Tuesday, December 20, 2011


one of the gorgeous women in my training programme sent me this story.

Twins are talking to each other in the womb:

‘Do you believe in life after birth??’
‘Sure I do’
‘Really? Well, what do you think it looks like then, this life after birth??’
‘I don’t know exactly. But it will be lighter than here. Maybe we’ll get to walk around, and eat with our mouths…’
‘Walk around! You must be kidding, that’s impossible. And eating with our mouths? How? Besides, the umbilical cord is much too short to walk around with…’
‘I think everything will be different, really…’
‘Well, I think that birth is the end of life. I’d rather stay here and stick with what I know.'
‘But we will get to see our mother, and she will take care of us.’
‘Do you believe in a mother? Really? Where is she then?’
‘Here, everywhere, all around us. We are and we live inside her and through her. Without her we wouldn’t exist at all!’
‘Bullshit! I’ve never seen any mother. And I never noticed her either, so she doesn’t exist!... and besides, nobody has ever come back yet to tell the story…’

Monday, December 19, 2011

racing past

this weekend, in the midst of a turmoil of things to do, places to go, people to see, and many internal storms, i finally found my way back to the eye of the cyclone. where everything is quiet. as always.

thank you friends for the good words and the good thoughts.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

too much

it's all too much. the children are having their first week doing the lambada between two houses, and they are not coping well, so the nights are broken into pieces and the days are tense and thin. i am totally overworked with the courses of this semester coming to an end and lots of check-up work before the holidays. then there is the flu (and the vile gargle). simple exhaustion.

oh, and i almost forgot, but i am almost seven months pregnant...

so how do you do this again? can you guys remind me? i know there is a way, something about small nurturing steps, little windows of opportunity to be filled with goodness just for me. but i seem to have lost the manual once again. tell me, how do i get out of survival mode? how do i get in touch with the small simple good things?

Wednesday, December 14, 2011


what better time to discover an apothecary vocation than at the start of the flu and cold season. sinterklaas must have known this, because the good man presented me with the best gift ever.


this book, based on the bbc show 'grow your own drugs'. i am smitten. and like i said, plenty of patients around to practice on. but i have not forgotten my grand-father's favourite saying 'physician, heal thyself!' (yes, i know it's not actually his saying, but he's the only person i know who said and lived it consistently). which happens to come in handy now that i wake up every morning with a sore throat and a stuffy nose.

and so, with this particularly scary gargle getting ready in the fridge, the children and i went in search of a neti pot. we visited all the indian stores we know (quite a few...), but the only neti pot we found was copper and cost as much as two weeks of food. frustrated and chilled (as in: they were chilled, i was frustrated), we trudged back home...

... where, as is often the case, it turned out i already had exactly what i needed. a little tea-pot that i have known my whole life. straight from the kitchen of the man who healed himself. a true physician's tool.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011


this week for the first time since april, I will sleep for more than three consecutive nights in the same bed. and not just any bed. mine. after months of nomadic divorcing limbo, i finally have a space of my own. as i clear out garbage bag after garbage bag of a life no longer fitting, as i move and rearrange furniture, and burn sage in the newly open spaces, i am overcome by sadness, relief, gratitude and an odd sort of tingling aliveness. reading clarissa pinkola estes' version of the red shoes, i am reminded again and again of the value of the hand-made life. carefully, stitch by stitch. i know there are no shortcuts, no instant fixes. but there is this life of mine, unfolding. and it's so worth showing up for.

Monday, December 12, 2011


we've been witching away in our little kitchen, the witch-in-training and i. we have great plans. so far, we've made this. and this.

but soon, there will also be this. and this. and this. not to mention a lot of bread...

and in search of inspiration, we found ourselves freezing our ass off at the mid-winter fair of the archeon, between the goths, the punks and the story-tellers. it did smell good. of wood fire, and animal hides, and herbs and cold sharp winter air. you can still smell it in our hair.