‘I do not think I am easy to define
I have a wandering mind
And I’m not anything that you think I am’
The Little Prince
“What does that mean — tame?”
“It is an act too often neglected,” said the fox. “It means to establish ties.”
“To establish ties?”
“Just that,” said the fox. “To me, you are still nothing more than a little boy who is just like a hundred thousand other little boys. And I have no need of you. And you, on your part, have no need of me. To you I am nothing more than a fox like a hundred thousand other foxes. But if you tame me, then we shall need each other. To me, you will be unique in all the world. To you, I shall be unique in all the world….”
-Antoine de Saint-Exupéry-
Grateful for the sunny days that lure me out into the green, rolling hills of the waking world just outside my window. Grateful for the cat that sleeps in peace, dreaming of more time to sleep.Grateful for the birds up in the trees, grateful for the rare few that stick around long enough for me to aim & take their picture.Grateful for the lazy, dark eyed cows who watch my every move; their curious nature stronger than their instinctive need to flee.Grateful for the unexpected heart-breaker sitting on the sidewalk; winning me over with a tilted head, hazelnut coloured eyes & floppy, soft ears.Grateful for my sister’s presence & courage as she asks permission for me to preserve this unforgettable furry friend.
Grateful.Today I’m grateful for the sun, the wind, the spring & the promise of summer.Grateful for leafs exploding from sprouts, flowers occupying the fields & crops bravely taking up space.I am grateful to be here; to be free, seen & loved.Grateful for today.And immensely grateful for tomorrow….
May. A new month & a new theme.
Just the other day, while spending my holiday on one of Netherlands’ beautiful west Frisian islands, I came up with, what I thought would be, a wonderful new theme for the month of May. Animals. A collection of thirty-one cute, cuddly & lovable animals, sure to bring a smile to everyone’s face.
But of course I forgot that holidays don’t last forever & that I don’t happen to live on an island that’s literally swarming with amazing bird-life or where one will find more sheep than people. No, I live in a small town, where there are no sheep to be found, where last week’s storm blew every potential photo genetic bird from its tree before I could get the focus right & where the only cat interested in spending time with me is my own.
And so, instead of ending up with images of adorable animals, I ended up scouting busy bees, spooked pigeons & a, everything-but-cuddly, friend from our garden for this week’s photo-shoot. Maybe not exactly what I had in mind, but on the other hand; how often do these little fellows get the chance to bask in the limelight….so, I’ll let them have their moment of fame:)
Hope you will enjoy these week’s pictures & make sure to check back next week for more animal pictures…
I’m free. Free to be. Free to feel. Free to go. I am free to breath, fill my hungry lungs with courage, love & endless amounts of hope. I am free to strive for the best. Free to always attempt to be the best possible version of myself. I am free to take responsibility for the choices I make & the choices I refuse to take. Free to be good. Be kind. Free to try to get life as right as I possibly can. I am free to dance, sing, shout out, write down, stand tall & free to stay still.
I am free. Have been free since the day I was born. Free from my first breath, word & step
And this, this makes me an enormously privileged person. I can see that now.
Like many of us, I grew up taking freedom for granted. Although history books taught me that my & our freedom was fought for by those who went before me, I considered it a normality. A constant. A permanent state of life. War belonged to movies, songs & the evening news. And even though the stories touched me, had me thinking & considering, stories was all they were & all they ever would be.
But something changed, or at least so it seems. I don’t know if it is me or whether it is the world, but freedom feels different these days. Fragile. Frail almost. It is a complicated world we live in & these are uncertain times. And as years go by, the freedom, which seemed so self-evident all our lives, seems to be threatened from all sides. And that frightens me.
And that’s why I want to take a moment today to stand, to think & to celebrate. Take a moment to realize that I am free. Free on the tempestuous spring day. Free to watch high clouds pass by my window. Free to think of that day in early May, now so many years ago, when this tiny land I live in was liberated. Seventy years later, I am free to wonder about the people who walked the streets that day; the singing crowds, the faces looking up at the sky, the blossom dancing down in perfect showers of pink. Seventy years later, I stand & try to understand the full meaning of that freedom. The weight of it. The feel of it. Freedom falling from the faces, freedom seeping through the gates, the barbwire, the crumbling walls. That beautiful, joyous freedom pouring into the houses, the fields & the waterways. Freedom spreading across the years, finding its way into this room, where I stand & understand how privilege I am to be free today.
Ever since the end of World War II, the Netherlands remembers its dead on the 4 of May. This is what the official remembrance website says:
‘During the national commemoration of Remembrance Day we remember all those – civilians and soldiers – who have been killed or murdered in the Kingdom of the Netherlands or anywhere else in the world in war situations or during peace-keeping operations since the outbreak of the Second World War.’
As from 1961, the victims of the Second World War are remembered together with victims of other conflicts, wars and peace-keeping missions that have taken place since the outbreak of the Second World War in the Netherlands.
(source; www 4en5mei.nl)
the grass is greener
on the other side
Sometimes I seem to forget that this blog, that this space right here, is mine. My place to explore, discover, learn & share whatever I feel is worth sharing. As always I forget contains doesn’t necessarily have to be flawless for it to be nice. Pictures don’t have to be perfect. Words don’t have to be edited, reedited & reread before they are allowed to find their way to this page. After all, this is my place to be as flawed & imperfect as I need to be at times. The place where my inner critic should be forgotten & forbidden.
But, as it goes with most people, my old habits seem to die hard. My stubborn mind falls into familiar patterns; it turns harmless wondering into endless worrying & gets in the way of my creativity time and time again.
And this is why, at the beginning of this month, I was feeling pretty anxious about my month’s theme, unsure about the subthemes; texture, reflection, patterns & perspective. I felt I had little experience with these unexplored photo subjects & set off with a sense of insecurity surrounding me. The first week of April became nothing but a struggle. I was over-analysing & over-thinking every picture I took, I found myself worried about the colours, the composition & the subjects. And all this worrying was taking the fun out of this whole photo project.
But halfway this beautiful spring month I had enough it & decided to have a good one on one with my pondering mind. My spring break started & it couldn’t have come at a better time. I left the computer where it was, packed my clothes & the camera and set off into the waking world outside. And as I cycled through the fields, as I walked across the beach & as I marvelled at this exiting world bathing in green, I forgot to worry about angles, colours, composition. I took photo after photo, feeling exited every time my finger found the shutter. I hardly thought of patterns or perspective. And whenever I did think about them, I came to the conclusion that both subjects were everything but new to me. Wasn’t I the one who spend an entire year shooting PlayMobil figures at impossible angles; changing perspective each time I tried to place these little people in this world full of slightly bigger people? And didn’t I spend every single summer finding beautiful patterns in skies above, the cobbles on the pavement & the crops growing on the fields all around?
Patterns. So hard to break. My mind loves wandering, but for years I used it for worrying instead. So, who am I to blame it for doing what it has always been told to do?
Patterns. Patterns everywhere & all around. Some of these patterns are comforting & safe. Some keep me grounded & provide structure when I need it most. But sometime these same patterns hold me back, get me down & force me to sound the retreat. And that’s when I know it is time for a change. Time to trade places, play some mind tricks on that silly mind of mine & change perspective for a while….