Wednesday, 31 December 2008

55 the first hours of the last day of 2008. "I got a bad marriage she said"

On this last day of 2008 I got out of my bed 0900 o'clock. The lake was nearly completely frozen and the surface smooth except on some places where long ridges betrayed the fruitful last attempts of the wind to keep the water flowing. In the middle hundreds of birds motionless in an ice-hole. Where will they go to when King Frost strikes the final blow?
I shave: a 30 second achievement. Wash. Brush teeth. I remember: funeral today of a far far away relative of relatives. But I will also visit my neighbour.
It is 09.20 and I ring the doorbell of this 86 year old lady. I want to wish her a good new year, but not only coffee and sigarettes are the additional reasons for my visit.
She stumbles to her tiny kitchen in the corner. Returns with my first coffee of the day. Offers me a sigarette.
"I drop in to wish you a very good 2009."
"Thank you,' she answers," do you want an other one?'
"I would like, but sorry, I have to go. There is a funeral waiting for me.'
She offers me a second sigarette.
"Near you, close by?"
I tell her the story of the 60 plus mother who committed suicide by jumping before the wheels of a car. The day after Christmas. The day after the familymeeting where in the memory of all present she played- played? yes played I guess- the caring, sharing, humorous and gentle mother and grandmother.
I won't reveal my neighbours name, I call her M.
"Yesterday it is 17 year ago my husband died,' M says.
Another time she had told me already she had never cried and while observing her I could not
detect any sign of gleaming of her eyes.
"Where you happy with him?' I asked
"I have made many mistakes in my life, she said.
"No,"she said, not in the least disturbed by my question."You know I have been calvinistically educated. Submissive. The other always has the priority. My husband was an adopted child and he could never find his biological parents. He suffered. i was the nurse, so to speak. I discovered it after his death: I had a bad marriage."
Silence. No movements. Outside the sky is grey, seemingly frozen.
"But you must also have had happy moments."
M looked up. A smile breaks through. I am not sure if it is happy one or one of those smiles
that reconcile us with a hopeful memory that ended up false.
"I tell you Jan,' M said," after 10 years of marriage my father in law died. I was suffering from a nasty rash, irritating, painful, hardly bearable in the back of that car that drove us to the graveyard.'
She took a sigaret but did not light it.
"And then, Jan, he put his arms around my shoulders and kind of hugged me.'
I waited, there was more to come.
"For the first time,' she said.

After a while I stood up and did what I had to do.

Standing on the threshold of her door- in the freezing cold- she waited untill I had removed the ice from the windows of the car and she stood there waving me goodbye until I had made the far corner to the mainroad.

Tuesday, 30 December 2008

54 Last year´s resolution(2008)

This was my 2008 resolution

The river flows on and and on.
Do you know her destination?
I will swim, crawl like hell.Where to? I do not care. I do not know.

"I do not know."
Delicious motto.
Good resolution.

This I wrote the end of 2oo7.
What did the year 2008 bring me?
A long string of distinct experiences. some of them glorious, such as the litle arms of my granddaughter around my shoulder. The eyes of those I care for.
Some of them sad and cold, reminding me that I am a war child, childlike needing warmth.
Some of them moving me to tears, as that evening when the first day of january 2008 when I was listening to the pavane for a dead princess by Ravel:

The Lake looks young this morning. The small crests on the waves match sweetly with the everindustrious seagulls.

I remember the riddle I once sent to the Acrobat: Do fish drink water?
Is there an answer?
From my PC the deliciuous sound of Ravels pianomusic. When the Princess dies its crying time. When there are no tears anymore only the story remains. A melancholic song always mixed with a streak of hope.

And now december 31, 2008, 00.12 o´clock I have 12 more hours for my Resolutions 2009. Mei wenti, no problem. White lie.

Saturday, 27 December 2008

53 Letter to mr Obama

Dear mr Obama,
You are welcomed by many many people in my world. Some of them exagerate, you know, I am sure of that. They hail you as the new born Christ, the man who cares for people. Sycophants. You have power, but there is a limit to it even when you are president of the United States. But powerfull you are. And maybe you want to fulfill my little wish.

More about my self, one of the 5 billion inhabitants of this earth, a dutchman, comfortably writing you this letter from his warm and safe house at a lake in Holland.

Guess what happened this evening. I just finished my beer, and zapped hrough the channels, very pleased because my favourite club Twente dominated PSV. A draw, but who cares, Twente showed his teeth.
Then I saw on my luxurous flatscreen the body of that dead child in the arms of his crying father, running for his life in Ghasa.

The modern nuclear powered neighbour started tonight bombing Ghaza again and its president, Olmert, decided they would go on hurting Ghaza. meaning throwing more bombs. Meaning killing more Hamasguys, meaning killing more innocents.He said "we will destroy Hamas". By the by this movement has won the de mocratic elections.

More than 150 dead this weekend. Congratulations, mr Olmert.

I can not forget that dead boy mr Obama, he could have been my grandson.

So my request. Your country is the main sponsor of the Olmert guys. Please. mr Obama, cut them to size.

I feel powerless.

Wednesday, 24 December 2008

52 .Hello, goodbye.

Christmas eve. Afternoon in my House at the Lake. Charles Aznavour from the speakers. The lake grey and a bit messy as if it it already fights the cold that according to the Meteo soon will freeze it.
It is wednesday now and I arrived from Beijing last Saturday after a 10 day visit to China. Sweet company to the Beijijng airport and sweet welcome at my arrival. Anne waited for me with a copy of my novel ONLAND. I took it in my hand and it smelled good. Worked 4 plus years on it and now it is there, and I felt like an outsider, like a parent saying hello to a grown up child. The book is no longer mine. Good. Interesting, Vulnerable position.

Of course I visited SchoutenChina. It has deleveloped well. And I had a small holiday in Sanya.
The Mangrove Tree Ressort in Yalong Bay. Riviera without nasty frills.
Christmas on every corner. Huge Reindiers and Christmas trees. Christmas roses and the Christmas Carols from the loudspeakers. They had a 2 hour tape of them and while sipping my capucino's I took the opportunity to practise them all: Last Christmas (Wham), Rudolph the
Red Nosed Reindeer, Driving home for Christmas, Thank God it is Christmas, Jingle Bells. Wasntit boring? No. No problem. Mei wenti. It was funny to practice them in 28 degrees.

Now in Holland, this very moment, Charles Aznavour is luring me into a melancholic mood and though I am strong (no other option) I experience that warm oily feeling of missing something, of a fruitless craving. Time to stand up and make my New Year Resolutions: if you do not move your self you always will be moved. If parting is dying a little it is better to say good bye yourself and leave. Nevertheless I miss "China". I will go back.