Just like a Bob Ross painting
The mountains ahead looked like they were painted by Bob Ross. Maybe you know him, he’s the guy who did these painting courses on tv. Incredibly skilled, a true craftsman. He clearly knew how to paint, even though his paintings wouldn’t probably be the ones you’d hang in your living room. Or anywhere else in your home. Or office. But still, it was amazing how with a only a few hand movements and a brush, he could create worlds in seconds. Inspiring, really. While looking at the mountains in the distance, how the intensity of their greys fade in the distance, the ones closer a bit darker than the ones that are clearly further away, you can almost hear his iconic voice, talking about where these little mountains live, and how you should push the paint right into the fabric of your canvas.
Old habits die hard, he noticed. Even though they seem to be forgotten, the live on, under the surface. Hidden. But it only takes a small gesture, to make them come out of hiding. He didn’t want to offend the local culture, and it was so long ago. It won’t be a problem. At least, that’s what he thought when he reached to pick up the small carafe the waitress customarily had brought after their dinner. As he pulled the stop and tipped the carafe to fill the tiny glasses with raki, his long forgotten habit was awakened. Without thinking he raised the glass, looked around the table, and downed it in one quick, aggresive move. Before he knew it, the carafe was empty. Four shot glasses of the stuff had made him a bit dizzy, but aching for more.
He noticed the glance of his long time friend, but chose to ignore it. Not drinking hadn’t been a problem for so many years, so it wouldn’t be now.
In the final years of my secondary education, in one of those summery periods in which students are more occupied with parties than studies, I came across a song of a German hip-hop band that I liked very much. The tougher style of rap and hip-hop was taking control of the airwaves, with types like Public Enemy, NWA and Tupac. I liked that, but also liked the currents that included Beastie Boys and Arrested Development. Then, as said, I heard this crazy song by German group Die Fantastischen Vier (the fantastic four). And I was sold. They made me laugh, and even though they were German (which was not a good thing in The Netherlands of the nineteen-nineties), I really appreciated their music, and the way they played with language in their lyrics. And the story telling.
It’s Monday again.
The day that is
the focus of many
The week starts today,
back to school or work,
the weekend as passed,
time for fun over.
It’s Monday again,
and it’s actually sad
that so many of us
can’t wait for Friday.
Is Monday really so bad?
Or is it the choices
What if we chose different?
It’s Monday again!
Can’t wait to get back
to work or school.
Eager to learn, to do
what I love to do.
Today is one of those days,
holding promise of the future, but
innately also being very much about
remembering and looking back;
today is one of those days
you get confronted with every year.
Now, after all these years, I know today
is one of those days that
never changes throughout life,
even if it yearly does. Today is my birthday.
I’m looking up at the ceiling again,
and see two too familiar faces.
The arms that go with them,
are putting instruments in my mouth.
I’m still not done here, and I wish
next week would be the last time.
But it isn’t.
Gently we flow through
another lazy Sunday:
sleeping in, late breakfast,
a bit of shopping and
Tomorrow another week starts.
We’ll be ready for it then.
Look at me! I’m wearing a coat!
And shoes, for crying out loud.
Not cool for a top dog.
No matter how I squirmed and squealed,
they put them on me. It’s torture.
Sure, they ‘know what’s best’.
But now that I’m outside,
I almost forgot.
My feet don’t hurt in the snow,
I can still smell the smells,
and mark my territory.
A dim sum brunch in Hong Kong,
seeing the last supper in Milan,
or floating in the Dead Sea.
The world has become a small
playground, and brings us closer.
Your revolutions, your tsunamis,
your new years celebrations,
your independence day.
I’m shocked, mourn, cry and celebrate
with you, as the internet brings your world
into my living room.
Our cultures, backgrounds, stories mix.
The blend is brilliant. Best of all worlds.
It’s what makes life interesting.
And still there are people who fear the other,
are afraid their culture will become
Not understanding that we make who we are.
We make our culture: it’s a mix of ideas
from near and far.
The best of all worlds.
Who am I?
Am I the sum of my experiences?
Or am I who I was made to be?
Is my life predestined, or
do I have choices?
Does the fact that I know
people who celebrate
a different New Year than me,
make me another person?
I think it does. You
educate me, make me see,
let me grow, influence me.
You change me.
You change me into being me.