There was a tiger, in the house, or was it a store? It didn't want to go back in its cage. That cage had been put under a table, and he didn't like that. So I suggested putting his stuff in the big room so he could lie down there. I didn't say anything about putting the cage around him. He came to lie next to me, I caressed his forehead a bit, he liked that.
Until suddenly he jumped up and walked up and down on his hind legs, like a human being, and shouted:
"Gimme those matches, man, come on!"
The man who ran the shop refused, the tiger kept nagging:
"Come on, man, one match, one!"
I woke up. A minute later there was a huge explosion, as if somewhere nearby a door had been blown from its hinges. The windows, roof tiles, walls, doors, everything rattled for a moment. In the silence that followed, I heard a car speeding away.
No alarms, no screams, no cries for help: I concluded it was probably just some heavy firework in a dumpster, and tried to go back to sleep.
What was it with that tiger? Wasn't that man an ex of mine? Was it a supermarket, I thought it was a house at first, why did that suddenly change I've never lived in a supermarket and what does that tiger and…
Old Sore’s Day at about four o'clock in the morning.
My brain began to circulate through the suffering of recent times, and of course I came back to mister Santigo, whose head had once again inadvertently popped up in my internet imagery. The question of why he flirted with me, if it was a game for him to make my head spin and when it did he dropped me in one fell swoop. I would have loved to tell him special things and now it was no longer possible and I had better this or that and I hate him and that is no use either. Fate hates me back.
Although in that case I was also run over by that bus, that time when there was no sidewalk and I didn't know where to walk, and then suddenly that bus came sailing around the bend and it missed me by a hair, and with one extra heartbeat i could walk further.
I miss everyone by a hair. How do I even know where to walk? Maybe fate is also just a game.
A special day, always, january 1st. A fresh start, a new round, new opportunities.
The year just begun and i'm already typing 2020 and thinking about what it must have been like at that moment, to wake up in a beginning, of which probably no one knew how much it would derail.
And how I now - three years later - look at all those other lives from within my diving bell. As if i don't have a life anymore.
Someone responded via a subtweet to those feelings I expressed earlier, in which she indicated that you always have a life. And of course she's right in a way, and I'm doing my best - perhaps thanks to her words - to have some kind of life. On the other hand, it is difficult to live in this extremely lonely valley, especially in this involuntarily lonely valley.
And so I throw myself into making my things: photos, poems, craziness, silly jokes and snarky ones, dead links (I do my best to fix everything, but my brain keeps lingering in fog sometimes), weird movies, everything EVERYTHING everything that keeps me from drowning in the neoliberal cesspool.
(i will not share a list of edifying do's and don'ts, others are already very good at that i just noticed :-D
Today (15): Cucumber time
As I type this, I am gnawing fresh cucumber pieces.
The pros and cons of New Year's resolutions are repeated everywhere; New Year's resolutions sound like solutions and they are meant to be that way of course: you take it upon yourself to solve a certain problem, in the year that stares at you like a gaping hole, for days on end, and that you have to deal with somehow. The excess kilos, the faltering musculoskeletal system, the lack of knowledge, love, sex, books... in the new year you will solve this.
But often the resolutions dissolve in a sea of intentions, thoughts and other apparently insurmountable things in life.
Have I planned something?
Yes, I intend to do things every day, put it in my diary, and then don't do it the day it should be done. Sometimes I wonder in desperation why I still have an agenda. But I keep trying, and often it goes well for a while.
So that's my intention now: to let it go well for a while. I think that's quite a lot.
Today (16): To see
Boring day, and itching in my eye. I rub it carefully. The cat on my lap looks up at me for a while and gently stretches her paw to my face.
I read an article somewhere about a study that had so many probabilities that I wondered if anything had been researched at all, but well, the question was whether dogs register our actions when they look at us. Was the conclusion that we are being observed by our pets so that they learn from us? Or that our pets are actually infiltrated aliens... observing us?
I have to sneeze. The cat jumps away irritated.
I remember the heron, on the roof of the supermarket adjacent to the back of our flat, walking slowly along the edge next to the balconies. At the fourth balcony he stopped and jabbed his head at the window.
It took a few seconds before a naked arm jerked the curtain shut.
I can imagine all sorts of things.
The heron retraced his steps.
Although I was completely out of his way, he suddenly turned to face me. We looked at each other for a while. Before it got awkward, he turned around.
With a hoarse scream he flew away.
Today (17): Mood
It was May 2003 and together with a friend and her father I went to a Celtic festival. Besides beer, music and rain, there were of course all kinds of stalls with Celtic Commercialities, and that's how I bought a mood ring.
I wore it for months, but the color never changed. It remained a kind of amber, which slowly seemed to get darker. While my moods were shifting all the time. The ring didn't care.
According to the package insert, 'light brown/amber' is a dramatic thing: 'Indicates insecurity and a frustrated longing for physical comfort. Romance is a long way away.'
And as if all that isn't bad enough, in thicker letters: “Get a life”.
I had a life. Two, maybe even three. Or seven, and I lost some again. I don't know very well at the moment. The diving clock continues, all heads remain in the clay and everyone turns circles in their own mush.
I recently found the mood ring: almost black now. The leaflet warbles WOW and I smash another keyboard against my forehead.
Today (20): Easter egg
The new year doesn't really want to go in for me yet: I keep typing other (earlier) years. 2012 is my favorite, I don't know why.
It was the year I was rescued from a tiny tumor the size of an Easter egg, just before Easter. All in all a pretty terrifying experience, but hey, I survived, so far.
The years that followed were not exactly easy either. So do I want to go back to that? No. I want to move forward! To a world without worries, but I don't really see that happening yet, either for the Earth with all its inhabitants as a whole, or for myself.
Now in my mind's eye I see all kinds of people getting into the patronizing position and telling me that I have to live in the Now. I'm doing my best, but it's not really easy and nice in the Now. The fruit fly I just killed strongly
But do fruit flies think at all? Probably, if they think at all, they think of fruit. Food. So probably the fly didn't agree with me, but it didn't disagree either. And certainly not when he was beaten to death, and certainly not now that the fly is dead. Then again: you don't know. I always thought my cats didn't understand me. Until one of them disturbed me while I was reading. He kept meowing, and to get rid of him, actually more like a bored joke (sorry), I told him to go find the mouse and I would play with him.
Gaapje (that was his name) looked at me disapprovingly, and walked away. So I thought I was rid of him.
A moment later he was standing in front of me, with the toy mouse that had been lying under the couch somewhere upstairs for days.
Since then I assume that every animal understands me. I just forget that very often.
The new year was not so great for the fruit fly either.
But how old do fruit flies actually get?
Between 2 weeks and 4 months. So it may well be that this particular fruit fly experienced last year, and, consciously or not, also flew into a new year. And that he didn't really like it either.
As long as I can't interview the fruit fly about its possible thoughts, I can't really end this blogpost satisfactorily. Perhaps that is the harbinger for 2023, that it will not be a very satisfactory year.
I used to know someone who often said:"Life is an Easter egg." And then I wondered again and again if I had misunderstood, and that she had said that life is not an Easter egg. It can be both, and in the end you end up with the same thing:
Today (21): Corsage
Yesterday I watched the film Corsage by Marie Kreutzer (2022), with Vicky Krieps as Empress Elisabeth, better known as Sisi, about which many series and films have been released lately. Recently I saw two short series about her, and there is a lot of overlap of course. Corsage is said to be a feminist take on her life, and I can attest to that, although Sisi's urge for freedom is just as prevalent in the series I've seen.
It's always bizarre, how many things I - being a woman - still recognize in, for example, the condescending ways of men, people's gossip when you don't seem to fully meet (unclear and contradictory) standards, family members who want to keep you small , how women are still punished just because they are a woman: sexism is still everywhere.
My own experiences with this are almost inexhaustible; the last most intense was the nasty, also seriously sexist gossip that was spread about me, at a club in which I was indirectly involved. But more about that later, it's storming and raining and hailing and I must draw lots of drawings.
Today (22): Night watch
Go to bed too early, wake up too early, and then hours of ideas for drawings (including eye migrainy ones that glow like neon in the dark), 3D derivatives thereof, poems, stories, animations, anecdotes. All for art, isn't it? It's a pity that I'm too tired now to put all those ideas into practice.
Today (23): Forced Monks
I'm not religious, i'm not Buddhist; on the contrary. Once, i was about 13 years old, i still lived in the parental home, i met a young man who told me about The Faith. Easy impressionable as i am, i decided to start believing in God too. I received a booklet with tips and facts, especially aimed at floating young people like me, and at home i immediately started practising. I've been praying and believing for days. It felt as if i had taken some pretty strong drug; after a few days i became aware that i had put myself in an artificial state of being and also noticed that i could (fortunately, as i now think) turn it off, and then i was myself again. It was quite an impressive experience, which determined my further life of faith, or better: life of unbelief.
After a week i would meet the young man again; i found it difficult because i would have to tell him that i can't believe, even though i really liked him. I waited at least an hour at the agreed place, but he never showed up.
At the same time, we had neighbors practicing Tai Chi in their Japanese-looking backyard. Their house was full of plants, which i occasionally was allowed to water when they were traveling. I found it all very interesting and impressive. All my life i have tried to meditate regularly, but each time i gave up. The last time was a few years ago; the constant stream of thoughts about my frustrations and difficulties in life only frustrated me more, forcing me to give up again.
Instead i walk. Often the same route, and yet i keep seeing new things along the way. It gives a kind of peace, the thoughts come and go and usually - not always - i can keep the frustrations at bay. Also while drawing a lot i experience a kind of meditative state; here too come the thoughts, often about practicing the art of drawing itself, or about the subject i am drawing.
Movies about monks and hermits have always interested me as well. Something about their way of life touches me, i don't know exactly what.
Long before the pandemic we are in now, i was already very lonely. I managed to solve that in earlier periods, and for many years i had no problems with that. But since my last relationship ended in 2014, i've never really managed to change this. And GOD KNOWS! i did my very best: courses, meet ups, networking drinks, dates with friends, i don't know. It really didn't work.
Even in the godforsaken pandemic i made attempts to belong to the human world, but there too everything went wrong and strange and things were of course made almost impossible: how can i, as a chronically ill person, still mingle in rooms, halls, venues full of unmasked people? Many organisations that still had an online version in the first 2 years, have now also stopped doing so.
And now with a huge detour i am where i've always been interested in: the hermit life.
Not totally of course, i still have contact with the outside world, mainly via the internet, some social media and sometimes a watch party or an online festival. At Christmas i was with a friend. I can still be seen outdoors, walking and recently i found an outdoor xylophone. And i draw sheets full of universe to the darkest corners, and think about it. By coincedence i read on Mastodon yesterday, that buddhists see the dark as a beginning, because from there it always becomes light again. I don't know who will benefit from it; is everything pointless in the end, i don't know. i adapt.
Furthermore, the title could be a good band name.
Today (24): On sale
Voilà, my head!
Would you like a bag with it, or will it come as is?
Don't forget the leaflet.
And here's the weekend supplement.
Today (25): Angry
Why on Earth do we have governments? What do they govern?
They choose profit and power over people.
And if they are chosen by that very same people, who are the people that choose them?
Why are people still chosing them?
They obviously benefit by this system somehow.
They do not care for others i guess.
And that’s how we ended up with a polluted world, and with so little efforts to change that.
Gratis Tekening nr. 149, given away via street library
Today (28): About Drawing
While drawing, my thoughts naturally go on. Sometimes about unpleasant things, then I have to pay attention otherwise I draw things I don't want to. So I don't want those thoughts. Then I try to slowly steer it to a train of thought that is pleasant to me. About the drawing itself, for example. Why am I drawing these lines, why am I choosing these choices, how does this process work?
In fact, every line you draw is a choice. Do you go left, right, straight, tight, or loose, with rounder shapes, close together or with lots of spacing? Do I want it dark or light? Do I think of everything in advance, or do I just go with the flow, or something in between? Each line forces you to evaluate the choices you made: am I on the right track? Can I still go back? Should I continue? And so on.
Some lines are in charge, leading the way. And others are the sheeple of lines: they foolishly follow the others. But those are choices, too, of course.
And then there's my drawing hand. Does it feel like it today? Will the lines work? Will they be tight when I want them to be, or is there a rebellious muscle somewhere in the area between my right hip and right hand, so that everything shakes and wobbles for the first fifteen minutes? And how am I sitting on my stool today? Will my back bother me? Does it pull away again, does it persist?
External factors can also influence the drawing process. Is it hot or cold enough at the drawing spot? Not too much noise please, and the lighting should also be good. Do my glasses work?
Then, when all this is all right, and drawing suddenly feels very light, and it seems to come naturally, yet also clearly under my command - then sometimes thoughts of castles, tower rooms, fields, roads, forests may come; snippets of conversations with non-existent (?) people in a dream-like state. I also sometimes have this when I play long-time computer games like Bricks or Mahjong. Yes I know, old-fashioned and who on earth still plays that, but I find it quite enjoyable. Nowadays, I do that while listening to music, so then that conversational mode is pretty much gone. A shame, actually, and I would actually like to record it when drawing. Unfortunately, I can't, because it's only in my head.
When I have drawn a lot, I dream in drawing. This is very difficult to explain. It's like there is a direct link between my thoughts and lines that I draw. And that with every thought there is then a line that represents that.
An example to perhaps make it a little more insightful: I was half awake, because my foot was itching. As I rubbed my other foot over it, my brain drew a line with each rub, creating a drawing in my half-awake train of thought. Don't ask me why or how. I must say: I do dream very wonderful things quite often, such as the time I stepped out of my body and spun around in a corner of the room at top speed. That sounds very scary, and it was. Of course, the most wonderful thing about that was: how do I know what spinning around feels like, and at such speed? Weird.
So, before I digress: I do get used to the strangeness of my thoughts. And I have to say: I do find it interesting. Is it a kind of meditative shift in consciousness? No idea.
Meanwhile, I have started drawing the Universe: I made 2 A3 size 'time' drawings, which I have submitted for Tekenkabinet XI
(don't know yet if it will be selected of course). These are also quite interesting because of the choices, and especially how seemingly small choices greatly influence the final result. I would like to make that insightful one day and show it here or elsewhere, but not with A3 format - that takes years to draw. Maybe I'll manage to do this in A6 format soon - it would be really nice to do an animation, in the RULES series, but I'm still thinking about the most convenient way to do it.
Today (29): Being beneath a building