Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Luz Mayor

I was sitting on a bench, in the sun, at the back of my house. Nothing special. Looking at fat clouds passing by. Suddenly I realize that the world will move on and planet Earth will keep turning around its axis. Every day one round. Keep on turning when "I" am not here anymore. Better: "I" will be shattered in tiny little pieces and be re-grouped in other different "things". I knew but somehow I lost track of it.

Marina de la Riva in her song 'Canción de Las Simples Cosas':

"Uno se despide insensiblemente de pequeñas cosas
Demorate aquí, a la luz mayor de este mediodía.
Donde encontrarás con el pan al sol y la mesa tendida"

P.S. Translation of quote from Spanish into English: "One is insensibly saying goodbye to little things
(...) Take your time here, in the light of this noon. Where you will find the bread in the sun lying on the table.
P.P.S. For next four weeks no letters from me. I will be on holiday. Working on my Cape Verde Islands translation. Read a little. Simple cosas.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Stars That Know No Rest

For the Ancient Egyptians:
(1) Gold had no economic importance. It was only important for their religion. With their eyes we are supposed to "see" divine, indestructible (color of) sun and not a huge pile of money. 
(2) Silver was more precious than gold.

If fact (1) and (2) are both valid for the Ancient Egyptians the question is: what  are we supposed to "see" with or for silver? Moon (color of)? Sun (another color of)? Primeval mond where the first rays of the morning sun rise or shine (benben stone)? Or ... Is there or could there be have been some religion in Ancient Egypt that worshipped the moon?

The source for (1) is found on The Internet (here) and is not substantiated with source references. On the other hand there are numerous source references for (2).

More details on silver. According to 'Shaw and Nicolson' silver was in the beginning of the Ancient Egyptian civilization, in the Old Kingdom (2681-2181 BC) more precious than gold. In the Middle Kingdom (2055-1650) gold was more precious than silver. It seems that they regarded silver ("white metal") as a variety of gold.

Sun, moon, other five known planets ("stars that know no rest") and stars what were they for the Ancient Egyptians? Answer: all of them travel during the night through the body of goddess Nut. They represent the unchangeable, undistinguishable and reciprocal cycle of birth and death. All this is painted, in great details, on the ceiling of the tomb of Pharaoh Ramesses VI (KV9 in the Valley of Kings): 

Detail of the journey of the sun in her body:

Born as white sun in the morning:

Swallowed as red sun in the evening:

For the Ancient Egyptians the cycle/ travel of the sun was the cycle/ travel of life.
  • Sunrise was rebirth
  • Morning was childhood
  • Afternoon was maturity
  • Evening was old age
  • Night was death and renewal
Thoth as ibis or ape is the god of the moon. He is the shipper and the writer of the gods. He regulates the times and seasons. He makes eternity and everlastingness.  

Thoth is the black eye of Horus. The moon in all its appearances (from black moon to full moon).

According to 'Shaw & Nicolson' gold was the flesh of gods and silver their bones. The Ancient Egyptians had no coinage but gold could also serve the living by melting it down as exchange and as reward for individuals ('golden fly of valour' in New Kingdom).

Preliminary conclusion/ hypothesis. Sun and moon travel for the Ancient Egyptians both through the same unchangeable cycle inside the goddess Nut. A reciprocal cycle of birth and death. Gold represents the flesh of gods and silver its bones. There seems to be no indication that silver represents the moon, the color of a silver moon. The moon as representation of god Thoth makes time and the seasons. Read in month the 'moon'. Better: moonth.

1. Wallis Budge, E.A., 'The Gods of the Egyptians, studies in Egyptian Mythology', volume I (New York 1969) page 400-415.
2. Betrò, Maria Carmela, 'Hiërogliefen. De beeldtaal van het oude Egypte' (Baarn 1999) page 153, 176 and 245.
3. Shaw I. and Nicholson P., 'The Illustrated Dictionary of Ancient Egypt' (Cairo 2008) page 46, 131, 150-151 and 304-305.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Sword down & Rose up

'If you want peace, prepare for war' (Latin: Si vis pacem, para bellum). Some say it's based on Plato, 4th century BC (source).

My personal crest is: Sword down & Rose up. It's my image that "we" can't live and enjoy love if we are not prepared to make war. Without the warranty of safety there is no room or space for love. Literally and figuratively.

Safety and love are in turn the prerequisites for getting even higher in Maslow's staircase. Higher as in ... - it's a Chinese Garden.  

P.P.S. Next week I'll write on gold as heavenly body sun and silver as heavenly body moon.

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Be Mindful

Barafundle (1997) is the title of a sweet, folky and bit weird album of band Gorky's Zygotic Mynci. Where does 'Barafundle' come from? It comes from the name of a bay and beach in Pembrokeshire, Wales (UK). One of the top 12 beaches in the world (2004).

There is no road access directly to the beach. It was the private beach (1) of the Cawdor family of Stackpole Court. For easy access to the beach of Barafundle bay they made steps and a wall. The house 'Stackpole Court' (2) was built in the 1730s. At the start of World War II most of the Stackpole Estate farmland was requisitioned for training ground for British troops. This made the estate unviable for the Cawdor family and they returned to their Scottish estate, in Nairnshire, in the early 1940s.

Stackpole Court in 1935

Crippling taxes and lack of money on the empty house meant it was demolished in 1963.

Leaving behind the estate's outbuildings, parkland and beaches which are looked after by the National Trust since 1977. What remains is a remembrance stone.

Be Mindful!

The bigger picture is that after the imposing of death duties (1894), drop of income from the estates, raising of servants' wages and materials, and World War I (1914-1918) the backbone of the country house in the UK was broken. Too expensive. More than a thousand country houses have been demolished since 1920. More (with a lot of details): here.

P.S. I wrote on country houses before: June 2010 and April 2011.

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Niche Market

Letter to myself. When you are grown up start a restaurant, near the sea, with old recipes on the menu.

  • Appetizer (15 items), snacks (15), main course (15) and dessert (15); change every 3 months 5 items of the four categories
  • Ancient Egyptian bread and stuffed shortbreads
  • From Ancient Greece (source): Bean Soup, Albacore Tuna, Baklava, Cod with Coriander, Sea Bass with Feta, Easy Oranges with Honey and Roasted Leeks and Apple
  • From Ancient Rome (source): Garum, Columella Salad, Lentils with Coriander, Roast Wild Boar, Ostrich Ragoût, Fried Veal Escalope with Raisins and Nut Tart
  •  A couple of the Ancient Chinese 280 recipes from 'Qimin Yaoshu'
  • Yucatán Papadzules
  • Old English 'The Forme of Cury' (1390): Gees in hoggepot (XXXI), Chykenns in cawdel (XXXIII) and Tartes of Fysshe (XX.VIII. X)
  • Check out Wikipedia's 'List of Ancient Dishes'
  • In winter - seasonal product - with fresh snow and fruit make ice 
  • ... - there must be more
  • Check the recipes with archaeologists and chemists. Ask them to what amount of salt, pepper and sugar were used. And other herbs
  • Not halal, nor kosher, nor other prohibitions - if the ingredient can be bought legally it can be served; change the law not my dishes
  • Nothing vegetarian - if you don't want to eat (for whatever culturally or historically biased reason) meat, chicken, fish, cheese or ... choose another item or restaurant 
  • No diets. If you are not allowed to eat something for medical reasons ... choose another item or eat in a hospital 
  • Remake of ancient wines and beer
  • Water for free 
  • Guests can eat with their hands, with cutlery or sticks
  • Burps (modest) are allowed
  • Smell bar
  • Book with recipes
  • Music? Listen to voice of the sea?
  • Blog
  • Suggestion box
  • Fossils on the wall

 I repeat #Change the Law not My Dishes.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Lost and Found

Soko sings 'My Dreams Dictate my Reality'. Dreams dictate reality? Really? Not what you say? Not what you think? Not how you act? I'll come back to this later.

Between the age of 17 and 23 I kept a handwritten diary. Hesitatingly at first. Looking for a format and words. What I learned fast was that I had to be honest looking in the mirror. Honest as in beyond "normal", "stupid", "unfair" and "acceptable". I learned to face reality, in the safe and sheltered corner of my diary. My reality and the reality of the Others. To accept and embrace - it sounds easier in retrospect than it was for me back then - the real world of individual 'homo sapiens'. To accept my own and others' jealousy, aggression, misbehaviour and all the other adjectives that don't belong to a "perfect" planet Earth. (We are citizens of planet Earth first and citizens of the Cosmos second.)

In retrospect, the above is one of the seeds that make me sensitive for fringe people. I accept all behaviour of other homo sapiens. All! Including the behaviour of killers, of sadists, of suicide bombers, of mafia, of society their free-riders. For me their behaviour is valid too. It belongs to the real world. It's real. Don't deny!

I accept reality of (dis)behaviour. At the same time I accept the laws of my country. These laws define what must and shall be punished. In punishment we trust. Realizing, accepting and embracing that these laws are culturally and historically biased.

What's my point? I think that the biggest pitfall of human communication is the 'Say-Think-Act-trap' (STA-trap).

In a perfect world the sets of Say, Think and Act are one and the same.
In a never-perfect world the sets of Say, Think and Act don't have any intersection at all.
In the real world there are intersections between the three sets. "Perfect communication" is the intersection between all three sets (colour 'yellow' in the Venn diagram). "Noisy communication" is the intersection between two sets (colour 'orange'). "Deaf & Blind communication" is the symmetric difference between the three sets (colour 'white').

Example one.  He says to an acquaintance that he will pay back the loan of 25,000 Euros as soon as possible. He thinks I'll not be able to pay back the money before I die. He borrows the loan - not telling his acquaintance - while knowing he will die in two months of incurable cancer.  

Examples two. An extremist Muslim (according to the Islam 'Taqiya' principle) says he accommodates himself to the laws of the country he lives in. He thinks I'll apply precautionary dissimulation for my plans to kill as many Islam-unbelievers as I can. He blows himself up as a suicide bomber.

Example three. He says he wants a tree in his garden. He thinks of a 50 year old oak with leaves and roots. He plants in his garden the expensive tree he thinks of.

Dreams dictate reality? Yes, your dreams. Yes, my dreams too. Yes but also what we say, what we think and how we act. Depending on the (lack of) intersections between say, think and act we have a serious communication constraint. Better: we have communication noise. Observation: I see a lot of noisy and deaf & blind communication on planet Earth.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Both Student. Both Teacher.

Virginia Vallejo (Columbia 1949) and Pablo Escobar (Columbia 1949-1993) were lovers for four years (1983-1987). He a drug lord of the Medellin cartel with a modest background. She a journalist and TV anchor(wo)man from the upper class.

Yesterday I finished reading her book 'Amando a Pablo, odiando a Escobar' (2007) in a Dutch translation 'Ik was de vrouw van Escobar' (2017). I wanted to read about the story behind their love. Her story. Her images. What she says and what not. Her details.

For me this quote is the key to the book (page 305-306). Ana Bolena Meza: "Virginia, you were the greatest star of this country [Columbia] and the Narcos ended your career and your good name. I am just a humble actress who wants to make her living with hard work. Say to that Gaviria that I don't want, for any gold, to live your life, certainly not because I see how the media treats you. Say that woman as me despise man like them. That I prefer to die rather than being touched by the dirty hands of a Narcos." Who is who? Pablo's nephew Gustavo Gaviria was fallen in love with actress Ana Bolena Meza. Gustavo asked Virginia to arrange a meeting with Ana. Ana refused to meet.

Why did Virginia fall in love with Pablo? Pablo built 2,500 houses for the poor of Medellin. Pablo saved her life. Both were student and teacher.  Mutual attracted to their huge intelligence. Magic. Attraction and rejection. Pablo fell for Virginia's beauty. Virginia fell for Pablo's insight and predictive ability. They had an equal relationship. Virginia always refused the sugar daddy side of Pablo. She wanted his love not his money. Later she asked Pablo for money (for education and investment in a company) then he refused because Virginia was the only woman in his life that did love him for free. He wanted to maintain that dream.

They talked a lot about the "inheritance" of Pablo. He wanted the world, via the only woman who really knew him, to know who he really was. A psychological and historical accurate portrait. 

Nice read. No book for sensitive souls.

P.S. The Spanish title translated into English 'Love Pablo. Hate Escobar', covers the content of their relationship better. Better than the Dutch title translated into English 'I was the woman of Escobar'.

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Out of the Blue

'It' is a moment of:
  • Personal experience of healthy individual 'homo sapiens'
  • Feeling one whole and united 
  • Blissful
  • Fulfilment
  • Highest happiness
  • Wonderment
  • Awe
  • Magical 
  • Loss of judgment to time and space
  • Something that can't be described completely with words
  • Core of every religion
  • Can change life on an individual

Triggers for 'it' can be (non limited list): love, sex, art, music, creative work, scientific knowledge, meditation, introspection, experience in nature and chemicals (e.g. psilocybin).  

What is 'it'? It is what Maslow, in his 'Religions, Values and Peak Experiences' (1964), calls a 'peak experience'.

And then, live happily forever after? Well no, most people do at first not understand and have words for what has happened. It came out of the blue. Important is that they find a buddy or authority that teach them what they felt and how to deal with it. Sometimes it takes years - if ever - to learn what has happened. And sometimes it can make people suicidal ... the world was so beautiful and now everything is lost ... how to deal with that?

What is most important of all the above: peak experiences are natural experiences of healthy people. It makes life magical, blue and whole.  :)

P.S. Info in this blog is loosely based on Wikipedia Peak Experience. Mark that the content in English and Dutch is materially deviant.
P.P.S. I wrote many times about this subject. Via label 'Enlightenment' you have all posts in one list.

Tuesday, June 6, 2017


Children need a childhood with dirt, mud, trees and sticks. Nothing wrong with a few scratches and bruises.

Not only kids need dirt. Books (better: readers) need dirt too. Nothing wrong with a few feet of a ...

Friday, May 26, 2017

Drinking Water

Talking about how much I enjoy and love life, is as if I've to talk or post about drinking water. Of course. Naturally. Is there any other way?

I enjoy ...
  • walking
  • smell of cows
  • watching colour and components of flowers
  • listening to the sound of birds
  • look at airplanes flying over and wondering where they come from and where they go to and why
  • talking
  • reading
  • buying books
  • laughing
  • teasing
  • to give and receive love
  • be a teacher and student
  • wonder what the names are of all those little insects
  • colour and smell of grass
  • sound of wind in trees
  • looking at people how the walk and talk
  • dream of countries and places I'll probably never visit
  • hay in pastures
  • clouds in the sky
  • writing
  • you, me and us
  • look in your eyes
  • you in your ... - not telling you
  • freshly washed linens
  • early morning and late evening sun
  • smell of woodfire 
  • use all my senses
  • simple

Last Saturday I went with my daughter L and one of her best friends to a Agnes Obel concert in Liège (Belgium). I expected one lady behind a piano but it was a band of four woman. One on drums. Two of them playing on string instruments. Agnes singing and playing piano or keyboard. I loved their cloud of music very much. For me something between: Kate Bush, piano, mysterious, poem, sounds of nature and simple. In one image: warm cloud of voices, music and down to Earth words. Lovely!

I made a couple of pictures. Not of great quality but just to give you an idea how it looked like.