Day 1710, internal.

The next poem that spoke to me was not because I liked it particular but because it was once again about reality, or the world we are aware of, and how we mold it to our needs. Remember, the nerves that connect to our eyes leave a blind spot, we miss a part of the picture when it is send to the brain, but that brain combines the two pictures of both our eyes and “makes up” the information that is missing.

That is a more physical reason why our senses are not a hundred per cent accurate or trustworthy. But our mind can play more tricks on us like cognitive dissonance or a lack of critical thinking. I was also listening to a book about stoicism, and specifically Seneca. One of the ideas of stoicism is that you should not let the outside world be responsible for your happiness, don’t think that money, a big house or (in ancient Greases case) many slaves will make you happy, because it can be taken away from you. Find a spot in yourself as the source of your happiness and than it doesn’t matter where you are or what you have or loose.

I like the last sentence of the poem I chose for today: “the world stops out there”. Your world stops outside of you, or said in an other way, the way you see the world is constructed (subconsciously) by you, and can resemble reality but it most definitely does not do that all the time. You construct a world internally, your eyes are corrected internally and your cognitive dissonance, phobia’s, upbringing and other ideas are part of the way you look, see and think about the world and yourself, they are part of the internal construct that determines how you see the world.

I like what the stoics are saying, and I think that it is useful to…aim for the idea that happiness should be found internally. But I also believe that the way we look from this internal platform to the world is marked by all the scars of our past and the way we are as humans. So in this mess we have to try to find a place where we can safely store our happiness. I am not finished with these two.

The poem is from Day 826:

Towards the outside of my awareness.

The transition is veiled.

Reality and imagery are tangled.

The world stops out there.

And one from Seneca:

If you really want to escape the things that harass you, what you’re needing is not to be in a different place but to be a different person.

Day 1709, looking down.

What is reality? Or, what is your reality? The favourite question asked at philosophers kindergarten before nap time. There is enough written about that question and its in my opinion enough to know that what you touch, feel, see and smell is real for you, even if you can’t know that your reality is the same for an other. We know that if people have healthy eyes, that are made after natures specifications, we will interpret the same wavelength of light as red. What we don’t know is what someone sees if they have some kind of defect in their eyes or “process” centre in the brain. So in general we know what most people see as red is the same as we see it but there are exceptions.

Scientifically we understand what light waves are and which molecules are in a specific oder. We humans also react in similar situation, like fear or joy the same, we thus can assume that we experience the same sensations similar. It is off course not so important for our daily lives to wonder about these questions, but what if you try to understand what someone feels or experiences when grief, loss, love, anger or any other emotion or state of mind is involved. There are no light waves or molecules involved in these experiences. We might see where they light up on a brain scan but that tells you little about…what they do to you.

I found an other poem from the past that spoke to me, it is from the 23 of June 2018, Day 822.

Pull

Reality fades

caught by egos gravity

a depressed black hole.

If you try to understand what someone is experiencing who is, for instance, depressed you can only do that by delving in your own experiences. And then you have to assume that we use the same word for the same kind of experiences. People can “feel” depressed but you can also “be” depressed. You feel depressed when you breakup with someone but if your brain forget to mix the right chemicals you can be depressed without any direct influences from the outside world. Are these two comparable? There are also combinations of these two, and they can probably influence each other. We can also use words like down, heavy, somber or dark to describe the feeling of being depressed but these are all subjective to.

We humans have realized that it is difficult to share these feeling in any meaningful way with each other for thousands of years. We talk to friends or a therapist, who can fix us enough so we can go again for a while, but do we really learn something? I think that art comes the closest to give you a feeling that your not the only one with these feelings of depression or loss. You have music, paintings, books, poetry, movies and other art forms that all in their own right can make you feel recognized.

I am to modest to say that I am any good in writing poems, but it is also therapeutically for myself to write about my experiences.

I’ve been depressed, mainly because of brain chemistry that went rogue at a time when things where going fine. The way I perceived the world was that it slowly changed, my “reality faded”. Things that where valuable before suddenly lost that value, so to speak. My reality as in the school I went to and the girlfriend I had where still the same as before but they where no longer recognized as important, they faded to the background in my mind, for no apparent reason to me.

“Caught by egos gravity” You have to look at the picture that belongs to that day to understand why I used these words (its not the picture you see above this post but the one from post Day 822) I can only interpret this line now like: Your ego, or that nagging little red devil on your shoulder, is telling you that its all wrong what you do, he had such high hopes and you slowly start to doubt yourself. The unbalance between the life you live and the life your ambitious ego wants create a “black hole” where time stands still when you get pulled in…because that’s, what you want when your depressed.

Day 1708, in the corner.

As a grown-up you can still play, I like to play the game where in I regularly look into myself and see what all these years living in an other country do to me. Sounds boring? It probably is for a lot of people, but it is something I like to do. I like to look in the mirror at other things to, but since I live in Norway now for fourteen year, this seems to be and interesting angle.

I had several reasons why I wanted to move to an other country, and why I went to Norway. The main reason is different depending on who I talk to. One of my problems was that my future was not there, and I don’t mean there as in there in the Netherlands but it was just not there. Up to that point I did things that came on my path, the Marines, studying, learning a trade stuff like that. But around the age of…34…Jezus Ch… did I wo(a)ndered around that long? Well anyway, I guess it took me that long to realize that I never have taken it serious what to to with my life. The problem is that thinking like that doesn’t really fit with my philosophy. Moving to Norway looked like a big plan into the future, but honestly it was just a way out, it was after all a big plan.

The other important reason for why I left was my discontent with the Dutch society at that moment. I’ve seen some thing and lived in poor countries where life is much harder than the life I have ever led. For the same reason why I think about living for so many years in an other country I also think about why…why where those people in Cambodia seemingly more exited by the new prospects they had, coming from a place where there is nothing and probably never will be. Compared to all the complaining and specifically the hatred towards other people and strangers. So afraid of the future and the things they might loose or never get. I just didn’t know what to do with the knowledge that one in five people I met on the street or within the group of people I knew, voted for a party that, if it where 1932 Germany, would lead them at the road to the concentration camps.

And I know that things will probably not go that way, but if you study history and try to look and understand how politics was perceived in those day’s, you will find that many normal people had understandable reasons for why they voted, for instance, for the Nazis not knowing that they slowly went along with the more extremist standpoint that where preached louder and louder. Even if no one in Holland wants to be a Nazi or will become one in the foreseeable future, the fact that you hop on the yrain that might lead that way is alarming enough for me. That’s why I also left to Norway, to escape the confrontation with these people, who were sometimes my friends and or colleagues.

Why did I Thought about this today? Two reasons. First I found this Haiku from Day 811.

The land behind me

a haze waning in the past

clearing the future.

Secondly, I listened by accident to the radio today and I understand that a certain party is getting bigger here in Norway that I might not like. I purposelessly don’t integrate here in Norway insofar the politics go. I am helped by the fact that most Norwegians don’t talk about, in the Netherlands everybody does…well almost.

I don’t know why I have such a problem with it. Most people I know condemn these parties and devastating ideologies, but somehow they don’t feel the urge to migrate to an other country. I have asked them how they do it but I have never gotten a satisfying answer. I guess my kindergarten teacher was right, I asked way to mush questions, I had to stand in the corner…and don’t look at the group.

Day 1707, Unknown known.

Do you ever want to go back to a time in your past where you now think you were happier? I have that, but I don’t know if I were happier, that’s such a fleeting concept. I just like to go back to a time where I was more naive than I am now. Before, I regularly was amazed after reading a book or a talk with an interesting stranger, and that still happens, but it’s no longer twice a month but twice a year.

In my personal live I wouldn’t mind going back to the time where I was 19 and just joined the Dutch Marines, where the world opened up to me. Meeting my physical boundaries and crossing the real one by working in totally different cultures around the world. I preferably go back with the knowledge I have now but I guess that will spoil the fun. But still, it would be interesting walking in your own shadow.

The Haiku I found today (Day 802) was only written a couple of day later than the one from yesterday. I don’t know if it is any good in the world of poetry but that’s not why I write them. I write them in an attempt to reshuffle my thought and print out the results on a daily basis, brain exercise.

Going.

Retreating backwards

where the lights once were shining

to the unknown known.

Being nostalgic, every now and than, is something most people don’t escape from. We bring with us memories and where they land on the scale of truthfulness doesn’t matter, they are there and ours. Often you go back to your memories to share them with others or with the people that where there. Or you want to recall a name or place or you go there unwillingly when you see a picture or meet an old friend. But you can also “Retreat(ing) backwards” in a way to escape your current predicaments. All these examples do also count for couples, groups of people or whole countries. And there the retreat backwards can be seen in politics where people praise (“where the lights ones were shining “), lets say, the fifties. The like to think that the people where nice back than, the neighbors white and the lawns trimmed every weekend, and where kids die of polio, gays where prosecuted and asbestos was sawn in the shad for your new roof.

We tend to believe our own memories, even if you have studied the brain, psychology or are just interested in the subject. It is hard to believe that your own memories, most of the time, have little to do with what really happened, specially your ow role in these events. That’s why I call it the “to the unknown known” in the haiku.

We know our past but we also don’t.

Day 1706, judgement.

When your dark mood leaves you, you say goodbye, and till soon. You know that your dark moods come around to greet you again. You call it a dark mood because you remember the result from its last visit. If you are in your first dark mood or depression you don’t name it, you just feel shit.

It depends on your culture, family and friend how you name your moods. For me a dark mood is like being depressed or you feel down. You also fall in love for the first time and labeling that feeling can vary also from culture to culture. But no matter what, the first time is purer than the ones that come afterwards. It just wells up in you, unannounced and pushes you down or up the roller-coaster. And ones you’ve been down that track a couple of times you know where the bends are and the sudden drops. You probably even recognize the entrance of that particular ride when you see it in the distances on your path.

Surge

From darkness recess

wild colors surge and explode

to drown it all out.

But in this Haiku from Day 799 the word recess not only mean vacation, but also alcove or corner. Your mood is not only coming back from vacation but “wild colors surge and explode” also from its hiding place. Not all people that have a jolly disposition have a dark layer, and not all grumpy people are telling secretly jokes at home, but some people grow colorful flowers out of their dark soil and let the sun force its roots to go deeper into the darkness of that same soil.

The reason why some people are not satisfied with there mood and feel that they have to contrast it is unknown to me. It has probably something to do with your temperament, maybe you are curious or easily bored and that compels you “to drown it all out”. To go look for the sun, paint something colorful or tell a joke to outshine your dark mood.

But no matter what, you see the world in a different, harsher light when it is dark inside, for on that moment you can not see yourself inside and thus, see the world without you and your judgement’s. 

Day 1705, looking inside.

Is it possible to imagine a world without time? I don’t think so. You can split up a second a million times, there will still be a moment, that is different than the moment before. Even without the clock there is a movement, you might say it is going forwards. But we cannot measure it like we can do with our place in the universe or our distance to the wall left from us.

Time feels more like a liquid that surrounds you, you can feel it all over you, but you can’t grasp it.

Ripple.

Motionless in time

a surface seems to ripple

I blink and move it.

This poem (Day 783) from a while ago is following more of the rules that define a haiku. I remember the picture that belongs to that day, sailing on a blue sea with ripples everywhere. In those moments time seems to stand still and the seconds that nothing calls for your attention last forever. As if I am “motionless in time”.

I tend to be quite literally when I use my daily picture as an inspiration for my poem, and in this case “a surface seems to ripple” can be taken literally. And the “seems” goes away when I blink my eyes and pay attention once again.

Besides the literal interpretation of the poem, derived from the picture, i like to sneak in a more philosophical meaning. I have a hard time seeing it this time. That is an other thing that time does to a lot of people, it arbitrary eats your past away like the white foam that pops in the wake of a sailboat.

But that’s the thing with art. You look at it, read it or listen to it and you feel that it is good and deep. It feels like looking at a closed door that, if you open it, will show a bright lit world, where you can wonder around forever. I like that part the most, when you crack it open and a little bit of the light begins to shine through… Most of the times its off course just a door to a dark cellar or a light bulb that shines in your face. But you never know and that’s why I keep on seeing, reading and listening.

Day 1704, purpose of it all.

Assume that there is no purpose in life, our life. Assume that our sun will slowly consume all of it’s fuel and at the end this rock we call earth. Assume that all of this has no purpose and that this being here, there and everywhere is all there is.

If we, thinking human beings don’t exist, would it than matter that life on earth has it’s rhythm of life and death? That the great ape’s go extinct and that the sun sets every evening and is nonetheless not remembered the next day. Are we, thinking and remembering human beings not the ones that give all of this “life” and death purpose, albeit only in our head.

This is a poem I wrote in may 2018, Day 777.

Objects

Without thought things are nothing

with our existence they get a purpose

Our being is their being.

First of all, we all can agree that we are thinking animals (I know, a lot of people don’t think… that.) Other animals might also think but we not only think with our feelings, emotions and instinct but also with words and reasoning. Even the smartest ape hasn’t written a book telling us we are wrong on this subject.

We think and that’s unique, and I thought: why am I thinking about this particular subject, if a call randomly a thousand people and ask what they think about, probably none of them would say to me that they thought about why the chair is a chair. I guess it is my way of knitting the 14th sweater, it keeps me warm and busy.

Back to the topic of this post: why is a chair a chair. If we wouldn’t be here the chair would just be a miraculously formed combination of metal and plastic. A dog doesn’t see a chair, it sees a nice flat surface raised from the floor where it can sleep safely and warm. It doesn’t say to other dog’s: hey, there is a chair to lie on. No, it says hey, there is a nice flat surface raised from the floor where you can sleep safely and warm. We humans not only create a lot of the things we see, we give it all also a name and with that a specific purpose, for as long as there are humans.

This “purpose” thing does not mean that all of this is for nothing and that it doesn’t matter that the gorilla goes extinct. All of this is created, is given a name and function because we think and that includes our morals and values. We created our morals and values because we think, or maybe better said: because they are a function of us thinking. The gorilla feels a loss when a close one dies, just like we feel it, but we are capable to reflect on the loss and write a poem or music about it. The gorilla morns but we have given what he does a name so we can think about it and value it if others do the same.

Day 1703, un-sorted thoughts.

In my mind I am still the kid that plays with Playmobil, the castles were real and the world not. I am often reminded of this, especially when I walk into a toy store, on purpose. I don’t mind getting older, it’s just a fact of life but I always thought that when I grow up the people around me would to.

I liked being a kid, like I said before, but I was a dreamer and the politics kids play, the teasing, bullying, the ranking of each other just was something I was not interested in, though I was part of it to. Luckily that is all in the past, I am 48 now and the world is filled with rational people who take care off each other and share the candy fairly.

I still feel like the kid of 12 stuck in a room with “grown-ups” when I am stuck in a room with grown-ups. It’s probably not fair of me, I don’t know what all these people do and what they think. They might as well be stuck in a grown-ups body like I am, playing with Playmobil, but now we are the plastic puppets ourselves with a hammer in the hand or a fireman’s cap on.

I was thinking of this, because I wanted to cheer myself up. My girlfriend is born in America and her skin is darker than other people and she has a brother who sometimes goes outside. Through her I feel the tension that racism brings about in people on the receiving end. And I don’t have to explain what is going on there if you follow the news, it is pathetic.

As a man with a child’s mind I don’t know what to do when I look at the world. I read a lot about the second world war and all that happened there. I realize that there are probably millions of people that would happily climb in to the watchtowers or sort at the end of the rails.

I live in Norway and I left the Netherlands in 2006. I didn’t leave because it was a bad place but the politics was poisoned by populism and the thought that every 10th person I met is in his or her hard a racist was something I couldn’t handle. Here in Norway people don’t talk about politics and I don’t follow the local news so I stuck my head comfortable in the sand.

The reason I have read so many philosophy, psychology and history books is not only because I am curious but because I want to understand when the kid in us get so bitter that it starts hating the other. If you have travelled the world a little bit you might have noticed that all the kids play and act the same, till a certain age.

It’s when we grow up, and stop playing a role and start believing the role we play where it goes wrong.

Day 1702, circle.

I sometimes blame people for not searching the net for an answer, but I now all to well that I’m to blame to. I realized that once again when I looked at my old poems to find one for today. For several weeks, or moths I was writing haiku’s or so I thought…then one night my girlfriend asked me: are you writing haiku’s? I say: yes, and then she said: you realize that haiku’s have 5-7-5 syllables and not words…

my character, off course blamed her first for not telling me sooner, but that happened internally and I was banging my head, also internally…I think…

The “haiku” is from Day 754

Being a brushstroke and shade’s

deep colors pressures sudden turns fading out

our hunger the blank canvas.

I like what I wanted to say but for the last year or so I like to break the sentences as to emphasizes the words and pauses. Since this isn’t a real haiku, it doesn’t even has a seasonal theme, I can now re write it in the style that I use lately.

Being

a brushstroke and shade’s

~

deep colors

pressures

sudden turns

fading out

 ~

our hunger

the blank canvas.

Sometimes I read poems from famous poets and feel intimidated by their use of words to describe emotion and other states of mind. English is not my mother tongue but even if I tried in my own languages I would not come close. But I like to try and in this case I wanted to describe our being as “a brushstroke and shade”. Sounds poetic and for me it opens up to a lot of different interpretations, like: we only have one life, or brushstroke and you can swirl it around in different direction and the light will form different shades. You can also go in a straight line and have less shades but you see less and looking back you might get bored by the shape you left…That’s the one that came to my mind now. It is of course not an original story but treating your life as a piece of art entails more than you might think.

The four other lines underneath the first two lines are refinements in the story I just made up, but the last two lines are more mysterious, for me.

Do we hunger for a blank canvas? Is, a nagging feeling of wanting to start over a thing we humans share? You understand by now that I am not looking for answers on question of our daily lives, I want to now what the rails is we ride on and not what the color of the train is.

I realize that wanting to start over entails that you are not satisfied with the live you had, have and live. But it is often mush easier to change the way you look at things and your life then to change it. Realizing that there are not so many things we have control over like accident, diseases, the people we meet or the opportunities we get. You have to conclude that you better find a why to live in piece with these circumstances. Starting over feels like a good idea, if you think that you are in control of what will happen to you. Did you had control over it before?

I was lucky in my life that I got my share of bad luck to try this theory out and I think I came a long way. But this feeling of content that I have is not reached at the end of a line but more a place on a circle close the point where I started, the feeling of despair…expect some interference.

Day 1701, despair.

I like the word being. I am a being and I am being here…that last one didn’t sound right but it makes sense to me. Intrigued I looked it up on the net and quickly realized its a grammatical rabbit hole I can disappear in for ever so I turned around.

In the little poem I wrote the 25 of March 2018 I used the word being.

Day 731, turn.

I drive home and turn

because there is a being over there

I don’t want to be.

When you read it quickly you might think that I mean that there is someone there that I don’t want to be around but its more the circumstance of my life or being that “i don’t want…to be”

I would probably write it differently now but I do this kind of writing every day. It takes me between 15 and 60 minutes to edit a picture, write the poem and post it. I have other things to do to so after I read it a couple of times and I am satisfied I will post it, knowing that I probably want to change it when I read it again a couple of days later. But the main reason I do this is for the brain exercise and not to write the “perfect” poem. I also think that perfection is hard to achieve if not impossible so a time limit might seem random but it probably doesn’t make much of a different, you can also make it worse by staring at it to long.

The pictures I use with the poems are most of the time the inspiration for the poem. This specific picture I took from the driveway to my house looking back at the road I came from. It is the point where I normally turn if I forget something and have to drive back home. I can of course also turn there if I don’t want to go home, something I never did because it was my (and my girlfriend) refuge, a place I longed for during the day.

I like me (as a person) being there but in a broader sense being there and thus also being there in the world can be more problematic. When we feel despair it is often our habit to look for a cause of that nasty feeling. An easy target is the general state of our “being” or life circumstances that are…misaligned. The place we live, the house we have, the friends we see and/or the person we share the bed with. But I don’t like to blame those “domestic” circumstances, I don’t like to blame anything infarct for my feeling of despair, but if I have to it is our “being” as in who we are that is the cause of our desperate feelings.

If I have to give a layman’s reason for why we feel despair as humans and try to find all kind of ways to avoid it, I would say that not so long ago, in our evolution, we still lived in caves with a lot of dangerous things around us. Imagine that you see an angry dog or a spider you don’t know, we now know what the leash around the dogs neck does and we can look on the net and find an answer on the question: is the spider dangerous. Now imagine that all the animals and sounds around you are unknown to you. For thousands of years that person probably hides in the cave and feels disparity caused by the fair of going outside and be eaten alive. This fearful person that hides most of the time would probably survive and reproduce. The hero would die, walking to the angry dog with no leash and touch the venomous spider. After an evolution of millions of years living in fear we now live for a couple of hundred year in relative safety but also still in a cave.

Day 1700, painting.

Inspired by yesterday I opened some more “old” poems, the ones I wrote around three years ago. I don’t remember writing some of them or even care for them any longer but the following one I kinda like.

Are we painting our lives?

Or the frame that cuts off.

Do we choose our colors?

Or the brush that we use.

Because my thinking hasn’t changed mush the past 20 years I can safely say that the explanation of these four lines, that I will give you underneath, is what I wanted to say 3 years ago.

Are we painting our lives? Do you decide what kind of life you live? You might decide what school you go to but have you decided that you are good in math, or that you have an artistic flare so you go to art school? There are many things in our daily lives that you actively choose and some of the decision you think you choose.

Our subconscious mind and animal drift probably share the table with our ego, if they choose the dinner for tonight. You bought the pasta in the store but your subconscious didn’t tell you that he (or she) heard your colleague talk about Italy and the great meals they ate there, the animal in you is probably just hungry in this example. The answer on the question if we paint our own lives is probably: partially, we put some finishing touches here and there but the big pictures is painted (be)for us.

Or the frame that cuts off. If we only “paint our picture partially” than I think that we (our ego or I) play a bigger role in the limits we give our lives. We don’t choose our character and temperament so we can be unwillingly stubborn and don’t take a life altering chance out of spite and thus put “a frame” around our horizon, but we also have the capability of rationalizing our way out of opportunities and limit ourselves that way. Our subconscious and drift can be overruled if it comes to important choices but it’s not always for the better. I think that our rationalized life experiences “paint” the border of our lives as in the decisions we make and the limits we give our selves. How flawed these rationalizations are is an other question.

Do we choose our colors? This is a slight variation of the first line, a habit I have. I like to repeat myself to make sure that I’m understood. Its an irritating habit that is not always appreciated but also something I do unconscious. In this case my unconscious behavior puts a “frame” around my possibility to make friends. I sometimes, in the case I am aware of my behavior, choose the “color” of how veracious I repeat myself.

Or the brush that we use. I guess I repeat myself more then two times…

Day 1699, a word from me.

In March 2016 I decided to reanimate my photography hobby by starting a project to post each day a picture, something nice, not just a snapshot with my phone. That is now 1699 days ago and I am still going strong. Due to my structured mind where I often get lost obsessively I see no end to this streak. I do not take pictures every day any longer but I still edit one of the pictures I take on a weekly basis, it still counts for me. I still enjoy the process and seeing my journey trough the years, not only where I have been but also what kind of pictures I like to take.

Around a thousand days ago I started writing little poems underneath the pictures I posted. First just random ones but soon they where inspired by the photo that I posted. I often wonder why I write these poems (or what you would call them). I never learned it, I have no family or friends that write poems, I don’t know where it is coming from. The only thing that I can think of is that I don’t have the skills and patience to write my thoughts up in I cohesive way. Picking a few words and some short phrases and putting them in some sort of rhythm goes naturally for me. It tells, in my own head, what I want to say and according to some of the reactions, others seem to understand me every now and then, so I guess it means something.

I wrote a thousand of these short poems and this morning I wondered how much I have been repeating myself, not literally but theme wise. My pictures tell something about me but the things I write about even more. In short, I think I want to tell how I see we humans see the world. The illusion we live in to survive, like the brain that filters all the information of our senses and deliver to us what we need at that moment. So is it also with our world view, it fits our needs. That dance with reality is important for our well-being and as someone that dances to I do also realize that my reality can only be partially true. I imagine that if everybody would realize that their world-view is just that, their world-view, we would have no reason to dispute and fight each other. It makes sense to me and I guess writing these little poems is my way of helping…at the least it keeps me saner in an insane world

This one is from two weeks from now a thousand days ago.

My line is clear where I draw on.

My old strokes washed away.

The truth the mark to stand on.

Till the sharpness fades away.

Day 1696, backwards.

I understand now

I am outside

where you lead me

alone

~

I forgive

you your

backwards words

~

because I still

remember

that we loved you

Day 1695, lure.

I am parked

besides

an empty lot

~

the sun and clouds

met at the right time

today

for the people

that are waiting

~

and for a few minutes

the bright colors will

lures me

away

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