Day 1755, art.

I like going to modern art museums. I like to go, because of it’s popularity, it’s most of the time nice and quiet to walk around. I walk around in other buildings to, looking at the details of it’s architecture and other details. But walking in a public building like that feels often awkward, that’s why I like to go to a museum. In a museum I can walk around, enjoy my surrounding, without feeling out of place.

I put meaning in my pictures, when I write a poem based on it, but I never take a picture with a particular poem in mind. I just take pictures, and surprise myself later. My girlfriend starts with a more elaborate plan when she makes her paintings, that’s another way to approach it. I never thought deep about why there are these different approaches, my first guess is, that it has to do with how our brains are wired. Another reason can be that I never learned how to take pictures, I know all the technical details, but a technically bad picture can still be good. Other photographers know more about light en moods and how to manipulate their gear to the fullest, and repeat that process. These are the kind of artist that plan their photo shoots, and they get at least a technically superior picture.

You see these different approaches in art museums to, blobs of colorful paint, detailed depictions of reality or beautifully made sculptures of nothings. I always look at them as beautiful accidents, like I take my pictures. I am always amazed when people tell all kinds of stories about the meaning of some of the details, the combination of colors, and why the artist did this or that. I personally think that if an artist has something to say with their art it should be “readable” with maybe some explanation, for everyone. If you have to tell what it means, then you should just tel people what you mean without wasting a canvas and paint.

I know that this is not fair. I read philosophy books that need some prior knowledge, and otherwise a lot of explanation. Maybe I miss that knowledge, regarding some of the modern art, to appreciate it in it’s fullest. But I don’t go to art museums to learn, I just enjoy the surrounding, the quietness and the architecture is often beautiful (and hopefully without meaning). And what’s hanging on the wall, can please the visual cortex to, and that’s a bonus.

The poem that inspired me today is from Day 1375.

Modern art

seen

as a reflection

of life

is difficult

to understand

if you look at it

from the wrong

angle

Day 1754, judgement.

I sometimes wonder why we people have such a hard time “showing their through colors”. I can of course dig around in myself to find out, and tell you what my “true” is, but I am not crazy.

Today’s poem is from Day 1336.

They turned off

their light

insight

I can’t see

just

dark eyes

I can’t imagine a person, who would tell everything they consciously know, and think at that moment, to an other person. There is of course no way you can tell, we can’t read minds so we assume that no one shows it all. Even if someone tells you all their darkest secrets, you still don’t know that for sure. We have to assume that we all have something hidden for the other.

Maybe this is the origin of the myth of the “soul-mate”. I would tell myself everything gladly, if I could meet myself, a soul-copy so to speak. There is no other like us, but what if you find a partner that comes close, one you can forge a bond with, a bond that is strong enough for you to let go of all that is cooped up in you. I don’t think relations , every kind of relation, would last long if you let it all go uncensored, even if love is in play…specially when love is in play. I am afraid that we all go to the grave with unspoken words.

It could also just be me, having this particular need. Maybe I have to become Catholic, and take the the judgment that I have sinned for granted.

Day 1753, layers.

There are all kind of different people, when you meet them for the first time. Your first impression, and judgment, is the layer you make, for the most part your self, you “pressed” it on them. It is hard to judge someone you just meet without comparing what you see with what you have seen before. It is not something you do consciously, for the most part. Try, the next time, to look at someone new and don’t think: that’s a woman. “She” can turn around, and be a man with long blond hair. It is a simple example that shows that we make a judgment based on prior knowledge, in western societies, long hair is more associated with woman, we learned that. The same goes for other external, and internal signs, we see an outline, or hint of a character trade, and a judgment forms. The real person is hidden behind several layers, some you made, and some that the person you meet, made themselves, to hide behind.

The poem from today is from Day 1333.

I see several layers

when you paint

me

your picture

~

but why did you stop

I always look forwards, to the layers that come, when time passes.

Day 1750, white road marks.

I had periods in my life that depression debilitated my will. The light, life, all of it, felt like it was not there, and at the same time, it was all there and pressing the air out of me. Like a good Marine I obeyed my superior, in this case my shrink, and injected my life with routine like walking the dog everyday for a couple of hours. The same route, the same stick to throw. All this outside, and the world, that had made me sick, was also the thing that healed me at the end.

In life, the things you love, are often also the things that make you sick. An obvious one is off course unhealthy snacks, a cigarette or driving to fast on your motorcycle. You can also think of the relation you have with you parents, friends or your wife or husband. The unhealthy things in the first category are never healthy, they are tolerable when you reduce the intake to a minimum, and if you like driving fast, you should go to a race track twice a year. The second category can also be toxic at the same time that you love them.

With your friends and family you might take a little bit more distance, if you feel that gas is building up in your stomach, but if you are married, and also have kids, it becomes much harder to put distance between you and them. A lot of people will choose the easier road that leads to a divorce, but if you use the same routine that helped me getting over my depression, confronting it all in a structured way, you might find the reason again why you once loved this all.

There is a reason why you loved your life, wife, husband and kids once. The reason is… that you loved them…and there is nothing rational about it. Al the stupid things you do in life, you do because you love it, not because you thought your way into it. And because there is no reason for it, there is no reason to stay with it, or with the person you once loved, if that love is gone. But I once lost my love for life, and life has also no reason, but I found the love for it back again when I walked the dog.

My girlfriend and I, we are no sentimental fools or hopeless romantics. We have our routines that guide us like the white road marks besides the road do. This guidance helps us, specially when it is dark, you can see where the road ends, and the ditch starts, and steer the relationship down the road with more ease. This way I also have more time to look to the side at her, like I did in those first days when the car was still in cruse control.

The poem is from Day 1324, November 2019

I turned

and a dark forest arose

from where I was

before

~

lost

~

though soon

the familiar sound

that brings you down

brings you back

to the light

like a stream

to the sea

Day 1749, interesting.

Everybody that looks at my pictures knows that I like objects that are often overlooked. Lately I have been taking a lot of pictures of doors, widows and other things connected to a house.

If you look at the picture above this text you will see an old drain. Maybe it’s because I am a carpenter that I see what they did to mount it, and repair it. Like the little screw that secures the pipe to the squire attachment on the next pipe. I not only see these objects, but also the work that someone has put in it, and the thought processes that might have been going on to find solutions for some challenges and mistakes. It’s the same for the windows and doors, they all have stories to tell and hours of work stored in them.

You can also look at the cracks in the paint. Are they there because the paint is old , or is there some movement in the bricks behind the plaster where the paint is once smeared on. Maybe the ground underneath the house is slowly shifting, or…or…well you get the point. These objects have a lot of stories in them, if you are interested and look at them.

The poem I found for today is one that I have written for Day 1318.

Even a fake flower

will one day

be loved

for its purity

Years ago I bought some fake flowers in a thrift shop as a joke for my girlfriend, who doesn’t like fake flowers. It’s also a private joke between us, because we from Holland are known to be cheap, and I was always complaining about the expansive flowers that came all the way from a warmer place to the North of Norway, where they got sold, while already halfway trough their life. After many years these fake flowers slowly grow (haha) on here. I think because there is a specific story attached to it that has inflated the real value.

People are interesting, some more than others. Objects are interesting to, some more than people than others.

Day 1748, remembering.

There is something curious with our past. On the one hand, we do have a factual past, where all the things we have ever done are true. The other past we have is the one that we remember, and to be more specific: the one we remember on the exact moment we do the “remembering”. The reason why I specify the memory of your past at a specific time, is because it changes over time when you, for example, get confronted with contradicting facts or because you slowly and physically deteriorate.

The thing with your factual, point to point past, the one that really happened is kind of mysterious. You can imagine that there is such a…thing, but also not. It’s just strange, you know it all happened but there is also no one (thing) that knows it, or has recorded it.

An example can be when you move your hand upwards in front of your eyes. You know it happened, you saw it with your own eyes just a few seconds ago, but there is also no way for you to exactly describe the trajectory your hand made, it’s remembered past. You may get close, but the exact trajectory is lost forever. Where is that exact trajectory? I guess it’s gone forever, just like your past.

So you have a past, your real one is gone forever, but the one that is important, is the one that you remember, and…constructed, probably for the most part unconsciously and/or passive.

The inspiration for today was from Day 1312. The poem touches on what I have written above, but also goes further by pointing out that our past is made more colorful in the act of remembering, and this coloring will be projected into the future when we envision, and tell our plans.

When we erect

with remembrance

colorful scaffolding

~

we can already see

the shape

of what we wish

Day 1747, sack of meat.

One of the recurring themes in my writing is the idea that we are “made” by the past in general, and our own past specifically. I don’t think that many people have a problem with that idea, they might have a problem with the amount of autonomy I subscribe to us, while steering our own history, forwards.

It is the whole idea of free will, do we have it, or not. You can think, write and talk about it forever, but in my opinion it is impossible to give a straight answer. For practical reason we assume that we decide the things we do on a daily basis, and most people will agree that the things “we do” in the long term are more guided by what kind of talents we have, our family history, where we are born etc.

I think that giving blame to someone gives us some kind of satisfaction. We all know the stupid, and blameless, stuff we have done in the past. We didn’t drive that car in the ditch on purpose, we were driving to hard OK, but 21 and literally driven by hormones, what can you expect. We all have countless examples of things we did wrong unwillingly, and still you feel guilty if your elbow pushes that glass figurine of the counter, and let it tumble to the floor.

Maybe this is on good grounds: you where not in the room, figure stands on the counter. You are in the room and leave a while later, figurine on the floor. You didn’t do it on purpose, and are not to blame, but the air you fill with your body, that sack of meat, is to blame for just being there.

You can explain all the reasons why someone does what they do, at the end, that entity (fancy word for sack of meat) was, or is in the world. Because it is in the world, things happened. It happened without a predetermined plan and intention, but it happened. Maybe deep down we all know this, this coincidental life. You can not blame yourself, you can only blame the other.

Inspired by Day 1299

There are two roads

coming together

in me

~

my past

and a past

~

my future depends

on how they are

joined

Day 1746, I might.

There are a lot of theories why marriage, or a similar relation, is important for raising children, your well being and for the society you live in. I never took the time to delve into this subject, to find out what others have written about it. From what I have gathered from normal conversations and the culture I live in, is that there is a broad spectrum of opinions, and though there are some groups forming in the different “areas” of that spectrum, it is quit evenly spread out. As I said, I have not based this on some kind of research, it’s just what I make of all the opinions I have heard.

In regards to children: In my opinion it is important to have some kind of role model that is around long enough for the child to form some kind of bond. We humans need of course a lot of help the first years of our lives, we would die if there was not someone around to feed us. Some kind of affection seems to be helpful, but the German boys in 1943, who were raised in model families, had no problem taking a job as camp guards in Auschwitz. Getting all the love and attention from both of your parents, is no guarantee for success, and spending your first 16 year in an orphanage is no guaranty for failure. There are so many variables that determine the “outcome” of your upbringing, a happy and healthy family life is just one cog in that complicated machine.

A normal upbringing is…what is a normal person? What is a norm? Is that not all the people, from one end of the spectrum to the other, and then you average that? I guess that only when there are an uneven amount of people on earth, you could point to one person that is standing right in the middle. That’s an impossible job, specially when you take in account the babies that are born every second. I make off course a joke out of it, but you can conclude: there is no average Joe (or Jane) P.S. Just had dinner and like we do these days, I looked at my phone when I was done. I was doubting about my use of the word “average”, according to Wikipedia the word median is better when you want to know what the thing in the middle is.

When I write these interpretations of some of my old poems, I never make a plan, I just start writing and see where it goes. I say no plan, but I know that I want to go in the direction of the poem, or at least, circle around it. Today when I read the poem from Day 1296 ( picture that inspired this poem is telling) I thought about the relations we have with others. Sometimes you have the feeling that you might walk in front, to protect the other for the hailstorm you both are facing, but the light touch on the belt is stronger then your will, it makes you realize that your not alone. I wanted to go here, by starting to talk about relations in regards to children. Forgot why, and I already past 500 words so I leave it here…hanging. P.S.2 It might have something to with the fact that this is the first time that I write before dinner, guess your mind is not the only thing that has to be full.

I might

be stronger than you

but you

tie us together

Day 1745, contradiction.

More contradictions in humans. We all know that if you are born in Japan, Canada, Syria, Estonia or any other country or region, that you have learned your own set of customs and habits when you grew up. You can divide it even more into the villages and cities within these countries, and what class, gender and race you come from. We all recognize these differences when we get confronted with them. Most of us will also understand why there are these differences, and the rest will probably to, if it is explained.

We probably learned why we should not like particular others. This dividing of people we encounter into good, neutral and bad is learned at school, and the house in the neighborhood we lived, while growing up, plunged from the womb into this culture. If life was this simple, we would still live like they did thousands of years ago, when you had to travel for days into the unknown to meet other people and their ways. These days it is much easier to come in to contact with other cultures.

One of the reasons why the scientific and industrial revolutions were at it strongest in Europe is because of the sea voyages around the world. Europe, the middle east and parts of Africa were already “used” to each other through their shared histories. They shared similar origin stories and philosophies, and in those 3 to 4 thousand years they lived with each other without ever questioning their status quo. When the seafaring adventures came back with stories of other, unknown cultures, a fuse was lit that would blow up this truce between the cultures and the scientist was born.

We could no longer believe what our traditions told us was the only way to go. If other, for us unknown, cultures can thrive and have long histories like ours, then we have good reasons to doubt our “answers”

What is the contradiction you might ask after this short history lesson: we learn our way of living from the place we are born. We come in contact with others, and learn the relativity of our viewpoints. This is how we, cultured animals have evolved, because we asked questions we live now in a much better world than 500 years ago. The contradiction is that now, a large part of the people on this planet still believe their own viewpoints, without questioning it. We all benefited from the progress we made, but this progress still rests on the shoulders of a few.

The poem for today is from Day 1287, it speaks for itself I think.

I unearthed

my house

and try

to be

~

human

Day 1744, light.

When we are born we come equipped with an array of feelers, they give us information about the world, and when everything is working right, also what to do with this information. You can think of “feelers” like pain receptors all over your body, or the “feeler” that senses danger and gives you anxiety. There are many more, and we share these protective systems with other animals.

We, and some other more evolved animals, can also feel anxiety, fear, arousal and other specific states of mind, when there is no apparent reason for it. Fear for a poisonous snake was and is important for animals and our ancestors, if they want to have a chance to evolve. We as humans still share that fear for snakes, and most of us still do for good reasons, but if you have lived in a city your whole life, and you come across a snake in a terrarium at your friends place, you might feel this fear and anxiety, though it is no longer necessary. These emotions are still triggered the same way as they did with our ancestors, hundred of thousands years ago. 

What about the fear of losing your job, your money or anxiety over your relationship? These are all constructs, we don’t share these kinds of “relationships” with other animals, or for that fact, with our ancient forefathers. You might say that anxiety covers all of these, but losing your job has little to no effect on the evolution of mankind, and relationships are not helping for your chances to reproduce at all.  

These kinds of fears are spoonfed when we grew up, and within certain cultures. They feel the same as the  evolved fears we share with other animals, and they are also hard to ignore or suppress. Nonetheless, we as humans have brought them on ourselves, though you might argue that we had no say in it, when evolution made us smarter. We became smarter to solve problems, and paradoxically, invent more problems too. 

The poem that inspired me today is from Day 1270.

The road

is not lit

by the light

but by the darkness

on its sides

If you look at life, history, where we all are now, and the future, you should be somber, there is no other way to look at all of this. Still, for some reason, I am positive. 

It is dark besides the road, but I can still see it, as well as where i have to go. Every little joy, good news or hope is not shining enough in daylight, but in this darkness, it’s there to find the way. 

Day 1743, horizons.

One of the more awkward things for us to react on is when someone tells us something we didn’t know, when we just told the opposite. Depending on your character you try to save face in different ways, or you don’t care and acknowledge that their right and you are mistaken.

I is of course liberating when suddenly, your horizon is broadened. Were you before looking in that one direction, now you have the other next to it, and you can look back and forth, to the past and the future.

The poem if found today is from Day 1267, posted on my birthday in 2019.

From here

I see lines

coming together

in the future

when I wake

on my side

I am not

so sure

I can read it in different way’s, your mind can change when your perspective changes, like in the example from above. You can also see it as a prediction for what’s in store when you are in a relation and you start waking up with your backs to each other, literally and figuratively.

A note for the people that know me and might worry: when I write, I get my inspiration not only from the present but also from the past. I can write dramatically about relations and my own well being but that doesn’t necessarily say anything about my current relation or state of mind. You could say that I try to use my full horizon.

Day 1742, labels.

Did you know, that when you meet a person for the first time, you blend a little bit of you in the blender from where you will pour your first impression. It is hard not to start from yourself when you judge a person, or for that matter, an object. You start, from when you are born, with labeling the world, and do you have all the labels? If you see a yellow Ferrari for the first time, you don’t think: there’s, a yellow Ferrari. You probably think: there’s a yellow car. You know car, and yellow so that’s what you use to “judge” the situation.

This is also the case when you meet people for the first time. Like with colors, character traits are limitless, but in reality you use only a small amount of the available flavors you find in real life. But no matter how many flavors you know, you use the ones you…know. When you grow up, and you start looking more and more into the world you will learn the different character traits around you. When your older you will no longer be surprised that often, you’ve seen it all: you think.

It is when you move to another culture, even if it is not that different then the one you grew up in, that you realize how wrong you are in your judgments of the people you meet. That’s at least what I hope what would happen. But there are enough people that stick to their own, and don’t postpone their judgment. I don’t want to go into to much details but just take all the different hand gestures you can find around the world as proof of what I try to say. Many gestures in our own culture can mean the opposite in an other culture. Imagine the embarrassment you have when you judge someone wrongly because of a gesture they make towards you.

The poem that inspired me today is from Day 1266.

Its the inside

of a mask

what I see

when I look at

you

I like the idea of “the inside of a mask” but its hard to conceptualize it. In the context of what I have written above I would rewrite the poem and add: Its the inside of my mask, what I see, when I look at you. But the original is more mysterious.

Day 1741, brain.

People are capable of all kinds of deplorable things, specially when they roam around in groups, but the same groups of people miraculously behave well when they roam around in the mall, or drive their cars on the highway by the thousands. People are real herd animals and that is strange, because we can, at any moment, do what we want to do.

If you drive a car you can turn left or right or stop at any moment. When your in the mall, you can start running, scream, undress yourself whenever you want. We off course know, that this is not what your suppose to do. We know this somehow, but that doesn’t negate the fact that we could do it. We have this freedom in us but we hardly ever use it because of the herd, the group pressures, the values and norms we have.

The poem from today, its just four words so I don’t know what it is, but it still has a message, so it is something. It is from Day 1249. The picture that you can see if you click on the link, will give an alternate explanation.

A current

is waiting

The word current is a nice word to use in a poem. It has several meaning that can bounce of each other. You can read it as now or actual, a flow like in a stream or in electricity.

You can say that “a now is waiting” for you. At any moment you can alter the direction of your life. You can pack a bag and walk out of the door. You can stand up and tell everybody at work what you think of them. You can forget your contraception and get pregnant. You can finally tell your parents who you are.

You can change your life in many directions, you probably thought about it, and all the reasons why you shouldn’t. The point is that there is probably nothing physically stopping you from doing any of the examples I mentioned above. We have this enormous freedom to do everything with our bodies, if you can walk, you can walk out of the door.

There is a part of our physical body that seems to prevents us from doing these “radical” things, it is our brain. Most people don’t “feel” the brain as the source of their “I”, their personality, but if you take away the brain from your body, your gone, and there is no way you can prove otherwise. Other “proof” of this is that people on certain drugs or with specific mental illnesses can loose access to parts of the brain that prevents us “healthy” people from taking our cloths of in the mall.

Because we are heard animals, live in a group, and have a brain that is a physical part of us and is “programmed” to keep us on the straight path, we are most certainly doomed to stay within the lines that are drawn around us. Sure, you can force yourself over the line, but do you?

Day 1739, half life.

A part of who we are is a gift from our parents, from when we where made. It is written I our genes and besides our looks we also inherit parts of our personality. This all makes sense, we all know it, its a part of life.

The poem I found today was from Day 1215.

The roots

lay bare

reaching

up.

Or down?

Part of our roots are our parents, they pass on their genes passively to us, but the question I ask in this poem is: do they also pass on, when raising us, their interpretation of their genes?

Let me elaborate: if you inherit a gene that “stimulates” curiosity from one of your parents, but that parent was discouraged in using this genes potential in them self. Would that parent then use these experiences, or roots, to counteract that genes potential in you, while raising you?

There are obvious traits we inherit, we learn new ones when we grow up, and later when we live our life. It is true that finding the roots of all your traits is not necessary for living to the end of your life, but if you have ever looked at your parents, or even your grandparents, and you see a suppressed trait, you might want to look inside yourself, because if by chance you inherited a gene with an unknown potential, hidden out of sight, you might want to revive it.

We humans are not that great in living to our potential. We lean to far to a side where we shouldn’t lean to, or lean back and live a “half life”.

As Socrates said over 2000 years ago: “an unexamined life is not worth living”.

Day 1738, chains.

A chain is a welcome metaphor, for the connection you have with the past, willingly or not. The chain can pull on you directly when you just lost, or indirectly if you find a reminder of a memory, an old sweater that is not yours on the bottom of the drawer.

Chains you drag behind you, can also catch memory’s from others. Drag them long enough behind you, and they will get heavy, and weight feels reliable as in your truth.

There are also people that don’t know how, or want to, look back. If they do, they might see that their chain is caught, by for instance, an old anchor. Maybe then they notice that they have dug a hole while they believe to walk forwards.

We can also get caught by a chain, dragged by an other. This happens if you look to much, backwards.

The best thing I can do now, for the real world, is to find the equivalent, of what in this metaphor a hacksaw or grinder does to the chain.

I was inspired by Day 1200.

The chain drags

dead weeds

from the bottom

in the sea

I go to

Day 1737, rules.

Like other people that ask a lot of questions, I also wonder where the answers come from, specially when I get different answers, and sometimes even from different people. I am often amazed how people tell me, with full confidence, how I should handle things or behave in social situations. They don’t always tell me, I see them doing it, and then I wonder: where did they learn that? I know that you learn most things in life when you are young, and live with the tall people that feed you, and later, by copying and trial and error.

I found out early that when you copy someones behavior you might find out that it is not smart to do it that way. So why is that person still doing it? Should I copy the next person, when I am in a situation where I don’t know what to do? Am I gonna do something that I later regret, or do I do nothing out of doubt? This is in short the dilemma when you ask to many questions, you grind to a halt in a world full of contradictions mixed with confidence.

I have the confidence to go out and live my life, despite walking blindfolded on a tightrope and the feeling that my mask will be torn off any minute. I am in fact a hero…

No, when I am in a jolly mood I always ask people where they have their book with all the answers that they got when they were young, because I lost mine… just want to know why they are so sure.

The poem that inspired me today is from Day 1161.

The memo

with the rules

I think

It

was hanging here

Have you seen it?

Do you

my friend

know how to live?

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