Monthly Archives: August 2021

Gazing Back Into Me

“We make men without chests and expect from them virtue and enterprise. We laugh at honor and are shocked to find traitors in our midst.”

― C.S. Lewis, The Abolition of Man (Source: Goodreads)

I’m in a crappy mood. I am grumpy and bothered and disappointed. Truth and honor are increasingly a thing of the past it seems. Just dive in any (social media) forum and you will find ridicule, ignorance, deception and outright lies. And it permeates our lives. Maybe it was already there. Maybe it was there always. I’m seeing its bony fingers reaching in places I did not think it existed before. Maybe it is my age.

So, things are not going my way. And right now I see no way to dig myself out. I’m still optimistic though. It is just a question of not seeing my path yet. And I know I’ll be able to withstand the avalanche that inevitably will come rolling down the hill.

Shared hatred is a weird thing. It binds, it brings with it an energy somehow. A dark energy, but energy nonetheless. When you are faced with an unjust opposition you can climb on each others shoulders, fling your swords and fight to live another day.

Never be the one to hit first

  • What do you really want when you want to get your revenge?
    I’m with Kaufman, revenge restores a person’s honor. That the word ‘honor’ is in there, immediately gives the word ‘revenge’ its proper direction. In order to be honorable it cannot be aimed at innocent bystanders.
  • Revenge of the Nerd
    No true justice without restitution. And I have no patience with bullies.
  • Revenge Tourism
    Tourism with a vengeance to make up for all the times people couldn’t travel during the pandemic’s ravaging? Who are you going to blame?—Never mind, please don’t answer that one.
  • Revenge Can Be Sweet
    And that’s how to do it.

Back to my book.

Miles to go before I sleep

“I find television very educating. Every time somebody turns on the set, I go into the other room and read a book.”

― Groucho Marx (Source: Goodreads)

My parents’ television had these long buttons to change the channel, where, if you pushed one in, the one that was already in popped out again. Six buttons in total. Which was plenty, for there were only five stations to choose from. Two Dutch channels and three German ones.

The Germans had way more—and better—programs I thought. And they were broadcasting when the Dutch channels weren’t. An added benefit from watching German tv that much, was that I learned to understand and speak German from an early age. I didn’t mess with English until I was in high school. From then on German became too cumbersome for me, with noun cases and genders and all that.

I still remember dumping that old tv in the trash container together with my father. It went out with a bang.

What’s cooking?

Some of my favorite recent posts and poems:

And now back to my book. I want to finish it as soon as possible, because I want to start another.

Eight-ball

The sting in my head
While I bend over, ready
To sink the money ball
In the corner pocket

My grizzly buzz cut shows
The fleshy, horny bumps
My itchy scalp, the devil is
Ready to come out

I gulp down my beer
And put on my hat
Backwards, as I take
My baby by the hand

Clay

When my grandmother would see the
Moles that had escaped the broken bottles
Shoved in the thick, dark clay, while
They were furrily squirreling along
The edges of the lawn, she would run
As fast as her short, swollen legs could
Carry her, to find a big shovel
And bash their heads in

I still remember her cackling, her
Rosy cheeks, the big parties at my
Grandparents’ grange, where all the
Family gathered and that time I sneaked
Out at night, slipped into the backseat
Of our car and fell asleep, until everybody
Came looking for me, worried sick
About where I would be

She is long dead now

Once the storm is over

“Pointless thinking is worse than no thinking at all.”

― Haruki Murakami, Kafka on the Shore (Source: Goodreads)
ENCI Maastricht, the Netherlands. Photo: Twan van Elk.

I just cannot keep up with the tempo of Twitter anymore. Or I am definitely doing something wrong in how I handle stuff there. Update after update I try to give my attention to. But I fail. And, as much as I hate to say it, the same goes for the avalanche of new posts that keeps rolling in on my WordPress Reader. The more interesting people and blogs I encounter, the longer the list of updates that waits for me, every time I come back. So, what do I do? I come back more often of course! Yah… as you can guess, that is not the solution for my attention problem.

I want, no, I need to focus on what I am doing right now: writing. Wrangling my thoughts, bullying my mind to stay on track, letting things make sense again, at least for me. Picking someone else’s brain sometimes is awesome, but when after a while that is all I do, I have no room anymore to process stuff in my own head. I don’t know if that’s the same for everyone, but that is how it works for me.

Constantly trying to follow what everybody else is doing and thinking is not stimulating for me right now, it is numbing. My own thoughts get pushed out of the way by that growing pile in my head. There is such a thing as daily life also, you know? Work, family, friends and the distractions and challenges that come with those, they all eat up attention, time and energy.

And when things stay unresolved because I actually don’t deal with them, not really, that pile just keeps on growing. Picking one item out of it gets harder every time, because of the increasing amount of stuff that is there, all yelling out at me, in a cacophony of blurry priorities.

Okay. I think my weekend can begin now. It is getting dark and I am going to have drinks with my love. Have a great one.

Into the trees

Trees rustling above me in the gloomy evening, while I gaze at my shoes:

“If other people do not understand our behavior—so what? Their request that we must only do what they understand is an attempt to dictate to us. If this is being “asocial” or “irrational” in their eyes, so be it. Mostly they resent our freedom and our courage to be ourselves. We owe nobody an explanation or an accounting, as long as our acts do not hurt or infringe on them. How many lives have been ruined by this need to “explain,” which usually implies that the explanation be “understood,” i.e. approved. Let your deeds be judged, and from your deeds, your real intentions, but know that a free person owes an explanation only to himself—to his reason and his conscience—and to the few who may have a justified claim for explanation.”

― Erich Fromm, The Art of Being (Source: Goodreads)

The mourning of the growing of a flower

“There’s nothing to mourn about death any more than there is to mourn about the growing of a flower. What is terrible is not death but the lives people live or don’t live up until their death. They don’t honor their own lives, they piss on their lives. They shit them away. Dumb fuckers. They concentrate too much on fucking, movies, money, family, fucking. Their minds are full of cotton. They swallow God without thinking, they swallow country without thinking. Soon they forget how to think, they let others think for them. Their brains are stuffed with cotton. They look ugly, they talk ugly, they walk ugly. Play them the great music of the centuries and they can’t hear it. Most people’s deaths are a sham. There’s nothing left to die.”

― Charles Bukowski

Just going through the motions from birth to death is not living. Sometimes you need to kick and scream to wake yourself up, to feel it. And I can feel myself getting itchy again. (I almost typed a ‘like’-sentence there, but I hate ‘like’ with a vengeance, so, no.)

I want to ride the next big wave. Problem is, I don’t see it yet. There are ripples, but nothing substantial is underneath just yet. Sometimes I see something that excites me, great art, an awesome band, a blog with thought-provoking content, maybe some photography that really speaks to me, or just a great, creative idea. But the real taste is not there yet.

Unrest leading to (a) movement, leading to action. It doesn’t have to disrupt — an unsatisfying word these days anyway, since business and marketing had their way with it — as long as I am being swept up and carried off on the manifestation of some real, honest, great, gritty, dirty energy.

Oh well, maybe tomorrow.

Bet my brains

Music choices courtesy of my weird, cottony brain:

Kabul

With you leaving
The environment is the least of my worries
With you leaving
I wish the Virus did take me

With you leaving
Woman, I am no longer
With you leaving
I hope my family caught wings

With you leaving
The sun won’t ever touch my face again
With you leaving
I think the world will make another turn

With you leaving
My grave won’t bear my name
With you leaving
I know you won’t remember me