Monday, May 30, 2011


My weeks have been busy and chaotic. Most people have that so nothing new there! Now and again I come back to a Dutch book about writing. It's excellent and extremely funny. Why is it? Because the writer writes in a way that draws me in; it's extremely compelling. I love to write.

Who qualifies us to be good writers? Does it even matter whether we are "good"? Perhaps not. I have found that writing for so many years on emails and my blog that certain skills have "upgraded". Practice makes perfect so they say. Developing any skill this way would.

So start doing what you want to learn today. Is it singing? Is it making art? Is it car racing? Is it perfecting your game efforts online? Is it taking up crochet? Is it gluing garden gnomes together and building kinky sculptures? Is it grooming poodles? You never know unless you try.

Me, I'm just a potato head :)

source potato info: via Bitrebels

Tuesday, May 24, 2011



You have to speak your truth
It burns inside you
Alive and Thorough.

let your deepest feelings take flight
let flow your intentions
let crumble the walls of deceit

What if all is fluid in motion.
Becoming clouds of focus
that will touch that which is afraid of you.

Remember why you came here
To discover you embody a lot more
then just Words
and just Deeds.

Stand now.
and Speak!

We will listen.
You are ready.

Sunday, May 15, 2011


There is much to be said about softness in this oftentimes world of harshness. The way I keep reading in the media about how there are battles to be won, companies to be bought and problems to be overcome. At night I wake up grinding my teeth and wondering why my face has that determined steely set feel to it. Relaxxx I tell myself.
Then the dog died. Glen aka Manny Moo was getting onto 15. His eyesight had long left him seeing fuzzy shapes and his hearing was a lot to be left desired. He could walk but with a wobble and at times he would get caught walking into a bit of sand and would keel over or flop down. Thus it was when I found myself writing a letter to him in the evening, a few hours after I had found him lying so still in his kennel.

Dear Mennie (Dutch for Manny)

On all acounts you appeared to be a normal dog..
You didn't have a dashing appearance, if anything you were pretty scruffy looking.
Yet we loved you straight away and you came with the farm we were buying. How cool!
You rounded up the neighbours sheep when they went on an escapade, because you knew what to do. Naturally we hadn't a clue being farmlet newbies and you understood that perfectly.

Over the years your favorite activity was to find sunlight and then bask in it on the lawn. You loved me brushing your coat. It made you feel like a guy with a tophat being so nicely groomed. And if you could have a rummage in the grass and roll around in it well nothing could beat that. I will always remember you smiling, and it was quite something to behold.

We looked after you and you learned to trust humans again, be it always a bit careful. If anyone put their arm up high you would duck down by instinct. We told you that you didn't have to. We gave you cuddles. I talked to you until even you had enough of it after a while. As time went on you knew the routine by heart of bikkie twice a day instead of once. You never understood what a ball was for though, so we decided to give it to the goats to muck around with. (Not that they did.)

Mennie you were very special to us. You were gentle and you were kind. I will miss you yet I know it was simply time, and I'm glad you died in your own home instead of on the vets table in a clinic. You deserved to live at home for as long as you wanted to. I hope you will like the tree we will pick out for you. Please see us from time to time, but if you don't then that's prefectly fine. An awesome place like heaven can be very distracting I'm sure!

Talk to you later Mennie. Take care and have fun!
Lots of love,
Mirjam (and Nico of course but he's less girly about these sort of things as you know.)

Tuesday, May 10, 2011


doesn't always mean being online
If anything the unplugged connection
is far more powerful.

Observing trailing thoughts and using
focusing ways like counting down from 10 to 1
That help to just sit
Every morning at 6.30 am

I no longer feel my disconnection
that can be when I go about my day
When I think too much about trivial things.
When I get stressed or upset about work.

Instead my body sits on the floor
and I can no longer feel where I end
and the rest of me starts.
I expand and become centered at the same time.

Exploration on my doorstep.
It doesn't even require me to leap out of my payamas
It's found once I finally decide
to be still.
And listen.
To the vibrant hum that always is.

I am home wherever I am.
I am me wherever I can look myself in the eye.
And I am never alone.

More about the human spirograph here

Monday, May 9, 2011


I'm reading a number of books at the moment, most likely too many. I think this gives a good indication where my mind has been: in too many places. I'm toning myself down again. Not only has it been a time to regroup on the weekend but also a time to re-choose regarding where my priorities lie. All of us experience this. How to go about your life and what to busy yourself with.

Reading (finally) Napoleon Hill's book (I love the 70s crumpled version I have) it has made me realize hey there's simply no way and no point to dilute my energy to such a point of exhaustion, that one wonders what the heck the point was of starting an activity in the first place. (Anyone recognize this? I bet you do.)

So I am asking myself the question I think many of us tend to forget: what. do. I. really. want. to. do? I'm not talking about just an idea or 'yep that will do'. I'm talking about the kind of conviction that wakes you up in a tizzy of excitement. One that you just KNOW is right and that needs your attention. It keeps you fuelled and running around with a smile on your face.

You see we THINK we know what we want to do, but really we usually want to play and do so many things. Ah how about this? Yes usually it is fun for a while but then later we may realize we had enough. This can be fine or dangerous, the latter mainly when you're sharing the activity with others. So I thought about it as I am much more in favor of working on exciting projects or work that will carry on for more then just one year. (I'm not the quick excited social bunny I used to be.)


In my case I know for a fact that what I do now, I will not be doing in 5 years time. What I want to do in my entire life are various things that I have trouble choosing a small selection from. So I considered choosing 1 predominant activity and one sub activity and going with that, opposed to 4. That feels better. There are overlaps in my smorgasboard of options so I need to clarify those.

The exercise of the Focus Wheel came to mind. Therefore I've taken an A4 and actually have drawn my desires on it and written the statements. Wishes have nothing to do with it. I'm not talking fluffy bunny-ing in the park here, it's about defogging the mirror and uplifting the goal. (Join me and dot yours down.) The Focus Wheel is great for general statements about how you feel about something.

I figured that my problem has been too many desires, more like fleeting desires or wants instead of longer term pursuits. Many artists have this dilemma. It doesn't mean I want to stick with one desire forever as I know I would like to experience new things once I have mastered one aspect. My current work activities all deserve attention, but how much? And does it really? These continue to be big and good questions. It's all beneficial to go through writing it down and clearing the head (Mooodlies of course stays). I've made a lot of progress over the years but I reckon I could do better.

First I decided to do the focus wheel and then to work out the nitty gritty of eliminating problem areas from my to do list. As quite a few are longer term they need to be divided in steps to process everything more easily. I have always found this challenging: how to keep an eye on so many things with different time frames? It's like playing 3d Chess where multiple games are played at the one time with one board. Exactly. It's not just a matter of cramming it in my agenda or keeping a large wall planner.

So I have started narrowing it down. You know zooming in style. Questions, problems, dilemmas and then its options. This helps to basically help decide to go over all options and determine the solution I like best, then it's far easier to carry the work out and done! This doing and finishing is vital. Self discipline is certainly essential in this process. Finishing small jobs and projects brings both satisfaction and progress. Also it is essential to kick butt in order to move quickly through the river of mud.

So what do we need to add to the list above (that Napoleon Hill also mentioned)? Perseverence and dedication. Not in a flog yourself way, but a focused self steering way. It needn't be hard either as it contributes to the main desire. I believe that one can achieve many goals and ideas-brought-to-life when we are happily and energetically dedicated and we finally have a grasp on our organizing capabilities. Did I mention delegating and outsourcing is beneficial? Do it.

Nico and I have decided to watch less tv, we already stopped watching daily tv shows, I'm talking about the occasional dvd or watching a serie. We are cutting this back too. Why? Because we noticed that instead of relaxing-time we'd still feel tired so it would be more sensible to cut it out alltogether or limit it severely and read a book or do some other work we can enjoy that quiets the mind. (Apparently this zenning of activities helps to relax and create more space for yourself!) What energizes you really? Do that most. Ditch the rest I say.
(It is SO well phrased in this great post here by Scott Scheper as a Zen Master tells him how it's done.)

Which brings me to focusing again and the bottomline: Keeping It Simple Stupid.
Narrowing down the most important things for you and how to manage these are of course essential. Then there's the how-close-do-you-stay-to-your-own-truth? Not the gospel kind altough that could certainly have something to do with it but the kind that says: hang on am I still doing what I want to be doing? If you, like me, have times when you seriously wonder why you do what you do at times then yes it's time for a time out and overhaul of existing beliefs and actions. Sweep it baby!

Our lives in this physical format do not last indefintely, which means we would do well to get a focused grap on our time. So back to the focus wheel: how do you feel about what you are doing? And on time management: how effective are you really in finishing things? And as the Zen Master said: our today's world is so full of distractions that we have trouble distracting ourselves from it. So what do we need to do in order to manage our lives well?
  1. Use a weekly planner
  2. A year planner (this has my vote)
  3. Focus list (generally 3 things for every day segment opposed to 40.)
Combining the desire as the focused feeling and the effective carrying out of that focus brings you results AND satisfaction. It however asks of you to: dedicate yourself and put yourself first. A change in habits and in thinking will bring you more fun!

(note: I will give myself one month to stick with this consistent plan like a fly on poop or a garden gnome on his gardenflowers and then see how the results speak for themselves! I think I will see an increase in effective productivity, results and I will feel better about it too.)

Thursday, May 5, 2011

web we weave

We live
in a world of wonder
joined together by threads
and weaves of light
subparticles, atoms and people

we live to knit thingmies
we aim to write stuffies
and if we're lucky
we get to crochet
some miracles in the process

Fascinating how artist Joanna has strapped these beasties to the wall. they probably come alive at night and kept knocking old Mingh vases off the shelves naughty critters.

Love the blob. Sofffft blobby. Helloooo you blob.
(I talk to everything it might be an undiscovered condition or a Hag thing I'm still unsure.)

About Joanna: "Vasconcelos, who makes large-scale sculptures, is considered by some to be the Louise Bourgeois of Portugal – she lives in Lisbon – and her pièce de résistance of recent shows, including one in Portugal that became the most highly attended exhibition for years – is a piece called A Noiva (The Bride), which, from a distance looks like a large, pendulous chandelier. Only up close does the viewer observe that it is made of thousands of tampons, strung together by a cotton thread and hung from steel cables. Another cracker is a big, circular crocheted work called "Big Booby". (source here)


Monday, May 2, 2011

what's in a name?

There is something very endearing about nick names. I was reminded this weekend when the hubbaliscious and myself were visiting the neighbours, discussing farm machinery, puppies (they have quite a few) and the hay paddock that alas this year had been unable to be used for baleage due to much rain. Our neighbour lady has one of the cutest nicknames ever. She is known far and wide as "Blossy" aka Blossem. Kids call her aunty Bloss (true story).

Once I thought about it I know that most people have quite a few names, including myself. So why do we give others nick names? Mostly because of fondness I think. Because someone is special to us, and we love them. (Well we do hope so: let's go with that.)

As Steve Wilson mentions in his post on "Why do we give other people nick names?": "Nicknames signify importance". So it's almost an honourary title! Who knew. Naturally it works the other way around as well, Obama held a speech at the White House dinner the other day and confronted ''The Donald" (as meastro Trump is well known by) and creating laughs about Donald Trump's insisting questions regarding the authenticity of President Obama's birth certificate.

The question is whether to worry about nick names at all. If you like them fine. If you don't like them, maybe learn to appreciate them. As my grandfather used to say: "it doesn't matter what people call you, as long as they talk about you."

I have just joined the Haggus Society. This is a group of Women Artist Bitches. Yep you heard me. I'm a Bitch y'all. I'm not 40 yet but Terri Lloyd its founder is inclined to  waver the age restriction for me because "I'm such a hag". (For what defines a hag read all the intruiging info here. Mind you I still have to do the admission test oh Lordy!!) Terri is a professional artist based in Los Angeles and goes by the name of Pink Buddha. I sometimes call her Buddha babe depending on my mood. I love her yamies and her big head. She is crazy and lovely. Look at the garden she has. I wonder how she grows those heads.)

So what's in a name?
Whatever we want it to be I think.

Signed: Mirjam/Mary Moo/M/M's/Mir/Mirke/Jampie/Jampes

What's yours? Are you proud of your nick names?