Blaricum, 1 November 2013
Settling in the Village
My world is getting smaller here. It’s as if I only see what I need to see. It is mostly a positive feeling, as my world has been overloaded with information from studies and the city in the past years. Things need to integrate. It feels like I am put back in time here: I function like a child in a way. As a grown-up, one tries to manage more than one space at the time on ones head. To keep everything under control, the whole house should be managed in our head, the whole way to the office or studio is already set out in the mind, before we even go out of the door. It’s probably also part of what a city does with us.
Here I am thrown back on my self and simple things. My emotions are suddenly only my own responsibility, nobody else has caused them, because I am alone. I see one space at a time, even my house is too big to contain at once inside. Even though the house is actually not that big. Every night when I go to bed, I have to reclaim my bedroom as mine. It is as if I finally have the space to expand, and now I actually have to relearn how to do it. When I am inside the house, the garden seems another world. When I come from outside, the whole house seems like a strange space. It takes time to fill it again with me.
But all this is not very fearful. It is, I think, the same feeling as I had as a kid, simply realizing the world is too big for a small head. It’s rather strange that this would become so clear in a village where nothing happens, rather than in the city. But I think the reason is, that in a city the ‘too muchness’ is so overwhelming that we filter the information on a huge scale. In this way we don’t even know that we don’t experience half of the spaces we move through. Here in the village the emergency-mode is finally put off.
There are many horses here, also cats and sheep. Yesterday a cat came running into my house, after some kids asked for tricks or treats at Halloween. The cat stayed for a while, running through my house sniffing, just similar to how I behaved here the first week.
About a week ago, I biked home from Hilversum and saw a small hedgehog on the biking path. I picked it up and put it in the bushes, hopefully so he would stay there rather than run out on the road again. After that I continued my way and cried for many minutes. About what I couldn’t tell you. This hedgehog was just amazing.
It might also have been yesterday. I went to the local bookshop to buy a map of the area. On my way back, a small boy fell from his bike right in front of me, because his shoelace was caught up in his pedals. His mother and elder brother stopped and started reproaching him for being so stupid not to tie his shoelaces. He started crying, not from the falling off the bike, but from this nasty treatment by his family-members. I watched dumb, holding his bike while his mother unwrapped the shoelace. I think she didn’t even see me. But I am sure I am not becoming a ghost. I am sorry for that boy, couldn’t do much for him apart from being there for a few seconds. What a strange mother.
Now I will brush my teeth and reclaim my bedroom again. Reclaim it from the world. Maybe I can find a way to make that a bit more easy. My studio and living room are already much faster to settle in, surely also because they are filled with paintings. Would painting actually be a way to give myself a place here, here in this world? To show myself and other people how that place looks, how it looks like when it really belongs to me. Not as a property, but as a feeling. I feel at home in the world when it looks this way. Now, I don’t know if that is always true, because my paintings are really rather strange. But certainly they do something with the space they are in, and certainly the space becomes my territory. I wonder how this works.
Good night my dear friends.