changes and specific muscles and joints will be worked on. To find relief from blockages. The blockages we create like beavers building dams in order to survive.

Breath out.

Dood

“Only the present moment contains life.” ― Thích Nhất Hạnh –

Ik ben de flat van mijn overleden peettante aan het uitruimen. Overmorgen rijdt de verhuiswagen voor. Het vacuüm dat ik aantref is als een groot zwart gat in het heelal. Het zuigt alles wat dichtbij genoeg is naar zich toe en neemt het op. Om in het grote niets te verdwijnen. Ik kom dichtbij genoeg. Als ik uren later vertrek uit de flat kost het me moeite en veel tranen om weer terug te komen in mijn eigen universum. Landen op deze aarde met beide voeten weer stevig op de grond, duurt nog veel langer. If ever. 

‘Het is wat’ 

‘Wat is wat?’

‘Wat je achterlaat als je er niet meer bent’

‘Of waar ik me druk om maak; waarmee ik me onledig hou in het dagelijks leven’

Onledig, mooi woord. Veel meer dan dat is het niet. We houden ons onledig. Met gedachtes en emoties als een vaak te overheersend sausje. Sausje bij het leven, sausje dat het leven bedekt. 

‘Welk sausje wil je erbij?’

Waarom houden we ons on-ledig? De wijzen en spirituelen onder ons verheerlijken juist die ledigheid en zelf fantaseren we maar wat graag over het grote nietsdoen. Lees de glossy’s erop na, bezoek een retraite oord of ga gewoon op vakantie. Hoofd leegmaken is het devies. Het is de paradox van ons bestaan. Niets doen waarvoor je veel betaalt. Dat dan weer wel. Want als het gratis niets doen is, dan is het not done. Het grote niets doen mag je alleen verheerlijken als je het druk hebt (met geld verdienen).
Totdat ik in hun flat kom. Ik schuif één van de honderden c.d’s in de Bang&Olufsen. De c.d’s zijn in wezen al net zo verouderd als het meeste wat ik er aantref. Streaming en minimale opslagcapaciteit zijn de toekomst wordt me verteld door mijn vriend Rob afgelopen zondag. En wat dan met de materiële inhoud van wat er achterblijft na haar dood, vraag ik me af? Emoties klampen zich vast aan Shakespeare’s Complete Works, aan een etsje van een pruimenbloesemtak, aan bladmuziek van Händels Joshua. Weggeefertjes zijn het. Want wat moet je anders met emoties? Ik draag er meer met me mee dan me lief is. En toch verzamel ik in die flat een in mijn eigen ogen overdreven hoeveelheid aan emoties. Twintig pakken bedrukte papieren servetten, waarom gooi ik ze in ledigheidsnaam niet weg? Zakmesjes, pennen, een theepot nieuw in de doos, vinyl langspeelplaten en singletjes, taartbordjes, twee sierkussens, een damspel, heel veel boeken en nog veel meer c.d’s. Ik pak het allemaal in om het bij me te houden. Het zijn emoties realiseer ik me nu. Emoties van dierbaarheid, van geen afscheid kunnen nemen, van vasthouden aan wat voorbij is, van facetten die mijn identiteit vormen en mogelijkerwijs invulling geven aan mijn toekomst. Ze moeten worden samengebracht met alle andere baggage die ik al verzamelde in dit leven en die de toekomst mede bepaalt, van dit leven, voor wat het waard is. Het is de nagedachtenis, nee, het respect voor een voorbij leven, wat maakt dat niet alles naar de kringloop mag. Nog niet.

Smaller then I remember

In one of the two rooms up in the attic a folding camp bed was parked for me. The other room was scary. It was more of the real atticky part of the top floor in my parents house. It’s where my grandparents slept when they stayed over for the night. A fascinating orange and black tube containing brilliant cream that my grandfather used to comb through his hair in the mornings, made me cautiously sneek into that room. But if that marvellously intriguing object wasn’t laying around, and it hardly ever was since my grandparents peacefully lived at the other side of the country, I wouldn’t dear enter that real attic and happily sticked to my own better illuminated quarter. 

Every evening I’d align next to each other all my dolls and teddy bears, neatly tucking them in under the bed cover. Although the newly acquired barby dolls weren’t comfortable to share the bed with due to their edgy ligaments, they’d concurred themselves some precious space as well because I loved playing with them so much.

I sat on my knees next to the folding camp bed, cautious enough not to sit at either end of it after several collapses that got me, bed and everything on it, high up in the air. There was no place left for me under the neatly folded bed cover. Occupied as it was with all scattered pieces of emotion symbolized by playful doll faces and soft dark teddy bear eyes. 

We project our own set of habits and emotions onto the other. Actually this someone functions like a mirror. We think we see the other. But we only see what we know and that’s ourself. That’s us. We start with non complex single message emotions as featured by dolls and teddy bears and hug happily ever after with our first girl- and boyfriends, on and on with our partners, husband and wives. In fact we never stop hugging ourselves. If we do it right! 
Young at heart we familiarize with pure loveliness. As adolescents we get into more punky sets of emotions. Contrasting, complicated and intertwined, as unintelligible as we are ourselves. Growing older we start to assimilate personality traits and become more and more aware of complex sets of emotions. Our emotions as they are being triggered by a variety of cultural or natural expressions, are into exploring different layers of recognition through art, food, music, nature; touching beyond the skin. Still it’s in the other we see ourselves. It’s in the other we recognize our own mistakes, frustrations, loveliness and anger.

And this is exactly what happens to our dolls and teddy bears when we are kids. We project our own interior onto something outside of us. Representation, reflection, projection, you name it; what we see comes from deep down inside ourselves. As long as we’re not aware of the content inside of us, we project it outside. To make it clear, to visualize it before our own eyes. 

This little girl is arranging her emotions neatly side by side. Abundant as they are, there’s no place left – or no space yet – for her individual self; to lay down her own physical head on the pillow. 

During the same time this little girl starts giving her dolls names. In particular the beautiful big baby like doll with the eyes that open and close following the movements of the head. If you put her down, she’ll sleep. If you lift her up, her eyes spread wide open. The little girl is proud to own this big doll and at the same time she finds the big doll scary. Secretly and just a little bit she tells herself. Fact is that the plastic doll is hard headed and by far the largest member of her extended doll and teddy family. The name giving practice is pretty endless. This however is mainly due to the fact that every next morning she’s oblivious again of the names she’d came up with the preceding day. Until one day she remembers the big dolls name. It’s Victoria. The victorious and voluptuous plastic doll bears that name until today. 

How does a four year old girl know what victoria means? Has it been a way to concur the slight fear for her doll? Finally finding a suitable name, the one and only that lasted. Naming is the start of acquainting, of finding ways to get to know and eventually handle. In this case frightening and loving feelings at the same time. Victoria is overwhelming to the girl, is the victorious one to the girl and at the same time she loves the doll a great deal. Never in history Victoria was surpassed by another doll and until today Victoria lives on in the girls memory.

Somehow I managed to acquire a space in my bed night after night, surrounded by all my emotions, neatly tucked in next to me, well taken care of. And when they had silently fallen asleep I could rest my physical head next to them.