"Thirty years", he tells us. "Thirty years I worked here as a prison warder. And when after my retirement the prison closed and eventually turned into a museum, I was asked to become a guide and share my 'know-how', as they called it. I accepted of course; why sit at home all day and watch the flowers grow?"
"Sssh...now listen", he says as we step into one of the cell block buildings. "I want you to experience the sound each prisoner heard when he first arrived here". And with a sharp and deafening click echoing through the building, the thick steel door closes behind us.
It's a bit like those fireplaces that can be seen on television screens on the walls of restaurants sometimes.
I'm standing in her basement annex art studio, listening to the sound of water falling from the sky like it is never going to stop. It's coming from four giant loudspeakers, one in each corner of the room.
"It's just rain. I like rain", she says, before I can ask anything.
the scent of wet dog
in the hallway
The old farmer comes towards us and stops, then points at our hiking shoes. "You better take them off when you're going down this path." He looks over his shoulder. "It's really really wet over there. Boots barely kept my feet dry, you know." He smiles, and sighs. "I've been counting my cows. Thirty three so far."
The small farmhouse has been deserted for decades. Doors and windows have been nailed up. Trees and bushes grow wildly, and no doubt small animals and a myriad of insects and birds (and ....?) have found a shelter in there somewhere. It's a house you would run past if you were a child.
Today however a lingering fragrance of flowers invites me to take a closer look; I might even pick a few berries and enjoy the
Slowly the two street singers move along the market stalls at the Autumn fair, bringing a variety of familiar songs. Their guitars and gypsy clothes make them stand out in the crowd. The combination of her clear voice and his bass works surprisingly well.
When the tune of Pippi Longstocking is set in, I am taken back to my childhood instantly. I see a playful and unpredictable girl, colourful, happy, never a boring day.
Just like the singers. Just like Autumn.
a letter from school
addressed to her parents
The headlights arrive in my rear-view mirror fast. Before I know it a black family car swerves past me, seconds before an oncoming bus. I get a glimpse of one of the passengers; bored eyes above a crimson sweatshirt.
For the umpteenth time in my life I set the table for dinner. And during the daily routine of two plates, two knives, two forks, two dessert bowls, -two of everything-, my mind is filled with thoughts. About the news from the radio, about tv footage, but mostly about the woman who was interviewed by a reporter from an American newspaper. An elderly woman who lived in one of the three villages in the crash site, in east Ukraine. She told the reporter how she had thought on that July afternoon that World War III had begun, when body parts started to fall from the sky like hail.
He must be around seventy-five, maybe older. I watch him during his careful but seemingly tireless workout on the elliptical cross trainer, his small and skinny body shiny from perspiration.
"I've got a new knee", he tells me later. Pointing at the rain outside he continues: "When I still went running, I used to wait for rain like that. Rain provides so much oxygen in the air, I was able to run around the world when it rained. Now my doctor doesn't allow me to run anymore. Too much pressure on the new joint."
Bij het baken Kobbeduinen, in het Nationaal Park Schiermonnikoog, vind je twee haiku's verwerkt in graniet (één geschreven in het Noors en één in het Nederlands) van de beeldend kunstenaar en dichter Jan Loman. Hij verwijst naar de op dezelfde oosterlengte gelegen plaats Nesvåg in het zuiden van Noorwegen. Daar is een soortgelijke steen te zien met eveneens beide haiku's.
En op Schiermonnikoog zelf is nog een tweede haiku van Jan Loman te vinden: namelijk op de rode vuurtoren. Klik HIER voor een foto.
"People are fascinating". It's a random phrase I pick up from an interview in a television show. I write it down, like I so often do when I hear or read something that grabs my attention.
And once it's black on white, the words work like a mantra.
We're at the local church to attend G's wake. As could be expected, it is so crowded inside that when the doors finally close, not a single inch of space is left untaken.
Instrumental versions of U2 songs come loud, fill the silence. It's the music that people of my age, as is the majority of everyone here at the ceremony, grew up with. G did too.