Just made a cup of coffee without caffeine, with frothed organic soy ‘milk’ (so without actual milk) and added some stevia (no sugar, zero calories) to top. So what the hell am I actually drinking…??

On writing, art, life

The Mirror

The Mirror, a painting I made years back

This blog that I have been setting up and added posts to on an irregular base is supposed to give a brief overview of the kind of things I’m into, stuff I value, both passive and active; input and output. So far I would say about 1% has been covered. Naturally I’d like to crank up that percentage. Productivity is key, but there are a couple of obstacles.

First, the laziest of all excuses, is time. Not enough. There is the fulltime job, that. But it is not as demanding as it can be and it is only a 20-minute cycle ride away. Approaching a year at The Company soon, I can look back at an often frustrating endeavour but sometimes also rewarding (not in the least financially), with getting some sort of inspiration by being around people. My colleagues are as Dutch as it gets, so much so that I have to make up shit in my head to compensate the lack of diversity and dynamics I was used to in London. That can be inspiring.

Another obstacle in my productivity is me, I am my own worst enemy. To begin, I don’t fit the mould. Any mould. Not that I am some weird skinhead, hula-hoop-wearing backwards talking clown or anything, in fact, you would just walk past by me on the street after bumping my shoulder and not look back. It all might be a matter of perception and awareness but I just feel really different, forcing me to want to manifest myself in as many ways as possible. Doesn’t always work. Could be having something to do with my weird family construction, including me being an adoptee. An alien from Planet Zonk, basically. Writing has helped me giving meaning to the complicated abstraction of my identity, as much as art (mostly music) has given me consolation for being human.

City of Life map

City of Life map

Perhaps related is my sense of self, which through a myriad of reasons has shape-shifted itself into a highly disturbing and intrusive thing called ‘anxiety’, which basically came after my return from England and an unfortunate moment in my career. The stupid thing is, there isn’t even a word for ‘anxiety’ in Dutch. What I do know is that it is a (albeit confrontational) trigger to actively improve things in life seriously. The worst part is over as the panic attacks have been subdued to a minimum level, but at the price of seriously lowering my profile: no caffeine (you got that already), no alcohol, no parties, no travel, no big crowds, no stress.

So what I’m left with are my reflections. On life, on travels, on epiphanies. I was already a contemplative kind of guy as long as I can remember, but now I have to. I have to. That’s how Tonic for the Bones came into being, a collection of writings, illustrations, photos, diary entries, experiences, etc. in the form of not only this blog, but also as the working title for this book I am working on. There is a thin, hardly noticeable line between real life and imaginative art in all of this, and hopefully by continuously doing so this will get me where I belong. Wherever that may be, I wish to share that moment with you.

Here are some ‘compositions’ I made of the fields I have a heart for: