Thursday, October 27, 2011

on eating dessert first

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growing up (a process in no way complete...) i learnt that food and pleasure are a reward. for work, for pain, for the unavoidable unplesantness. eat your cabbagey thing first, then you'll get cake. clean up your room, then you can read your book. as i grew, the tasks changed, but the principle didn't. waking up early and tired on what i know will be a busy day filled with work appointments and administrative circus, my first reflex is still to brace myself, to mentally map my day around all those 'shoulds', and somewhere on the far horizon, hopefully, hopefully before the sun sets, to leave a small patch of peace. maybe i can have a walk then, a cup of tea, do some yoga.

but experience is a wise teacher. i know that that small patch of peace is a mirage. it will disappear before i get there. i know that being tired and cranky while doing a whole bunch of 'shoulds' will just leave me more tired and cranky. i also know that it's not the tired and the cranky that is the issue here, nor is it the fact that there are clouds of 'shoulds' hanging over my day.

would you venture on a difficult hike on an empty stomach and with no provisions? probably not. because that's pretty much what it boils down to. i need to eat first. then i can work. and being tired and cranky means my soul needs food, as does my body. can i really afford to postpone nourishing myself until i am 'done'? will this improve the quality of my life, or my work? nope. i can say this with great certainty. it won't. because it never ever did.

so these days, i try (and sometimes even manage) to practice the other way. yes, there are lots of things i need to do today. but i am going to start right here, in this space that i love. with a cup of tea. and a blogpost. i will have a tasty breakfast. do some yoga. walk on the beach. (maybe even) do some writing. i will take my time. i will meet my breath. whatever it is that makes my tired cranky face break up into a smile. and then, when i am filled with the sense of the abundance, the goodness, the spaciousness of my own life, i will get down to work. (experience is whispering that i just might enjoy that too...).

and yes, i know that some of my 'shoulds' are likely not to make it, they will probably fall off the edge, and crash on the horizon of this day. but i won't be missing them. not today.

Monday, October 24, 2011

unkept garden

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even though we didn't go often enough, and we didn't grow enough, and we didn't weed enough, and we didn't harvest enough, we really enjoyed renting this tiny bit of dark earth in the middle of the green. another year, another chance... to do it right (oops, i mean, to enjoy it all over again)

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

short list

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of things that made me cry this week: a bunch of insanely daring dahlias, the sight of my unborn baby's unsuccesful attempt to suck her thumb, hearing myself say outloud that i am worth it, this song, this song, this documentary.

oh, and then there is what made me smile: all of the above. and this.

de zee

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de zee (judith herzberg)

de zee kun je horen
met je handen voor je oren,
in een kokkel,
in een mosterdpotje,
of aan de zee.


(uit Beemdgras 1968)

lie-in

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the wind is howling, the rain beating on the pane. i'm lying in bed, wondering what to do with today. maybe a bit of yoga, maybe a walk in the rain, maybe some knitting in the writer's café, maybe a solo visit to the hammam, maybe hanging out with my girl, maybe some work, maybe wash my hair, maybe browse in the library, maybe read a pretty magazine, maybe... maybe just lie here a bit longer, maybe dream a little...

did you see this? and these? and this?

Thursday, October 13, 2011

some days

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are more orange than others

Saturday, October 08, 2011

october

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every year i forget how much there is to love in october: the colours, the smell, the sudden gusts of wind, the leaves, the fruit. the whole wild, intemperate dance in the face of decay and death. october is a celebration. of what has been and what is yet to come.

(no, it's november that stretches the spirit, december that sends it under, january in which i attempt deep-sea diving en apnée and february which nearly drowns me, every year)

Friday, October 07, 2011

rags

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if my prayers are blown to rags by the wind does that mean they will be heard?

Thursday, October 06, 2011

birds

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sometimes on rainy grey days tropical birds come to roost on my kitchen counters and stainless steel water bottles grow feathers