Morning outside

I spend the morning outside.

I spend the morning outside,

walking to the water, sitting

myself down, slightly anxious,

afraid to drop down the 3 meters,

or rather drop one of the things I

brought there.

A vivid image of when i dropped,

a ball in a canal, and trying to

retrieve it my phone fell in.

Oh what a sad and funny day.

I spend the morning outside

and was so surrounded by

calming and envigorating

sounds and memories of

moments being there before

just as content.

I thought perhaps I’d write

a poem, but my feelings where

to complete to put into words.

And so i did some bad drawings,

just my pen moving along the

paper expressing some of the

unexpresionable contentment.

I spend the morning outside,

and I read back some of what

I wrote in the book i brought before

A collection of poems and bookkeeping

documented from the past 2,5 years.

I spend the morning outside and time

stood still. My heart full. My memories

like pearls floating on the water shining

perfectly precious how ever painful.

I spend the morning outside and nothing

really happened, everything just felt right.

What matters-

There is something interesting about not being able to finish a sentence. Making transcripts of conversations I found many people do not finish their sentences while speaking, they simply continue. The question then as a transcriber is, when do I put interpunction? What indicates a comma, a question mark, a dot.

There is another version of not being able to finish something. It is when one is not able to finish a thought. wnen you are in the in between of ‘i’ll have to think about that, i’m not sure yet. As someone who was compared to a scene in the lion king where timun an pumba have a conversation- a question is asked: what do you think? To which the other says- I don’t have to think I know. Even people like me, or funnily like my dad, that live with the philosophy : ‘I don’t have to think, I know’ – find themselves sometimes at a loss of words.

I found myself talking to my father, and he told me: ‘Sure, but you didn’t do this’- I answered him ‘But I did’. He thought for a moment, trying to recompose himself. Oh. Right. Well, In that case, I’ll think about it and I’ll get back to you. It is a funny moment to see that actually, there is perhaps not an answer to everything from my dad. Sometimes he does not know. Same goes for me. Yes, I study and I read and Ithink about different things a lot, but I also sometimes don’t know. And yet, sometimes I do know but I don’t want to. It’s impressive how far we can go keeping things from ourselves, things that we know.

I’m trying to be more reall with myself once again. I wrote a mantra: ‘Your feelings, and your experiences are valid, even if you don’t like them’. Sometimes I find myself being so sure of my thoughts almost as to say: ‘I don’t need to feel, I know’. And yet, supposedly that is not how things work. Feelings change, thoughts change, and they aren’t set in stone. You have to explore and re-adjust accordingly. I’m learning slowly once again to know myself. To know what matters, not just what seems likely or feasible but what I want. Where peace lies. The kind of peace and joy that isn’t a lie.

Why did I put ‘what matters’ as the title of this post? It comes back to something that has been said to me by many people this week: What you feel matters. And I find that quite a challenge to accept. Since sometimes I want to live in a world where neither what I think or what I feel matters. Cause things I feel and think make me restless, they call for action. Sometimes I like to live in a world, where I don’t know. So I sometimes try to pretend that I am living in such a world even if I know better. What matters, is to then pick myself up and tell myself: I know why you prefer to stay in another world, but you’ll be more at peace in the world you know and feel to be real.

Read and reflect.

Let me write a bit. I read sentences I had in mind but didn’t put into words like that. I have a friend who once said he knew he liked my sentence cause he was jalouse- he wished he had written it. There are so many different ways of writing. Sometimes I long for writing sentences that take me through the complexity of life space and time in just a line. Sometimes I hope to reduces the mess to something clear. Sometimes I just like a sentence cause it is pretty even if it adds chaos to the universe.

This night I woke up at 5. I woke up hungry. Luckily, I had some matzes lying next to the bed. They were half price off cause perhaps the location of the supermarket where I went overestimated the amount of people in the area celebrating Pesach. I’ve seen in other countries matzes are square but in the Netherlands they sell the round ones. Talking of matze, a few years ago I bought a matze colored umbrella for my little 2 year old friend. There is a wonderful children’s museum in the Jewish museum in Amsterdam that has ‘Max the Matze’ as a tour guide. So the Umbrella doesn’t just have the color and pattern of matzes but it also has eyes.

But yeah I woke up at 5. I ate some matze, took a bite of an apple, went to the toilet, drank some water, and went back to bed and opened my laptop. There has been a type of nervousness in my bones ever since I met my moth faithful research subject. Or should I say, subjects. A group of 49 dolls of which 7 were already missing. These days, let’s say, today, last night, I found 1 of the 42 dolls back as a catalogue reference after them being stuck in one limbo or another, after a transfer from one museum collection to another. There is a nervousness in my bones because although I know my research subjects inside and out I never ones set eyes on them. And I would so love to see their majesty, and to be fair their wear and tear in person.

But yes. Let’s go back to the title of this writing. I recently went back to reading academic articles describing mostly histories and ideas, and I found myself longing for something in between. Longing to write and read semi-poetry describing what it means to be a researcher, what it means to long to hold or rather conserve or perhaps unearth an object, by opening up their histories to the eye of the beholder once more. It reminds me of talking to the woman who had seen the dolls in person- ‘It’s such a touching story,’ she said. ‘It was quite an emotional moment seeing them after all those years’. I’m reading and reflecting and I long perhaps to also act. To take a step to meet the things I’ve dreamed of meeting ever since I first have seen them. And yet. Well. We’ll see. Perhaps.

For now I’m reading an article that someone I greatly admire advised us to read. And seeing her, hearing her speak and read and be quite bold made me think that perhaps I can do it too. Fill this space with shapes that I think are interesting, beautiful, important. To build the kind of writing that I long to read, and reflect upon.

How do you know?

A trip down memory lane.

Sometimes I think of times in my life I didn’t know that I do know now. What just came to mind was an event on the first day of university, where we got an introduction to our program in art history. Now it’s not that I knew nothing about art history- as part of my highschool ‘drawing’ class we also learned about art’s history. Yet I hardly remembered much more than images or ideas. As such found myself very puzzled the first day of the university course. One of the main faculty staff hosted a quizz on the history of art on our introduction day, and to my surprise, people knew the answers to the questions before we had even started our education! I don’t know how many questions I was able to answer or failed at, however, I remember that the last question to decide who ‘won’ the introductury quizz to the program. The last question or prompt was: ‘name spanish painters’, whoever of top two of the group could name most painters would win. I remembered asking: ‘How on earth do they know any of this?’ to the people who were competing in the final round- although I didn’t dare to ask that question out loud. Funnily enough, the faculty member did ask the new students exactly that question. The winning student confessed, as I recall, that he already had done a minor in art history. I found myself a bit relieved and at the same time exposed for my what shall we call it– ‘state of blank slate’. I hardly knew any of the answers to that days questions. In fact, I knew hardly anything about the course or the subject that i was going to study, which was a bit unsetteling, but that also meant that everything I learned was exciting and new.

My ‘How do you know?’ question that day was hardly the first time I asked it. I remember from a young age, I saw people do or say things in a certain way, I would be left left questioning: ‘How do you know?’. ‘How do you know, who taught you, how do you know that this is the way to behave?’ These things I observed were more often than not considering big cultural narratives that lay outside or just ajacent to my own. I realised that most of what is happening in our day to day live has some kind of reference that is present but only obvious to those who can read them. I thus decided that I would aim to understand ‘evey reference’ there was. This, ofourse, is quite an impossible task to accomplish, however, I accepted that it would probably take a lifetime to gather my own references. I was on a mission to understand the, for me untill then, uninteligeble parts of society.

I haven’t written here for a long time, or rather, I haven’t published. Especially not a piece like this, trying to put my more complex, ‘running’ or perhaps ‘red thread’ thoughts, into words. Yet today I find myself in a retrospective mood, due to soon traveling to places that I visited respectivley 12 and 9 years ago. While writing that sentence ’12 and 9 years ago’, I feel like I should write ‘9 and 12 years ago’ — and I wonder: ‘How do I know?’. How do I know to write to write it the other way around? Another question perhaps: Why don’t you write it in that order if it is how you feel it should be? That is easier to explain: I will first visit a place I visited 12 years ago, and after that visit a place I visited 9 years ago. Even though my reference to these places based on the fact that I visited them roughly 10 years ago must be dated, in my head the places have not changed. Similarly, I ‘knew’ that I would visit them once more, although I didn’t think it would take me so long to return. Yet I know that I, ten years later, am different than I was then, my library of references more vast than in was before.

NYC Metro 2013

There is something strange that happens when knew knowlege and references are added to our own personal understanding of the world. Even if that information has been ancient or out that all the time that we were alive, it seems that the world has somehow grown, by adding that bit of knowledge. This doesn’t change isn’t only applied to our future interactions with the world, they also change our understanding of our (own) past. For intance after watching ‘The fiddler on the roof’ after years of knowing the title without having seen it, I understand what my friend meant when she was saying that her family culture is very much like the first song of the movie ‘Tradition’. Where as first I heard the words and they were simply that, words to me, this memory now seems so much more colorful, brought alive by images and sounds from the movie.

These musings, although surely they will last a live time, I have to draw to a close here. I made my commitment to understanding references long before I knew what art history was or that I would study it. Yet I found in this studies that indeed all artworks refer to another, intentionally or unintentionally. An object as such is not simply an object but a network of references and meaning. Although my mission ‘to understand all references’ is a long way of completion, I continue the road exploring the meaning of things hidden in plain sight with a simple comforting and encouraging questioning companion, the ever curious ‘How do you know?’.

belly/stand up for myself

My belly it hurts-

It hurted like this before-

Waking up from a nightmare-

so horrible and strange- so real.

I tried this time- while it was happening

to stand up for myself. To tell them-

that my heart shouldn’t be played like that.

That I don’t breath like this – and that I need the suffering to end.

And I can pretend- or even feel that indeed me

standing up for myself helped- yet I’m confronted

with the dream and all his terrifying details that

grew itselfs inside myself.

I thought the other day- maybe the dreams are always there

twisted and and restless, normal and uncanny- just some days

they haunt me like nightmares- some times like friendly reminders

of who I love and who I miss. What to discuss.

How do I tell this dream: thank you for reminding me-

that my heart isn’t rudderless- that I can say no myself

that I might miss the friend but not the heartbreak.

that it’s good that It’s in the past and I don’t need a

reminder that the future and now can be twisted as well?

My belly like my dream is a bit twisted and restless and sad

and yet. Every poem needs a hopeful strand- like every

nightmare has- even when it all comes to pass I’ve managed

to stand up for myself.


The year is ending.

The year that hardly begun

that left so many things

on the to do and contains

lists surprises.

Trying to look back I feel

the fog between bigger

events- what were the days?

Who did I meet- what did

I feel and what was as lost as ever?

A new space a new place a slowly

getting comfortable. Moving on

and standing still the marshes of inbetween.

Love and disconnection

death and ressurection-

Final goodbyes.

An ever growing and slowing pandemic-

Problems, panic and repair.

Where- where am I- Where is it all going-

Just take a step one day at the time.

I’ve judged myself a failure- a survivor-

a force- a poem. a loved one.

The year is ending —

may it make space for new beginnings.

or start with a crappy poem.

Heritage science

So what does it mean? To study or be

to see the world like you see it mostly-

to have a peek behind the curtain

is it as glamerous as you dreamed it would

be when you walked around and told

yourself you’d work your way up to touch

what is behind the glass?

It is a space that feels familiar and relatable

and yet so foreign to most that haven’t gone

through the process of learning and unlearning

of training eyes to see things that others do not regognise yet.

To see trough layers and walls and discover all the

memories that material holds- to capture and to

be told- to gather stories and save and savour the

beauty and the ugliness of what has been and what’s become.

I ever say that it is like making objects talk. The part of the couch that was

in another place that makes that some part of the whole is

cat-scratched while another is not- to read a journey trough

the subtle signs and archives- how can we not but marvel at

the wonder and the horror.

What is more than the other- what superior or stronger- what

is more fragile and perhaps wouldn’t be seen if it wouldn’t be spoken for.

I’ve tried to have spoken for treasures that are treated as threaths to budgets

I’ve tried to listen to voices who said things that are usually looked over since

they are not the ones that are paid for their opnion. The one in charge gets

to write the direction of the exhibition- and there never seems to be the option

to simply be neutral- aren’t we all just writing loveletters from now to the past.

The museum

I some times forget how much there is to see.

How much love and pain and hardbreak on the walls.

How much beauty and abandoned projects.

I learn the hard way around.

I sit here now. I told myself to not-

To not buy anything that is a thing

or rather not food or an experience

In a hope to somehow reduce,

finaly use the amounts of things in this house.

Everything I see from where I sit has a story.

It shows the years come and gone,

and somehow I almost always forget everthing

I’ve kept on view- untill someone new enters

and wanders around.

And I remember being in his house-

attic filled with archives of newspapers

and national geographic,

basement filled with deceased spiders hanging

from the ceiling. Him describing TV as something

recent that he just hadn’t gotten around to

bringing in.

I come from a fine heritage of collecters

and makers, and stories only half told.

Sometimes all the things collections and

love for those who created and kept them

seems to be uncomfortable.

The house that I loved the moment that

I went there is only left untouched in my memory.

the image

Isn’t he offended I wonder.

Isn’t he offended by people being impressed by the shallowest version of himself

being impressed by the surface that he’s cultivated so carefully that even he

can’t seem to shake it off.


How free is someone stuck in the same story?

How free is someone offended by others buying his lie

only to know that the truth is something he even hides from himself.

not even knowing how to unsee the story.


Shouldn’t I be? Shouldn’t I be offended by the surface that

he so carefully present pretending that it just came to his imagination

whereas this play has been performed so many times the audience

doesn’t matter, the story doesn’t matter just the ego can’t seem to let go of the applause.


I can never tell the same story twice, I tell myself and judge-

only to realise that I don’t want to and that, in fact- I do

tell some stories over and over again with different endings

different beginnings different audiences.


How free is he to meet? I wonder if he struggles in his prison

fights the people that only engage with his image, thinking

that they’ve seen him cause he pretended to take his mask off.


I’m weary. Of feeling filled up but then meeting the person who

provided empty- and I wonder what other stories are stored or

what person still lives under the endless carefully constructed images.


I don’t know. But the truth is I don’t plan to find out. Under the surface

I feel is a darkness that I’m quite sure doesn’t want to see the light

except of picking it up and trowing it around blaming it to never come

before in this carefully constructed space with walls and no windows

and no doors.


I wonder if he is offended by the impressionability of his audience

almost shouting ‘you can’t fool me’, loosely translated please fool me.

What if he just decided- no. I stop here. I’ll stop pretending and start –

apart from this image.


How did it start you ask?

It was just an itch that I

couldn’t seem to scratch

since I couldn’t figure out

what was scratching me, that made me feel so itchy.

And then, slowly some how the sounds

around me. My skin felt in a state of utmost

emergency by the simple movement of an

arm and a leg brushing against the fabric of

what ever clothes were closest.

I thought of how the city is a cruel place to be

with sensory sensitivity and when one of the 1001

things that bothered me got to much I cursed to myself

out loud ‘f%$k’, only to see that someone was near me

and possibly could have seen me doing that promting

a sudden smile. There was nothing around me, so it

seemed perhaps, to have made me curse out loud like that.

And as I saw the stranger close to me when I cursed I thought how can

I explain what is happening right now? And perhaps the clearest metaphore

is- You know how good sex fills all your senses and everything is pleasure?

Imagine the same but the opposite, all your senses at the highest pitch and

all of them feeling aweful.

And another thought at a time when the discomfort was so bad I curshed under my

breath thinking no one was around only to discover someone and me laughing

at the sight of me cursing, although there was nothing around me that I could be cursing

Except of course EVERYTHING that made me want to curse – like

my hair clip straining my hair and my discomfort taking it out

the sudden itch on my ear and how the 1 percent wool in my

dress suddenly was driving me crazy. Either that or the

intense buzzing sound of the minature plane more than 30 meters away.

Every single thing somehow seems to bother me, as if all my senses

all my cells decided to just yell: I’M NOT DOING WELL.

You may ask- but how does it end? And I can’t say and yet, this has

happened before- and it passed a way then, so this isn’t a constant hell.

And safe back at home I tell myself my memories of the last time something

like this happened cause my house was such a mess and that only cleaning it

will help it all subside, that and food and time. But, it isn’t over yet.