epic evidence

Here some of my favourite memories: over two years ago but the amount of photos that are taken 360 degrees from where I was sitting on a Sunday morning, around six in the morning 🙂

Memories are …. I try to find a word that both says interesting (but without the boring connotation) wonderful (with all the mystery involved) beautiful (without the sentimental connotation) powerful (without the heaviness of that). When I think about it, there are two Dutch words that come to mind ongrijpbaar and onvoorspelbaar. The thing is that memories are often not in the foreground of our minds. Most of the time we do not remember what we ate yesterday or which year we were last in Paris (ok maybe that’s just me never remembering ordinary things or years). But you get the point, having all our memories on the foreground of  our mind all the time would be impossible- we’d suffer a system overload.

All the words I just wrote down to try to express my thoughts about what memories do or don’t do, actually was triggered by a memory. Triggers. things that all the sudden help you make connections to your past, present, future, behaviour, whatever. I think the majorities of our memories only come into our present day because they are triggered. They are triggered by a song you hear, a (uncanny) feeling of that you have been or seen something/somewhere before. Just the same reading back something you have written years ago, or photos you took a long time ago can bring you back to a place or a feeling.

I called this blogpost epic evidence. A friend of mine reminded me of a very ‘epic’ memories of mine. One of the best parties I ever have been to. I have so many great memories from this time.. In the morning after the party, that was actually some kind of mini festival, I took some photo’s. Here memories play a different role..  I always love walking around the city, or around a place where something has happened, memories were made. I am one of the strange people that looooooooovee to leave all the mess of a party and wake up to it in the morning. It is kind of like the room/city/place has a hangover then. and the only thing you have to do to feel useful that day is clean up the mess. In one of my previous blogs I wrote how so much of our (online) world is stylized and there is little mystery and surprise. Guess what. Mess is (according to myself) the best ways of ‘breaking of the rules’. Interestingly enough, there is (stylised) beauty in everything, as long as you look at it the ‘right’ way. ‘Beauty is in the eye of the beholder’ or in this case, on the images the camera took.

 

 

Inspiration, inspiration, inspiration :)

So every  once in a while I end up here, writing a blogpost. Usually I am inspired by two or three thing that I love to write about. In the last couple of days , (or even just today) I have had about 10 or twenty ideas to write a blog… So many beautiful lyrics, quotes or thoughts that are so cool to write about, and all deserve at least 400 word to explore and expose all the ins and outs I discovered in or near them. Alas, this text is not about any of these. A part of me thinks it might be a good idea to just list all the ideas but another part of me decided to write about what is happening right now, rather than writing about all the individual great things I found. I am happy and inspired. Every now and then this happens. I’m inspired and almost everything that I encounter seems to be some of the best things that I have seen. In a way it is very similar to the process and occurrences I have described in a previous blog: TEMPORARY OBSESSION KNOWLEDGE EXTRACTION. In that blog I wrote about how sometimes I get quite obsessed by some kind of technique or art form causing me to learn all kinds of things. This is the same with inspiration. Sometimes things hit me to be super special. And even though it might seem as some kind of temporary high with little relevance to real life it is not like that for me. The things I am inspired by stay with me for a long time, and they make their way to  a written or unwritten list of desire.. In fact on of the things on my long list of blogpost topics are things that came from an inspiration-spike unto my bookshelf today :).

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Inspiration: Don’t you think these sheep are brilliant? 🙂 

Long story short, perhaps it does not really matter what kind of inspiration hits me. The things that inspire me often have to do with childhood, personal interests, beauty, arts and crafts. It does not really matter what is on my inspiration list, there is a bigger mechanism at work: I am surprised by joy. Now perhaps that sounds like some kind of slogan to you. It actually is: Surprised by Joy is the title of a new series of sermons in my church. I have no idea really what it is going to be about but I like the idea. I recognise it: all the sudden being surprised by having such joy about something that unexpected that made its way to my everyday life. All what I experience as inspiration makes me experience something else: the beauty of what the world is and what it could be. The childlike joy about endless possibilities and potential. These surprises are definitely some of the favourite things I have found in life :).

Failure//art of omision

I must say that I have been enjoying the art of omission more and more. It might be said that I can be quite a control freak. When I’m reading someone’s text whether it is a simple blogpost or an academic essay , I can get quite frustrated when the information I deem to be incredibly important is not there.. This can be the exact name of something or the missing subtleties that according to me are the difference between on point and completely wrong. As previously mentioned (I think) this blog is a space where I can put something in context, a context that I create myself. The context of an academic article asks certain precision and acknowledgments of sources and responsible parties. Yet as I said i’m becoming more and more a fan of the leaving out of information. Though it still frustrates me at times, (why is there not the specific info that I was looking for) it also inspires me. Having no or unclear rules, freedom, makes failure something that is not a consequence to deal with. Having something not entirely work out the way you expected it would can be an inspiration.

Even though I see this blog as a free space, where I can imagine, create and publish ‘content’, I see that a lot of blogs do not entail that kind of freedom. Actually perhaps it is not just blogs. The world around us is very structured and leaves very little to chance: the things you write publish or consider always have to fit in a certain image, a certain structure that dictates what is or is not acceptable. Of course this kind of formatting is not all bad, it creates wonderful understandable products. Yet we miss the beauty of the art of omission. Perhaps the art of mystery. By leaving something out we can create something that looks better than it is, or show something that is clearly ‘missing’. I like to play with the connotations of putting things in and leaving things out. I love thinking about the context of staying inside or outside the lines, not because that is what I want to do, but as an inspiration. Colouring inside or outside the lines and thinking inside and outside the box imply (clear) lines and boxes. I’m interested what happens when you cannot see the line, or if you can, but you choose to not communicate it to others. This creates a space that is unknown territory.  It allows exploration and examination, ‘touching’ a subject or feeling something is going on without knowing it. Art gives a wonderful space for that. Our rational minds might find ourselves alienated when we are looking at something that our eyes can see but our mind cannot understand.

Speaking of art, I’ve been working at a little project I want to share with all of you. There is no explanation our clear subject. See what it does 🙂

Embroidery Inspiration //Mash-Up

In the second year of university, now already more than four years ago, I embroidered a lot. I spend a lot of time in the train and embroidery was the perfect craft to do the train ride since it takes up so little space.  In that year I created some kind of sampler, I tried out numerous designs and styles on a very convenient base: the fabric that is usually embroidered to add to baby blankets.

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In the second year of university, now already more than four years ago, I embroidered a lot. I spend a lot of time in the train and embroidery was the perfect craft to do the train ride since it takes up so little space.  In that year I created some kind of sampler, I tried out numerous designs and styles on a very convenient base: the fabric that is usually embroidered to add to baby blankets.

Since embroidery is quite complex to truthfully photograph and display I chosen a black and white filter so you can appreciate the patterns and contrast in the design. The outer silhouette I have randomly filled with four different colours giving a structure that at some point reminds you of a floor plan, while others look like random pixels or ancient mosaics.

The design came together by enlarging one of the samplers embroideries as shown below, the size was increased in such a way that one cross stich became 4×4 cross stitches, allowing for an increased complexity of the outer shape but as well allowing space to add smaller or bigger designs from the sampler.

 

 

As you might see I have used the same basis as the samplers, yet I have chosen new colours and new or less accents. I find it very inspiring that with cross stich embroidery even when you start out with a very basic design, such as the T shape that form some kind of squares, you can enlarge or simplify the design. In fact the pattern that I now chose as an outline for the embroidery is a result of a adaption of a traditional embroidery pattern my mum has stitched on a table cloth.

Last but not least, to give you some impression of the actual colours of the object: I used purple, lilac, white, grey and light blue. For variation in texture I used various amounts of threads.

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Extra: the quite complicated middle pattern of the design I finished while listening to the amazing and inspiring podcast ‘seamwork radio’ https://www.seamwork.com/radio.

poem

all the way around and beyond

we go all the way around and beyond

we’ll  go the long way round and beyond

and we see what we find and we hope that

we’ll see what we like.

when these words might not find a way to

thougths in your mind

I hope somehow it changes

your eyes and your view

in this light.

Free & Freak out

I am free. I have everything I need and I have a holiday. What more is there to wish for? Being free is interesting. It is so often closely related to the second part of the title of this post: freak out. Having a lot of freedom now, it is still possible to freak out of all the freedom, the possibilities, the responsibilities. I remember how when I graduated high school my semi-philosopher economy teacher, who quoted Johan Cruijf a lot, greeted or rather said goodbye to me: Enjoy your freedom. It is perhaps a not such a  farfetched wish or advice to share with someone who goes into 3 months of holidays, but for some reason it is not inherent to our nature as humans. Perhaps it is just the Dutch, but we tend to complain. Having to little freedom, having nothing to do. Boredom.

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This photo is brilliant, and thus appropriate 

Yesterday at connect group we discussed work, and how this relates to faith, or the bible. My favourite insights on work, freedom and living come from ecclesiastics. It says something like: when you have a lot of wealth and you know its worth, and you enjoy it, than this is a gift of God. Also: do what your hand finds, and enjoy what you get. ut just as well: a worker sleeps well after a day of work, but he who has a lot has a lot of worries. Of course these are paraphrases my own, but I think for me it strikes the core of what was so beautiful and complicate about being human. Being occupied, and being free. To actually enjoy what you have, and not being plagued by all kinds of worries is so beautiful and precious the bible calls it a Gift of God. Perhaps this makes little sense to the non-religious, but for me it really states that there is such value in loving and enjoying what you do, or what you don’t do for that matter.

Still there is a shadow side to a phrase like ‘Enjoy your freedom’. What if you do not enjoy your freedom? What if you feel lonely, useless or just downright bored? I have no quick fix answer to a question like that, and I guess it is better not to offer a solution: sometimes we have to learn to live with  the fact that life is not always super enjoyable, or  in case of my summer holidays: the sun does not always shine. One of the lessons I learn every time when I freak out, whether it is because of freedom of choice or the fact that I have to do something and I’m not sure if it works out, is that I should just trust myself (and god for that matter) and just go on with it. The fear that comes with freaking out (again) or the fear that comes with freedom might freak us out. But if we are truly free these freak outs are allowed to happen. We are allowed to fail, we’re allowed and encouraged to try again. Ever tried, ever failed, no matter, try again. Fail again. Fail better. -Samuel Beckett