26 June 2009

Impa rounds a corner

The road block men had blocked the road this morning. Understandably so, because it's their job. But somehow, it has a different effect on me when the road they block is the one I want to take to work. The work that was waiting for me alone, this glorious morning. But try and explain that to the road block men. Open window, hair flapping in the wind, arm waving frantically, hardly audible with 100 kilometres an hour because you are forced to take an exit you don't want to take way before you actually get to the road block men. And because they're at work imperturbably in huge floodlights with very large, yellow road block men machines.

So I kept driving and hoped everything would end well.  Which it did. Not straight away, but eventually.   

Eventually, things always end well.

15 June 2009

...and there's a rabbit on the table

The men in my life circle me. They're always there but dissapear into the corner of my eye sometimes. I get to touch some of them and can only look at others. I love them all. The Rabbit Man is travelling. The Swallow Man called to say he's be travelling later and that he'd come to see me. At work, we were sitting at a picknick table. High above the steep courtyard walls a single white cloud floated in the blue sky. Someone said it had the shape of a huge lop-eared rabbit. A few hours later, someone came up to me with a plastic rabbit for my birthday. That same night I dreamt of the Man Who Always Looks At the Creatures In the Clouds. He came, embraced me and left. When I woke up, he called me. He said he was going to travel and that he'd come to see me. On the same day as the Swallow Man. The Rabbit Man called and sang me a birthday song.

The plastic rabbit sits on the table and smiles.

Everything is one. It's making me dizzy.

Impa swerves her eyes

I'm reading an old blog. It's about pain. When I move my fingers to scroll to the end of how it rains, there's a loud tick in in the kitchen and my eyes suddenly swerve a little. A reality ripple. A dizziness of some kind but then locally, only in my eyes, a tiny fragment of rollercoaster simulation behind my brow.

It's raining outside and on my table - honestly - there's a rabbit. It came hopping along at work the previous day. It had heard it was my birthday.

Immediately, a message comes in from someone who knows exactly where my light switches are. The rain keeps ticking, the kitchen doesn't, the gravity evaporates.

Impa silences herself

Don't complain about politics if you don't vote.

I think it's a pretty good system; democracy. Agreeing that the majority decides. If you think it's no use voting, you don't have to take part. But then don't complain if you think the others don't get it right. What's more: there's nothing wrong with a few obligations coming with benefits like peace and security (relative concepts, I know, but in the Netherlands they're not so bad) and a system of healthcare and education we organise as best we can. Paying tax is one of those obligations, to make sure we can provide for that peace and security and that system of care and education together. Voting is another. Because we all agreed that we want to take all decisions together. You don't have to participate, but then don't moan about it either. Keep thinking along constructively but don't just sit there criticising others if you don't want to take part yourself.

Anyway: I no longer have the right to talk. I didn't vote last week, for the first time since I am of voting age. And it was my own stupid fault. I forgot *she flinches*. I had to do something that made me so nervous that, for the first time in my life, even voting completely slipped my mind. And with these European elections of all things, with their depressing outcome! I may only have a tiny vote in Europe, it's still one vote. And I would've loved to cast it.

I'm deeply embarrassed.


14 June 2009


Someone held up a shell and said: "This is you. See?" 
I looked.
"It's beautiful. Can you see? It gleams in the light. But it's not entirely smooth. It has some edges."
He looked thoughtful. 
"I did some thinking while I was away", he said. "I took it with me from the beach for you."
He put the shell into my hand.

I closed my fingers around it.
So this is me.
And that's all right. 

What a beautiful thing.

9 June 2009

He hopes she'll leave him

he hopes she'll leave him so he needs
no longer be scared he'll lose her

(click on the photograph to get the bigger picture)

8 June 2009

What is it with you and Vlieland?

One moment, then. Because every time I try to explain the whole thing, I get stuck. I start a story that keeps getting longer because I want to make sure you get it, a story about the wind mainly, the smells and the light, the drinking in the pubs and the falling asleep to the sound of the sea. Something about sand between your toes and salt on your skin. The simplicity of the days. Living according to your needs. Senses. About the Wadden Sea reflecting the light and how I'm absolutely sure I saw the dark fog smile at me in October. Walking a dog and driving across the sand plains in the west. Being alone until a warm light glows inside, grasping what I cannot reach in the real world with the white noise of daily life and the way things go. It would be a story that had cycle paths and village streets in it, long beaches, ice cream, beautiful conversations, curious people and beautiful men.

But that would be too long a story. Very incoherent. My gestures would keep getting broader, my eyes would glisten, I'd call out: 'Do you understand? Can't you feel it?' 

One moment, rather. Yesterday morning.

I step out of the tent, my body all warm, and I don't strip off my sleeping bag. In the dunes near the beach there's always the rustling of the wind, the grass and the sea. That layering make the rustling flow, makes it fine somehow. And once you hear that, dimensions appear in the other sounds too. Cuckoo in the edge of the forest to the right. Sea gull above. Pheasant in the dunes to the left. Jackdaw ahead, on my bicycle.

Outside the tent I sleep in, a chair is dug into the sand, storm-proof. It's still early. Most tents are closed yet. The sun is still low (last night's wine glasses cast long shadows) but the promising blue already colours the sky.

On the island the salty, damp air always turns my hair into ropy strings. It doesn't matter. People have never seen me wear high heels and make-up here. They've never seen me at work, on the train, on the motorway, in the world of making things look better and go higher. Here, they grew to love me because of my laughter, my glances and our conversations. Here, the days are reduced to simplicity and I, through the eyes of others, to myself.

A woman is standing nex to a tent in the distance. She waves at me and holds up a coffee cup. She's my mother. I wave to tell her I'll sit here a little while longer, in this sleeping bag on this little chair. Vlieland is the nicest place for being silent.

Next to me, a snail crawls deeper into the tall grass. The damp dissapears from the air while the sun climbs higher. 

I close my eyes. Monday. Chocolate roll, mountain bike, lying on the grass.

5 June 2009

Where would you like me to touch you first?

If I'd get up and walk towards you now
where would you like me to touch you first?

If you'd get up and walk towards me now, where would you like to touch me first?