The sense of the self

In the sense of the self who lingers throughout a stretched life of possible or potential changes, I feel the forgotten need to blossom and rot at times of great self-consciousness, like moss itself; blooming next to moist and damp atmospheres, but rotting at the same time on the surfaces it decides to conquer. Whether blooming or rotting, this need is there, under all layers of suppressed dreams, prominent in the dark, pushing all the other needs deeper into the subconscious tunnels of the brain. What provokes this need to appear – mostly at random moments – are the times of blurred clarity I never managed to pull through. While I sing, I dive into the postcards I had once received and dream endlessly under pink skies, about the nomad life I always thought I was destined for.

The compromise in life speaks to me at times, it sings to me, those songs of experience we sometimes forget they exist. I dive and drown my own self into the emptiness of life, into the vanity of expectations. And since expectations are hard to murder, they keep transforming into nasty birds, ready to inhabit any free and pure thought jumping out of us. Because the me becomes an us, and our minds interwind under the moonlights of our lives, under all those false images projected by the societies we never agreed on growing into.

Deadly thoughts of escapism could be liberating, but sometimes poisonous for the healthy mind, we state we own. Building up a life, under the shadows of architectural monsters – our societies – is not healthy by any form of nature; it is destructive and pointless, it is empty. Empty of the life itself, of emotions and soothing words created under inspiration. The gap between the life we have and the life we dream about should not exist. It should be trivial, small, and insignificant. It should not have a voice or a shape, it should not even be discussed. Because the true nature of things derives from real freedom to act, dream, create and be, not who we want to be, but who we truly are.


Photo: Praktica MTL 5 (1.8/50). Kodak Gold 200, 35mm film. Groningen, the Netherlands. April 2020.

Purple Bike Rides, Groningen 2020 (Lomo Purple 400)

Locations: Biking around Hoornseplas, Stadspark, Groningen, the Netherlands. May 2020.

Nikon F75 (28-100mm). LomoChrome Purple, 100-400, 35mm film.

 

Welcome to my purple world, Groningen 2020 (Lomo Purple 400)

Locations: Zeeheldenbuurt, Stadspark, Groningen, the Netherlands, May 2020.

Minolta Dynax 7000i (AF 35-105mm). LomoChrome Purple, 100-400, 35mm film.

De Onlanden, Groningen 2020 (Ektar 100)

Locations: De Onlanden, Groningen, the Netherlands, May 2020.

Minolta Dynax 7000i (AF 35-105mm). Kodak Ektar, 100 ISO, 35mm film.

Winter Details, Groningen 2019

Locations:  Stadspark Groningen, the Netherlands. December 2019.

Nikon F75 (28-100mm). Kodak Utramax 400, 35mm film.

Outside my window

Outside the window

the wind howls violently,

it’s that time of year

when nature crashes silence

and together they march

on our souls’ path.

 

I can’t sleep at night,

slowly losing my breath,

while the streetlights flicker.

Time stops partially,

it crumbles underneath my pillow,

suffocating dust particles

and lost dreams.

 

Listen to my voice,

it is hemorrhaging

stardust and fear.

 

The pages filled with letters,

the books turn dusty,

my eyes hurt, swollen from the wind.

There’s an ink stain on my bedsheet.

 

Photo: Nikon F75 (28-100mm). Kodak Utramax 400, 35mm film. Stadspark Groningen, the Netherlands. December 2019.

“Uitwaaien”: The art of Letting Go

In our hectic and busy lives, with small screens devouring our faces, we start losing our grip on what’s important. We get lost in deadlines, meetings, to-do-lists and that pile of unfolded laundry starts haunting our dreams. Being close to nature can always put things into perspective.

Walking on the coast of Terschelling (one of the Dutch islands at the North Sea), I found myself experiencing the real process of letting go: ik ben even uitgewaaid. “Uitwaaien” is a common activity in Holland: you walk and allow the wind to take all your troubles away. I must admit it wasn’t easy. Even for late October, the winds on the islands are very strong. If you’re not used to this, it can be hard to enjoy a walk while the wind is wailing.

How do you let go? Well, the key is to let your thoughts sink deep in the sand. Focus on one small little breath, one small little step, one single moment. Before you know it you are one thought away from letting go. Not keeping grudges or thinking of what should have happened or what is about to happen. Breath in and let go.

Not griping on anything and just enjoying the long sandy coast of the island. It slowly starts feeling like a blessing, a ritual almost, that makes you realize you needed this. To be next to the sea, to hear the breeze, to step on the wet sand and get in touch with what is. Becoming gradually calmer, more serene, laid-back, one with the wind that accompanies you in every step.

Walking on the long sandy beach, it almost looks fake; a vast, flat field of golden sand that changes color depending on the sun’s mood. The light is vibrant grey as if reflecting the blue mood of the sea. The coast is clear, literally, but some sea debris has washed up on land. Do you hear our souls screaming? Their restless sound is fading away. It is just a whisper now.

The wind takes everything away, it sweeps our feelings away. Our soft footprints on the wet sand don’t make a sound. If you listen closely, you will feel the silence the strong wind brings; you will hear the nature calling out your name, taking over, helping you release whatever you are still holding on to. The strong wind clears our heads and the golden sunlight shows us the path we should take, one step at a time.

 

Photographs: Nikon F75 (28-100mm). Kodak Gold 200, 35mm film. Terschelling Island, Friesland, the Netherlands. October 2019.

Terschelling Nature, NL 2019 (Lomo 800)

Locations:  Terschelling island, Friesland, the Netherlands. October 2019.

Nikon F75 (28-100mm). Lomography Color Negative 800, 35mm film.

Lauwersmeer National Park, Groningen 2019

Locations:  Lauwersmeer National Park, Groningen province, The Netherlands, May 2019.

Minolta Dynax 7000i (AF 35-105mm). Kodak Portra Film 400, 35mm film.

The accidents, Leeuwarden 2014

This was the first film I ever used with an old Pentax I found in a secondhand shop. I would go on using that camera for at least 2 years. I am not sure what happened with this film, but my guess is that it wasn’t inserted properly in the beginning, resulting in some beautiful “accidents”. I was very disappointed with my first film photography attempt, however, later on, I came to love these photographs. They are truly unique and very poetic.

Locations: Vrijheidswijk and Saint Boniface church in Leeuwarden. The Netherlands, 2014.

Pentax P30, 35mm with Pentax-A 50mm F/2 SMC Lens. Kodak Gold film 200.