Same Thing Twice

same thing twice

Same Thing twice

‘Een ezel stoot zich geen twee keer aan de zelfde steen’ a dutch expression: ‘a donkey does not bump into the  same stone twice’. I always thought it was a rather stupid expression: good for the donkey that he does not make the same mistake twice, but us humans never seem to be so lucky, especially when it comes to bumping into something. The dutch ‘stoten’ kind of implies hitting and hurting. For us humans most of the time the same things happen more often, they are themes, routes, rituals even. For me, it has helped to accept that I am not a donkey, I’m going to experience the same things more than once, even often. I could feel bad, seeing that I’m no more or even less than a donkey, or I could learn to walk around the stone or just grow some thicker skin so it won’t hurt as much. However, the reason I wanted to write about ‘the same thing twice’ was not because I wanted to address how it seems that we can never really stop hurting ourselves by walking into things that we should know are there, it was watching videos on YouTube.  Now I love to sometimes spend an extended time at YouTube researching one speaker: I’ve heard something this person said, or read a book, and I like what I got the first time, so I look for more. Tonight I was inducing myself in the words and the mind of Tomas Sedlacek, a Czech economist that wrote the book ‘economy of good and evil’ in which he both ‘exposes’ myths in modern economy theory as well as he connects old myths and stories to economy and how we (can) understand it.

As some you might have noticed either in the blog or by knowing me in person : I love new ideas, especially If they bring things I love together in a way that I would want to but am not ‘authorised to do’. And here Tomas is connecting economy, art, stories and religion together, the old and the present. Now a good friend of mine also had a mini obsession with Sedlacek, mostly because he apparently called himself a Christian-anarchist. She was thrilled about finding more out about him, but she also said: at some point I’m done watching YouTube video’s/interviews because the same things come back over and over again. And actually that is the case, as previously stated, in most of our lives. Surely, a lot of things in our lives change, but there remains certain themes, thoughts, opinions, and maybe even more: stories. Stories that have defined our lives and relive often, and depending on how extraverted we are or how important it is for us we tell it to others again and again.

Now we live in an age that ‘more information’ is easily accessible: for someone who loves to get in to the depth of things like me this is wonderful. However, especially when it comes to interviews nowadays, every artist/interesting person says the same thing over and over again. And since I’m also a child of these times and just as well love new things, I get disappointed, bored, and move on. That’s why I love to investigate the past. Somehow there seems to be more diversity in information, in interpretation, and it influences and inspires me. I toss, turn and taste it. I can grasp it, like a cloud, and find that the sun has broken through. What I love about art, or philosophy or theory is not what the author, artist, or actor has to say about the matter, it is what it is: the object, the story, that is a starting point, a starting point for me to continue my journey with all the reoccurring stones and stories in my life. (as someone asked for more images: here another reinvention of my high school graduation artwork).


Watch as the snow falls down, covers everything


Ok. Confession. It is not snowing, it is not even close, spring is creeping through the cracks. Flowers open up their arms, the sun is coming around the corner. Why the title? I’m listening to Mike Mains and The Branches.  The song that is the title of this post is ‘stop the car’ now actually that has also little to do with what I wanted to discuss in this post. Today, yet again I wanted to talk about creativity, and a trip down to memory lane.  Two days ago, for no particular reason, I decided to open up my big file map  with drawings and projects. Projects that I did during high school. It is interesting to go back like that.. I was a creative kid, at some point in time 5th and 6th year I would spend all my free hours at the drawing classroom, working on projects. These drawing classes were some of the most wonderful things that I ever had, they enabled and stimulated me to put my everyday creativity into actual projects. It was interesting to look back at the things I made, some that were less interesting, others that reminded me of how I loved to experiment and create. It is funny how it works, creativity.  Talking to a lot of my friends, as well those that were in the drawing class with me, after leaving a group like that, you forget to be as creative, you don’t take the time, or have the space.

Every now and then I wonder: what if I would put more time into my creative work? Take up a class? Luckily you don’t always have to take a class to get some things done, or get inspired, sometimes it’s just showing your old projects to a good and creative friend. The picture at the top of this post is a piece of art that came into being trough the storing of the pieces of one of my artworks: it is a bunch of stencils I used to ‘print’ on textiles for my drawing exam. They had morphed into a beautiful new collage: it is not yet new work, but the photo is a way of interacting in a creative way with the world again. Thus I come to the title of this post. I was not really inspired by the snow, but the fact that it covers everything. Creativity, a creative outlook on the world, the recognition of a beautiful images is everywhere, creativity can cover everything. For now, it feels good to look back, recognise the beauty of what I made before, rediscover this part of my past, this part of my life and myself. And for now I write, and you can read while the words fall down, and cover everything.

and i care what you think

Vanmorgen luisterde ik 3fm. Chef’s special werd op gebeld omdat ze in het voorprogramma van Twenty One Pilots zouden staan: in de VS. Big deal voor een leuk Nederlands bandje, maar ik dacht: wie zijn twenty one pilots? Het ging over de single ‘stressed out’ maar ik kon er even geen voorstelling bij maken. Het bleek dat de single een nummer was dat ik afgelopen dagen/weken vaak had gehoord, en eigenlijk wel tof vond: “stressed out” hoorde het op de radio, in een aflevering van ‘Supergirl’ (trouwe fan), en zocht het nu maar eens op op youtube. Het lijkt dat ik de sound van twenty one pilots chill vind, dus ik luister nu, as i write, hun muziek.

care what you think

Hoe dan ook, dit is niet een soort reclametekstje, het kijken van enkele van de band’s videoclips van de band zorgden voor nieuwsgierigheid: waarom had de zanger zwart geschilderde nek en handen? Het zwart leek geen tatoeage, daarvoor leek het te onprecies aangebracht. Ik besloot het enige logische te doen: ik googlede: ‘twenty one pilots black hands and neck’. iets wat meteen resultaat opleverde:


De titel van een artikel op MTV, meer mensen hadden blijkbaar mijn vraag en het antwoord is waarom ik schrijf: “It (..)kind of represents all the things that I as an individual — but also everyone around me — am insecure about,”  “When I think about insecurities and my insecurities are getting the best of me, the things that I think of are kind of a feeling of suffocation and then also the things that I create with my hands.”

Ik vond het zo’n mooie metafoor: we zijn zo vaak bang onzeker over wat onze handen maken, om het te tonen: stress, onzekerheid, een gevoel van misplaatstheid. Het idee dat heel veel mensen met een dichtgeknepen keel en trillende handen rondloopt werkt relativerend, tegelijk helpt het (mij in ieder geval) dankbaar te zijn voor de plekken en momenten dat onze handen en halzen níet onder ruk staan en we kunnen zijn wie we zijn, trots op wat we maken. Misschien is de lente, wanneer we onze sjaals afdoen en onze handschoenen uit, een mooi moment om onze onzekerheden en angsten onder ogen te zien en zelfs te laten zien, om  van de zon te genieten ondanks onze schaamte. Vrolijk voorjaar!

The birth or recognition of stories.

blog bird post 6

As previously mentioned I am trained as an art historian. Art History  to me basically means getting to know the stories behind the images. However, images whether they are the iconography of a painting or the visual entity of a dress tell stories on their own. Everything in this world is or can be linked to a story, but it is also a story in itself. Stories are build up out of anecdotes, meaning, and not in the least: words. And words, words are wonderful, they carry so many stories. Encyclopaedia are a curious example of how page long stories can be written to explain just a single word.

Two days ago I started this blog, I gave it a new name, new because I júst came up with it, and new because I created the word. I gave it a Dutch name, since even though I now currently write this blog in English, Dutch is my mother tongue and it seemed like it would be more of a cool indie name if it would be in Dutch, than when I would try to come up with something creative clever artistic and meaningful in English. Also I wanted an option that would be available in the free format without having to put in additives such as 2016 or blog. Lieverleesje did the trick.

Yesterday, when I woke up after the night that I created the blog and filled it with all kinds of words images and thoughts I am passionate about,  I was uncertain of the status of this blog and what it implied. Was it something I enjoyed? Was it something I decided to do on a whim and a product of temporal obsession? Was it some kind of thing I would regret? Would it be something that I would hate to read back? Would it be something that I would dare to share outside of the save environment of my good friends?   I discussed these things with some of my friends and they had quite practical advice: if you don’t like it take it down, or, keep it up but don’t actively promote this, this way it can be without becoming a scary thing, some kind of burden.  I’m not sure what the answers are to all these questions, and I don’t know what the future of this blog will be. But my good attentive friends nearly all commented  on how I crafted the stories with words. The stories are not new. The stories are things that I find on the street, on the web, in my mind. The words are like pencils, I use them to set a setting, a stage, a colour a light. The post are like encyclopaedia pages. They are the entries that you will find in my mind about this particular topic or phrase. No facts given but some kind of insight, however fragile and whimsical it might be. It is there. And now here at (read this in a overly commercial American voiceover voice). I have released the paper bird on a thread. May it be moved by the wind, and teach me how to fly.

When is your (art) work good enough?


A few  months ago I visited the Stedelijk museum of art. This time I was not there to research or study rather to go out and celebrate freedom and to enjoy the influence of other people’s creations. What I sometimes do in museums is walk around with a notebook. And somewhere in the museum I realised, I wondered, I wrote down:


How does that work? How do you feel? when you see something that you do, make or have made as art. Enough faith to put it up, to show, no longer caputured in an ‘I do this because it feels good’

I was talking about this the other day with one of my ‘artist friends’ and she is an artistic researcher and said that once Duchamp said that there is aside from the artist and the artwork there is a relationship between the artwork and the public. Maybe thát makes defining and experiencing something as ‘art’ so hard. Interesting enough today on the Humans of New York, one of my favorite sources of inspiration, a gentlemen shared:

“I don’t enjoy observing people as much as I used to. Everyone acts like they’re on stage. People used to come to The Village sheepishly. Nobody was sure if they belonged. We didn’t know if we were artists. These days everyone walks around like they’re contributing something. There’s no angst anymore. There’s too much certainty. And that’s a shame. Because all the best art comes from people who feel like they don’t belong. Art is a way of proving your existence. When I was a young man, a person that I respected told me that I was an artist. It was one of the worst things that could have happened to me. I stopped walking into museums or galleries with a sense of awe. I walked in feeling like an ‘artist.’ My arms would be crossed. If I liked a piece, it was ‘good.’ If I didn’t like a piece, it was ‘bad.’ I didn’t feel vulnerable anymore. I lost my humility. And that’s when growth stops.”

Maybe not knowing is ok.  Maybe not knowing is better. I’m not sure what this blog is about, but ‘it feels good’ I enjoy it, and that’s enough.

Shoemaker stay with your lees(t)je

One of the reasons why I started this blog and wht even if I only post on it for day  it cheers me up so much, is because of the struggle that is described in the title of the post. For non-Dutch speakers here, there is a Dutch proverb saying ‘schoenmaker blijf bij je leest’ directly translated: shoemaker stay with your boot-tree. It means that you should stay with your profession, your expertise, perhaps the limits society has put on you.  In the past autumn I was part of a creative brainstorm session on ‘borders’ even though that theme, surely during the present days of numerous refugees you can go to all kind of directions with this theme. For the brainstorm night I made a little visual expression of how I interpreted the theme. For me borders was about the proverb: keep to the limits society has put on you.


The image is a visualisation of what I experience when I look at a work of art.  ‘I’ am represented by the small black square, the triangle that is facing me, pointing at me is the way I am allowed to look at a particular artwork. When I don’t keep to my limitations I am deemed un academic, fantasizing, inappropriate. But men oh men, this artwork represents so much more than what I can comprehend. It projects into the unknown, the uncertain, the wondrous. And all these wondrous things are tickling in the back off my mind.

In academics and science there is limited space for truly interesting things such as art, philosophy and for myself particularly interesting religion and God. However, in this little corner of the web that I called Lieverleesje, I can pick up any boot-tree, needle, thread, pen or pencil. Any thought can be connected and stretch. All the uncertain stringy gold things can be discovered and experienced.

Traveling or studying while moving

Some people, who are rather genius but have no specific degree to mention say they are students of life. In Amsterdam there is even a ‘school of life’. Ironically they have teachers and lectures there rather than having solely life as teacher. Now of course everyone has life, so what makes some a student of it and others more of a patient? Perhaps it is the difference between reading for fun and ‘begrijpend lezen’. Begrijpend lezen literally understanding reading was one of the more tedious subjects we had in elementary school: there was an ugly purple book that was very boring and a set of ‘geplastificeerde kaarten’ cards which corresponded to certain texts and encouraged you to engage with the text on a deeper or rather to me then: more boring level.

So is a student of life someone who chooses to engage with life in a more boring fashion? Perhaps. But just as well it can be what the objective of the teacher was by teaching us ‘begrijpend lezen’, Helping us to find tools to benefit our understanding, to see a text as more than a sum of its parts. While when reading Dutch or English I rarely seek for signal words and such as you are supposed to do with ‘begrijpend lezen’ . However when I had to practice this while (voluntarily) learning the French language last year I must say I rather enjoyed it. And when applying this to studying life: looking what happens, why, where it comes from, where it is going, (hidden) connections and connotations I must say I enjoy it even more.

The title of this post suggest that I will discuss traveling or studying or rather traveling and studying. A confession: since starting studying ca. 5 years ago I have not travelled without studying, and with studying I then mean: school field trip, going to a conference, going on a holiday ánd visiting numerous exhibitions that I probably would not have visited were it not that I’m an art historian (BA) with an interest in museums and exhibitions. But I would suggest that is not the best way of studying while traveling, sure, when visiting exhibitions and museum I am studying exhibitions and museums (rather than enjoying art) but true discovery takes place (in my humble opinion) when connections are made. Connections is a rather broad term, they can mean you meet other humans, but something I might even find more interesting (though I must say I love meeting (new) people) is that you make new connections. New connections within the network of your brain, by adding new information: the actual experience of being close to the big ben:  ‘it is big but I thought after seeing ‘jumper’ it would be a lot bigger than I see it now’.  I can go on. But perhaps it is good to limit my personal stories and share an encouragement with my readers: go, be, move and make connections.

How To Easily Offend People or ‘Not sure and no desire to look up’

How To Easily Offend People or ‘Not sure and no desire to look up’

It seems almost inevitable, the posting of several posts in one go, certainly if you are one of the people whose own writing inspires them. The inspiration for this particular blogpost is my about page. Here I mention ‘princess of china’ from Coldplay and as written there ‘Rihanna?!’. This was a case of ‘not sure and no desire to look up’. So from now on: ?! means: ‘I’m not sure, and since I admit that you have no excuse to be offended, and If you want to know, look up yourself’.

So why de mention of offence? Well. Once up on a time (yet again) an art history student that was visiting Paris and had already been to the louvre asked, in a fashion related to the ‘not sure and no desire to look up’ namely the ‘not sure, other people surely are so why not ask’, who again was Delacroix/what was he famous for? This rather lazy but functional question: it was awnsered resulted in something else: someone being offended by the fact that an art history student (to be fair, a first year) could ask such an ignorant question.

So what is the solution to offence due to ignorance: one could say: education, but since you might have guessed already from the previous anecdote: education is not a proper insurance against ignorance. Rather than education I would go for acknowledgement: thus I want to introduce something new to the Wondrous Wild Web:  NSANDTLU. As an observant reader you have already guessed or successfully derived the meaning of this  word combination ‘Not Sure And No Desire To Look Up’. In all fairness this ‘disclaimer’ will maybe not stop people being offended by ignorance, but it will introduce a new kind of honesty, and it shows that the user of the acronym in question is at least not ignorant of his or her ignorance and laziness. As we say in Dutch or as Matthijs van Nieuwkerke says at the end of de wereld draait door. Tot Zover.

Just before posting this but after writing it an observant reader mentioned that i did not translate the dutch word ‘flipperkast’ to english, beside a case of NSADTLU, using a (to some people) foreign word without giving translation gives a sense of exotism, and perhaps stirs someone’s curiosity, and though deemed a sin during the middleages, isn’t curiosity not one of the most wonderfull things in this universe?


Ratherreadyou, that is the literal translation from Dutch to English of ‘lieverleesje, however, in Dutch it sounds much sweeter, since the Dutch ‘liever’ aside from rather could mean sweeter. Another reason to choose this title in Dutch rather than English is that it becomes an whole new word: three words put together to become a whole new word, and give a whole new meaning. But why rather read? I must say, up to now I have only followed other people’s blogs, rather enjoying what they write than what I could possibly write myself. So why the change? Why not reading but writing? Perhaps because even though I enjoy other people’s stories it is not that I don’t have anything to say myself, or stories to tell. I can imagine that this blog, rather than just telling my own stories would consist of recommendations, something that is also already suggested in the blogs title.


However, today I will tell a little bit of my own story, the story of a girl who is in love with fabric, yarn, art, walking around, and sitting inside, surfing the web. A girl that has so many stories in mind but is notoriously bad at writing. This is not my first blogpost. For a course on History and Culture of Russia I wrote several blogpost on subjects related to class we had in the same week. I have rarely enjoyed doing my homework so much, and wondered how to continue this enjoyment ever since. So many times I wonder: why  did no one write this down?  I hope this blog will become a mix of creativity, research, stories and perhaps fiction and poetry, how? I have both numerous and no ideas, I hope we will see. ‘all art/drawing/images mine unless otherwise noted’