Elegy for my mother – a poem and a memory

My mother died of cancer five and a half years ago. Losing her has shaped my life in such an important way, both negative and positive. So much has happened since then and all those events have changed me so much, many of those changes still have  a long way to work themselves out, but they are there. And so in a blog titled Guidoland, I cannot omit my mother and how I miss her. My mother was a catholic, though no more devout then my dog, she got buried in the roman catholic cemetery of the village I grew up in.  In her remembrance and for the funeral I wrote her a poem.

( Original Dutch version, english translation follows below)

My mother Annelies Vermeulen-Mulder

My mother Annelies Vermeulen-Mulder born 29-10-1952 in The Hague and died 22-09-2005 in Made.

Niet loslaten
nooit loslaten
met beide handen vastpakken
vasthouden
voor altijd

Geven, nemen, geven, nemen,
geven, nemen, nemen, nemen
want het is mama
en bij haar mag dat

Niet gaan
nooit gaan
Ik wil nog eens onder je veren schieten
schuilen voor de grote boze wereld

Yamas!
Een traan, twee tranen,
Voor ik het weet verdrink ik
in verdriet.

Dus ik laat niet los
zal nooit loslaten
met beide handen vastpakken
vasthouden
voor altijd.

(English translation)

Don’t let go
Never let go
Grab hold with both hands
Hold on
Forever

Give, take, give, take,
Give, take, take, take
Because it’s mama
And you can do that with her

Don’t go
Never go
I want to hide under your skirts one more time
Hide from the big bad world.

Yamas!
One tear, two tears
Before you know it  I will drown
In sorrow

So I will not let go
I will never let go
Grab hold with both hands
Hold on
Forever.

Mama, I miss you.

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I wish to fly-in dreams and real life

I wish to fly.
In my dreams and beyond I wish to fly!
Feel the air glide past my body
Rise above the clouds
I wish to fly!

Reality hurts,
Dogs howl,
Children scream,
Houses burn,
And fathers yearn
For better days,
No more pain,
A new night,
And a new dawn,
A new life.

I wish to fly,
To the moon and beyond..


I have a dream – paragliding across the Grand Canyon

I have a dream of paragliding over the Grand Canyon one day.

I have a dream of being in the air, alone, feeling the wind and the sun on my skin, no sounds. No thoughts, just impressions of where I am in the moment. Flying…

I have a dream of flying…

This is just how I felt the first time I did that. But it was in Germany in a province called Sauerland. I remember me and Miriam, my friend and colleague who came up with the idea for this trip, staying in this small hotel in a nearby village of which I have forgotten the name. Every morning they would serve breakfast in their dining room which was decorated with all kinds of things. They had these square cloths embroidered with local scenery hanging on the walls. I suspect one could find clues for satanic rituals on them if you would look at them carefully enough. I didn’t care to find out though.  And these creepy porcelain dolls where just everywhere. I called them Chuckey’s bride’s.These things I mentioned just now are very German though. Germans are also freakishly tidy and punctual. They are also very nice and helpful people as I would learn in greater detail on later trips to Germany, but those trips are for another time to tell maybe.

So there we were in Sauerland, ready to climb every mountain and roll down again…I was a short fat tween climbing up and down that hill for days on end and failing to get into the air time after time. When I finally got it, it felt amazing! Suddenly the sky went silent, just a little ruffle of the wind in my ears. Not a single thought in my head. I was in complete and utter awe of being lifted off the ground and into the air. I wanted to freeze time in that moment and be there forever. It lasted for about 10 seconds and I never saw the ending coming as I hit the ground ass up, belly down and mowing the grass with my teeth… To this day it was one of the most spectacular experiences of my life. In one go I got to know what it feels like to be a bird in the sky and a goat in the fields!

As you might suspect I never went home with a diploma or certificate that says I am a licensed paraglider pilot but I did get home with a thirst for more.

One day I will fly over the Grand Canyon, alone, feeling the wind and the sun on my skin, no sounds. No thoughts, just impressions of where I am in the moment. Flying…


Sneak a peak

A friend of me recently started using an app on his mobile that allows him to contact people that are physically within a certain range of him. The app displays a photo of the guy and a few basic statistics about him.  Then if you like what you see and he is close enough to your own location, you can contact him via the chat function. If you don’t see anybody to your liking within a few miles from your own location you can have the app widen the range for you until you do find someone that you might like. Now all this sounds rather dry and impersonal. And to a certain degree it is. But that is also where part of the fun of using these sites comes in.

When he showed me the app I found myself thrilled about it. And we had a lot of fun going through the photos of the guys on there. Laughing and making up stuff about them just from the look of them on the picture. Now this, I think, is one of the initial attractions of these sites. You can look at a person online and scrutinize everything they posted about themselves without having to deal with any repercussions from this, like having to explain why you are ridiculing a person or why you are really attracted to a person.  You get to compare people to each other and to yourself, without ever having to talk to them. It feels a bit like being a fly on their wall for a short period of time and finding stuff out about them that in real life you might never get to know unless you really want to find out. You get to be a voyeur in other people’s lives and see and hear stuff about them you might otherwise never get to hear. One question remains though; “what is it about this voyeurism that is so enticing to people?” Is it the fact that people get to see other people’s flaws and mistakes and use those flaws as an excuse to diminish their own flaws and mistakes? Is the real fun of voyeurism hidden in a craving of people to point out other people’s mistakes and flaws and in doing so divert attention in that way from their own flaws and mistakes?


Gay and atheist

Tod, my boyfriend whom I love and trust and want to be with for the rest of my life, sometimes asks me why I don’t believe in God. Why I am an atheist. Here is the answer I never gave him.

Sometimes I wish I did believe in God, or a god. Sometimes, when life just isn’t fair and slams another sledgehammer into my skull, I just yearn for the comfort of having a belief like that, a conviction. But I don’t. My brain won’t accept the idea of an omnipotent being that can still be consciously (!)constantly creating and destroying, well, everything.

Maybe that is the limit of my thinking ability. Maybe that is where I cannot conceive of there being “more”. I do mean more in the most unrestricted manner possible, since I can’t conceive of what it might be. Does that make me free, or at least more free then 95% of the world population? Or does that limit me more than 95% of the world population?

I have some fancy reasoning for God, or the concept of God, to be not true. But the argument that really convinces me every time is the simple question: ”If God really exists and can do all these things, why then can he, or it,  not visit me like an equal and have a descent conversation with me to let me know who he is and that he actually exists.  If he really is omnipotent, he should be able to do that too, don’t you think? He should be able to convince me of his existence in a proper conversation, face to face. Why is that too much to ask? And for the argument’s sake I do like to confirm my desire for him, or it,  to visit me like an equal because since he is supposed to be omnipotent, he, or it,  should be able to do everything.

I watch a show like “Saving Grace” and at time I actually feel like crying because some of the things that they talk about on that show really hit a nerve in me, like love and loss and all kinds of pain. And then Grace has this angel to guide her through the rough stuff. She can actually talk with this angel and touch him and be angry at him and happy and what not. And she can feel like she’s actually connected to the source of whatever has happened to her, this source being God of course, through her angel. And then I cry because I don’t have this in my life. I watch that show and I feel so lonely, so left out. And it is not fair to make me feel like that, just because I cannot do what 95% of the world population can do. I cannot believe like most people. I cannot convince myself of the existence of God. And he, or it has never, successfully, done so for me either.

I am a gay atheist, and neither of those I am by choice.

____________________________________________________________________________________

Since I wrote this back in januari a lot has happened in my life. My father suddenly passed away, about which I write in other blogposts aswell. His passing has sort of confirmed my convictions as mentioned in the above post. I am more then ever convinced that there is no God or at least there is no God that is like people believe “it” is. This God that people seek out is nothing like any scripture on earth most likely, as it probably has no reason to be concerned with little beings like us. And even if it does, the reason is most likely far less to do with anything remotely human then we would like it to be.

One of the things I’ve learned also is that I am not an atheist perse but an apatheist.

From Wikipedia: Apatheism (a portmanteau of apathy and theism/atheism), also known as pragmatic atheism or (critically) as
practical atheism, is acting with apathy, disregard, or lack of interest towards belief or lack of belief in a deity.
Apatheism describes the manner of acting towards a belief or lack of a belief in a deity; so applies to both theism and
atheism. An apatheist is also someone who is not interested in accepting or denying any claims that gods exist or do
not exist. In other words, an apatheist is someone who considers the question of the existence of gods as neither
meaningful nor relevant to his or her life.

No evidence
This argument takes a more scientific perspective, criticizing blind faith (faith without logical evidence to support it).
It argues that if God wanted people to believe in him, he could show off his existence with miracles, and explain to
humans what he wants us to do. Being all powerful, if he truly wanted humans to believe, he could send a divine
sign. Since he does not seem to care if humans believe or not, apatheists will not care until he shows them a reason
to.

I stand corrected as, clearly, I am an apatheist.


guido’s Stand | Stand Up To Cancer

guido’s Stand | Stand Up To Cancer.


What if I could change the world?

What if? Why not admit to the fact that I can, and will, change the world. I will change the world into anything I want it to be.
Problem is, most of the time, I don’t know what to change it into. And the world, being this ever changing thing that it is, then starts to decide for itself what it’ll change into. And before you know it the world is a place that is changing around you and maybe even inside of you, into something that doesn’t quite fit you. And it starts to feel uneasy, uncomfortable. And you get caught up in that feeling and before you know it you are blaming the world for everything that is going wrong, everything that feels wrong, that doesn’t fit. Before long, you forget that you yourself never told the world what to change into, and now you are blaming this creature, the world, for the life that you do not want to live. You are blaming a creature that has a lot of abilities and lacks exactly one, namely the ability to stop and wait for you to make up your mind.
We have the ability to be indecisive, we have the ability to not decide about things. Or so you would conclude from this. But then how is it that we feel uncomfortable when we don’t decide? That is because you actually did make a decision, but for some known or unknown reason you also decided not to acknowledge that decision, to ignore it or just not recognize it. Instead you actually decided to let the world become this uneasy fit on you so that you get this thing to blame for all your mistakes and whatever else went and is still going wrong in your life. Because the other decision was to actually take responsibility for your life and choose what the world would look like for you. Or at the very least choose the lesser evil, if a joyous choice wasn’t an option for you then.
My advice would be to choose responsibility, because the evil really does diminish with ever conscious choice you make. True, you can’t win them all,
but you can also choose to not let them all win.

STAND UP TO CANCER.


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