Today I helped my landlord harvest the last potatoes, she used a 50- or 60-year-old machine for this and that was a big help but it is still all hands on deck. Ever since we started living on a farm, I get more and more appreciation for the work of a farmer. This is off course a small farm, she runs it besides another job but she still feeds many people that appreciate food from local ground and not produced on large industrial farms. She also has a few cows and chickens; it is all kind of idealistic and certainly not a solution to feed cities but what is.
I should know some of the answers because I come from the Netherlands where efficient farming is something “we” do for hundreds of years and we export more than far larger countries, only the USA exports more but is also 237 times larger. We invented all kinds of machines and robots in the Netherlands that take away a lot of manual labor and we make excellent use of the fertile ground. There are also downsides and many people think we should produce less to lessen the effects this all has on the environment.
For me food is something you get in a grocery store but doing part of the work myself now makes me think more about the whole process, I want to know more.
Yesterday I attended the second day of an online Nietzsche conference. It was interesting and it also reminded me of the first time I was at one of these conferences in person. People that read my blog know that I am interested in philosophy in general and Nietzsche in specific but you also know that I work as a boat builder and carpenter and that I don’t live the life of a scholar. The thing that amazed me the first time, and what I remembered yesterday was that they talk about Nietzsche and his work like I do about nails and wood when I am around my work colleagues. Yesterday morning I was discussing the age of the beams we were replacing of an old train station and how we would proceed, later that day I listen to scholars presenting and discussing why this and that part of book x is in contradiction with such and such chapter in book Y. It’s just something I notice and amazes me that no matter what there will always be discussion at work, it makes me wonder if this interaction is more important than the content discussed.
Today is day 2000 of my…well, me posting pictures and later also text on this blog. I started doing this in march 2016 to not only say that I like photography but also actually do it regularly. Well it is regularly because I haven’t skipped a day besides some pictures that got posted after midnight. What started as a motivation is now turned into something I do besides eating and sleeping, even when I am traveling I will find a bit of time to make a picture with my phone, play with it and make a little poem and post it. It is even as important as sleeping and eating for me because life can become a drag when you think of it to much and you’re in an endless loop of going to work and coming home to sleep. I honestly have no illusions that what I do means something to another and that it might bring me something, but just being creative and thinking about life every day for half an hour or an hour gives a lot of meaning to me. I’ve been in poor countries and we all know that a lot of bad things happen in the world and I admire the people that are hands on and actually do something about it but I don’t have the internal drive to do that. I also don’t know where to start. The last two day’s I have written about Palestine and there are a lot of people that use all their time and energy to change the situation there but I just have questions and grind to a stand still wondering what is the best approach. So, I feel guilty that I live here in Norway in comfort complaining behind my computer that the world sucks (and off course that it is beautiful to). But I believe that education and promoting critical thinking is important and when I write these blog posts every day, I feel that I grow and this, on a very small scale, helps the whole world to grow a little bit.
The pictures you see here are from Day 1. Back then I posted several pictures a day and these are taken outside the house where I lived before. The people that follow me know that I almost never take pictures of people but most of the time of dead objects or nature in closeup. I do this for the simple reason that I don’t like to intrude in someone’s privacy and a lot of photographers take pictures of people, it’s pretty obvious. I like to find the details that most people never see, like we do in our real lives where we glance over the details of the day. When I see these wires, I see the twist that are made by someone…who? I like the way that things are attached and wonder how they produced those little clamps that keep the wires together. And why are some parts rusted and others not? You see that there is more in ordinary things, they have a history and character, and I hope that people appreciate this and use this thought to look at life in a similar fashion.
After more than a year I also started writing on my blog. I have written in the past on other blogs and I like doing it but I have dyslexia and I make a lot of mistakes, but I saw that my pictures where slowly getting better so why not my writing skills if I just keep on doing it day in day out. Because writing takes a long time I started experimenting with poetry. The problem is that I don’t like reading poetry and most of the time I don’t understand what the poet tries to say. But that didn’t stop me and I found out that I like juggling with words and I using the pictures as inspiration and my knowledge of philosophy and life experiences as fertilizer. I play with a lot of complex concepts in my head and I try to learn how to put them into words and understand them at the same time. The nice thing about the short poems I write is that I have to condense these elaborate thoughts into a few words, it helps me to explain to myself my own thoughts.
Some people look strange at me when I tell them that I do this every day, and I can understand that, it is kind of obsessive and compulsive. That maybe plays a part in it but after a couple of hundred days I just wanted to see how long I could last and now I just don’t want to break the spell, it also keeps me going in a world where I don’t belong.
The “poem” underneath is one of the first and you can probably tell that I summarize the different way’s we look at life and what we want. I wouldn’t do it like this anymore but I guess that is progress…
Yesterday I wrote about Palestine and Israel, I did some more reading today and realized that in the world we live it will be hard to solve the problems they have over there. I am glad that having critique on Israel is no longer automatically associated with you being an anti-Semite, as happened before. It is strange to read that well respected scientist, writers and historians are accused of being anti-Semites and how even Jewish critics of Zionism get accused of being traitors and much worse. There are more and more people critical inside Israel so that gives some kind of hope that the system slowly erodes, the only question is what there is underneath that thick layer of hate, fear and confusion.
This week I watched a documentary called “5 broken cameras” from 2012 in a local theater. Before I talk about this, I have to say that now the Corona restrictions are loosened it is nice to meet people again. I know that a lot of people have problems with these restrictions or don’t even believe that Corona is real but please respect the people that take it seriously. I am happy to live in a country where mask mandates are lifted but people still wear them because it is recommended. Another reason I mention this is because of the subject matter of the documentary I want to talk about, it goes about the conflict between the Israeli state and the Palestinians. People that have a problem with Corona restrictions should realize that living in fear in Gaza is a problem, not doing what you want to do to protect vulnerable fellow citizens is NOT a real problem.
The documentary 5 broken cameras is a film about a small town, where people live their lives as good as possible and then they get confronted with Israeli settlers that slowly eat away the farm land they have used for generations. Emad Burnat was one of these farmers that had a chance to film the birth of his latest son and he discovered that he couldn’t let go of the camera. He took it with him wherever he went, also when the villagers started demonstrating against the barriers that were put In front of them. The protest looked no different then any protest you might see in your own country, and were more or less tolerated in the beginning by the occupying forces (I use occupation as a statement, it is heavily debated and in theory you can go both ways but in practice it is clear who is in charge). The reaction of the Israeli forces, they don’t look like police in riot gear, become more extreme the longer these protests go on. That it becomes more extreme you can tell by exceedingly violent methods his 5 consecutive cameras are being destroyed, at the end you see him filming a sniper in the distance aiming at his camera (or him?) before the camera goes black again.