I recently started a photography project in the Bos & Lommer district in Amsterdam, the city where I live. I offer my neighbours a free portrait session. As I moved to Amsterdam just a year ago, this gives me the opportunity to get to know my neighbours better and to hone my photography skills, especially portraits. The reactions have been great so far; people are genuinely grateful to have some nice pictures taken and furthermore, every foto shoot is a moment of connection between strangers too and that remains something really special. Take for example Vladimir with his dog Timo. Meeting Vladimir was wonderful and meeting Timo meant seeing a dog just happy to be alive. Dogs just give, that’s all they do. Timo leaving his footprint on my jeans did connect me with the following quote I read this morning:
Start today – give, give, give – time, energy, assistance, care, co-operation. On how many levels do you see the opportunity to give? It’s good to be a ‘just do it’ person. Even better to be a ‘just give it’ person. And the paradox will make itself known – when you give you will realise you already have everything you need.
Just like his mother he just loves to dress up 🙂
Life is about play, love and connection.
I recently walked though the National Park De Hoge Veluwe and noticed some remains of which I thought were some bunkers. I got pulled towards it and sat for quite some time in complete stillness. The sun burned on my face and all sorts of sounds emerged from the woods. Later on, when I walked back to my car, I saw a plate on which the story of the remains is told. Helene Kröller-Müller and her husband were keen art collectors and had big plans creating a huge museum in the National Park but when the Great Depression kicked in, they were forced to suspend the build. What supposed to be a manifestation of their love for art, ended in building blocks scattered around. It is now part of the National Trust and the art collection in what is now the Kröller-Müller Museum (also called the ‘second home of Van Gogh’).
This place has an energy which truly resonates with my being….I can’t explain it, but I treasure the feeling nevertheless.
I volunteer at a bio organic farm as a documentary photographer. A lovely family with a dedication and a work ethic which blows me away every time I am at the farm. I experience quite some stress at my work at this moment which means that today when the sun is shining, I am behind my Macbook working on the Q4 goals of the company. I have canceled the appointment with my brother and his wife, but allowed myself to write this blogpost in order to relax and to keep the creativity flowing.
My workload is nothing compared to that of the farmers. While I am still able to workout, take photographs and meditate twice a day, they have to find refuge in the small things. While we took the cows to the barn, Monique the farmer’s wife, said something very profound while looking at the sun, hands raised to the sky: THIS is my daily meditation’.
This picture I took yesterday resonates strongly with the point I try to make. Most precious things in life are often small and entwined with all the necessary things. Keep light-hearted and be grateful for what you have.
“The common eye sees only the outside of things, and judges by that, but the ‘all seeing eye’ pierces through, and reads the heart and the soul, finding there capacities which the outside didn’t indicate or promise, and which the other kind couldn’t detect. —Mark Twain”
I know a few people in my inner circle who have a sixth sense, a sense that goes beyond the five senses we all know we have. In decision-making, they often rely on their intuition, dreams and messages from realms other than what we can perceive with our 5 senses. I have not always fully understood their decisions, but honestly that is because I was using my rational mind and emotions. Nevertheless, it always left me in awe. Having said that, everybody has had experiences which are similar but are perceived as more ‘accidental’ like serendipity, telepathy and plain ‘gut feeling’. I surely have.
Wanting to take the plunge into having a true meditation routine instead of a more ‘hop on hop off’ routine, I recently joined a spiritual community and through this community I got into the third eye meditation. When I started to read about the third eye, the non physical eye between the eyebrows which actualy is the pineal gland, I quickly recognised the talents of these high sensitive people, but also that the things I struggle most with, have everything to do with a closed third eye. It just clicked. I have learned that everybody is born with an open third eye (hence the psychic capabilities of small children), but with a few people it does not close as they surpass the age of five. Also that, by meditating while focusing on your third eye, you can actually open the third eye. I already have had some very strong sensations during meditation. The meditations in both the early morning and evening are not only wonderful moments in their own right, but the more meditative state you are in between the meditations is what makes the difference. Furthermore, I have a way stronger recollection of my dreams. Truly amazing.
In closing; when I thought about writing this blog post and what image to use, something else fell in place. I have always talked about photography as being in a meditative state, having an extra sense for special moments. It is these times that I am fully relaxed, in the moment and expressing my true self and creativity. I call my camera’s my soulmates. I immediately thought about this image with a voice inside my head saying: the lens…thàt is your third eye’. Ajna Chakra.
We all make mistakes. We all waste resources. We waste our words, our energy and our time until we pause and think deeply about what matters in our life. When we hold on tight to our views, the mind shrinks and smothers any power to love. In that state, the soul can’t breathe new energy into a situation – and everyone loses-Brahma Kumaris
To begin anew is to look deeply and honestly at ourselves—our past actions, speech, and thoughts—and to create a fresh beginning within ourselves and in our relationships with others.-Thich Nhat Hanh
Expressing your love for someone in a way that gives full meaning to what you actually feel on a soul level other than with your touch, is impossible.As I expressed in this post, be able to connect to your soul and someone else’s, enables you to experience life beyond the perceptions made by your mind’s ego.I follow guided soul meditations for some time now for that very reason, but recently got the insight that my love for children is the way my soul is expressing itself at its strongest.Every day I get moved by something I see in a child.The sheer innocence and the playful nature of a child really moves me.This can be a child of a stranger, a child of a loved one and of course my very own daughter.This picture I took from my daughter just a few days ago, is a picture she does not like that very much…but I do.I resonates strongly with what she means to me.One of my favourite guitarists Harry Sacksioni has the gift to transcend the love for his daughter into a truly moving piece of music.As he explains (in Dutch), before playing the song in this video, he composed the music when his daughter Jessa was barely out of the womb. Amazingly but actually not surprisingly, the character of the song totally matches the character of his daughter.
A short one this time. I love these old cars showing their age. Just like the wrinkles on your face, the dents and scars on your heart. I hope to add some more pictures to this blog next time. This picture I shot with the wonderful Olympus OM2-n, loaded with Portra 400 and converted to black and white.