Wearing Inner Beauty on the Outside

I have a lying mirror. Lots of people own one. It shows only one side of you and it pinpoints ugly things. Especially things you cannot help such as pimples, crooked hair, crooked ears or overall you-ness.

As it brings me down to see I’m no perfect princess I tend not to look too much into the mirror. It is a handy tool for checking your teeth for spinach or your face for ‘stuff’. But beyond that it’s a lying piece of bling and I do my best not to let it impose upon my self confidence. I rather chat ignorantly away with my hair all wonky than hide inside with the curtains closed. Besides, what friend cares if your hair looks wonky? They notice, they forget.

A lying piece of bling. Fancy tool for checking your teeth for spinach.

I only know what my face looks like from the front, in a mirror. I did make a short movie with my iPad once, to see how my face looks from the side. I’d seen so many weird photo’s that I was really curious for the ‘real me’. I was shocked. I have a very big nose. And stupid hair. And a stupid silhouette. And I’m going bald. People should not make movies of themselves.

Since then the mirror shows what I know I’ll see: a big sharp nose and a lean, scrawny face. Much like a bird. I have high cheek bones that point into the world. They sit on top of two cute apple red cheeks but when I’m having a bad day those apples sink away into my face. Leaving those sharp cheekbones poking out. Oh, and there’s a distinctive jaw at the bottom, just to underline where all the health should’ve been in this face.

Hello CFS….could I have my apple cheeks back please?

then this week…. somebody over at Ravelry.com wrote me a single line:

“You know you look like Audrey Hepburn, yes?”


“No really. Look. This is you. I can’t see Hepburn because I see Anna in a cowl:”

audry hepburn


pointy nose check not much flesh on the cheeks check smiling eyes check …..

Somebody else chimed in: “Yes! It’s true! I can’t believe I didn’t notice this before!” 

Well, flabber me gasted!

this is no longer the bird face you’re looking for in the mirror! 

Not only the mirror lies but so do our brains.

Mine says: “big pointy nose + scrawny bird face = ugly!

Hepburns says: “pointy nose + lean face = beauty!  Just add a little style, baby!”

audry hepburn Mark Shawpic by Mark Shaw, 1954

Yes, miss Hepburn!

So that’s what I did.

I went to the hairdresser (before al this brought it together) and she gave some pointers. (“keep hair out of face to balance that jaw; put it upwards ’cause you’re bright eyed; cut it like this because it’s thin”). She sold me a jar of ‘product’ that turned out to be very expensive bubblegum you put in your hair (kids these days!).

Then I put on my city clothes in nice bright colours, added some sheer lipstick, put on some comfortable heels and I’ve been happy with myself and how I look for four days in a row now. My posture has changed, I move ‘taller’, I breathe better. I move more elegant (I’m a Hepburn now, after all) and I enjoy it immensly. I still look the same like I did last week of course but somehow I think of myself no longer as a big nosed scrawny bird face but as an Audrey Hepburn. It shows. Something from inside is shining to the outside.

Take that, mirror! You’re back on spinach duty! And lipstick.

where’s the credit for the Hepburn pics? pinterest doesn’t do credit.

no need to stick a fork in me

went to the guy on Monday, he is an acupuncture therapist in the school of Penzel. Acupuncture massage, all the meridians on the body are followed with a pencil with a small bulb on it, pressing into the skin.

it’s very big in Germany, with over 5000 professionals administering it.

like I said, my GP thought it might work for me.

It was a nice visit. Quite esoteric, a light building with lots of wooden fixtures and with wall paintings in friendly colours and blooming spring branches in hand thrown vases.

The guy was friendly and he knew his business. I explained about my sensitivities and he opted for a lighter treatment, not the one that pushes the body. He stroked all my meridians with the pen, I could sense how some worked for me and others didn’t. Some activated my body and it tensed up. Others made it relax.

I voiced this and he was impressed. It was nice to skip the chit chat and talk deeper from the get go. He offered solutions that have worked for other people he knows, people that are very sensitive too and whose bodies are overwhelmed by modern life. They meditate near big crystals every day, they live in the country and they use Tibetan Singing Bowls to harmonize their energy. He really recommended that for me too, those bowls. This one guy he knows helps people with them and he’s in the same village as where my cabin is. And this other guy makes them, wonderful pieces!, and is just one village over. They are expensive mind you. But when you find the one that helps you it’s a wonderful thing!

I’ve never heard a Singing Bowl before. I do know I have no defense against sounds and do not particularly like them.

I don’t know… I felt like he invited me into the alternative circuit and spend money there. It felt like a sales pitch. From a very nice person.

Either way, he was certain this acupuncture massage would benefit me and I would recognize results within two days. After that we should talk some more and make a new appointment. “But first: go home and notice the changes in your body!”

I went home. Happily. Hope is such a nice thing to carry around, don’t you think?

Unfortunately I have sensed no changes in my body. None at all. I am tired from the trip. I balance my hormones more actively since my period’s just peaked with ovulation time. But nothing unexpected. No feeling better. No feeling worse.

I did sprain my left knee a bit Monday evening. This is the knee that I had surgery on 20+ years ago and one of the things mr. Penzel states is that bodily energy is blocked by surgeries. These blocks can be lifted. I’ve never sprained that knee in over 2 decades. The pain was un unwelcome reminder of the pain in that time.

Tuesday had me limping a bit.

Wednesday has me back to normal, kneewise. So I will not offer it up as anything to do with the treatment.

No more acupuncture massage for me, it is very clear my problems do not lie in the overall energy of my body. I maximize the little energy I have by not using much for digesting food and that’s it. No leaks, no blocks. There’s just not enough energy to begin with.

Tomorrow I’m meeting my GP again. He will write me a letter to the Adrenal Professor. That’s where I’ll go next, get my blood work checked properly and get some supervised medication. It is Addison’s. I’m done.

off to the city: plans

will be spending a short week in the city again. Lots of appointments, if by ‘lots’ you understand ‘one a day’.

I do want to get some work done too. There has not been much of that the last two weeks. One week I had to recuperate from the previous week in the city+period, the other week I had a visitor come by for four days in a row and spend one day making (two) phonecalls. So that was all my daily allowance of energy spend.

But this coming week I hope to do some work, regardless of the appointments I made. I’m eager to do some writing and as I’m more energized when I am in the city there’s reason for hope I can combine the two. I’ll also need to rest up more, each day, if I want to combine things. So the plan is to switch very promptly from activity to rest. ‘Power relaxing’. Or something.

I will actively inject 45 minutes of resting here and there across the day. A new approach to the day. More like a schedule.

There has to be one in the morning and one in the afternoon. And my regular rest around noon. So that’s the plan: to keep an eye on the clock and check with myself: did I get my mornings rest already? And no slouching behind the computer. Either be active or be resting. Don’t let the hours run through your fingers.

Either be active or be resting:


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getting a gift

last Saturday I was at a wool gathering and there was a woman with felted fleece rugs. I kneeled down and ran my hands through the locks. We got to talking, celebrating felt and wool and women felting.

I briefly ran away to get my felted Sheep bag to show her and she was delighted: (pardon the cat)

we talked some more, she zoomed in on my illness and we talked how good wool is for the ill. It soothes, it protects, it warms, it connects you with nature. It was a lovely talk.

Soon afterwards I went to find my friends to go home. The lady came after me and gave me…. on of her rugs. The most beautiful there was! her favourite Ouessant!

I was stunned! She made this by hand and it took hours and hours and it had quite the price tag on it and she gave it to me. We didn’t even know each others name!

As you know by now, it doesn’t take much for my blood presssure to plummet and a nice gift will do that in a heartbeat. So I said: “Excuse me” and flopped down on the floor. I was embarrased of course and I nervously explained a bit about adrenals and blood pressure.

She did the most amazing thing: she put the fleece under my head AND SAT DOWN BESIDE ME. To chat a bit. As if it was totally normal that a person drops to the floor when something nice happens. As if I am not a freak who cannot handle normal life.

It was so heart warming, I could cry. Which didn’t do my blood pressure any good so I had to lay down for a bit longer. We had a lovely chat.

Later I went home with this hug in the form of a handfelted fleece. It lays on my couch now, where I spend lots of time. I feel so encouraged by this tactile gesture by a complete stranger that this week I started my search for a specialist who can handle my case of adrenal failure combined with ‘women issues’ aka progesteron shortage. So that I do not have to do this alone any more, wondering every day if I am doing enough or if I’m doing too much and am destroying my body.

It’s amazing to know that I am the sort of person that you can talk to and who is so likeable that you give her something you made with your own two hands and were asking good money for. It is such a boost for me to know I am such a person, even when I am as ill as I am and am white as a sheet, forget my words, stand there trembling, mumbling and confusing myself and others. A shadow of a human most hours of the day but when talking about wool, something shines trough. Something connects.

This lady, she gives felting workshops to do exactly that: celebrate the human connection. thank you Maria, for this gift :)

good days working: artist and writer

again it works, my idea of having one job per day.

yesterday I was an artist once more. I saw a piece of art on a wall in a tv series that fire started me -am I the only one?- and I took out my artist note book. It prompted sketches for wood block prints where you lose pieces of the wood during the print process. Combined with women figures. But people, you see. Who happen to be women. People with an inner life, an inner existence. Which cannot be determined because all we have is exterior and colours and paper and words.

The series was Dem Som Draeber, nr.6. In Thomas’ house.

Other series of which I recall wall art vividly are Dexter (in the house he and Rita lived in, there’s a flowery piece, mostly on the left side of the shooting frames. I love to remake it more boldly, with more distinquised blobs in more layers); Will and Grace (the portrait in their apartment. I always want to enhance its colours and contrast yet give it more subtleness and vulnerability)

The timing of these sketches was not as organized as I had imagined. In the morning, my ‘gold mine hour’ slipped through my hands when I collapsed after going nr. 2. (is this too specific? My bodily system cannot rebalance itself it seems after that natural thing. Nor after a shower. Or if you startle me (by sound or touch). I think it matters to notice such things because it gives a clue. Must have something to do with the Nerves Vagues, bloodpressure, intercellular pressure and electrolytes.)

Anyway, I spend the morning on the couch. The afternoon too. It was only late in the day that I got going again and then suddenly I was able to work on some art.

Today I am writing. Again, lots of circumnavigating such as surfing, writing here and making cups of tea. But still, I have written a bit on bacteria and I am enjoying the work. I’ll get back to it now.

“This doesn’t mean you’re old!”

Blundering through life in the city this week…

Nothing has come of my plans to work, I need all my time and wits to manage daily life. This may have included a spectaculair crash in the doctors waiting room when they had my appointment time wrong and I timed my energy peak accordingly. My crashes come with incoherent sobbing and a need to succumb to gravity NOW. Although all physically caused it looks quite hysterical. So íf I were to confess I crashed you can imagine it was a spectacle and I was mortified with shame afterwards.
But I’m not telling.

Neither will I confess to getting on a wrong, slow train to nowhere where I needed to be. Nor whether or not I forgot the most important pills for this week at the cabin, together with my all knitting charts.

I will tell you about something I did right this week: I got reading glasses. The optician suggested them and I put them on and my eyes liked them instantly. Much more rest. So I was sold! Give me two!



That’s when the optician spend 15 minutes convincing me there was no shame in getting reading glasses at my age (41), it doesn’t mean I’m old. At all! Please don’t think that. Even although most people don’t get reading glasses until they are 50 years old, you are by no means old by getting them now.


I have never associated tools with age. Anything that makes your life easier makes you look smart, is what I think. Glasses, hearing aids, pills, prosthetics, cane, roller blades, ear mufflers etc.

The optician must get some weird customers… I suspect there is a generation sometime before mine that doesn’t want glasses or hearing aids because ‘they make you feel old’. So now I feel young because that’s not me. I’m one of the newer guys who favour technology. We are Borg, baby!

… oh… now I feel old again because clearly I do not look that age. The optician thought I looked the age of the older must-not-look-needy generation…

I better go shopping for some beige coat then….to dress the age I look…

luckily I can’t! because my energy is needed elsewhere  (making and eating lunch and resting and than trying to wrestle the doctors office administration habits again to get a new prescription for the pills. Round 3.)


These are my reading/knitting glasses: