Wednesday, June 30, 2010

op het nippertje

while still trying to sell our big goat of a garden house, we finally got our act together, and, rather late in the season, followed the example of local giants, and rented out a little plot of gardening land. and the thing is, even if it boils down to not much more than a few radishes and some gherkins (i have much hope for the gherkins), it will have been so totally worth it, for the feeling of my fingernails in the soil, and the smell of wet earth and green grass, and the sun on my back, and the sight of toini by the water, isabelle under her tree.

Monday, June 28, 2010

on allowing sadness to be

almost every day, sometimes more than once a day, i fall into sadness. quite suddenly, inexplicably, seemingly unreasonably and utterly. these bouts of sadness can last only a few minutes, or they can stretch for a whole day. they feel deep, painful, breathless and complete. i have trouble letting them be. i have trouble believing they will pass. i have trouble remembering that they are not the first of their kind. i have trouble breathing through them. i have trouble understanding what they are (what are they?). i know them inside out, yet have trouble seeing them.

but my husband, who is very much in love with his wife, and takes the trouble to photograph her often, and with adoration, my husband has shown me, inadvertently, just what i needed to see. that my sadness is real, that it is beautiful, that it is ever shifting and changing, that it is gentle and, surprisingly, that it is not even always that sad...

Sunday, June 27, 2010


on this particular summer, at the heart of the summer of my life, i reached the mythical age of 36, open, filled, strong, sated and blissful. thank you, my friends, for being there. for sharing the joy, the food and the music. thank you for being part of this magical, magical life...

Saturday, June 26, 2010

good old gold

on repeat in my ears all day, this song.

(i wish i would know how to add a soundtrack directly to the post, so you wouldn't have to click through, but i don't know how, and i guess i'm just too busy to find out right now. too busy looking for the summer...)

Thursday, June 24, 2010

a humming day

on these lazy summer thursdays, i am simply humming with bliss. beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and my eye is sated. can you tell?

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

summer solstice

believe it or not, nobody had brought their camera. so i am left with the impossible task of describing the undescribable.

there was a bonfire, and really good food. there were marshmallows on sticks, and sweet white wine. there were children sitting by the fire, roasting peppers, bread buns, bits of paper and popcorn. there was the sun on the dune, and the shade under the poplar trees. there was the moon, not quite full, coming up in front of us. there was accordion music, and banana bread. and the sweet scent of wild jasmine (or was it those yellow flowers?).

and then, later, there was the sun setting in the sea, a bright orange ball, but red too, and purple and blue, leaving a trail on a sea so still, like a lake, like a silver mirror, like a piece of silk, the rustling kind, and there were seagulls on the surface of the silk, and naked children swimming in it, and the sunlight made their bodies shine with light, and the moon was so bright on our backs, and the air so warm in our faces, and the sky a painter's easel, casual brush strokes, this way and that.

i cannot do this. it was not like this at all. it was much much more so.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010


oh, to lie in the grass, on my back, and gently grind my achy tired menstruating kidneys into the warm june earth, and see the sunlight play through the leaves of a big friendly tree, and breathe slow and deep, and watch the wood nymphs flitting by on their woody nymph adventures...

what girls fight over

isabelle and i are both dilligent, devoted and passionate foragers and hoarders of what most people would probably refer to as trash, but which we choose to think of as treasure. one of our favourite activities all times is 'dingen zoeken', which involves walking through our neighbourhood, nose and eyes to the ground, scanning the pavement for amazing stuff. once home, we divide the spoils equitably, which traditionally involves her taking whatever she fancies and me being left with the rest. but sometimes, the seven-year old in me rises to the occasion, and we get into the 'mine!' 'mine!' 'mine! i found it!' 'mine! i want it!' 'i saw it first!' 'but i picked it up!' thing.

and seriously, just look at him, isn't he simply adorable? with his cute little eye, and his colibri nose. and what about that cutest of feelers? how can a girl give him up?
(i did give up in the end. i always do. but on the condition that i could photograph him first. our 'beesie')

Sunday, June 20, 2010

on the dangers of pointing at the moon

there was once a woman
who so much loved the moon
that she sat night after night
on the empty floor
of her empty house
and looked through her box
of souvenirs
there they were
laid out
her husband's index finger
her mother's index finger
her lover's index finger
her father's index finger
her brother's index finger
her daughter's index finger
and the finger of some woman
she'd met on the metro
that one night
in 1983
yellowed nails
she held them up
one by one
laid them down
one by one
if you had come closer
you might have caught
a wisp of an echo
(what happened? what happened? what happened?)

through a chink in the curtain
the light of the moon
fell on her neck
on her hair
on the forehead
that she never once tilted up

Saturday, June 19, 2010

shadow puppets

it was called 'the monster and the miracle sun'. the story went as follows: there was a sun that was miraculous, because it was not made of fire, and it did not burn, yet it gave light and love to the entire world. and on the sun lived a princess, not any princess, a sun princess, who frolicked and played all day in the light and love of the sun. then one day, a dolphin swimming below in the ocean caught sight of the miracle sun and decided he wanted to get up there. so he jumped as high as he could out of the waves, and of course missed twice, but the third time... the third time he ended up on the sun, where he met the princess, and they were delighted with each other, and became friends and went on to frolick all day together in the light and love of the sun. but then... a monster appeared, and it was a very very evil monster, and the monster was evil because he was very sad, because his love (another monster) had left him, and he was so sad, and so loveless, that he wanted everyone to be unhappy, just so he wouldn't feel so lonely. and he was thinking of how he could make as many people unhappy as possible, and then he looked up, and saw the miracle sun, and decided that he would extinguish it. but of course, being a monster and not a dolphin, he didn't know how to get up to the sun, so he had to build a rocket, and he flew in his rocket up to the sun, but the princess and the dolphin fought like lions (or rather like a princess and a dolphin with some knowledge of martial arts) and they managed to throw the monster, with rocket and all, into the ocean, where he drowned.

the end.

(the monster's name is Gollum, and before he came out on paper, he was sitting in my belly, with one claw around my throat, and one around my heart. theatre as a form of exorcism)

Friday, June 18, 2010

on the importance of doing nothing

and i mean absolutely nothing. preferably for a whole day at a time. and by myself. it only took me 36 years to figure out how good that is, how nourishing, how essential.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010


under the dappled light of sun and tree, black stone monsters proclaim their standing in the dead objects hall of fame. meanwhile, below in the gravel, live men make live music and live children find real treasure.

Friday, June 11, 2010

and then...

...just like that, spring was over. and summer began.

Monday, June 07, 2010

on the difficulty of looking poppies in the eye

like would-be
maybe lovers
they tremble
they sway
stem to top
it's the wind
they say
and they meet
your eye
looking away
to see a reflection
of their own intensity

Thursday, June 03, 2010

Tuesday, June 01, 2010


it was 9 am, isabelle was drawing at the dining-room table, toini was trying out his climbing tricks on the stairs bannister, i was standing in the kitchen, barefoot, washing my kefir grains under the running water tap. the window was open, the birds were singing, and a warm sea-scented and sun-flavoured breeze blew right into my face. the stereo was playing this song. softly. the birds outside didn't seem to mind.

i am doing it again. trying to describe happiness.