|globe in museum of papermaking Cordoba|
|for the pilgrim|
|stairs to ???|
Traveling and Writing
This website is about traveling and writing. Being on the move and being moved. Two different but interconnected things. As you can see a cart or a truck or the holy Mary - being on the road.Traveling is sometimes a way of muddling through, writing is even more difficult. Traveling and writing - the art of breathing and reflecting. Temples, pyramids, cities and ruins, forests and mountains, valleys and rivers, volcanoes and lakes, daily life in the streets, the world is a habitat for writing. I tell about tiny things, small happenings or show you a naked oak, lonely stairs or a closed door. Every minute is a surprise or a shock.
In the year 2000, I wrote a booklet about my travels in South East Asia, entitled 'Met de Hoed tegen het Licht.' The hat protects against the blast of the sunlight and reminds the reader of the shadow puppet shows in Indonesia, the struggle between Light and Darkness. In 2005, I traveled in Central America and wrote 'My Ruta Maya,' published on my website. It 's an essay on ruins and melancholy, rituals and death. Recently, I traveled to West-Papua (Indonesia) and wrote a booklet ' Zeven dagen in de Baliemvallei.' It's a reflection on culture and civilization, modernization and degeneration. Writing is like running as Haruki Marakami has said. It needs discipline and perseverance, it shows rythm and velocity. Sometimes I write prose like poetry and the other way around, following the footsteps of the Dutch poet Bert Schierbeek. I come close to the haiban as the Japanese poet Bashõ applied in his Journey to the North. On this website, I combine haiku and pictures as countervailing powers. The pictures block or delay the haiku in order to create a room of silence in between. These haiku intend to be power stations of words and images. They are a sublimation and a denial of reality.
Traveling is a way of being and a mode of thinking. At times, the traveler is a nomad who leaves his home and makes the world his home. His ideas become flexible and volatile. On the move, he experiences life as a stream of consciousness changing by the ever alternating and moving impressions of his new environment. The traveler doesn't compare people, things, values, but tries to be receptive and open. He needs to be 'innocent' and to listen in order to hear and see the world. Traveling is an art of the mind and an effort of the body. It's sensitive geography I write.
In 2011, I published A daughter of Epicurus - memories of the Epicurean way of life of my aunt in the Netherlands after WW II ( lulu,com). She loved the writings of Albert Camus. It reflects the ideas on art in this period, the socio-political struggles and intimate,daily life in the Netherlands. The revolutionary happenings in the sixties play a dominating role in the development of personal and family relationships. Friendship is the main theme of the book.
In 2015, the novel Charlie Bloem, Vandalsky Papers is published at lulu.com It is the story of an apparition of the Black Madonna on the Caribbean island of Curaçao. In a small circle of a journalist, a priest, a lawyer and a judge, the Madonna becomes the core of a struggle between reason and magic (brua), love and jealousy, identity and imagination, fear and courage. The style and structure of the novel are experimental and innovative. It's based upon the well known ko-an of the Japanese Zen master Ryo-kan about the moon and the finger, that shows how to look at reality. All persons have an alter ego, a shadow that penetrates in a world escaping daily routine. Front and backside of reality become the same when the mind opens itself. The landscape of the island shows itself as a still life in which all objects - houses, plants and trees, rocks and beaches - are happenings. The harsh landscape opens its eternal moment of becoming the world.