Day 2377, shine a light.

Daily picture

When I was young, we had a poster on the wall, or maybe I saw it somewhere else, anyway, the poster didn’t depict much it just had the words: “what if no one went to the war” on it. It was something like that, but that thought never left me and is still thought-provoking.

What if Putin or some American president declares war and all the soldiers stay home, including the law enforcers. It will not work, of course, but it reminds me of the communist and their call to the world’s proletariat to unite. The people with power and the systems they serve can only function if a large part of “powerless” people follow their orders, like sending them to war or suppressing in their name the people that are unwilling.

I know from my own experience that standing up, literally, in a meeting at work can feel good, but when you tell what has to change and you look around to your colleagues for a sign of support, that is not coming. In private, most of your colleagues complained about how work is organized, but they don’t dare to speak up when confronted with authority. For most, it is just too much hassle, and they don’t want to be seen as a troublemaker, others are just too cowardly.

I remember a lieutenant in the Marines, he was a little too sure of himself and proud of his rank. I don’t think it is bad to be proud of something you achieved, but you have to make sure you earned it or at least, are worth it. He often got us “killed” in exercises, and you understand that bugged me, what if it was real… I let him know what I thought of him, not the lieutenant but the guy who was only 2 years older than me and was obviously in it way over his head. Well, that was detention for me and probably some bad remarks in my dossier. The Sargeant that told me this told me also in private that he agreed with me but that you couldn’t say these things against a superior. And I always thought the point was to stay alive and weed out the weakest link.

You might think: “why did he go into the military when he first wrote about not going to war.” There was still a draft in the Netherlands in the early nineteen nineties, and because I quit school, I got called in. My mother wasn’t happy, the pacifist she is, but she also taught me to think for myself and not take her lessons for granted. So I went to the Marines because that would mean adventure and not just 12 months of boredom or playing the role of a conscientious objector with an inherited opinion, it would be unhealthy to have an opinion and stick to it when your 18. It was an adventure, and I learned a lot during those three years. One of the lessons is that not going to war is an option, but once you are confronted with an “enemy” in person, you will defend yourself and the people you are with.

I feel for the soldiers on both sides in the war that is going on In Ukraine, the world of a soldier gets really small, and it is hard to imagine if you have never been there. It is just mindboggling that one man can decide to put half the world in crisis and send thousands of people to their deaths. And Putin might be seen as an autocratic madman but don’t forget that the so-called American democracy did the same thing when it invaded the sovereign state of Iraq, killing an estimated 150 000 civilians.

That we still live in a world where a small group of people can lure us all in the wrong direction tells me that we all still don’t know what the hell we are supposed to do on this earth. We still follow the biggest monkey because we have no better idea.

Day 2375, Simone de Beauvoir.

Daily picture, Poetry

The door is still closed
to keep the fresh air in


Simone de Beauvoir

The second sex

When she does not find love, she may find poetry. Because she does not act, she observes, she feels, she records; a color, a smile awakens profound echoes within her; her destiny is outside her, scattered in cities already built, on the faces of men already marked by life, she makes contact, she relishes with passion and yet in a manner more detached, more free, than that of a young man. Being poorly integrated in the universe of humanity and hardly able to adapt herself therein, she, like the child, is able to see it objectively; instead of being interested solely in her grasp on things, she looks for their significance; she catches their special outlines, their unexpected metamorphoses. She rarely feels a bold creativeness, and usually she lacks the technique of self-expression; but in her conversation, her letters, her literary essays, her sketches, she manifests an original sensitivity. The young girl throws herself into things with ardor, because she is not yet deprived of her transcendence; and the fact that she accomplishes nothing, that she is nothing, will make her impulses only the more passionate. Empty and unlimited, she seeks from within her nothingness to attain All.

Day 2370, Poetics

Daily picture, Poetry



IV. Poetry in general seems to have sprung from two causes, each of them lying deep in our nature. First, the instinct of imitation is implanted in man from childhood, one difference between him and other animals being that he is the most imitative of living creatures, and through imitation learns his earliest lessons; and no less universal is the pleasure felt in things imitated. We have evidence of this in the facts of experience. Objects which in themselves we view with pain, we delight to contemplate when reproduced with minute fidelity: such as the forms of the most ignoble animals and of dead bodies. The cause of this again is, that to learn gives the liveliest pleasure, not only to philosophers but to men in general; whose capacity, however, of learning is more limited. Thus the reason why men enjoy seeing a likeness is, that in contemplating it they find themselves learning or inferring, and saying perhaps, ‘Ah, that is he.’ For if you happen not to have seen the original, the pleasure will be due not to the imitation as such, but to the execution, the coloring, or some such other cause.

Day 2364, getting there.

Daily picture, Poetry
I turned fifty today
and though it's just a number
or coincidence
but the bars of the cell I stept in
when the twenties left
are getting thinner
and the world outside more colorful

being in my thirties and forties
was great
but it was not the morning light
the expectation
or the early evening with it's anticipation
of a beautiful sunset

I am glad it's over
and I miss it

Day 2363, history.

Books, Daily picture

Friedrich Nietzsche

Untimely Meditations

On the uses and disadvantages of history for life
  1. Consider the cattle, grazing as they pass you by: they do not know what is meant by yesterday or today, they leap about, eat, rest, digest, leap about again, and so from morn till night and from day to day, fettered to the moment and its pleasure or displeasure, and thus neither melancholy nor bored. This is a hard sight for man to see; for, though he thinks himself better than the animals because he is human, he cannot help envying them their happiness – what they have, a life neither bored nor painful, is precisely what he wants, yet he cannot have it because he refuses to be like an animal. A human being may well ask an animal: ‘Why do you not speak to me of your happiness but only stand and gaze at me?’ The animal would like to answer, and say: ‘The reason is I always forget what I was going to say’ -but then he forgot this answer too, and stayed silent: so that the human being was left wondering. But he also wonders at himself, that he cannot learn to forget but clings relentlessly to the past: however far and fast he may run, this chain runs with him. And it is a matter for wonder: a moment, now here and then gone, nothing before it came, again nothing after it has gone, nonetheless returns as a ghost and disturbs the peace of a later moment. A leaf flutters from the scroll of time, floats away- and suddenly floats back again and falls into the man’s lap. Then the man says ‘I remember’ and envies the animal, who at once forgets and for whom every moment really dies, sinks back into night and fog and is extinguished for ever…

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