Goodbye September

Goodbye September, with your bright blue skies, uncharacteristically warmth temperatures & your incredible high spirits. You were a holiday, a gift; a getaway from life as it tends to be. You brought me arms full of freedom, legs full of miles & a head full of refreshed dreams. And all I can say to you is: thank you!

Goodbye beautiful September, what a lovely time we had together. So much sunlight, so much air to breath, so many adventures to go on & so many hours to spend exploring the world and my place in it. There was nature everywhere. There was the mesmerizing sea; the cold water stinging, the waves rolling in. Like a child, stretching my arms, trying to catch a ride to shore. There were the wide, empty beaches; there were unexplored possibilities in every direction, there were tracks to follow & there were seagulls going their own way. There was sand, grass & wind. There were birds, like great white clouds, sailing away from me. There were seashells in my hand, there were ships on the horizon, colourful parasols creating shade where needed. There were fields filled with flowers, curious goats at lunch, evenings to stay out & mornings to have breakfast at the break at dawn. The sun turned my skin a golden brown, white feet where my socks used to be.
Days passed. Sunny days. I followed my sand covered shoes around. Sometimes walking, sometimes peddling, sometimes resting in the spaces between. I read books, experimented in the kitchen, happily celebrated new life on the way. I was filled with joy, then filled with doubts. Conversations drifted in & out of me. A head full of things to say, I found words for some things, unexpected silence for others. I thought of all the possible things I said & all the possible things I should have said. I felt happiness & it was large as life itself. I felt both pride & regret. I remembered all the lessons I learned along the way, only to forget them moments later. And through it all, I think I was growing somehow; growing up as well as down.

Goodbye September, goodbye to your never-ending tale of human sorrow. Summer is come & gone and some of us are still waiting in vain. Waiting at borders, waiting in between the rubble which once was a city, waiting for aid, a solution or simply waiting for some compassion. Waiting for this world to become a better place, a safe haven for all & not just for a selected few. As I lived out the days of my incredible life, old & new stories sprang to life all around me. People stood gathered, remembering & mourning. Committees were assembled, summits took place, citizens from far and wide took to the streets & demanded a little bit of everything for everyone. It was good, it was brave, it was the best they could do, while I sat & wondered whether it would ever be enough.

Goodbye dear September, our time to part has come. October is waiting. Autumn is setting in. Leafs are falling. The months ahead will carefully wash the traces of this past summer from my skin. But even as I turn a lighter shade of pale, I won’t forget you, nor the colourful days you brought me. Thank you, sweet September. Thank you for all the time you gave me. All the sleep & all the waking hours. Thank you for the seaside, for the fields, the forest & the cool canopy of its trees. Thank you for the safe travels, the memories made & the promise of moments to come. And more than anything, thank you for granting me the time & space to reinvent my ‘extra’ordinary life, just in time for the holiday to end. Take care & I hope we’ll meet again…

Love, Naomi

Book: I read two Nicci French novels (my guilty holiday-pleasure:), called ‘Blue Monday’ & ‘Tuesday’s gone.
And I read a beautiful little book called ‘For one more day’, written by Mitch Albom. It’s a great story about a son who gets to spend one last day with his deceased mother; beautifully written & great food for thought.
Series: E.R, still:)
Songs of the month:
The promise – Tracy Chapman
Motherland – Natalie Merchant
We must be crazy – Milow
Hey, that’s no way to say goodbye – Leonard cohen
Take me home – Jack Savoretti

Goodbye June

Goodbye June. Goodbye to your restless days; the showers, the changes & all those hopeful new beginnings. Thank you for the grasslands growing, the grain swaying, the birds overhead & the rivers flowing. There was more rain than the ground could take, more heartache than our souls should take. There were swallows dancing, clouds gathering, lightning striking. You were wild & unpredictable, yet you were beautiful & brave. And I’d like to thank you for that.

Goodbye sweet June, thank you for the days I got to walk through. In the midst of your confusing sadness, you have taken the time to once again remind me of the importance of all things little. You have warned me about the weight of things larger than life; the heavy burdens of everything I cannot possible change, nor carry. And so, I set out looking for the sun behind the clouds, the silver lining at the end of the day. With a renewed lightness in my step, I hiked up a hill, I watched the sky in wonder & I adjusted my heartbeat to the unexpected rhythm of your season. And, suddenly, I felt so much lighter than before.
Living through your days, I hoped, I feared, I tried, I managed, I failed. Some things came to an end, while other patiently waited to begin. I learned new words with the same meaning. I created & conquered. I made long lists which I never finished, I set goals I decided not to reach. I watched games unite & divide. I cheered for Spain & cried for England. I let the world get to me. I read the news & became painfully aware that I too am part of a greater whole. Part of something. Something nameless & abstract, yet something that seemed to be coming apart at the seams. And all of a sudden, I felt frightened over the prospect of losing the sense of unity I had never felt before.

Goodbye Dear June. Do you wonder, like I do, what will happen now? Where we might go from here? Why do we do what we do? Why do we let fear cloud our judgement, let prejudice get in the way of who we ought to be? When did our world turn into a place where parties turn into massacres, holidays into horror? I broke down, I cried in disbelieve. I felt the loss in my heart, mind & my soul. And all that while, I understood that it was alright to feel too much at once. That the feeling of devastating sorrow, which sat in my chest, was what the world needed from me that very moment.
It ought to hurt, because it is an crime & it’s a terrible, terrible disgrace. And we should never be allowed to be numbed by all the suffering, but we should be outraged & empowered instead.

Goodbye June, thank you for everything. Let’s make way for your friend July, see if she holds the summer we somehow were unable to find. Thank you for all the wonderful moments of togetherness you send my way. Thank you for the sweet strawberries, the tasty dinners & yummy cakes. Thanks for the love of those who love me; their words, their laughter & their reassuring nearness. Thanks for the walks, the wide skies, the rain that soaked my clothes & the shower that warmed my skin. It’s time to wave goodbye now. Take care & hope to see you next year.

Love, Naomi

Book: unfortunately, I didn’t manage to finish a book this month:(
I am half way a novel called; The Shock of the Fall, by Nathan Filer. It’s promising so far…
Series: still watching E.R & mixing it up with a Netflix original called Bloodline. Furthermore, I’ve been watching a few soccer matches from the European Championships:)
Songs of the month:
Up & Up – Coldplay
Nearly Morning – Luke Sital Singh (with Gabriella Aplin)
Hold back the River – James Bay
Young as the morning, old as the sea – Passenger

This month I would love to include a lovely, colourful & incredibly creative music video I’ve been playing on repeat. This song lifts my spirit whenever it needs lifting & even though, I’m normally not crazy about music videos, I’ll gladly make an exception for this creative, funny & inspiring piece of art. Of course, it helps that I’m a huge Coldplay fan, but give it a go & who knows, you might like it too…

Goodbye May

Goodbye May. Goodbye to all of your unexpected surprises. The rain, the storm, the sunlight, the misty mornings & tropical afternoons. You could never quite make up your mind, could you, whether you wanted it warm, cold, wet or dry? It seems to me like you, therefore, decided to give us a bit of everything. And in the meantime, you made trees explode into life, you painted the grass the brightest shade of green, you swept clouds across the sky & flowers across the street. It was beautiful. It really was.

Goodbye Dear May, thank you for being so lively & wondrous. Your days have been colourful, challenging, rewarding & memorable, all in one. At times, you amazed me with your ability to combine such a range of emotions into one single day or into one single person. But you did. You left me feeling proud some days. Worried & anxious on others. ‘Not quite sure’ on the many days in between. During your restless days of spring, I learned many new things & rediscovered old abilities. I got lost in the pages of a book, I found my thoughts entangled with the lives of others.
On sunny days, I wandered through the newly decorated forest, marvelling about nature & how it always takes its course. On wet days, as I felt rain drops slide down the warm skin of my back, I decided to stop avoiding the puddles & started to look up at your wonderfully wild skies instead.
Packages arrived, prints were delivered, songs were sang & memories were made. I took a train, a bus, a boat, a bicycle, my shoes. But sometimes, I didn’t move at all & watched time go by without me. It moved so rapidly, hardly taking notice of me & my old fashioned daydreaming. And as I stood there, witnessing time & all its frantic passing, I was relieved to discover that I can still pause whenever I think I need to.

Goodbye May. You leave us in a world unchanged. A world were so many are still left to fend for themselves. A world were decisions are made, but no solutions are found. At times, I can’t help but feel disappointed. Disappointed in myself for my inability to take a stand or make a change. Disappointed in the facts and the figures & more than anything, disappointed in the seemly narrow margins of our human compassion. At the same time, I refuse to give up hope, refuse to give up on the idea that we’ll pull through somehow & will able to look back at these troubled times with a sense of achievement rather than shame. I hold on to my own soul & my own kindness with all I’ve got, because I realize, now more than ever, that it is all I’ve got. And that it’s worth more than I could ever imagine.

Goodbye, sweet May, thank you for all the beauty you gave me. Thank you for giving me 15 years with my dear, beautiful cat. Thank you for all her wit, her cuddles, her bright eyes & her stubborn nature. Thank you for bringing the swallows back to fly speedily pass my window & nest above my head. Thank you for all the words; spoken & unspoken. All the thoughts & all the wondering. Thank you for health, for love, for life & all those other, slightly sappy, nouns we tend to take for granted.
Oh, and yes, thank you for white asparagus, thank you for red strawberries & dark chocolate ice cream. I’m leaving you now, June has already started & the days are flying by. Time to wrap you up and say goodbye. Thank you for everything & I hope we’ll meet again!

Love, Naomi

Book: ‘Room’ by Emma Doneghue (Beautiful, very impressive book, which will leave you wondering for days after finishing it)
Series: How to get away with murder & E.R
Movies: The Broken circle Breakdown
Songs of the month:
Frail love – Cloves
The Fast Lane– Milow
If I needed you – The Broken Circle Breakdown
99 red balloons – Sleeping at last (cover)

My new postcards:)

Ezelsoor

Ezelsoor

As some of you might remember, last year the postcard series ‘Words’ was released by Astrid from the postcard Webshop Cardcetera, featuring eight of my very own photographs & words. This wonderful collection of postcards are my pride & joy and therefor I am proud to announce that an additional 2 cards have been added to the series! And these two new cards could very well be my most favourite Words postcards so far. I don’t know whether it’s the items they showcase, the absence of bright colours or the lovely sturdy feel of the matte paper they’re printed on. Maybe it’s the vulnerability of the dandelion, reminding me that we all, in our own way & on different times throughout our life, feel as fragile & delicate as that wonderful flower. Or maybe it is the beauty of a much loved book; used, damaged, yet treasured & respected. Fact is that I just love these two new cards & I am happy they’ll are added to the lovely Words collection. Make sure to check them out right here🙂

Kwetsbaar

Kwestbaar

And that is not all; in March another postcard showcasing one of my photos was added to the delightful collection of postcards published by Cardcetera.
The card ‘Quotes’, which is available right here, is a colourful, happy postcard, perfect for anybody who loves quotes as much as I do.
Astrid, the driving force behind the wonderful Cardcetera webshop, has put so much faith in my work ever since we got to know each other & this has given me a much needed dose of self-confidence. I simply couldn’t be happier that our paths crossed when they did:)

You can read more about the Words postcards, the Cardcetera Webshop/website & our collaboration on the ‘my postcards’ page on this blog & I’ll make sure to keep you updated about some additional postcards coming out real soon:)

Enjoy the rest of your weekend!

Quotes

Quotes

Goodbye March


Goodbye March, with all your spirited showers & your scattered sunlight. How beautiful you have been; throwing towering clouds & bright, sunlit days around, like one does confetti on a party. You found extra hours in a day, you chased darkness from the mornings, then the evenings. And although, at times, the world grew cold & dark, you were kind for me & for those I love most.

Goodbye Dear March, thanks for taking me outside all those lovely hours. I put my hiking boots on, stood in an awakening forest, where everything was proudly brimming with beginnings. I closed my eyes, turned my face towards the sun & felt the winter melt from within me. It always seems to take so long, those last days of winter slumber. But there was evidence of life everywhere & it made my heart sing out with joy.
Cards were send, unexpected packages arrived, letters were written & send. I tried to read, I found myself listening instead. Some days I felt more lost than others, but most days I was merely grateful for always being so safely bound. I looked for inspiration, tried to strive for more & less every day. I created, tested the water, felt proud, felt fearful, satisfied & disappointed. The future was taking shape around me, I could see it, I loved it, but as always it frightened me all the same. And so, I was reminded that some things never change at all.

Goodbye March, with your painful lessons to be learned. It felt like bombs went off everywhere & all the time, ending the lives of men and women, young and old. And no matter who they were or where they came from, they were all lost to us. And I saw it all, I read it all, I felt it all. I read & read, until I understood nothing & felt less than I felt before. At times, at the end of the day, I feel my soul will burst with all the sorrow of this world. But at the same time, these troubled times make me feel stronger & less alone than I might have felt before. Because the darker it gets, the more I am drawn towards the light. The harder it is, the kinder I become. And even though it might not make much sense, I embrace it all the same.

Goodbye good old March, another month gone. I let you go & make room for your kind friend April. Thanks you so much for being your unpredictable self, I loved the surprises that came my way.Thank you for all the walks, the flowers, the clouds & more than anything, thank you for the sun. Thank you for the comfort of weighty words, small talk & familiar silliness. Thank you for new directions, quiet moments of clarity & important hours of uncertainty. I will step away from you with a renewed sense of curiosity, eagerly looking forward to the days to come.

Love, Naomi

Book: Ashamed to say, I haven’t finished a new book yet. There goes my first new year’s resolution:( I did start in ‘The Rosie Project’- Graeme Simsion, but haven’t finished it.
Series: Downton Abbey, Once upon a Time (again:)
Songs of the month:
Us against the world – Coldplay
After the storm – Mumford & Sons
The Other side – David Gray
Fix You – Coldplay

Free Valentine’s Day Printable

Since Valentine’s Day is not far from now & because I felt like making some sweet illustrations, I’m happy to share my first ever printable with you. And the good news is; it’s completely free!
So, this is your change to surprise your loved one with some lovely cards this Valentines. You can leave these illustration around the house as little messages of love or you could print them on good quality paper & use them as postcards. You could even print a bunch of them & create a lovely, colourful banner for that one special person in your life. If you want, you can share this printable with your friends, family or anybody, who you think might like to surprise someone this Valentine’s Day. It’s entirely up to you!

If anything, it would be great if you could credit me, when you decide to share this printable. And please, feel free to leave a comment below, because I would love to know what you think!

Simply press one of the download link below, print the little cards & cut them out. And you’re officially ready for Valentine’s Day!

Valentine’s Day Printable PDF
Valentine’s Day Printable Word

 

Before I go: A sweet friend of mine has organized a giveaway on het website, with a chance to win a set of the Words-cards I made last year together with Astrid from CardCetera. If you happen to read and/or speak Dutch, make sure to check out my friends blog. You have until the 14th of February to react:)

Goodbye January

January (2)

Goodbye January, with your spring like, winter weather & your indecisive state of mind. You’re the start to everything; you’re both the second change & the new beginning. You come early every year; catch me by surprise & throw me off a little. But it is fine & it’s not your fault. It’s me, not you. I should know how this whole annual thing works by now.

Goodbye sweet January, I had a great time with you. A promising beginning, which makes me wonder what else is in store. I walked through your uncharacteristically mild days, left my gloves at home, stumbled into new ideas & got reintroduced to my all too familiar hesitations. I google-eyed the house, I read one book, saw three movies, watched 3 seasons of one series, played 3 different board games, cooked 2 new dishes, played one cd on repeat & had 5 favourite songs to listen to.  I thought, I wondered, I planned & I made lists. Oh boy, did I make lists; to- do- lists, how-to- lists, when- to- lists & why- to- do lists. But some days no list could help me straighten out which thoughts should come first & which could wait till later. I guess some things never change, no matter what year it is.

Goodbye January, I know it’s hard for you to go, leaving this world in the same chaos you found it in. But we both know that chaos is not going anywhere anytime soon. And really, it is not your concern, it’s ours. I just wish I could promise you that better times are coming, while truth is that I just don’t know. None of us do, I suppose. All I know is that I feel it is time for us we recover & regroup, before it is too late for all of us to get back to who we once were. Or at least, who we thought we were or who we aspired to be.

Goodbye Dear January; it’s time for us to part. But not before I take a moment to thank you for all the lovely days & moments we shared together. Thank you for the conversations I had, the plans I made, the inspiration that struck. Thank for the music that drifted my way, the images that filled my mind & the words I got to read. Even though you might have seemed commonplace at certain times, I don’t want to take our time together for granted. Because, after all, this has been a lovely start of something which still seemed rather huge & intimidating 31 days ago. You have been able to turn my apprehensive ship around & now, I’ve got my eye on the horizon.

Thanks again & goodbye sweet January

 

  

Book: Dingen die fijn zijn – Claudia de Breij (Dutch)
Movies: Wild, About Time & The Time Travellers Wife
Series: Suits
Songs of the month:
Catapult – Jack Savoretti
The Scientist – Coldplay (this version)
Emmylou – First Aid Kit
Wish I was here – Cat Power & Coldplay
Adventure of a lifetime – Coldplay

 

One photo a day, 2015 – week 48

26) Finn

26) Finn

‘The best portion of your life
will be the small, nameless moments
you spend smiling with someone
who matters to you’

-Unknown-

Wrapping up my November theme with just a handful of memories to share. Only five images, instead of the usual seven, because in my next post, the last of this year, I’m sharing all my December images with you at once. This way I’ll be able to finish my photo project, just in time for the New Year to start.
A new year, without a new photo challenge, but hopefully with a lot a creative & colourful ideas to brighten up the days, weeks & months.

Love for now & feel free to stay tuned for my December ‘A year in pictures’ theme…

A photo a day, 2015 – week 47

19) Angel

19) Angel

‘The price of anything
is the amount of time
you exchange for it’

Henry David Thoreau once spoke these wise words. If what he’s saying is true, and I believe it might be, then I feel I have spent my time quite wisely.
I was born in a foreign country & have spent the first part of my life moving & travelling from here to there. So, for much of this life, I’ve felt like an outsider; a nomad who belongs neither here nor there. It’s been hard, sometimes. Hard to fit in when looking different from everyone around me. And even harder to fit in when looking the same as everyone around me, but to feel completely different.
There have been times I wished that life could have been a little simpler; less extraordinary, I suppose. I thought maybe that would make everything a bit easier & it would make me feel less of an oddity. But these days, I realize how fortunate I have been, to be able to make all these beautiful, unique memories, starting from the day I was born, stretching across the years, right into the present day. I’ve been lucky to be surrounded by people who love me, know me & allow me to be me. And these people have created the most extraordinary memories together with me. They’ll forever carry my memories along with them, like sacred vessels filled with evidence of my existence.

Of course I have regrets, time wasted, or time I wish I had spent more wisely. Of course, I walked through numerous days of my life without looking around me as much as I could have, naïvely spending something as precious as time on something not equally important. But that’s life too & those times created memories as well. And some of those particular memories turned out to be among the best I’ve made so far.