woensdag 21 april 2010

Life Now and some special Childhood Memories

I didn't wrote a blog entry for weeks now. Too much happening and not a reason to write. There were moments I felt too tired and the other time my choice was to sit in the sun.
But now today is the perfect day to write. It's sunny but cold and sometimes it rains. I am now sitting in my rather "messy" workroom (no sorry, no pictures of that...) from which I say for months that I really should clean it up. Perhaps the week holiday in May could be an opportunity..but I am not promising anything.
The last weeks have been quite hectic. Work is busy as always (my teaching at Saxion, Higher Textile Education did start again yesterday with lessons about Visual Merchandising in the first year: was Great!) but also in private life a lot of things happened in which we had to make a choice.
Because Bram's health situation is not getting any better and because the hospital couldn't find anything we went the "Alternative Way". We are fed up with doctors and hospitals at the moment, because they do not look at the whole but only parts of the body and mind .. An address from a Healer was found and in December we went for our first session. It was rather special and there have been moments we both were very moved. But on the other hand: nothing changed as we did see and after a not so nice visit we choose not to go back and search for something different. Of course we know people would think: that's silly to go there but we are not against it but also a little sceptical. I personal had some really strange moments over there because I am quite sensitive for those kind of things and my body and mind really reacted and responded. But for Bram it didn't help anything and he felt getting worse by the week (he is still very tired for the whole day).So, what else it there in this alternative world? We are searching for a good diagnose about the situation. Than we found a Ortho-molecular doctor in Zutphen (the city I grew up) who has studied for regular doctor but has now gone in another direction. He is a Nature Doctor and our first visit gave a good feeling. Blood was taken and some of it is even send to America for research, and in 3 weeks time we get the results. We hope for the best of course but don't expect miracles.
All this takes a lot of energy from me sometimes and together with a busy job can be hard. But I manage quite well for the last weeks with every now and than moments of feeling lost in world with a sick husband. I am really a care taker but sometimes it is hard to handle. But overall.. I keep saying myself that for everything you face in life there might be a reason which you sometimes discover later in life. We are not talking any more about the things we can't do because we get very sad of that but only talk about possibilities we can do. So it feels like a step forwards in this situation.
Next to all those things happening I did start a programme to become Art Coach for Firms. It is organized by the Art-centre "KunstenLab" here in Deventer. After long thinking about it I decided to give it a go and I was accepted. I got the name of a small 1 woman firm and together with her she is going to search for creativity in her firm after a couching question we made together. The first meeting was interesting and it might be a way I want to discover more. At least it gave me a lot of energy which really feels good.
Of course for my relaxation I knit almost every day and on my needles are still 2 pairs of socks and a little cardigan for Jim in Rowan Denim. I am not rushing but still enjoy every stitch I make. But I made a funny handpuppet for Jim during Eastern break. Because we were asked to contribute pictures from Knitted landscape to the book: Greatest knitting of all Times we also decided to have a special one taken professionally from us by photographer Photographer Astrid van Loo and we had great fun during the session with a funny result.
This morning I got mail from someone I lost contact with for years.I was really moved by it, some tears came suddenly up, and it brought back lots of Childhood memories. I did met Franzi Jenni when I was about 6 years old on a camping near the Faulensee in Switzerland. We were camping there for a 10 days holiday. She and her family stayed next to us. She was some years older and in her mail she wrote that I always felt like a little brother of her. My father gave me a phone call last week in which he asked me that he got in contact again with someone and if I could make a guess. The second name I said was Franzi. After reading the mail my memories went back to my childhood.
In my youth my father was an agent and selling bikes to Bike-stores. That meant we always had good bikes in our family and I still remember my little purple bike with black spotted saddle I got for my birthday. We were not a rich family but my mother was really good in saving money. She did this partly by making all of her and our clothes(I have 2 brothers above me) till a certain age when we really wanted to have a good pair of jeans ( O, my first Lois jeans with a red t-shirt when I was round 14 I guess. loved it!) One day when I came home from Kindergarten I found (in my memories of-course) our whole living room packed with camping stuff. There was a blue Andre Jamet tent, sleeping bags for all of us (my mother had one with yellow and black squares, my father a blue one lined with ochre and we all had blue ones),little folding chairs and a folding table, air mattress, a little kitchenette with a hanging kind of cupboard in a,pattern of brightly coloured rectangles on a black background and much much more. I really didn't know there was a plan for going on holiday with a tent. But we went the 5 of us with my dad's Opel Kadett and packed imperial (for which my mother made a covering from brown fake leather against the rain) to Switzerland.It was rather special at that time to go to another country for a holiday and it felt really special to go there and to talk about it later at school after the holiday was over.
I do not know exactly any more if we did meet the family Jenni the first time we stayed on the camping near the Faulensee, but my parents became friends with them and kept them seeing many years after the first meeting either they went to Bern or the came to Zutphen. My mother did only have basic education but she and Mrs. Jenni became really good friends. My mother could only speak 3 words German and she could not speak Dutch but they managed to have long talks in the kitchen while baking a nice Plum cake (both of the woman were really good in cooking and baking. One evening at the camping we had a meal together which was cooked by the Swiss family..and it was: Spaghetti with tomato sauce and meatballs with grated cheese. It was PURE EXOTICA for me and I had never eaten anything like that in my whole life. Pasta was not very common in those days in the Dutch Kitchen compared to nowadays. Later my mother made it at home, it was nice but not as good as eating it in Switzerland with a view of the lake and mountains covered with snow at the horizon.
The family lived at that time in an apartment in Bern and we used to stay there overnight when we were there. I remember my parents talking about the fact that Mr. Jenni was wearing a Men's nightshirt instead of a pyjama with a matching night-cap (not really sure about that last one...) But there was always nice food in the evening and long talks between the adults. One afternoon we visited the grandfather who was living in a beautiful house near the river Aare and who's cupboard were filled with home made jams and who was showing us egg porcelain (very thin)cups and when you hold them in the direction of the light in the base suddenly appeared a Chinese woman. Kind of Magical moment for me.
After the first meeting just before Christmas a big box was send to us from Switzerland and in it was a beautiful spiced cake and on top was an image made from sugar from the famous Bear Pit in Bern. It was wonderful and I remember being a little sad when it was eaten and the image was gone for ever.
A few weeks ago I got an invitation from photographer Astrid van Loo to send in some school pictures for a Project named School Idyll and I went to search for them. Those are typical for that era. Kind of playing with a train or a book in front of you. I was a very shy boy at that time. Serious in a way and a bit afraid for the Boy's world. Guess it has to do with the feeling that I have always felt different in my youth and couldn't reach myself in a way. Later I got bullied a lot and in psycho therapy later I discovered the results of that fact later in life. One of the reason for getting a burn out lies in that field. Always afraid that it wasn't enough or that they could say something bad about me behind my back. I am over that now but it took a long time to discover and heal it.
By looking at them I felt in a way that it wasn't that long ago despite the fact that I am over 50 now. It felt sort of yesterday for me. Maybe those feelings turn up more when you are getting older. A feeling of Nostalgia is not very strange to me I must admit. On this picture my Mum is round 56 I guess and by looking at it I am back in my youth and I think she looks so young for her age.
Maybe it is also the season which helps me to give me my energy back. I do not know what it is but this Spring is so wonderful and powerful to me and I am enjoying it so much. Our little garden comes alive and thanks to a gardener for a few hours it looks much better. And I buy tulips every Saturday on the market. Tomorrow it is back to work. Will have again a view on Enschede through these windows. Just 1,5 week to go and than another holiday appears for 10 days. So...I am not complaining.. :-)