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Sunday, October 6, 2013

Witch's Cat

Whoever says that witch's cats are black and black only, is narrow minded.

I know a whitch's cat that's white. 
Here he is, preparing for halloween. 
His annual ritual.




As you can see, the hen-hearted authoress ignored her vows and entered her garden again. Being guarded by the witch's cat, she dared face a possible encounter with the enchanted... frog.


Friday, October 4, 2013

Meaningful Coincidences

Psychologist Carl Jung heard too many stories of "coincidences that couldn't be mere chance". Happenstance that changed lives, usually for the better.
So he coined the idea of "meaningful coincidences":  encounters or events that happen in our lives at a moment we can use it. Things that were not prone to happen if we would heap the event and it's perfect timing on chance and would subject it to probability calculus. Stochastic Improbabilities.

But we are part of the spiritual world, given creative powers ourselves. So it is up to us whether such a statistically improbable coincidence becomes truly meaningful



Suppose you are looking for an interesting and well paying job to finance the fulfilment of your dreams... along the way someone kindly offers you just a tiny assignment, a job that hardly pays more than minimum wages. You can discard it arrogantly, to continue to look for the big solution ONLY. Or you can accept it as a great gift. And without having counted on it, you find that this petty job led you to another job, which led you to a grand connection giving you that prized position you were looking for. To make your dream come true...
Looking back this small gift turned out to be a meaningful coincidence. Because it came along when my hands were free to accept the gift: had the stranger offered me the petty job before the dream had even formed itself or after I had given up on it and was working on a new dream... my hands would not have been empty to receive.  

Your hands being empty is the timing needed to make a coincidence more than chance. But your heart has to say yes and make your hands spread out to accept, to open the gift.  This is the creative act YOU have to do to make the coincidence a  meaningful one.  


 ----------------------


Today I've been doing work as copy writer, a contract that I believe resulted from that meaningful coincidence. As I was writing about the beauty of nature showing up in cities I saw shadow moving through my garden... Over the terrace crawled and hopped a strong well built frog, green and shiny
The nature loving authoress shrieked and locked the door, vowing not to enter the garden for the next three months. So the coincidence was sentenced to remain meaningless forever by the hen-hearted choice of this lady.  
Who knows... the frog might have been her prince in disguise in need of a kiss to reveal his truly royal nature.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Soul Selling

As copywriter, on the look out for more customers, I decided it was time to update my portfolio. So I decided to trace one of my most recently written texts with a plagiarism detector. Lo and behold... I found one. To my dismay someone else had claimed the text as his!! A certain Philip Rutghers van Renkum.
I decided to track him down, the trickster.... after all, I'm a copy writer, not a ghost writer!

It was made easy for me, Philip had attached a link to his name.... and there he was...

All of a sudden I blushed, seeing my mistake.... Philip's the Ghost, not me.
He is only existing by the grace of search engines and the techniques of SEO specialists to increase the chances of being found on internet.

Yet it stung..... I, who had sworn never to become a ghost writer, had suddenly become one. For a moment I felt I had sold out my Soul.

New Hope

I've dreamt last night that three attempts were made 
that would make one of my dearest dreams
[in real life]
come true.
The third attempt was a success.

So I went through my chores today
with more hope than I've had of late.



While I was busy getting rid of the muck and dirt
produced by daily life
 ...
a little white butterfly appeared from among the garbage bins.
Even 'though the weather's wet, cold and windy
and the butterfly season is over.

This white ethereal creature
performed a little dance and settled down
on a dark gray tile.
Only one inch from my bare foot.

Jo

Friday, September 13, 2013

Busy

I'm too busy for blogging. I'm preparing my beloved attic for Short Stay vacations and Bed and Breakfast for people who arrive at impossible hours at Schiphol Airport. I'll list it on several sites. Air BnB for instance...
It means I'm living downstairs from now on...


Yet....I did have time for a drawing today.
Did I have time? No, I had a need to do something artistic instead of practical ....





Sunday, July 21, 2013

Philosophical Exercise 4

It is possible to 
live a rich life 
with an empty heart

And one could 
live a sober life 
with a full heart


......

Which would you prefer?

Friday, July 19, 2013

Intermezzo: On Obedience

My “Tangled” blog-post is not coming along as fast as I'd like. I'm thinking of it every day, but my days are too crowded now to write such a complex text. Six weeks from now I'll be unemployed. To get an alternative source of money I'm writing articles for the high sum of $6,- per article (which comes down to less than $3,- per hour on which no one can live in the Netherlands) on top of which I'm reorganizing the house. Moving out of the attic to live downstairs in the living room, like normal people do. The attic will be 'let' to tourists, who either want to spent time in the area of Amsterdam, the Keukenhof or the beach or who just want to spend one or two nights at my house because of the weird times at which their plane leaves / has arrived.

In order to stay involved in the series of Tangled posts, here's a short one that will help explain a thought that is of great importance in the Tangled series. Explaining it here, helps me keep the main text shorter.

It's not the first time I said it, and I will repeat over and over because it's so important:
Obedience is NOT a virtue
OBEDIENCE
When a child makes his homework out of sheer obedience.... it stinks. The act of making one's homework isn't bad, but the motivation is.
Do you see the distinction? Obedience is not an act, it's the motivation behind the act. And it's a d..... shallow one, selfish and dangerous. It's obedience that makes a soldier kill another human being and it's obedience that makes a civil servant choose to break a person, rather than to break an [inappropriate] rule to which said person simply cannot comply. It's the cement of Cults and Sects.
Getting a subject to become obedient requires 
  • threats  
  • punishments
  • keeping the subjects view on life very limited and narrow (withholding the opportunities to experience life in the 'real world')
  • cultivating a negative self image within the subject.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Non-verbal


Sandy

Who are the absolute champions of non-verbal communication? With a great genius for love and friendship? Dogs.
I'm thinking of 2 individuals in particular. First one a retriever who happens to live with his owner in my street, at the block I need to pass to reach mine. I met the two of them when were almost home as I happened to pass by, on my way home. The dog looked at me, inquiringly, invitingly and I couldn't resist. I went down on my knees, literally, and started patting and hugging this total stranger. Lucky for us, his owner, a friendly talkative woman, didn't mind. She didn't begrudge her dog his private life and own circle of friends. [ I prefer that kind of dog owners. ]
Now this was not so special.... what makes it special is that two weeks later, the three of us came home around the same time again. But this time the distance between us was larger. I still had a block to pass and a street to cross while the dog with its owner were at their front yard already. The dog looked over its shoulder before turning to its house... saw me... and sat down decidedly. He kept on looking at me, wagging his tail happily, determined not to be led to his house by the woman at the other side of his leash. I walked faster visibly, and the owner smiled, letting me know with a hand signal  -non verbally!-   that she'd wait. But it took way too long according to the retriever. He got up... started to cross the street pulling my neighbor after him. So strong was his impatience for getting a hug from me. Wow, to be appreciated like that!

The other dog... I ran into him or her yesterday, on a little walk through my favorite Dutch city: Haarlem. Walking from the station to the shopping street “Cronjé” you walk past a park. In it there were... yes a dog, not of any known pedigree, and close to him was his owner. The woman had to be, she was the only one in his vicinity and carried a plastic 'sling / stick' for picking up and throwing tennis balls without getting your hands dirty. The woman was holding a mobile phone to her ear while the dog carried the tennis ball in his mouth, waiting for the woman to finish her call. I admired his patience – he looked amused, not bored at all- and I winked at him. Immediately he turned to me, making a short movement with his head “Hey, wanna throw the ball for me?” I imitated his gesture “Sure. I just love throwing balls.”
The tail started wagging and two brown eyes peered helplessly over the ball, that was a bit too big for the mouth... the dog was looking for a way to reach me on the side walk. I halted and looked too.... at the tangled bush that separated us. The dog had already reached it and was now looking for a way through it. But there was no opening or thin patch to let him pass without getting stuck. And if I would work my way through to him... his owner would wonder what kind of person I was and no doubt call the dog to her and leave. The limits of being a decent human being...
So we stood there for a while with the shrub between us, looking at each other, negotiating, wishing, and finally we decided it wasn't meant to be. The dog walked back to his owner, still on the phone, and I slowly walked off. Whenever I looked over my shoulder, the dog still looked at me. Just before a row of large trees would cut him from my view I raised my hand... the dog gave me that same head gesture again, I'm sure it was his way of greeting.
I like thinking back of our encounter. I wonder if he does too.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Jasper - from Beat to Beet.

Another true story 


I love Jasper, he's an egotistical and  silly vain little cheapskate. But disarmingly open.
 I shouldn't be saying all this about him because... I gave Jasper his voice. And his character.  Though I must say my son can take over very well.

Jasper's my representative whenever I feel like acting silly or vent my frustrations.So for years I stuffed him in my backpack whenever my son and I went out. Out to a zoo or a simple trip to the supermarket. A boring moment? Out came Jasper and my son and I had lots of fun with him. I remember one day especially well.

    We were seated in a bus in Haarlem. The bridge nick named "The Paint Roller", spanning the Spaarne, had lifted. In the summer a lot of boats have to pass. Mostly yachts and barges. The line of cars was getting longer and longer. The sun didn't make the waiting any easier...
    In the right lane, just beside 'our' window there was a small car with loud music. It was a miracle the car didn't bounce on the beat of the bass... its driver certainly did. It was at the time that the "I-don't-know-how-to-dress-code" only prescribed that caps should be worn backwards. 
    Jasper was standing on the thin edge at the window next to my seat in the bus. He was feeling hot and bored when he heard that beat... saw that car... and the bouncing driver with his cap turned backwards...  and the white duck felt the devilish urge to poke fun swell up in him. He started an imitation of the young driver with the twisted cap. If Jasper had a cap with him, he would have added it to underline his act. 
    But he didn't have to ... his robotic head jerks and congruent steps got noticed by the driver in the car behind the four wheeled sound box. Same age as the person Jasper was imitating but no loud music, no I-don't-know-how-to-dress-code.
    Jasper got ecstatic. He had a real audience. And what kind of audience. This young man was shaking with laughter. He nudged his companion, seated next to him. He roared too, instantly. Now Jasper's audience had doubled. So the plush duck increased his antics in size and in number. This was true fame.
    Look, the laughing driver even pulled out his mobile. Would he take a picture?   No, he dialled a number and brought the phone to his ear... The next moment the guy in the car in front, the music box on wheels, answered his phone and looked at the bus, at Jasper. Not by accident but directed by his friend in the car behind him.
    Jasper finished his last move lamely, then froze. Lucky for him he was just a furry toy. He didn't get a head as red as a beet... while three guys were laughing even more. 

Monday, March 11, 2013

Paper Owls and Pool Tables


The dates, events and expressed 
thoughts in this story are true.

How you interpret the events 
is your personal choice.               
















It was several months after the funeral of my grandfather, my mother’s father. My son was quietly lying in the playpen, which was standing close to my book case just below the tiny shelves I had put up to show off my collection of paper birds. I think all birds are lovely, in this area I am a bit more broad minded than my grandfather who was only fascinated by owls.
I was cleaning dishes in my "open plan kitchen" from where I could easily keep an eye on my child.  Nothing special was going on, just a nice domestic afternoon…. Until I spontaneously let go of whichever item I was washing. I stepped over to the playpen and picked up my dozing toddler, sensing something indefinite, yet clearly negative. I held my boy close to me, turning away from the playpen, surprised about my own action. “Plop” I heard behind my back. The head of my paper owl had popped off and fallen into the playpen, hitting the baby blanket with its sharp beak, right where my child had lain. I stared at the owl’s head from over my shoulder. “This is my grandfather” it flashed through my being, “trying to play a sick joke.”

The incident 'though small and without consequences stuck to me, so that evening at my mother’s house I told her about this strange ‘coincidence’ and the conclusion that had forced itself upon me.
We laughed at it. This kind of superstition is like using herbs. In small amounts they give spice to life, but too much is just bad taste.
Just moments later the phone rang. It was my uncle, my mother’s brother. 
Ynez, I guess I’m lucky to be alive. You never guess what happened to me today.”
Being the only son, my uncle inherited my grandfather’s pool table. Because of it’s impossible size the table was disassembled and the heavy tabletop was stored on the landing of the second floor, standing upright opposite the staircase.
“I was going downstairs and halfway down I heard a strange rumble. I looked back and saw the pool table coming after me. I didn’t make it downstairs, the table knocked me over and landed on top of me. My girlfriend had to help me crawl from under it. Oh m. G.. Ynez, It was as if my father overturned the pool table to hurt me.”

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Shifting Attitude

Matthew 6:34

 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, 
for tomorrow will worry about itself. 
Each day has enough trouble of its own.


This morning I woke up with a hangover without having had a party.  Nor alcohol either. Well. to be honest... I did have a party...  sort of. Indulging in doing things that I like ignoring the pile of  things that Should be done. Should with a capital s.This morning the Pile grinned at me, towering over me, showing its ugly overgrown brown teeth. I think it had a bad breath too.

I responded in my usual way, filling my empty head with lines like "I hate my life"  "I'm a failure"  "You fool, you make the same mistakes over and over. You'll never grow up" and "Why don't you have more discipline, you spineless slob".
Then someone tapped me on the shoulder. Lightly as a feather. I couldn't see him but I heard him speak to me. "You advocate unconditional love. Not judging, not demanding things from others. Not trying to shape them according to your taste.  Why don't you look at me that way. As if I'm your child or partner. Let me be the way I want to be. Trust me and I'll surprise you."

What did this spirit suggest? That Life is outside of me?. That there is a Me, but not such a thing as <<My Life>> ? So Life will always be there, even without Me... now that is true. A morbid truth, but a fact of life.  It also implies that there will always be Me, even when Life stops. Or to put it more lightly: when Life and I have separated. 

I felt the spirit patiently waiting for my answer. "Well?"  
"I like it". I replied, warming to the idea. "We're partners, I will not judge you nor manipulate or force you, so you can show me what you're like. But you will not judge me either! I'm good and you'll love me even though I falter at times."  What a relief to look at myself that way. And oh boy, will we make a creative team!
The spirit moved back to its own realm, taking my burden with him. The Pile no longer towered over me.
Being left alone I picked up my life again  
no, :-)    just my clothes for today.    [Please note the metaphor]


Jo

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Back to two types of knowledge

UNDER CONSTRUCTION


I'd like to continue with my dichotmy: wordly knowledge versus
True Knowledge.


Quote from: 

<<  The Nag Hammadi Library;

An Introduction to Gnosticism and The Nag Hammadi Library  >>

 editor James M Robinson


" ...These Christians are now called gnostics, from the
Greek word gnosis, usually translated as "knowledge." For as those who claim to know nothing
about ultimate reality are called agnostic (literally, "not knowing"), the person who does claim to
know such things is called gnostic ("knowing"). But gnosis is not primarily rational knowledge.
The Greek language distinguishes between scientific or reflective knowledge ("He knows
mathematics") and knowing through observation or experience ("He knows me"), which is gnosis.
As the gnostics use the term, we could translate it as "insight," for gnosis involves an intuitive
process of knowing oneself. And to know oneself, they claimed, is to know human nature and
human destiny. According to the gnostic teacher Theodotus, writing in Asia Minor (c. 140-160),
the gnostic is one has come to understand who we were, and what we have become; where we
were... whither we are hastening; from what we are being released; what birth is, and what is
rebirth.
Yet to know oneself, at the deepest level, is simultaneously to know God; this is the secret of
gnosis. Another gnostic teacher, Monoimus, says:
Abandon the search for God and the creation and other matters of a similar sort. Look for him by
taking yourself as the starting point. Learn who it is within you who makes everything his own
and says, "My God, my mind, my thought, my soul, my body." Learn the sources of sorrow:, joy,
love, hate . . . If you carefully investigate these matters you will find him in yourself."

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Eyes of Love

Wow, I've been away for such a long time. Not a geographical journey, not even a pleasant trip while staying home...  I just took the wrong turn and traveled down the wrong road: earning money, selling my soul, no longer being able to dream and write...  
It took me a while to see it and then I had to get back on the right track. I hope I'll stay on it now... but I'm afraid I'm very good at getting lost. 

Here's just a small line, to get used to blogging again...



Loving someone 
simply means
you see this person 
just as God had intended 
her or him to be.