How to describe the music that Senyawa makes? Some have tried. But beyond mentioning the basics I am not going to: “Senyawa is an experimental band from Java, Indonesia, consisting of Rully Shabara and Wukir Suryadi.” There, that’s it.
Do you want to know more? Well, Google and/or others can probably help you out. Me, I suggest you just listen and watch this video of a recording of Senyawa at the Jazzhouse in Copenhagen, uploaded in 2016. And you will understand that Senyawa is Senyawa.
“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?
What do I do, when I am dependent on someone else and I have to just wait and see in which direction this ginormous ball of crap is rolling? Well, I try and not curl up myself, I straighten my back, I hold my head up high and I live my life like I am the one that will have to die when my time comes.
Even when it seems the world is trying to quarter me, pulling my limbs into the four cardinal directions, I show it that it can’t hurt me, that it can’t even touch me. That I am, after all the shit — clinging to blades for just a moment and then with a nauseating ‘swoosh’ swinging in God knows what direction — still me, and that nothing or nobody can change that, but myself.
And if I choose to do so, if I choose to change, and they don’t like who I’ve become? Ha! Tough luck, the only one I have to report to (on occasion) is me and I like myself, so I have that going for me.
Fact is, I am changing. As time goes by, as moments pass, as I encounter and process, as I read and think and write, I change. Because I want to. It is something that started some years ago. (Yes, I am a late bloomer, winters don’t faze me.) The status quo was scaring me. Not moving means going nowhere. And I had travel plans.
With every molecule mutating, with every particle decaying and new ones being slung into this weird electric state simulating life, I look different from the moment before. In my experience a lot of people look upon that with eyes that seem to spark with fuses short circuiting behind their thick skulls. Usually people that appear close by in the rear view mirror, but are actually much farther away. Too bad. My life, my choice, my clutch, my stick shift, my gas pedal. Eat my dust.
So, nothing I can do at the moment. Somebody else is dealing the cards. It is not my job right now. And all the mess that maybe comes from the hand I will be dealt, that is what I am left with at that moment. That is my new jumping-off point. And jump off I will. It will be a giant leap forward, going straight into a free-fall. And the farther I jump, the bigger the chance I’ll land at some place interesting. A place I never thought I’d end up at. A beautiful new world.
Imagining what I can do with a whole tomorrow. A full day, for me to spend however I choose. And not only for me. This goes for everyone who lives another day on this planet of rainbow colors. Twenty-four hours (and change) shifting around the globe, pushing the darkness ahead, until another new day ends up at our end again. And then? Again.
“Heaven knows we need never be ashamed of our tears, for they are rain upon the blinding dust of earth, overlying our hard hearts. I was better after I had cried, than before–more sorry, more aware of my own ingratitude, more gentle.”
― Charles Dickens, Great Expectations (Source: Goodreads)
Stuff I found.
If you weren’t already afraid of heights (and I’ll hereby Iet you know I am and I was), maybe you’ll become it now.
The point is, Vermeer did not himself paint over the painting in the painting (they knew because there was a thin layer of dust between the paint layers), so in my book it is, in fact, a restoration.
“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.
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.
“Pointless thinking is worse than no thinking at all.”
― Haruki Murakami, Kafka on the Shore (Source: Goodreads)
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: