Category Archives: Quotes

Words, Meet Maker

If you here require a practical rule of me, I will present you with this: ‘Whenever you feel an impulse to perpetrate a piece of exceptionally fine writing, obey it—whole-heartedly—and delete it before sending your manuscript to press. Murder your darlings.

—Sir Arthur Thomas Quiller-Couch

Sometimes I think I have these great insights (usually a side-effect of showering), that—as soon as I start to write the words down, and my mind is mulling them over, bending and stretching them to fit into these long doughy sentences that fit just perfectly onto the page—begin to deteriorate before my very eyes, until at the end there’s nothing left to do than to delete those god-awful words with an aching heart.

Life is never as simple as I can see in a flash of bright light. The light takes out most of the greys and the finer details that are hiding in the dark at the sides. But those matter, of course. And as I zoom out and gradually dim the light, those gradients and tidbits come into focus and start moving around, squirming like a colony of crazy ants—oftentimes confusing the heck out of me.

For every sentence that pops into my head and that I try and commit to this blank space waiting for me, I come up with tons of reasons to not write them. They are not witty, not smart, not beautiful, not dirty, not wise, not angry, not emotional enough. They are too long, too short, of the exact right length (are they though)? They are wrong, or the presumptions—or worse, assumptions—that precede them, make them tricky or possibly untrue and therefore unfit for use.

Or maybe my language skills fall short. Maybe my grasp of the English language is insufficient. It is, is after all, not my native language and a language I only really came into contact with at the start of my high school days when it was part of the curriculum. Whereas I picked up German naturally when I was still little—maybe about five or six years old?—because my dad liked to watch a lot of German tv, because, frankly, Dutch tv wasn’t all that great (it still isn’t).

—Wait.. where the hell am I going with this post? What am I doing here?

Ugh… See what I mean? I better delete this.

Poems twittereded

Posted some short poems straight to Twitter:

Of trees, the Moon and stars

“Not just beautiful, though–the stars are like the trees in the forest, alive and breathing. And they’re watching me.”

― Haruki Murakami, Kafka on the Shore

Yeah, I know, another Murakami quote — live with it.

I have a thing with trees. And with the Moon and the stars. I guess it has something to do with me sometimes just not wanting to see what’s underneath me, holding me anchored; or not wanting see what’s around me, like seeing reflections and truths, you know? No, this is about me looking up, looking into what could be, maybe.

With trees, you can’t see what’s underground, and you can only guess at what they are reaching for, for evermore growing and branching out. The great ones have already been here since centuries. And although they have this strength and wisdom, it is a scary thought that if I wanted to, I can just put an ax to it and stop the time. And kill history and future in one go.

And then it’s about me looking up into the night. Looking up at the only things that emanate intense energy, shiver with silver life, out there, far away in the vast darkness.

Yes, I know there are lamps everywhere that pollute and fuck up up the night sky, but stay with me here. Imagine that you’re out in the woods. Nothing there but the wet leaves on the ground, the mist clinging onto the birch tree trunks, and the thick, damp dark, hiding behind. — Until you look up to the sky, shimmering with a million (and more, always more…) bright lights, piercing through those naked, barren branches.

The biggest one out there, on some nights, is of course the Moon. And the Moon is something different. Different from those tiny, shiny needle holes, punched into that pitch dark blanket. No, the moon I can almost see. There’s some detail, some character there. Just enough to feel its nearness. But not enough to throw a rope around it and to pull it in.

For me the Moon and stars stand for the quiet, for relaxing, for letting go of the stress of the sunlight. Leaving behind that gigantic brightness, setting everything on fire from morning till night.

Looking up — it is a getaway. It is going far away while staying put. It is relaxing up there, when down here everything is hectic. But up there is where the dreams and the stories are.

Let’s see what I can come up with next.

“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)