Sunday, 29 December 2013

Craig Ferguson Speaks From The Heart

way back home

its nearly time for wrapping things up for this christmas in scotland, im coming to terms with having no sleep and all ideas.

projectwise it keeps on shaping. i went to the tackshop i used to work in, and bought the T touch textbook for dressage. the rest of my christmas money is going towards the deposit for my Ttouch course in March.  I decided, that im not just doing it so that humans may have opportunity to gain inner peace, but also that a different perspective towards horses may develop. and i am coming to believe that this might be through using the Ttouch technique (founded by Linda Tellington Jones, you can find more information on the TtouchUK website.) The training involves six days, and six evenings camping. which im sure will bring its own story in 2014.

Theres a dutch song, i've posted below in earlier blogs .Spijt. it translates to Sorrow. Sorry. and as time in 2013 draws in, its time to draw some lines. to prepare for the new year coming. Theres been some frienships this year that really gave feeling of disappointment. To be a vehicle for passing out love, and love without expectation, its bloody difficult, and near impossible. and the line draw is that i dont have to hold that weight of disappointment, and the sooner i can draw the line and let it go, the better i will feel. giving care towards others is fine, but thats not to say that they will even recognise it, or respect it, or even carry it forward. and thats ok, now thats getting to be ok. i'm not sorry that i showed care and consideration, and i'm not sorry i met those people on my path, and im now especially not sorry i've drawn a line and walking away from it.  someone once said that if you dont like the people that you are attracting into your life, then its time to change something in yourself. and thats what i've been recognising this year.  In caring for others this year, i've been looking away too much in what needs encouraging and feeding in my own life. and not just the project.

I met a friend in the last few days, her mother had died in the last few months. and her husband had one immense conclusion from it. if you should die tomorrow, the important thing is that you have lived life to the best standards that you can, and those standards can only be set by you. not ever by anyone elses expectations.

The next morning, i met another friend, who was absolutely queen of her own. queen of her own life. she has the most beautiful child that i have ever met (i work with many beautiful children, but this truly is an extra ordinarily beautiful soul). Queen of her own, well she was happy where she was, and in control of where she was. she chose to have a child, and at a time when she had travelled where she wanted to, had created a career that she had wanted, and now mastered it in being able to be strong in her boundaries in parenting her child. I admired seeing this all within a coffee catchup.  if life graces me with two or three more years (one can never be sure). this is a situation that i would like to be in. Queen of my own.

Gery Mendes - Way back home

Thursday, 26 December 2013



Be humble

one flower
one hive

be humble 

all time

be humble

self intoxicating
live the give

be humble be

a just be
be honey

Written by Unom Jg.  Unom's spoken word performances are just amazing. You can find more details at Poetry Circle NoWhere in Amsterdam.  His next peformance is Circ/Us at Dansmakers Amsterdam from the 4th til the 12th of January 2014. More details can be found on his Facebook page. 

David Craig #3 live on

Wednesday, 25 December 2013

God only knows

An ex of mine used to always say, well nicki, whats the next step. he was a scrapper, a survivor, a business man, a conman. and for the latter reason, a most definate Ex.  i dont like washing dirty laundry in public, but his parting line is priceless, and i challenge anyone else to come up with a better one.

"..could you ATLEAST do my laundry before I leave." 

And I did. But only graciously to a point. He left with a bin bag of wet laundry. I can't ever say that I wish I never met him. I don't. He was the first partner who was a spiritual match. He cleaned my energy up, and also taught me what to respect in myself. He also taught me to think forward. Whats the next step, and do it.

I had a spiritual clean up today. On Christmas day. Its always very bizarre when it happens. I dont know why, but since arriving in Scotland, I had a feeling of being spiritually open, and in someways vulnerable. Two days before hand, i woke up with incredibly bad pins and needles in my hands, to the point i was banging my hands against the wall in my sleep to ease it (at 2 in the morning, allow me to be a drama queen). and since being at home, i've been in the feeling of washed away. waves of energy, and I dont know how to feel grounded and focus within it.  I dont want to feel alarm about it. so i just thought, if i have patience, it will pass.

My mum and dad live on a small housing estate in the middle of the countryside. and a couple of years ago, a university friend of my dads who is married to a school friend of my mums. (yes i know.. apparently there was even more dynamics to it in the seventies, but as its my parents, i REALLY dont want to know). well, they moved in to a house along the cul de sac. And when my parents mix with them, and their other close friends, there is a huge ammount of laughter, and scottish wry wit.

My Dads friend popped by, looked down at the christmas roundrobbin we'd been sent from his sisters family. Gosh.. you get this too? .. I dont think anyone reads it, or looks at it without *pulls a "oh for goodness sake face. .. infact its only Steven who really takes any interest in it, and thats only because hes a sucker for tradition.... all that could easily be written in two sentences... "our family is wonderful, and we leave fascinating lives. full stop" He then went onto complain that he had to get a stocking packed for his daughters boyfriend was visiting. I mean come on.. i heard Kat talking .. well we do it for the kids.. The Kids?! come on!! the 25year olds?! i think next year Christmas should only be about US!

Tonight we went to their house for a christmas tipple. We sat in a huge circle. And within a minute, their two cats were sitting beside me facing me. And of course, being me, i say hello as if they were humans. thats what i do.   and then it began. they began to communicate. and i know that they were putting intention towards me, because when a cat looks at you, they dont lie. everyone knows that at least.
I began to feel the same buzz in my hands as if i was standing beside a huge clean crystal.  and then the dialogue began, and i began to tune to it as i started to feel spiritually more grounded and "cleaned up"

let me see says cat. let me see if it can bring the energy from your wrist to your neck...
you need to feel clean again, because you have to focus. you must trust in what we say, you must move the project forward. even if it results in financial debt, the lord will take care of you. We are taking effort to clean you, so that you can bring healing forward to others, this is how it works.  now let me see if i can raise your energy further...

The buzzy energy rose from my hands, to my wrists, to half way past my elbow. and when i returned home, i felt relaxed, and refreshed.

But the feeling of being refreshed, allows ideas, and that itchy feeling of not doing something about it.   So I've made the first steps towards attending the Ttouch course for horses. I signed the paper, and promised that i would follow through But please god, if i do this, let me have a full nights sleep. I dont have full nights sleeps at the moment, it takes me a lot of time to switch off from processing what the best thing to do next? how will i? how can i? who will? how would? thinkthinkthinkthinkthink

so i hope after this. i can have a restful sleep, and feel conscious for the rest of the holidays. thats my bargaining with goddygod. i hope it works.

so far... i have made my first website!  and made moves to make my first Facebook page!

the next steps are to look for funding for the courses, for the ponies, and for the financial support of the project until its complete for take off, please email me if you feel inspired to join the party!  nothing great is ever achieved by one person, its the team behind them, and man oh man i am looking for some more inspired team members!

I sit now watching the last part of Love Actually. Eating my chocolate orange. and listening to the ending, God only knows what i'd be what i'd be without you. and its true.  My family, and friends gave me christmas bundles of inspiration books, and a new diary - DARE TO DREAM. and thats what i'm daring to do, i am daring to follow through. I dare you to do that too!

Merry Christmas x

Wednesday, 11 December 2013

Epiphany continued

When I was cleaning for keeps in the christian hostel, part of the deal was to attend a morning devotion before starting work. Devotion included a cup of tea, reading a bible passage with the group, and discussion with it afterwards. The group was ever chaning due to the one month contract, and ever fluctuating with spiritual opinions, though not necessarily christian. That's what I liked about it, people without being christian, discussing life, values, experiences and god. Really a spiritual hothouse. Mei was a favourite of mine. Still living in her chaos, and still energy consuming to listen to, and a self proclaimed artist.  She showed me her portfolio, I liked it, but not as much as she did, " you see Nic, this is much better than picasso, this has movement whereas Picasso figures only do this.." , and she strikes quite a funny statue pose.

One questioned posed in devotion, which my answer could not be understood by Mei, was What is your favourite place. My answer was the shower. Nooo noooo says Mei, it cannot be the shower, it has to be a place of where to stay, or a place of beauty. You cannot say the shower..

One of my favourite places is the shower. Its a place to relax, to feel clean, to be still, only to listen to the sound of water, and to enjoy the smell of soap. Yes Mei, I love the shower as a place to just be.

Mei made a lot of wise points, sometimes. A point that I keep remembering is about provision. If you hold your hand out flat, open to receiving blessings, you cannot grip hold, you must keep your hand flat open to receiving blessings and be grateful. But, Mei said, we also have to remember that if god takes away, we shouldn't be angry because what was being blessed onto you wasn't yours in the first place. And we should just be happy we've experienced it, and stay open for the next blessing.

Get Mei's point? I do, blessings allow love to flow, you can't tie love with ownership.

I am trying to hold on to this gratefulness at the moment, and faith that at somepoint the blessing will connect to make sense.  I like the philosophy of I am because we are. I like being on peoples teams, its habit to enthuse, but to expect that enthusiasm and support from the people you hope will give it doesn't always go to plan.  Its been a circle of feeling dissappointment. So to change that I'm concentrating on Mei's openhand suggestion.  To stay open for people who are positive in brigining the project forward.  It takes the stress out of it. So at the moment, instead of a tightknit team who meets daily, I have some wonderful encouraging people who without knowing it are working in a tagteam level. It alleviates the pressure and keeps a feeling of fun.  And it should feel fun, its a project made from love and connection, so why should it feel dismal?? No sir, it should feel like a cocktail party in fullswing.

They say, if life gives you lemons - make lemonade
                                                                                                           ... well I say, why not make margharitas?"

- Rupert Isaacson, founder of the horseboy foundation.

Next week, I'll fill in more details in which my tag team are moving me/us forwards.

But if you'll now excuse me, its time for my shower.

Monday, 2 December 2013

Come as you are

Its my sisters birthday tomorrow, I've put a national plee for reminders.  My brothers bithday is in march, and this year with money being a bit short, I made something with what I had. A sort of graffiti design ripped from a magazine and collaged. Sent on time too which is pretty amazing.

A few weeks later I was skyping with my sister. We're spread out siblings see, my brother .ikes scottish rivers to kayak on, and long standing mates to go for a drink with when the sport is done for the day.  I like the daylight and big skies in the netherlands, and for its flaws in society under scrutiny at the moment, its been accepting and supportive of my sensitivity.

My sister lives with her family in sicily. She was always more of the traveller, the thought of routine freaked her out. She was away for most family christmasses, and the ones she was around for, she'd phone me in panic asking if I knew any homeless orphans we could invite to make the event a little more interesting.

She was in love with Ecuador, and lived there on and off for a few years. Her fallout with religion came from volunteering in a Guatamalan orphanage. Where it was thought any proceeds were spent on the directors dog. I heard half of dads phonecall with her try not to kick the dog.. its not his fault..

It wasn't just church. My sister from early childhood expressed detest for organised group activities, she's extremely extrovert but her attitudes do reflect the offbeat and quirky friends she has.

I took charlotte to a party of hers once. And we came in on a lubricated opinion, ohh I hate catholics.. you're not catholic are you? ..turning to charlotte, who is very diligent to her faith..yes.

But she has this ability to deliver the most tactless opinion in the most charismatic and humourful way. And in that way, I've seen friends reflect on these hard truths and take it with a smile.  Mary, a lovely friend of mine is vegetarian. Unaware of this sister dear, well.. aach vegetarians, they're just so grippyGrippy, a scottish way of meaning over particular. Mary, who could be snippy, just laughed.. we are..

So getting back to the skype session,  we always check between us to see if atleast one of us has remembered a family birthday. We'd both remembered our brothers. And since matthews is in march and pips was all the way back december, I was in full false sense of security.

Yes mum was saying how nice you're card was.. and home made too!
I just think that's wonderful!

Aww shucks I think, how to take praise humbly I wonder.. shortlived I find..

..and I just think its wonderful that you take the time to make it, and post it. When  NOT ONE OF YOU remembered MY birthday!!

So yeah, if you can remind me tomorrow that it's Pips birthday, that would be great.

Saturday, 23 November 2013

Epiphany update

So just an update on how things are going. I went with a friend to look at the land for rent, we actually drove right past it, me thinking that this was perhaps too good to be true. Its 1.25 ha, which I estimate at about three quarters of a football pitch, with two small barns, and a small schooling area.

Its was nice to leave with such a good feeling. My friend who visited it with me was also positive, but a week later that seemed to change. It changed from believing to having serious doubts, and a need to bring me into reality. It was the biggest dissappointment to realise that she didn't believe in it anymore. Back on my own again.

The man who wants to rent the land also has his doubts as to the success and longevity of the project, its quite difficult to stay strong in your own path whilst fight through others doubt. I have to admit that its blocked me from thinking forwards for a few weeks. And then thoughts started to dawn on me.

I am going to stay free of negative thinking, and reality checks, because every challenge I come across will bring its own reality check. And I need my positivity intact to overcome it.

I am going to trust that god has brought me this far, and has given me enough signs that this is going to happen. And I have to rest in that and breathe relaxed and confident.

I have to let go of expectations or hopes of who precisely will be there to believe and support me. God/life/love has that covered.

My own fears and doubts are where the finance will come from. But the founders of the horse boy foundation have suggested that I hold awareness evenings by showing the horseboy documentary. So there was light again! And inspiration. So I'm in the middle of organising a first viewing in Amsterdam, and a friend of mine, Leslie Ebony, who is a wonderful spoken word artist will also be performing on the evening, alongside a question and answer session from Rupert Isaacson, founder of the horseboy foundation. Everything else is to be confirmed.

I am also hoping to hold an awareness evening in Scotland, in the Perthire area, more details to follow!

Goodbye world, Hello - Kobi Onyame

Spijt - Akwasi & Rob De Kay

Saturday, 2 November 2013


So these last few months have come with some learnings. I was always told by gran that one good turn deserves another, and to treat others how I would want to be treated myself. And this summer I began really to doubt that. And as with most things when I short circuit, the universe takes it back a key, and shows me kindess in humanity on a micro level. Which was reaffirming to some degrees.
You have to understand that my location moved from the countryside outside of Breda, to Amsterdam, and that's actually a huge change in social climate.  An Ex if mine was from Rotterdam, he summed up some differences quite well. In Breda, if you fall in the street, ten people will run to pick you up, in Rotterdam they will laugh at you (or with you), in Amsterdam, people will step over you and curse you for making them late for an appointment.
So in the summer, because the chemistry of amsterdam does not suit me, I made a decision to draw a line from it.  And now with some distance I can begin to cautiously analyse why the chemistry feels so uncomfortable, this is still an ongoing thought process, and I'm not yet ready to put it to blog yet.
One other decision was made for sure though, I can use my energy and let sensitivity allow me to encourage connections, but those connections don't bring me any support in return towards my own future hopes. But this realisation did, its time to get selfish, its time to take that attention for others, and focus it solely on my own project.
I love music, a few of my peers, David included, are at the top of their game in their sphere. They are Kings of their own. So why am I not Queen of my own?  Music is a form of love, and its path has been walked on and worshipped for thousands of years.  Whilst music is a rock for me, its not my sole purpose. My soul purpose.
My soul pupose has taken a little longer for me to feel confident in pursuing. Mainly because its a path which has taken time to fall into mainsteam, and its still not quite there. But it will be.
My path will be to facilitate the use of horses in order to allow people to find the quiet space inside of themselves again.  This will affect different social groups, and with help of nature,encourage people to find balance again.  Depending on the need of a person, the following shall be used.
The EAGALA model.
The TTouch technique from Linda Tellington-Jones
The Horse Boy method developed by Rupert and Rowan Isaacson.
I  will insert a  link later in the day in which Rupert describes more about the Horse Boy technique.

They say when life gives you lemons; make lemonade. Well I say, why not make margharitas!
                 - Rupert Isaacson

Tuesday, 30 July 2013


" this is for the black on my fist,
this is for the tat on my wrist,
this is for the S in my lisp
this is for my beating heart
on the chest,on the left,
yes, life ain't for the swift,
but for those who can endure
so I hold it with two hands
and more,
and I answer every time it is calling.
and you tell it in my aura,
you can tell I'm a soldier,
you can see the strength in my eyes,
and I hope you can see the strength in my vibe
cause sometimes I get tired
cause its hard out here.

Spinnin by Speech Debelle

its really a strong belief with me that God turned to Jesus and Mohamed one day and said to the affect, "Guys, you did good, honestly you did good, but theres all these people that are just not paying attention, and I'm going to have to work on them in a different way, or different ways.." this is not a precise dialogue, i wasn't there at the time. but its my heavy handed supposition. in other words, it goes like so... if all the religious knowledge evaporated from being, and all the religious books were burnt. if there is a living, affective god/life/love/whatever you want to call it, surely he wouldn't lie redundant with all ties cut, he would surely want to make at least an attempt to connect with his creation. its just a suggestion. and its just a suggestion that there is new movement of people, affecting others through their spoken word. through their art. through their music. if god is love, and love exists in different mediums, then god exists through different mediums, not just one book.

i already introduced you to one creative friends through spoken word.  the last thing i talked to him about was whether pain could be eliminated through only belief. he said yes it was possible to reason out pain. he said that i could reason it by saying "pain..i have learnt my lesson". but i hadn't learnt any lesson yet, really i just wanted to return to normal life. i wanted to be able to go to work, i wanted t be able to cycle home in the summer evenings. that particular week had been planned for new work, and new projects to begin, and instead i could only sit, rest and dwell in a haze of pain killers.

when my knee was broken in Breda., Marije kicked my ass for venturing to the shops, in town, from the country, via a few snow drifts, with crutches. And this time wasn't as bad. This time, because it was a good idea, and a nice idea of seeing a talented group of people perform at their best. The theatre was performed at the Oerol festival, on the island of Terschelling. Its a really cool festival where theatre is inspired by it's location.

As I left the house, David's old mix came on. I still find it one of his best mixes, some of the tunes may have aged, but bittersweet feelings through it, make it heartfelt and true in vibe. it was made in memory of his mama. and it gives me strength.

When I stepped off the boat, I wasn't really feeling the inspiration. Wind and rain are my nemesis, which is why I ran away from Scotland. A friend had cancelled last minute, and normally I'd enjoy the flying solo. but not with shit weather. when the bus arrived, I asked him to drop me off in the town where I could collect the tickets. he shouted the stop. but it turned to be a stop too early. I asked the man in a shop for directions
"oh back to the main road and its ten minutes by bike.."
".. and with crutches?" asks I.

It took rather longer than five minutes, and because I'm not good at gauging my own pain sometimes, there is a moment where it all of a sudden hits. normally with a good grain of stupid stubbornness. and to make sure that I knew my way. foolproof. I asked the man at the ticket office where I should go, and what I could do with my friends extra ticket.

"well perhaps you can go up those stairs and make a suggestion to the deejay.."he proposes.
"..I have crutches." says I.
"...and for the location... its easy, you go to location 22... its ten minutes by bike.."
"..and with crutches?" asks I.

I actually made good time. and as I walked through the country roads, birds would chorus, "there will be blessing, there will be blessing.." and I blank it out. because I need to concentrate on where I'm going. and I haven't to trust that instinct, when I'm in softer mind, then I could feel thought or intention from horses mainly, but they are not reliable, and include ego, and their own lessons to learn. and so despite symbolism from birds before, which has saved me from difficult situations, I am still full of doubt. heavy doubt.

and it grew to be angry doubt. I stood in line at the location, and double checked with the family in front as to whether it was the right location. and it wasn't. the correct location was 45 minutes back into the town. it sunk like lead balloon. I stood for a minute and worked out my choices. I could either go back to the festival grounds, find the boy, and beat him up with my crutches. a two crutch wallop would certainly ease frustration. the second choice was to onwards, though when you're in the middle of nowhere, that is the only choice really.

by this point I was getting tired and sore, and frustrated. and angry with god. if everything happens for a reason, I am failing to see any sensible reason at the moment goddygod. this is not funny anymore.

I got to the location 15 minutes before the end of the play. just tired, and just exasperated at the whole fucking situation. and then there were two ladies watching from the gate. one, who reminded me of David's mum, took one look and asked me to tell her what was wrong, and then every tear of tiredness and frustration came.

as the crowd stood in ovation, the manager came to us, and invited us to dance with crowd. the lady talked the manager, and the manager gave me a stool. and above a seagull soared "you will be blessed, dry your eyes". The manager was lovely, and invited for dinner and to watch the following performance.

The weather worked with the performance. it was based on rites of passage, and change in bonds of friendship to the point of separation. The weather fluxed between scenes, from mild wind, to sea squall. and at the point of climax, Paulien stepped forward and looked to the sky before dropping to the ground and screaming. and in that first moment, as she looked up to sky, the sun broke through almost to highlight beauty and struggle. It was definitely the first time that day I had admired the weather.

Reaching mainland again, I waited on the bus back to Amsterdam. and just before the bus departed, the lady who stood next to the lady who had listened sat beside me on the bus. and pointed out that her friend was outside, through smiles and thumbs up gestures I was able to signal that a lovely evening had been had due to her encouragement. the stitch and weave of connection had brought priceless blessing.

Akwasi Ansah's Daar Ergens project

the last couple of weeks in this month came with huge blessings, and submersion into the shadows. friends asked me to look after their apartment whilst they were on honeymoon. moving from a small room to small apartment was bliss, time to be me, time to process me.

I am high sensitive, and I am softened and strengthened by music, and I am supported by nature, and I am open to feeling things in great measures. someones progression in life can give so much rejoice, yet on the other hand, listening to bitterness, fear, division can send me into a whirlpool into which only which surprise encounters can anchor me. each time regaining balance is an experiment.

I know triggers that I should avoid. but sometimes, if I issue needs to be talked about. there appeared a link on facebook via the guardian. on one hand I knew I should avoid because of my own mental health repercussions, on the other hand it was more important for it to be shared and talked about. The link below is challenging to watch, but in honour of those who suffer torture, or post traumatic stress disorder, or secondary post traumatic stress disorder, I thought it was important to watch it all. for they don't have a choice as to long they endure it, even after the events.

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

  • Exposure to a stressful event or situation (either short or long lasting) of exceptionally threatening or catastrophic nature, which is likely to cause pervasive distress in almost anyone.
  • Persistent remembering or "reliving" the stressor by intrusive flash backs, vivid memories, recurring dreams, or by experiencing distress when exposed to circumstances resembling or associated with the stressor.
  • Actual or preferred avoidance of circumstances resembling or associated with the stressor (not present before exposure to the stressor).
  • Either (1) or (2):

    1. Inability to recall, either partially or completely, some important aspects of the period of exposure to the stressor
    2. Persistent symptoms of increased psychological sensitivity and arousal (not present before exposure to the stressor) shown by any two of the following:
    • difficulty in falling or staying asleep;
    • irritability or outbursts of anger;
    • difficulty in concentrating;
    • hyper-vigilance;
    • exaggerated startle response
    This link features Def mos undergoing force feeding as subjected to those prisoners who are now in the midst of trying to practise Ramadan whilst imprisoned on Guantanamo bay.

    I cannot fathom why this is being allowed to happen in a land who boasts democracy, honour and justice.

    that's my rationale view, my emotional view overloads and overwhelms. it bases foundation nine years ago, in protective love to a would have been husband, to a would have been papa to the unborn child who whispered three months in..mummy it's just not the right time.  To delve more into this, is not my meaning, his story and our story for the main part rests in peace, and wont be shared on this blog. my experience of secondary post traumatic stress disorder has been the following.

    uncontrollable distress, heavy grief, helpless feelings of isolation
    eagerness to walk on eggshells. to make situations as easy as possible for him.
    ambivalence to the rest of the world
    sleep patterns disturbed, putting off bedtime because you know you cant sleep without crying for the whole situation.
    chest pains and headaches.
    and you become more cautious as to what movies you watch, and which may include triggers.
    and you escape into music.

    , secondary post traumatic stress disorder is not officially recognised but there are websites to counsel I believe such as. but I am not a veterinary wife, and I have pushed on in my own way. life has given opportunities for me to heal, but also leaves heavy and oppressive reminders from time to time. it is not easy to watch the link bu I hope that you gain insight in measuring your own feelings and reaction to such violation..

    This trigger in a week where a lot of things felt like they were falling apart. I've mentioned the support of brothers before, and when that support and friendship changes and backfires without reasonable discussion its an exasperating and sad feeling. I understand reasons why things have to be and are to be, but that does not mean that it heavy feeling followed by resignation, and  eventually strange sense of peace that god/life/love has its reasoning's. but these take time to settle, and in losing an anchor of friendship, its distressing and disorientating.

    High sensitive people are equipped with different skills. In Breda, Zussie could tell when a horse was not well or sick far before he showed any symptoms. a habit of mine seems to be helping people make to make connections. and these connections go towards creating greater things. it is a nice feeling to see creative people connect, but part of my learning in this is to "let go",  I am simply there to introduce, and let them do their thing. but sometimes I can short circuit, and it happened in the week where secondary ptsd kicked in, and I lost a good friend.
    My boss chatted with me that I do have talent, but aswell as enjoying the sunshine, sometimes we have to fall in the shadows. if its a hot day of sunshine, shadows can bring relief, but my shadows go to excess, almost to disconnect again, and I to re-evaluate how I open I want to be? are the highs worth the very lows? how will I handle it the next time someone I connect disappoints or hurts me? should I expect that good inspiring moments are balanced with despair, and lets describe it as hard drive crash. can I not reboot and prevent falling deep in shadows? or should I resign that for months of uninterrupted coolness, I can expect a week or two in order to reboot.  in practical assessment of time, we are looking three days to spiral, one evening to crash, and two to three days of hangover and adjustment. that's almost a working week.

    and so Saturday I went to the Kwaku festival in south Amsterdam. I sat beside the stage,a little boy talked to me about numbers. when he found out that numbers are not my strong point. he gave me valuable advice.

    "if you buy something for 4 euros, and you give the man 5 euros, you get 1 euro back"

    "I think I will need you as an accountant for my shopping" says I.

    when life get so complicated?  I stood in the audience, hoping that music would be the complete anchor. it turned out not to be. and it brought me disappointment, not in the music, but that my whirlpool of disconnected feeling was getting deeper.

    and as I stood feeling completely overwhelmed in shadows,  and for beautiful space in time, Sarah-Jane sang from the stage. giving me new sensation and contrast. It seemed to be this time standing in the shadows allowed me to be lot more sensitive to other peoples creativity and sunshine. her first song of energy which nearly blew me away. third song, was like that moment of sunshine through the dark clouds. which gave hope. music is love. it supports, it carries, and in encourages. and it reminds me to hold on. this was one of the songs which brought emotion to my eyes. complete love. just as Paulien in the theatre had caught sight of sunlight before her crash. music gave me a shot of sunlight through the clouds. 

    You can follow the link here to Fade Away by Sarah-Jane and the Xperience at, i hope that you can take time to look now at her page. if you scroll down, the first song that appears is Fade Away, press play, put the volume up, close your eyes and listen. I put music through the blogs not only out of interest, but also to help portray the feeling and tone of what i am going through. so for this tact, i would really appreciate it if you follow through on this part of the journey. pleasethankyoutaaa.

     More happenings can be found on her facebook page - SarahJaneMusiq

    as I walked home from the festival, a guy passed me by and asked if I was tired. I've stopped walking with crutches, but my foot is still sore, and frustrating that I am not able to walk at decent pace.

    "no I'm not tired. this knee is fucked, and my other foot is very sore".

    "wat zielig ben jij."

    Fuck no. I am not to be pitied. and instead of taking the train, I aimed to walk home.

    using money on Amsterdam public transport is like pissing money away in the wind. despite having scorned at the birds, their intentions shone through. don't walk, use the money to look after yourself, have faith that you will be provided for.  I can try to relax into that knowledge, but the insecurity of not knowing how finance will secure the health care I need, causes a nagging stress, and the reminder that my cash flow is insecure can pull the carpet from below my feet. and that feeling is a nemesis which takes effort to over-ride. what I can do is place hope that finances will become more secure, my prayer is that it secures in the quickest time possible. I feel itchy in frustration, and it rolls me over in stinging nettles.

    today though, I cycled the first time in a week, and I processed my fears of feeling broken through lack of finance, and division of friendships.  and as I cycled past the lake, the sunset shone through the clouds. they say every cloud has a silver lining, but not always, this time was gold lining on pink sky. life has beautiful plans, and if I roll with it, it will give me more insight. and I hope that day of feeling peaceful comes again soon.

    the world keeps spinning, changing the lives of people in it, nobody knows where it will take us, but i hope it gets better better better.... is healing.. i love the feeling,

    one day all people ... will be all equal

    until that day comes... i'll just keep singing... (Spinnin- Speech Debelle )

    Monday, 24 June 2013


    It has started. The lead up to sinterklaas. The debate on zwarte piet. A couple of years ago a friend wrote a good overview and view of why changes to zwarte piet should be made. He said that posters of zwarte piet in the uk are of children au natural. Children who dont look like golliwogs. Golliwogs were dolls who also caused controversy in their time. They were removed as mascots from robinsons jam circa 1987ish. Im queen of vague, but it if you want to check it further. Wiki will help you out. Truth is i have lived in different cities in holland, and i never felt so much division as i have in amsterdam. So please god, let amsterdam be an arena for healing, an arena for forgiveness, on all sides. And arena for unity.

    I am TIRED of them, and us, and us versus them. When in the end, we are all an US. I heard an interview from an nigerian-american about her new book. The interviewer asked whether she felt more nigerian or american, her words ammounted to this. Well, at the point that you ask this question, my feeling is of just being me. There is fine line between being rooted in history and culture,and living and being in the here and now.

    The truth is that zwarte piet has to change his appearance. The truth also is that the sinterklaas party, and festive vibes that zwarte piet brings is joyful, and when times are testing, then everybody needs joy. Thats a truth.

    But of course as debate rises there will of course be defensiveness on both sides. Should the change come this year, then there should also be a thread of forgiveness woven in exchange.

    I got upset in the last weeks that id encouraged creative projects, and likelihood not be involved, and forgotton by creative egos. It made me question who is on my team, and to whose team i belong. But when i look at humanity now, its becoming so ugly that im glad my team is small, and that im glad im free of those teams id previously hoped to be in. By walking independently i can stay free from us and them, and hope one day when every superficial difference is abolished, and we are simply us.

    Sunday, 16 June 2013

    ...warm love

    The swifts were spanning the blue skies today. that's something I like about the Netherlands, is the full spanning of skies. People often ask me why I live in Holland, and a big part of the answer is that you can see a full horizon of skies. The scenery in Scotland can be beautiful and mystic, but its also darker in hues, and where there are hills, it takes part of the skyline away. sometimes stunning beauty, sometimes oppressive, particularly if I want an open feel of outlook.  During Breda summers, I have a romantic notion that Breda has the best skies, and I state justly so, because they are only touched by colours of the sunset. Now that I live close to one of the most famous airports in the world, flight paths imprint mans etcha-sketched thumbprint onto something naturally beautiful.

    Actual Breda sunset.

    Where as in Holland, the swifts seemed to stretch their wings in the expanse. In Sicily the swifts showed phenomenal aerodynamics. I sat with an orange juice in early morning, before rush hour on the ground began, rush hour in the air saw swifts darting, turning, gliding between the buildings, swooping towards the depths of pavements, sharp turns through alleyways, and soaring back into the skies. it was amazing to see. and it was nice to see nature intertwine so eloquently with what man has created. Rush hour in Palermo is also something phenomenal to experience, in fact not just at rush hour! to say its a different mentality, the tempo is very different to what you experience in other countries, and yet there can be kindness found in it. Mum said at one point that she had to remember, that scooters sounding there horns, is not out of rudeness, or that they might be upset, but more that they let you know that they are coming - which is handy. Whereas cyclists in Holland are treated like sacred cows, in Palermo, its the pedestrians who are given ultimate respect, lanes of rushing traffic will stop, or at least plan to avoid you as you walk across the road. Here's an example of tempo, Palermo traffic style..

    My sister has a variety of theories. She has a love of Palermo, and that nature is beginning to take over where man is failing. Its not that Sicilians are failing, if anything I like the priorities that they make in life. if you take, lets say an industrious viewpoint, then Sicily is financially lacking, due to debts from war, corruption, and the current crisis. but from a different view, the vibe and soul in Palermo is warm and glowing. Family, Food, Fashion, Coffee and Ice cream (current trend is an ice cream brioche!). 

    The birth of my niece was really a time for family to connect. but this time the connection was slightly different, my sister, in recovery from pregnancy, lacked buzz and opinion. on other occasions, she would have action packed days planned so that we could fully get to know the city that she's made her home. But instead, each day, she gave my dad a destination that she would like me and my brother to see. It was nice to see my parents adapting to a different culture. new language, new pace, adapting in their 50's and 60's takes some doing. They should have seen it coming though. my mum is not really worried what the Jones's think. (except when my sister wore neon "anti cool" waterproofs to a family walk, that time is the only time mum thought best to leave by the back gate, instead of promenade up the street). And only one time of frustration from a conversation was re told.

    "and she said... oh I just think its funny, that one sons married his high school sweetheart.. and both my daughters are marrying, and have mortgages.. all my children are so settled"

    "..and what was I to say.." says mother.."..well my oldest is head over heals in love with a refugee, my second oldest is running around South America with a  philandering latino, and my youngest.. well he's bringing back samples of Perth night life.."

    That was said with a lot of tongue in cheek. there is a lot of tongue in cheek within my family, and its fun. walking along the street with my brother, it fell half into enjoying company, and a small part remembering old ways. and so this time I thought I might try to carefully amend bad habits..

    "you know Fiona in high school used to spit all the time... but then a boy told her if we all spat on the street at the same time... we'd all be swimming in it."

    "that's probably true Nic. but if we all held hands at the same time, its a nice idea, but no one would get anywhere would they? we'd be stuck in a circle all day..... Shall we go for a coffee?"

    It was good having my brother there, he really took attitude of holiday. I had some moments of being overwhelmed sensitive wise, but he set the tone of holiday, and after taking 5 minutes to work through the buzz and tears of "it feels like too much is going on today", I could get back into the holiday vibe. I've read a lot from the sensitives-forum, and I get the sense that they crumble, hide and take offence with challenges to their comfort. If I didn't ride the wave and do it anyway, I would have been sitting on one of the most beautiful 30's style beaches I've ever seen. Advice to HSP, whilst self-compassion is needed, I do think to work through the emotions and experience life is very important to try.

    So Pip sat on the sofa, "I want you to go see Monreale"

    "Monreale is like nothing you will have ever seen, if you're willing.." Dad said, as we turned up the hairpin bend.  We'd taken two buses already, the blessing about not really knowing where you are going is that you find small parts of coolness. we found a building with amazing courtyard, and to the side of the courtyard was an art exhibition ( I'm sure the "lostness" of it all was inspired by Van Gogh. Max once thought a guardian angel of hers was Marilyn Monroe, it seems I'm more guided by an erratic artist with passion for nature. the grass is always greener.)   So the gallery was celebrating the work of Mimmo Germana, who's work celebrated the strength and colour of the mediteranean, which was hugely evident looking around. He also was described to be fiercely influenced in portraying human relation to environment.

    anyway back to the hairpin bend. it was the most challenging hairpin bend I have walked around, for the following reasons.

    • my brother took hold of the fence, shaking it.. "I think theres been an accident here.."
    • below the fence was the roof of a house embedded into the rock,
    • the height of the house spanned the gradient of the hairpin bend
    • As my brother shook the fence, a helicopter flew BELOW us in the valley.
    • I have never ever had vertigo in my life until then.

    "lets just keep going" says I.

    as we got halfway along the straight, my brother and dad started admitting to themselves that this was actually quite a mission. And as it was said, two elderly somethings ran past us on the steep slope. on return, Mum was upset that we did not see the mosaic work depicting different bible stories, whilst the big lights were on to highlight them. I was just happy we saw the place in daylight.


    "Its a really good idea if you go to Cefalu". It was the first time that week that mum came off duty to have an afternoon with us.  My sister had one appointment, so mum would leave after she came back.
    So my dad, brother and I set towards the bus station.  Dad had conversation with his new friend, the bus ticket guy, who thought dads Italian was really improving.
    We caught the bus which weaved in and out of the Palermo streets, and in one instant thought we should get off that bus. and when we did, he just stood, maybe to get his bearings... maybe not. that's the frustrating part, is that there's no communication until he's certainly fathomed his answer.  during that time, the child within feels her brain turn to marshmallow, and a desire to stick a finger in her eye and swirl that marshmallow around a bit.

    "Dad. do. you. know where we are? how long is it to the station?"

    "ohhhh ten minutes.." and after a second reaffirming glance. ".. or twenty.."

    the lesson is that it takes time and patience to travel around Sicily, plan for one or two things a day, and enjoy the journey getting there. the second part of the lesson, is that it takes even more time and more patience to travel around Sicily with dad.

    So we took a left, and found ourselves in a nice little square, and after a few discussions on the likelihood of  actually getting the 12.08  train, "..Well shall we just go for a coffee." and so we did.

    "well.." says dad on leaving." that was a great coffee"

    "yes," says I "..its wonderful for taking the edge off the frustration, out of actually getting somewhere!"

    Dad chuckled dryly.

    we found the station, dad went to buy tickets, my brother is diabetic, and needed to buy lunch. and so we sat waiting for dad. I left them sitting, tucking into lunch. to go find the ladies room. but glancing at the clock, and calculating time for my dad and brother to gather themselves, and to see the distance towards the train.. I "encouraged" them to get a move on! we had 5 minutes before the train left. we, or rather I rushed towards the front, less busy carriages of the train, dad and my brother following. and when the first door tried wouldn't open "IDIOTS" may have escaped my mouth.

    We arrived in Cefalu station,  and as I was working out that dad would have to walk back up from the beach within the hour to pick mum up. BUT. Mum was already there waiting on the platform! she had left earlier, asked directions in Italian, and walked to the station within twenty minutes. as apposed to our rough hour and half..

    she had been sitting in the carriage, had been sitting there for ten minutes already.  and saw me passing, waving on the others, dad marching past with bags flapping, and my brother casually sauntering past, checking himself out in the reflection.

    this is my family, and its a conundrum of tempo's, all compromising, all adjusting, but all loving.

    I look at the tempo's of the birds in the skies, how they all function with different types of grace, speed and mentality. Swifts who never rest, but glide onwards at full speed. pigeons who seem to be the most adaptive birds to their situation, and Aberdeen Seagull who will ruthlessly mug you for a bacon sarnie. They are products of the environments they live in, and so are we. but we are also products of the relations we bare on ourselves and each other. and that's what I find fascinating.

    its how I adapt to my family's tempos', and vice versa. but also being quieter, how I remain strong in sense of my own tempo. its a beautiful tension that I am still trying to work out, and come to terms with. I am now quite strong in me, but they shape how I am, but its my own decision as to how far I allow it to shape me and in what way. and I guess that's part of learning to feel balanced.


    On the way to the airport, we stopped at Seggesta. Seggesta amazed me. that the ground and stones that crunched under my feet had been walked upon, fought upon 300 years BC. having said that, we didn't go directly to the temple.. we had our lunch in the car park. and besides the car park was a path that we walked up, walking past a sign blown down by the wind, which had likely said, no entry. but to which no enquiry was made. so we saw the ampitheater from afar.. but for me more interesting was the settlement close by. perhaps it's included in the tour... we didn't find out. beside the settlement was a stack of cannonballs, BC-style. if we used those today, no one would be bothered to start wars.

    As I left my parents in the airport, a white feather passed by my dads shoulder, and I thought maybe it was angelic help in good relations that week, for which I was grateful.
    But as I got onto the plane, I had a very bad feeling about the flight, I went into quiet irrational panic, "We're all going to die... have I had a happy life? what do I most treasure?" these were all thoughts..

    first announcement from the cabin crew suggested that since we were and hour from Maastricht, we may want to order extra drinks... a second comment told us that someone was very ill on the flight and we would be diverting to Pisa.  its quite unnerving to feel a plane fly so fast you see the engines shaking, kind of like taking my mums old car up the highway. at 90.. 

    on a spiritual note, it hit me, that if white feathers signify something, I need to ask for angelic help in distinguishing different signs. white feathers will appear during moments where love is, but I know that it will begin to panic me if white feathers are associated too many times with someone passing, and so new prayer begins for heightened communication, more specific signs, and more specific discernment.

    the ambulance took the old man, but it waited by the plane for an hour. me and the Spanish girl discussed possibilities of what might be happening, an air hostess then told us the man has died. its a very shocking and chilling atmosphere whilst people are stilled in contemplation. This old man had walked on with his wife, planning to go to a destination together... and now the wife is in Pisa, alone.  with my Grandad, his deteriorating health meant that as sad as it was, we knew..  but this situation in Pisa, was so sad for the wife. And it hit home hard that life is so so precious, and yet fragile and indefinite. and those moments that we take for granted.. we really shouldn't.

    This is one of dads favourite songs from Van Morrison. Warm love.

    On a separate, but interesting note, well for those who still have interest..Whilst I was experiencing Sicily, in different corners of the world,  David was experiencing Palestine on foot, raising money for the Hope Flowers school in Bethlehem. There are some interesting insights in his blog that may not touch us via western media - I know why the caged bird sings

    Tuesday, 11 June 2013

    Teambuilding, me.

    I have time to write at the moment, so lets write.

    A while ago I wrote somewhat off the cuff, I am nurtured. I am encouraged, and I am ready to dance again.
    a few days after writing it I really laughed to myself wondering if I had faith in what I had written. I am nurtured at the moment, but will that continue to be so. I have moments of encouragement, but that also dips and troughs. If I am selling that sentence, what do I have to back it up?
    The questions from last week. who is in your front line team? and what empowers me at the moment? well it circles back on itself. what empowers me is my team around me. the members of my team are not always steadfast, but as team, and without always having knowledge of each other, for me, towards me, they are steadfast. I am because we are.
    One of my closest girlfriends in Scotland, is someone I can rely upon to make me laugh. to get into silly scenarios, but also learnt has been hard truths from each other. In the clubs we made a good tagteam, our peers would concentrate around urban music, but half an hour rebellion dancing to cheeseypop, and we would proudly clear the dancefloor humorous moves.
    the hangover days were spent well, lets give an example. Reminiscing over home and away characters and a shared crush on Dieter Brummer. Once her boyfriend left the flat, it was safe grounds to check out some old Dieter Brummer pictures on the Internet. Kindly, google offered the possibility to check out Naked Dieter Brummer pictures - well why not?  the hitch? we had to sign in using an email account. and being somewhat coy, we thought it better to create a new email account. under the name of Dieter Brummer. Its perfectly reasonable that Dieter Brummer would want to check out his own naked pictures on the Internet.
    To our huge disappointment, there were no naked pictures. But having time left over, and a new email account to use. We thought it would be fun for Dieter Brummer to send a love letter to our friend Leslie. And so he did. The wondrous thing was that "love" turned Dieter Brummer's very sexy Australian accent into something that resembled Mr Hankypoo on an acid trip. And so it began, Deeeeaaar Leslie, ahhhh haaaad a dream...

    The rest of the dream is really between Dieter and Leslie, but it was a few weeks that pasted until it was brought up. Leslie was driving us down the mainstreet, and I commented that Jason Donavan was due to perform in a local bar..
    .".. you never guess, but I got a love letter from Dieter Brummer the other week.."
    we still have  close bond, though distance and social networks have changed these days. When I arrived in Scotland for Grandad's funeral. which was the same week as my birthday. I found a card from her, with a feather on it. I take white feathers as a significant spiritual sign. whilst working through my own daily and weekly stuff, I often lose the focus on dreams. but as I opened the card, beside the happy birthday message was a quote 

    Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined  - Henry David Thoreau
    I mentioned that in the team there was different strands of strength and encouragement. Aside from the old faithfuls. there is a line of guidance and encouragement from friends who are on more of a spiritual level. not always expected, but always seem to be there when life wants them to be. I am highly sensitive, but I don't see it as just something in my personality trait. I see it as a process, of re-acclimatising with life around me. sometimes the world does feel harsh, and somethings can be upsetting on an irrational level. but if I was to hide away from it, then what would I be living? I stood up in discussion with Christian friends the other day, who suggested needing a stone is psychological. They need to read words in the bible to feel protected. I feel protection from energy that stones emit, some stones act as my buffer from negativities around me. a buffer from negativities that can have a disabling affect on my life.  but sitting beside my creative friend last week, it was uplifting to know that being around crystals is only part of the process, and I will not always be tied to that need, as diabetics are tied to insulin.
    Today I sit with a injured foot, unable to walk, unable to take the next steps on many levels for at least the next few days. and its incredibly frustrating, not to be able to "do". the week before, I'd attended a bible discussion about healing (how ironic you say. yeps, I say.) it suggested that other peoples belief, Christian-wise, other peoples faith in Christ, can do miracles. So I wanted to ask my friend, can pain be eradicated through belief? in a non-christian outlook, can pain vanish by believing that it can? and the answer was yes. and I had this huge feeling that this part of the process is going to be difficult to fathom. And he wrote..
    I ask How in the mirror?

    There is work
    to be willing

    Light not
    to be ignored
    Bliss to be
    Knowing knowledge

    ... Knowing being
    Doing knowing
    Do being
    as knowledge

    The U in topia
    is just
    Door, step
    face Within

    I, I will
    work with you
    willing us
    to do

    What the reflection
    can not

    Sunday, 9 June 2013

    Love vs Loyalty

    I like love. I don't like loyalty. loyalty expects, loyalty manipulates everything that love has provided. loyalty sets standards in which failure induces guilt and bitterness, love passes on without expectations in return of favour. Loyalty is in the brickwork of ego. Love flows from one to another, quietly, patiently, respectfully uplifting with joy.

    Let me be broken from chains of loyalty. Let me not feel weights of manipulation. Let me be free to uplift others, and let love uplift me in return. Yes sir, I like love. I do not like loyalty.

    Saturday, 8 June 2013

    ...Feeling Good

    it started a few months ago with Kutweer. a dutch translation for shitty weather, except subtexting it with a slightly rude C word for the ladies v-jayjay (god bless Oprah for nationalising such a term). it was one of the words that Zussie taught me in Breda. and for personal intention, its never used to degrade the v-jayjay, I mean goodness me, its celebrated and attended to (worshipped)  in many parts of the world on a daily basis. who am I to imply c*nt as derogatory?

    In the horse work in Breda, it was common use for exasperation's, kutriek, kutwijf, kutkop, kutkruidwagon, kutstroi...  so when I expressed sheer misery of the weather I was experience, it was to express, and to get it out of my system, on facebook. someone who is a great supporter of a creative friend, took umbrage and challenged me that it was an attack on womanhood, but it was never attack in that way. there was no intention in the words to attack womanhood, or to bring it down, but there was an attack on the state of the awful weather.

    It was a few days later. and I had to cycle with the children to drop the eldest boy at a friend house. the weather wasn't rainy, but it was cold and slightly unpleasant. The little girl who normally could wear a vest in minus temperatures without complaint, got so upset that it was a heartfelt struggle to persuade her there and back. and as we dropped the boy off at the friends, and rested our bikes by the wall. there in small graffiti, was Kut. now this is not to say that my words and intentions influenced one of the coldest entries to summer I have ever experienced. I am not taking that responsibility. It says in the bible, that your belief, your faith can affect someone else, so is it then possible that my misery of words, my expression and belief toward the weather could affect others experience of the weather?

    So I have started to meet with the lady I work for, the one who helps to nurture my HSP traits and spiritual side, to begin plans for the next steps. I am going to write more of my processing in a different blog.  questions of reflection came up, firstly who do I consider as being in my front line team, and secondly, what empowers me at the moment?

    I wrote those names who I consider to stand strongly beside me in my notebook, in the end being me it wasn't a simple line of linked names, it grew to be several lines branching out strong from a central point. One line was the old faithfuls, those who have known me as I was then, and how I am now. There are those who inspire me. there are those who are spiritual, the Christians and the sensitives, and there's David, the patriarchal brother. And then there was that which which cannot be seen, only felt, but still important, Grampa.. Farao and Odessa, my equine friends both departed, and I'm almost sure Van Goghs taking himself into the team. But I'll explain that one another day..

    My immediate team is always strong, but it rotates depending on me, and life.

    Last summer, I had a strong network of brothership, which was great. I really love male companionship. But the drawback of hanging too much with the brothers was that my own feeling of femininity and attractiveness started to lessen and submit to feelings of others judgements towards others. it was never a point that I was seeking out their attraction on that level, I loved them as brothers, but seeing through their eyes what was deemed attractive, and knowing I was not in that cast, it had an affect on my own perception of myself.

    And the issue came up again, as I met a brother for coffee, and we compared two friends of his, who were both blond. One was more Marilyn Monroe, and the other was more elfin type. He tried to set out that the elfin type was better looking than the Marilyn Monroe. To me, they were both blonds, however one, the Marilyn was more closed, and less attractive, and less confident, than the other. And perhaps I thought, maybe if the Marilyn Monroe felt more attractive in herself, then others perceptions towards her, might be different. there are always going to be people that are more or less aesthetically appealing, maybe.. maybe you can be the most attractive you can be, with the package you got.

    So next day, whilst I was cycling to work. I thought I would experiment. on the basis that intention of misery in kutweer/shittyweather could be carried forward, if I simply spoke out "I am attractive", whether I believed it or not, to see if would it have affect... so it was said. breathed. and mentioned again on a couple of different bicycle trips, and then forgotten.

    And I have to say, there has been some change. it wasn't done as a quest to feel most beautiful in the playground, or a step towards arrogance, but more peaceful feeling of my own value, and value in my own femininity, not just in aesthetics but also in a way of being. Nothing has changed in my daily routine, apart from increasing my exercise, which was done for my own feeling of fitness, apart from normalities of showering, using my toothbrush frequently, deodorant, eyeliner and mascara in the morning. nothing extra has changed. I am not able to see my own aura, although I'm sure some people can. But, I do know that people do respond to the energy that others put out. Because I know that I respond to theirs.

     In the last weeks, since accounting for my own value, I have found that more people have conversed with me, I've had more instances of split second connections with people. Cycling past the man who was so amused as his Labrador sprang like a gazelle through the long grass. for a split second we connected on that humour and I enjoyed it.
    On leaving the cinema, the attendant who'd took my ticket, walked me out, and chatted with me about the movie til we parted at the train station, from there the train station assistants volunteered assistant (maybe I just looked clueless - who knows!). and I cant help wondering if my feeling of value was lowered again, and my energy was less open, would either of them have felt like connecting with me? would life even have put them in a position to connect with me?

    We can be judged at how good looking we are.  We can judge ourselves on it compared to others. But it we're so busy concentrating on bringing ourselves or others down, what fun are we having?  who is having the joy?  We all have beauty, it just how we utilise it.


    Saturday, 4 May 2013

    C'est dans la joie

    Hey, I'd like to thank the creator for giving me this gift, and I'd like to thank you for being reflections of this gift, because sometimes you feel like you're by yourself a little.." - Erica Badu, Yeyo.

    This week, spring has come to Amsterdam! at long last! and it allows me to see pockets of life where Amsterdam reveals the warmth and fun behind it. after school finishes, families round the amstel collect around picnic tables, benches I've cycled past unnoticed are filled with every kind of people. the warmth brings out the warmth, and i quite like it.

    I was given a ticket to go see the Van Gogh museum. It had been sort of a reward for rebelling against organised group activities.. I really couldn't find the enthusiasm to take part in the easteregg hunt. So i went to the toilet, and when i came back, i was given an egg anyway. fair enough thought i.

    I'd had a slight awareness of Van Gogh living in the south, my home was two villages away from his birthplace of Zundert, i didn't work this out until about a year or so into grocery trips. driving past vogh's self portrait on the welcome to zundert sign suddenly had meaning. well, better late than never. In visiting his exhibition in the Hermitage, Amsterdam., there were three things that struck me overall where his ethos was concerned, firstly was his absolute obsessive painting in the moment. to grab every possible feeling of the in that "now". Secondly was his interest in Japanese art and religious attention to nature and its affect.  He wrote letters to his brother marvelling at Japanese way of living with respect to their environment.


    "..isn't it almost a new religion that these Japanese teach us. Who are so simple and live in nature as though they themselves are flowers. And wouldn't we be able to study Japanese art it seems to me without becoming much happier and more cheerful. and it makes us return to nature, despite our education and our work in a world of convention." - Van Gogh's thoughts in a letter to his brother Theo.

    I was then very drawn to a second painting, and i really wasn't sure why at first. I preferred some others to it, others had sometimes more intricate brushwork, sometimes colours that i found more touching. but the energy that came off this one painting, brought that buzz to my hands. I have this buzz if i am around crystal stones, or more recently i found it also in spoken word with heart felt intention. Its just funny sometimes if you feel a good energy from something, but you have absolutely no rationale as to why. Reading the side posting, it described Van Gogh's hope in building an artistic community. Can all this good energy come from the mere hope of something? if so, how fantastic would it be. The Yellow House.

    La Maison et son entourage, La Rue. courtesy of

    I found some more information about Van Gogh, and gradually about his flatmate, and co-learner in art, Gauguin. Van Gogh wanted to have impact on people. and viewed painting as a constant path of learning to create art, he painted in the "now" but was also eager to learn from his peers. 
    So I decided to look a bit further into Van Gogh, it niggles me though if I look at something I've written and it doesn’t really  fulfil what I want it to say. Which means extra enquiry, a little more that what I'd actually intended! Lazy student - moi? Well yes, my history teacher would have you believe something on this line, for some reason we didn’t click. I wasn’t too bad as a student, but a second to top for attainment in history class, and second to bottom for attitude and effort in history class, meant really I shouldn’t have written on that desk, shouldn't have.. ? really? why not write on the desk..?

    .So it was a surprise module in university that made history interesting again.   An spirited study session with my one of my flatmates a thought provoking textbook, and fairly substantial measures of Baileys and ice. our new study method and discussion saved us from summer resits.  Our text book made history thought provoking and interesting, it was Landscape and memory by Simon Schama. 

     Simon Schama's suggestion is that the landscape around us is not just the physical, but is layered with connections that we make with it from past memories, emotions and future hopes. Through discussing war, ancient culture, and modernisation, he looks at  how we continually shape and are shaped by the land, our national character defined by what is around us, a deep and ancient connection with our environment.  He suggests,
    It is in vain to dream of a wilderness distant from ourselves. There is none such. It is the bog in our brains and bowels, the primitive vigour of nature in us, that inspires that dream.''

     And if its really taken down to organic root levels, then it also ties to what  Van Gogh is trying to honour in his painting of the potato eaters, where its suggested that the browns of the earth connect full circle, the eating of what they have cultivated from the earth is now celebrated.  Van Gogh showing the most pure and organic connection with habitat around us was to be celebrated.  In conveying these thoughts, I'm not suggesting that we should throw away the lives that we like living, but just suggesting that we take time to evaluate the life that's built around us. Which parts of our environment do we connect to? which parts connect to us? which parts rejuvenate and inspire? which parts are organic, and which parts are synthetic? which bits are healthy, and which bits are not?

     Schama described that van gogh's mental health problems were both the catalyst and downfall to his art, and it was between those moments where a creative explosion would capture beauty. Van Gogh in his letters described awareness of his increasing bouts of illness. And in those moments of health, would summon confidence and courage to capture moments of nature.

     "If you work with love and intelligence, you develop a kind of armour against people's opinions, just because of the sincerity of your love for nature and art. Nature is also severe and, to put it that way, hard, but never deceives and always helps you to move forward.” - Van Gogh

     In expecting Gauguin to come and stay, he then anticipated a strength of creative force in combining two such different artistic styles. And who knows in the end which frictions, personal rivalry, difference in lifestyle, difference in artistic process… led to increasingly difficult mood swings from Van Gogh, and perhaps also escalating power struggles with Gauguin.. But what is true, is that in those nine weeks, over forty masterpieces were created between both Van Gogh and Gauguin which is a remarkable accomplishment.

     "I feel such a creative force in me: I am convinced that there will be a time when, let us say, I will make something good every day , on a regular basis....I am doing my very best to make every effort because I am longing so much to make beautiful things. But beautiful things mean painstaking work, disappointment, and perseverance.”  - Van Gogh.


    In walking around the van Gogh museum, his wish to connect peoples emotion with the moment, and with his portrayal of real life beauty, his legacy really is fulfilled.   And whilst being an example of inspiration for future expressionists to follow, his strength of character in living through his own struggles and pressure can surely also be an inspiration in its own affect.  To look at a painting, and see the life in a ladies eyes. A real lady with concerns, sadness and frustration, through Van Gogh's portrayal, i can connect with her emotions captured hundred of years before.  and in a time where mental illness could not be fully understood or supported, I'm in awe of the mental strength and resilience he had to weather such stormy cycles, its fascinating to think of outbursts of creativity between storms clouds of mental illness. on one hand a pilgrimage of struggle, on the other hand mastery of colour, movement and foundation in which many could be inspired through expressionism. 
    What am I in the eyes of most people — a nonentity, an eccentric, or an unpleasant person — somebody who has no position in society and will never have; in short, the lowest of the low. All right, then — even if that were absolutely true, then I should one day like to show by my work what such an eccentric, such a nobody, has in his heart. That is my ambition, based less on resentment than on love in spite of everything, based more on a feeling of serenity than on passion. Though I am often in the depths of misery, there is still calmness, pure harmony and music inside me. I see paintings or drawings in the poorest cottages, in the dirtiest corners. And my mind is driven towards these things with an irresistible momentum.” 

    In the past, during more difficult situations i have wondered if strength of heart has indeed been strengthened. when the heart pain and anxiety is so great you have to literally strap it with a belt to relieve the pressure, i did wonder at times if it all this emotional stuff was worth it in a practical sense. I would love to say that this is steeped in melodrama, melodrama would be simple. but when emotions overload to impede physical living life, you really have to question it a bit. on some of the lighter occasion, heavier occasions i kept to being a private affair, but those lighter times where i was able to process it further, i would seek Davids advice.

    And the wisdom that sticks to mind, was over a distressful unfathomable outburst I'd had from someone. And whilst he could also could not reason for it, sometimes he said, there are just situations that we cannot explain, but that they are there to bring us maturity. Some of the most beautiful things, are created through struggle and pressure, favourite examples of his being diamonds, and salmon.

    feeling slightly weathered and not really eager to mature, or be honed.

    "Thank you David, I'm quite happy not to be challenged, in fact at the moment I really wouldn't mind just being a Tuna".

    But sometimes life doesn't really give you a luxury of choosing. And in hindsight, I am glad that it doesn't. One day, I am sure that there will be a little book of reflections on a Salmon.  so really keeping things salmon, Van Gogh is a hero, mastering his life struggles in balance with his art and leaving a legacy of colour, and emotional connection in which he as affect on peoples lives. And when looking at the colours and textures of his works, we are really reminded of his own emotional depths, and that's awesome to be affected by someones soul.

    courtesy of the BBC.

    two years ago, i decided to retire from buying Walkmans (mp3 players, I'm not that retro) and in losing my second Walkman charger, and first Walkman actually. i went with Zussie to buy a new one on sale, for being considerably younger than me, she was remarkably good at reminding me it was just for something to listen to this time. money mattered, and not quality of sound. three weeks ago, it came to be that i lost my cheap mp3, and in a moment of irony, on my table sat the charger from cheapo, and Walkman no.2. if there are moments that i cannot find my mp3 for the commute to Amsterdam, i take it as an opportunity to practise listening and coping with the world around. every sound seemed to be filtrating the same frequency for the duration. the sound of footsteps was the same intensity as the sound of a ticket being checked, as the sound of a bird singing, and as the buzzing sound of electricity cables above the tracks. all at the same time, it left me ridiculously tired, but i thought it was maybe better to practise.

    on reorganising my final bag of belongings from breda, i found not only a charger for Walkman no.2 but i also found Walkman no.1 - wonderful! so wonderful to hear intricacies in music again. to hear chemistry in music, instead of a simple buffer to city living. and it brought me to remembering how refreshing life could feel before the events of last summer (see "Abide in Me"). and it awoke my yearning to just dance. the ability to "just dance" has also had its challenges. but i was reminded that it was the feeling of simply "being" in music. Home is where the heart is, well quite a few times, that's been in a mix, a blend of music that just lets me be. this is my respite from the struggle, my peace in the storm.

    In an Antwerp club, there were always a variety of girls at that point. and a variety of dance styles. I stood with Timmy Jones, a brother figure at the time. i would introduce him to you as simply Timmy, but if he was here now, he would auto-correct me, shake your hand and re-introduce himself as Timmy.. Timmy Jones. leaving in no doubt that James Bond is his hero. we looked out for each other in the club, and had a wonderful ability of spotting each others potential pulling prey. I had a fashion at the time to challenge the boys to dancing the running man. purely for amusement. Timmy Jones.. with flare, took it to his level.

    ".. that was great Timmy Jones.. very suave, very very cool, But I was kind of looking for something a bit more "eighties".
    He gave me the biggest compliment once, Nic, its a fine day when you out shadow a black man dancing. i told him my theory, that its really black woman that dance good, and black men do a good two step alongside them. i don't know if he every fully agreed to that, but I'm sure he enjoyed testing the theory out. but that evening, i hadn't planning to overshadow anyone, this inspiration had come from one of a group of girls, who would come to the club in the final hours. when the partiers had faded out, grabbed their coats, and pulled. and instead of the ass shaking, that some girls in the early evening would do.. Timmy Jones would judge it in his way.

    " know by some girls dancing.. you can tell that they're just not..."Educated"

    Iwould leave Timmy to make his own judgements with an ammount of humour..but this girl would come in time for the slow jams and in simple relaxed way, the music channelled her to make golden energy that a jazz diva would hold. and so i would rather try find to be that grace than shake butt. shake butt i could do, but I'd rather then have taken the time for a level of connection beyond that.

    Kaysha  - love de toi.

    Reacquainting with my two lovely Walkmans, neither of who shall be sold or tampered with. new resolution. God has my faith, music is my religion, so be it, that mp3 players are the apostles of Antwerp, Breda and Rotterdam..... it inspired me to go dance. Friends were unable to, either with prior commitments, or lack of enthusiasm. in these cases, its the story of staying at home naemates, looking forward to another time that may not come. or just going with it, and seeing what life plans.

    It turned out that life sewed everything together as it was most needed. sometimes its disappointing that friends aren't able to give the desired outcome, but its not worth becoming tiresome and frustrated about. of course there is justification to feel disappointment, and I'm not condoning that feelings should not be expressed to resolve those issues with friends. but at the end of the day, it takes our own efforts to overstep those heavy feelings, and don't we owe it to ourselves to enjoy life? is our feeling of disappointment really so important to fester upon? I hear this quote a lot, and it must be fashionable for a reason.

    "life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass, its about dancing in the rain"

    and concept wise, if the "rain" is friends being unable to support you in something in the way that you had hoped. well overstep the heavy feelings, and dance anyway, from my experience, even if you have to take that opportunity to fly solo, breaking the mould or rut in how you see life as confining you, and you leave open to new possibility and connection. in my experience, life will provide the best or needed outcome for perhaps not just you, but also including those around you, and in that step of flying solo, and learning that you are already provided for, when are you ever actually really alone? i am nurtured, i am encouraged, and i am ready to dance again. C'est dans la joie. Its in the joy.

    Mokobe - C'est dans la joie.