the will to live in a doomed world

I have a pretty clear view of where this country is heading, what with all the urbanization and increasing of production and population that’s been going on. When one just elongates existing trends from the last 30 years it gives a good idea.
Add to that the tendency of mankind to do things because they’re possible (in stead of what’s desirable) and it is clear: more roads, more buildings, more people, more houses, more traffic, more noise, more pollution in the Netherlands.

pic by Roger Waleson

Less animals, less patches of unkept nature.
Especially with the tendency of the Dutch to do everything thoroughly, optimalized and regulated.

This future is not a bad thing. It’s just a thing that will happen.
It is no good to cry over the loss of panda’s and silence and funny little frogs. These things are happening and these things are to be expected. Because we are who we are and we do as we do.

pic by Margan Zajdowicz

It is not my aim to sit here all gloomy and doomy and cry my eyes out, no matter what the tearjerking nature documentaries or accusing reports are trying to accomplice.

It is my aim to come to a mental attitude that aknowledges these processes and premisses and finds a way to exist happily within them. I just need some time to sit down and think about this properly. Apply my mind and find the nuggets.

Within this future I feel there will be a chance to witness the unexpected beauties that will develop from the new situation. Like we never would have expected LOLcats and the joy they give when we first thought about internet and its implications.

lol by Mandy Julian

In the same vein there will be unexpected new things come into existence in a more urbanised world. Already the city birds sing harder than their country cousins. Certain bugs can exist thanks to the city warmth.

Humans can get involved. There’s already something called “Guerilla Gardening”. I have done so myself, throwing poppy seeds all over town to grow some flowers.
There will be other things.

pic by Michal Koralewski

A second thing that will pop up in this exercise of thought will probably be the embracement of shrinkage. I cannot shield the square mile around my cabin from urbanization and heavy industry. But I can shield my little patch of woodland. I can optimize it for animals. And I can find joy in sitting in the grass and seeing a bee emerge from the bee hotel I made and enjoying the flowery herbs I sowed.

I also expect there will be a word or two about human culture. Therein may lie the way to happily spend time and feel forfilled as a human being in an urban world. Or at least be amazed at what’s possible and how intricate it can be.

It will be something that’ll be lost to future generations too, just like our polar bears.
In the same way we no longer appreciate the intricate meanings of a gift of flowers a couple of hundred years ago. They were like lettres! Also in art the chosen flower was a communication.
Or the way women tied up their head scarves. There was so much meaning in that. It was a form of communication. For all the community to see.

So many meanings, implications, reasons for public outrage or private chuckles in these expressions of culture are now lost to us.
And so will ours in the future. Internetmemes, ’80s music, action figures and films. Their meanings and communications are now gone or fleeting.

But joining in, becoming part of a contemporary cultural tribe, might be an answer to the feeling of doom one gets when realizing how the world as you know it is changing and that things get lost.

Other answers are denial, distraction or numbing (that last one by using drugs).
These are not my style. Although I use distraction a lot to manage the stressors I feel. When it is not the time to deal with them I use distraction a lot (aka watching movies or solving a difficult puzzle)

My style will be to identify what changes are to be expected in my country, in my environment, in my lifetime.
Then I’ll try to identify what attractive options I have to feel good about living in this world at this time. I expect at least these three aspects to be involved: trying to predict and spot unexpected opportunities budding from the new situation; embracing life on a smaller scale; looking at human culture for existential delights.

Art is one expression of human culture that delights my mind and spirit:
pic by Winnie Lee


a bit of everything

So I lie awake again. 200 mg Progesterone has nothing on me.

I also did two days of extra string methylation, this causes me to lie awake too. Even though I try to get the detoxification started as early in the day as possible, it still causes high noradrenaline in the middle of the night.

There are various sorts of B12 and of Folate stuffs and the last two days I took the most easily absorbed forms: Adenosyl-B12 and Metafolin.
This sends the Methylation cycle spinning.
I’ll be taking a break today
because sleep is everything

and tomorrow I’m taking a course in enemailling! Really looking forward to it.
I’m driving there myself, it’s about an hours drive, in my own squirrel mobile.
I’ll need food and salty water and ear plugs and a place to rest after I arrive.
Later today I will make some ganache and I plan to dip rice waffles into it.

In other news my right shoulder still hurts. I cannot knit, crochet, spin, felt or type in any constructive way.
I also cannot lay on the couch comfortably. Or find a position to sleep in at night.
So today is the day I am addressing this. Need some new attitudes for as long as my shoulder needs to heal.

  1. don’t hang in the couch any more. Go lie flat on your bed when resting.
  2. can no longer fiddle with hands when resting (knitting, writing, drawing) so it’s going to be something else: reading, snoozing, singing -learn overtones?-, solve thinking puzzle, listen to an audio book, …
  3. stop typing. Take a break from Ravelry, PhoenixRising, emailing and blogging. Find another way to take notes (doodle them? record on tape?)
  4. sit up straight when you sit, walk when you don’t. My big muscles are weak, I wanted to fortify them but something prevents this at the moment. Shouldn’t let them deteriorate further. Am enjoying my daily walk.
  5. I pull up the shoulder, emotional cause. I want to hide in it, embrace myself. Gotta find another way to hide and embrace. Sew up a sheep’s fleece? wear a cape?

So that’s my day’s work cut out for me.

On top of my daily job: to allow my body to rebuild itself. I can’t tell you how much effort it takes to keep my brain from chattering and interfering all the time. And methylation and PMS only make this worse. It’s a good thing I’m not on coffee or in the city because I’d be rocking!

Talking about city, it’s such a strange thing and I’ve been wanting to talk about it for weeks now. But when I’m in the city I’m all about art and culture and have this urge to paint. I even brought all my brushes and paints etc. with me to the cabin!
Haven’t touched them since.
When I’m in the cabin I’m all about slowing down, embracing the moment, breathing, enjoying flowers, birds and trees.

I couldn’t tell you which of the two is the true me. The city girl is more active, feels more alive. The nature girl feels more at peace,authentic.
They’re both me, I guess. Wanting to distinguish and assign values…. that’s soooo 2013 ;)

It makes me think though, about humans and our progress through time. Progress as: “look how we stumble along, the path we’ve followed and a reasonable projection of it into the future”.

I see the landscape around the cabin getting more cultivated by the day. Animals are driven back into little patches to live in. The patches get lost.
It’s the way nature documentaries have been tugging at our tear ducts for decades now: all doom and gloom. I do not wish to go that way.
Because there’s nothing to be done about it. This is how the human species stumbles forwards. You might as well curse the sun that’s about to rise tomorrow, again, aaargh.

I do feel a longing within to being in landscapes that involve no other humans. It’s probably a build in thing from the past, like 10.000 years and longer ago.
And a nice glug of sentimentality, of romancing living as one with nature. Oh, how I dream of living with the reindeer people somewhere in the North.
If there’s one thing documentaries about tribes or Survivor Man shows it’s that living in nature is no picknick. And you can’t do it alone. Man is a people lover.

So. I’m trying to get to grips with this pouting over Holland’s nature getting smaller by the minute. As if there was ever real nature left.
Well… some. I remember walking in the heather fields of Drenthe with my grandmother. Even though heather fields were maintained by shepherding people they have done so for a 1000 years and have been an ecosystem.

Anyway. There’s no use cursing at the sun or wringing your hands because human messes up his environment. The thing is to resign to the era you’re assigned to. I still live in a world that has some wild polar bears and tigers. The memory of a farmers country is not far behind me in these parts of the land.
In the city it’s only a short hop to the 16th century and life at that time. History is everywhere and it’s an inspiration. And it’s interesting to think about the things those people thought they were loosing. “Oh no! The oxen will disseapear!”
“No more tinder fungus for us, not now everyone has got that modern way of making fire!”
“in my time, we all carried our drinks in pigs bladder… what’s with this modern nonsense?”
(I’m just pulling these out of sleeve, not trying to be acurate or anything)

It makes sense to predict that urbanization will progress. Nature will be driven back.
I look at Japan for examples.
It will bring many interesting urban culture things that I cannot even begin to imagine. There will be lots of niches. And a few of them will be taken by animals who find a new way of living.

gotta stop typing, gotta take my walk.
sorry, no energy left for pictures. I can show you one of my coffee table:

get to work:

I just spend two weeks in the city and have not found time to work.

I enjoyed the city and our city house tremendously. I took several walks (ok, two) and took some trains and enjoyed the urban people with their smart clothes and their plans. I enjoyed how the city operates, how everything is organized and how people work together.

I did not feel the need to participate and run along and be smart too and be succesfull. Well, not much anyway.

I did manage to change pace quickly and do things and then rest up on the couch and later on do another thing. I remembered how I took up knitting for when I have to lay down because I am so bored then (but not bright enough to write). So I knit when I lied down. I visited a lot of friends (compared to what I’m used to). Did a lot of doctor things. I did not shower much… also, I frequently forgot to change my socks.

Now I’m looking forward to go back to the cabin. Be amongst wool and handmades and nature. And Spring running away from me. I’ll never get that patch of land formed in the way that I envision….


well. Just keep readjusting dreams and ambitions to the hours and the energy I have in a day. I’ll bring the notebooks back to the cabin. This weekend is for cleaning up (the cabin and myself)(and my socks), getting rested and preparing food for next week. First thing Monday: sit at desk and write. It will start with a prelude this weekend when I’ll read up on a bit of the materials, get that vibe singing. I love that phase: the anticipation fun.

(I may have plans to take a car trip to a rose nursery tomorrow and buy roses which then have to be planted around the cabin and the patch of land. This will thwart all other plans)


pic Den Bosch by Michiel Verbeek

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 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.