Saturday, 19 April 2014

Nrc H, vandaag.

De afgelopen weken heb ik wekelijks een illustratie gemaakt bij de column van Pieter Steinz. Mijnheer Steinz heeft ALS en schrijft over zijn leven met deze ziekte. Het zijn mooie, stoere stukjes. Zonder drama.

Op de manege waar ik vrijwilliger ben heb ik een vader en zijn drie jonge kinderen leren kennen. Hij is een vrolijke lieve man met drie prachtige kinderen. Zijn drie kinderen hebben allemaal een progressieve spierziekte. Ze kwamen huppelend de manege binnen en de twee oudsten zaten de laatste keer dat ik ze zag in een elektrische rolstoel, want lopen ging niet meer.
Ik vocht tegen mijn tranen elke keer dat ik ze zag. De stukken van Steinz zijn het tegenovergestelde van die tranen. Ze zijn hoopvol en sterk.

Elke week, een nieuw stuk in mijn inbox, en ik teken met al het gevoel, met alle liefde die ik heb. Voor Pieter en voor Mohammed. Twee stoere, bijzondere mannen.

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

The places in between..... Rory Stewart. I love traveling and I have been on same beautiful adventures in amazing countries. It enriches me but while traveling I often wonder what Im doing, and why. An scruffy room in an hotel in a filthy Indonesian city. I checked all the walls for peepholes. Did not find any but felt very uncomfortable anyway. Or the time when I accepted a ride in a Costa Rican pickup. Driving into a tiny town where nothing happened and I ended up in the hotel of permanently drunk Vietnam Veteran. The next day I met an american woman who offered me her couch as soon as she heard I was staying with the Ol'Drunk. I was reluctant to accept; she was covered from head to toe in a tiger print tattoo. And she scared me just as much as the drunk.
Or the old lady in a tiny village in Bangladesh. We were invited in for tea and she told us about her life; and showed us old pictures. While going through the pages of the book she got all emotional and tears welled up in her eyes. "It is all the memories" she said. Her husband had passed and so did one of her sons. The room was painted pink and I just sat on that couch. Staring at the tacky interior and feeling both uncomfortable and terribly happy.
I just finished reading 'The places in between' by Rory Stewart, a scottsman who walked across Afghanistan in the midst of winter. He is the opposite of me; although he walks he travels fast. A cup of tea here and there but he is determined to keep on walking and is not distracted by kindness or a warm home. That is the more admirable if you know the circumstances: snow, cold, rain, rivers to cross on foot, hardly any food. And he is totally dependent on locals for food, tea and shelter. He literally knocks on peoples houses for a bed and a bit of rice. Sometimes it is just tea and sugar, sometimes his host prepare elaborate meals for their guests. Oh man! I don't know whether to admire his travel or to dislike it. People with next to nothing light the fire for him and feed him. And he's happy for it but also expects this kind of kindness because he is a guest. He's rude to people when necessary, even has to fight for his safety. But after finishing the book i had a bit of an aftertaste. The kind people are so eager to tell him about their lives, their history, their war stories. For me that is what traveling is about: to talk to people. Learn and experience from the lives of others. It is not about the distance I travel or mark off highlights of my list. It is probably to keep some speed in the book; but I cringed sometimes and wished he had stayed put on that floor, and listen some more. But that is just the way I like to travel I suppose.
(The drawing is the afghan polo)

Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Friday, 11 April 2014


Since the blogdate with other bloggers (organized by 101 woonidee├źn)I have been thinking about my bloglife a lot. What do I want to tell? How personal is my blog? Which blogs do I really like and why? I would like to bring across a positive, happy outlook on life but life isn't always happy and positive. And the blogs who show me their picture perfect life.... I find it tiresome sometimes. Isnt life also a little grey sometimes? (bringing old newspapers to the recycle bin in the rain. AGAIN!)

Lasst week was a rather strange week for me; cold one day, beautiful spring day the next. Then my uncle died and that was so sad. But it also gave me appreciation for the blue skies, the soft warm wind and the chatter of the birds. The location of the funeral (in the woods, all legal) was so beautiful that I almost forgot how sad it was. Or maybe it wasn't sad. Maybe we celebrated his life, his love for his family. Life is full of ups and downs. Life is not picture perfect. And some blogs intimidate me with their beautiful interiors, the tasty homemade cakes and the flowers that are never a day too old.

My day ended with my favorite two year old kissing me on the cheek and begging me to stay at their house. I got on my bike and cycled through the city, got home and slept. Life is beautiful, with all its imperfections.

Have a wonderful friday. Love Marike.