Monday, February 16, 2004

another human being

amsterdam is as much graffiti - from frustrated vandalistic scribbles to true works of art - as it is canals and coffeeshops and cobblestones.
i happened saturday upon a familiar signature, and wondered, as i did a few weeks ago on the rozengracht, about this person with his can of spraypaint: his convictions, his inclinations, his state of mind and soul.
the succinctness made me ache a little, and i resisted the urge to uncap my pen and scrawl a few comforting and optimistic words in anonymous but heartfelt reply.

Saturday, February 14, 2004

can't buy me love

no hearts and flowers here today:
this "timely" reminder, spotted last week at the floating flower market, is typical - to my mind - of the way commercialism distorts almost every holiday of the year into something it was never meant to be: an opportunity to make money. and i refuse to co-operate.
the 14th of february was simply another day in late winter when i moved to the netherlands. there is no tradition inspiring specialness, and yet the shops overflow with romantic reds and pinks, and the ploy is fallen for en masse.
i think i'll just keep telling the people in my life that i love them as often as possible. i think i'll just keep giving gifts whenever the notion takes me.
i'm off my high horse.
happy valentine's day anyhow.

Thursday, February 12, 2004

the selfsame winds

they need to meet, to face each other, to discuss courage and cowardice and the willfulness that clutches them both. they need to ponder trust and devotion. they need to navigate their way through the murkiness of misunderstanding to a place where the current can carry them onward - an oar's-length apart, or otherwise - to forgiveness.

Tuesday, February 10, 2004

blue suede shoes

...and of course i took her to - among other places - latei for coffee: it's one of the few places that can hold a candle (or perhaps a 50's lamp?) to her own irrepressible brightness.

Sunday, February 8, 2004

and golden needles

my fingers were crossed the whole of yesterday morning, with renee in amsterdam for a weekend break and the weather behaving very badly.
it worked. the afternoon became gloriously clear, and i hope she enjoyed. i'm sure she did, since she seems to instinctively get the best out all the places she visits.
i'll hear today; we've planned a few hours together.
i can uncross my fingers, though. cold, snow, sleet, hail: they can't daunt me now. i have the warmest and most amazing scarf, knitted by renee herself, in an irresistibly chunky yarn in every imaginable shade of blue, looped around my neck - and with it, cloudless skies and endless summer on even the most dismal of days.

Friday, February 6, 2004

same moon, same stars

for decades, through a lifetime of friendship, they have been mistaken for sisters.
in their young days, approached, asked outright, they would smile mysteriously and tilt toward each other, blushing, coy.
that tentative assumption has become, with the passing of time, their routine and their comfort.
they still lean. they are aged and elegant, white curls frivolous above powdered cheeks, collars and cuffs starched, backs straight and stately. one is slightly better-preserved than the other; neither notices.
they are companions.
they have lived - and loved - their days, and done their fading duty, side by side.

Wednesday, February 4, 2004

Sunday, February 1, 2004

a pocketful of miracles

during the dutch winter, even a promising new morning can turn on a dime, the horizon suddenly glowering, and all and sundry surreptitiously checking to see whether they've brought their umbrellas after all.
on days like these, i'm grateful for the little ribbons of sunlight that i've gathered here and there, twisted into frivolous bows, and tucked into my pocket to get me through the gray:

*new babies, long awaited, totally cherished: a daughter for jen and mark, a daughter for amy and josh, a niece for gimmy and john..

*renee arrives in amsterdam on thursday, and i have been anticipating her visit for months. her wit and her wisdom touches me, and tickles me. somehow, i don't think we'll find ourselves at a loss for words...

*edwin has burned me a dvd of "charlot and charlotte", which is the very very VERY best tv series i have ever seen. (my favourite film is atom egoyan's "exotica", in case you're wondering...) and hopefully i will take possession of this jewel over a cup of coffee somewhere: utrecht, amsterdam? it would be good to shake his hand and share an hour: his observations and his remarkable photos have been a part of my daily routine for ages...

*february 4th is a special day: more then.

*as far as i know (and hope), a music cd is winging its way hollandward as we speak, from jason, with a selection of numbers he thinks i will like as much as he does. i'm sure i will. and though i miss "in the trenches", his new site has been worth the wait.

*razzi's images, and his words, continue to fill me with amazement. i personally believe that NO-ONE photographs people, life, as he does. his work is full of warmth and humour, and so is he; i am already looking forward to his next visit to amsterdam...

*in the february/march edition of yasse, out tomorrow or the next day, a bit of attention will be paid to these "little stories". and because yasse is a unique and lovely initiative, produced with inspiration and dedication, i am proud to be a small part of it. trish and cory's spectacular hollyburn peak photos will be there too.

i know.
that's a whole lot of blessings.
let it rain.