It’s amazing that no matter how much we keep learning, how much our aims may change, those things that really define us always pop out now and then to remind us of our essence. Despite what we may often feel, that is enough to give us the will to keep striving. If we accept who we are, rather than keep trying to please everyone else, we gain a good amount of confidence and strength, at least good enough to do what we really want.
Those so-called “reminders” may come in many different ways and most of the times they don’t include some kind of compliment. Sometimes, an apparently meaningless comment from a total stranger is all it takes. A proper “scolding” from those that know us the best may also work many times, but then, there are those special moments where art plays its part. For me, this is the best way to connect to myself. That’s why I can never quit dancing, reading, watching movies or listening to/ making music.
There are many works of art to which I can relate in a specific way. Most of the times I don’t even understand the reason they appeal me so, but even in those cases I feel compelled to take part of their existence. This is why I sing, this is why I love to dance and read. The art also requires our passive involvement. Despite of aiming for an active participation, I don’t intend to ever leave the other side!
H. Wolf has been on my mind for the last few days. I still can’t understand why but I always feel that some of his music speaks directly to me, in a way that only R. Strauss does.
“Autumn garden” by Vincent van Gogh
Den Haag in covered by the most beautiful Autumn colours I have ever seen.
I could say that there’s nothing like cycling among these yellowish paths around the city, but walking in parks such as the Clingendael, hearing nothing but the birds and the wind playing with the tree’s leaves, sure beats anything else. The fresh smell of the humid earth makes me feel at home, comfortable and revigorated. Despite the strong (multi-directional) wind, the atmosphere in this park was simple, calm and in every way, perfect.
I was only annoyed by the fact that I could not capture all that life-inspiring landscape in any good way, especially not by painting it, though the urge to do it was immense. Its beauty is really compelling, in a way that I actually feel useless as a mere viewer. For a while I could understand Van Gogh and easily picture him there, sitting with his canvas in front of him while inspiration wasn’t even one of his concerns. Nature itself is inspiration enough, it simply gives us its visual form.
Well, next time I can try to contribute with some singing, it’s the best I can do for it, though I’m afraid it might ruin the idyllic atmosphere and I may actually be victim of some angry dwellers, by which I especially mean the geese, who are always happy to play their part in that matter!
Clingendael Park – Den Haag
“Let the rain kiss you. Let the rain beat upon your head with silver liquid drops. Let the rain sing you a lullaby.” – L. Hughes
After a nice (and unusually long) period of sun, the rain finally claimed its rightful place, falling unceasingly in The Hague. Today I decided to stay home and simply admire these so called “silver liquid drops” as they decisively find their way down, leaving as they fall a soothing scent and a pleasant feeling in the air. Most people find it hard to believe that the rain doesn’t bother me at all. It doesn’t. I treasure every memory I have of these rainy days, even the less fortunate. Most of them are of spending some time just enjoying the rain. That is actually something I do some times in my dad’s company, back home. We usually open a window (there’s no way we can open a door without being immediately “assaulted” by my two loving dogs) so that we can listen to the sound of the rain reaching the roof and cemented floor and feel the freshness it brings. That is a perfectly valid reason to love the rain!
The rain doesn’t seem to scare the dutch people also, especially not from their bicycle rides. Some are skillful enough to only ride their bikes with one hand while holding an umbrella on the other. That, I must confess, freaks me out. I can barely take my hand from the handlebar for two seconds to warn the other drivers that I’m changing direction. Fortunately there are still wiser and safer choices available. Wearing a poncho is one of them. That’s mine, at least until I can actually ride my bike while making a sandwich (yes, they do that also).
Apart from that, the rain did change my plans today, and this time, not in my favor. I decided to give myself an unusual day of almost total rest at home. That didn’t happen. While cooking a balanced and more time-consuming meal than usual, I managed to ruin the stove. Who said vegetables are good for you? These weren’t, for sure. After many unsuccessful attempts of “reviving” the stove, I was forced to resume cooking on the microwave. As a result I was able to finally eat my lunch, at 5 p.m.
Still, I don’t blame the rain, but I do blame my lack of courage to resist its charms.