Be aware today of the silence inside you. Even when you are talking, be quiet. It gives you the opportunity and oxygen to be open for what is happening and to have the space to keep peace and pace with it. It prevents the impression that you have fallen behind and that you are in a hurry to answer. Your reaction will be than easily overdone or out of order. Breathe, listen, step back, try to overview the chain of events. Instead that intense thoughts and emotions are hostaging you, you can respond from a place of rest. You don’t have to step automatically in the rollercoaster of action, reaction and again action and reaction …
– Splinter of Wisdom
The lesson of love and the force of forgiveness are learned in a context of conflict. The heat of the fight hisses and brings your sediment and sentiment to the surface. Your judgments about others are today revealing your rubbish and blind spots. The talking of trash places yourself at the top of the pile(s), while the sharp point of the ‘stinking’ strive is still hooking and stinging your butt …
– Splinter of Wisdom
Dare to walk with a sad face. It is not a shame to show your tears to the world. The expression of vulnerability may cause unease and discomfort. But you may be today the broken mirror that reflects the sorrows of the ‘smiling souls’ around you. There is already a surplus of clowns, copycats and counterfeiting crackerjacks in this world. Your sadness can be the well that cures and cleans the counterfeit …
– Splinter of Wisdom
Stay open today to others, even when they are irritating, insulting or offending you. Don’t be afraid to be hurt by them. You have learned to endure pain. When you was born, there was pain. When you took your first steps, there was pain. Yet you persisted, you rose to your feet and you kept going. Your presence is bigger than pain …
– Splinter of Wisdom
Accept today the pain, stress and frustrations. Don’t be overwhelmed by confusion and character flaws. Remember that it is not about the ‘quality’ of the material. Even out mud and dust you can shape the vibration of Life …
– Splinter of Wisdom
Thoughts are like birds. Which ones do you allow today to nestle in the tree of your trust?
– Splinter of Wisdom
There will be in July a daily quote at this site.
The remnants of big, old structures are very visible in the streets of Rome. Everywhere the history of the Roman Empire is still present. Amidst the old stones and exuberant monuments there are many tourists walking. Recognizable by the various flags of the guides which stick out head and shoulder. The walking humans seem to be in trance. Everyone is devout looking at his mobile phone like if it was a holy book. It is really a striking sight: Crowded streets, nearly no interaction between people and still everyone is doing the same thing: Holding like modern Moses the tablets in their hands.
Travelling by bus we got a first impression of the ‘strange’ city. What my wife and I did see was discomforting. We saw a lot of graffiti, overloaded garbage containters and homeless people sleeping at benches. Also many (illegal?) African immigrants were selling bottles with water or umbrellas to protect us against the scorching sun.
There was so much rubbish on the broken streets. And also the Romans were rude. When we were dining in the restaurants the waitresses were stressed and reacting curtly. And also the man behind the cash desk in the supermarket was not paying any attention. Another woman in a souvenir shop at the airport was taking 20 cents more than the price of the chocolate surprise eggs.
You can say ‘It is just 20 cents, so what is your problem?’, and you are right, but I felt for one moment robbed …
And how we sought to find really good restaurants, but we could not find any of these. And where we finally dined it was a disappointing experience. We had to pay high prices for the microwave warmed pasta. The salmon sauce did not contain parts of salmon and there were no vegetables at all. And to top it all: The appetizer – bread without butter – did arrive together with our meals. We expected a sophisticated cooking culture, but we felt embarrassed about what was happening before our eyes.
The Romans are struggling to survive
Looking at the faces of the Romans in the busses we sensed a lot of stress, sadness, frustration and pain. Very much pain. All this people had the appearance whether they were struggling to survive. It was for us a huge contrast: The lost glorly of an Empire, the hoarded treasures in the museums and the people themselves which are living amidst this wealth in great poverty and misery.
And in this ‘rotten’ city and amidst the broken people there is a super rich compound. Surrounded by big walls and decorated guards: Vatican City. At the throne there is sitting an old man in spotless white cloathes, accompanied by clergy who are walking in expensive clothes. And those well paid men are asking old women, widows and other Romans to pay their contributions to the Church of leading billionaires.
Those men who preach purity and generosity are themselves living in an environment filled with dark secrets and stinginess. Are those men aware of the daily struggles of their neighbours? Are they caring? Do they want to be concerned about what their fellow people are experiencing? Or are the walls of Vatican City too high? Too old? Is the life inside the ‘palace’ too much inviting to forget that there is a disturbing, screaming and shocking poverty outside?
Rome does not need a pope for moral issues. Not an unmarried male who is lacking empathy and who is condemning the use of condoms. The city needs desperately a powerful pope who is transferring money and masterminds to the slums. Cardinals who won’t anymore be leading church services, but who will take the lead to clean the city and to combat the poverty, the dirt, the corruption and the rooted criminality.
Why should the mafia be dominating the waste processing companies? Why is the Church not clothing and feeding the homeless people? Why are they not providing work for the African immigrants and why don’t they repair the asphalt of the streets? Someone or some organisation has to do it.
When the city authorities don’t have the money or the will to provide the welfare for the people there should be an opportunity for the Vatican to start the sharing of the hoarded wealth and to sell it and to give the output of it freely away.
Let clergy and homeless people eat together
When I am visualizing the possibilities for this city I do see big signs and billboards in Rome: ‘Work in progress’. And on it also smaller subtexts: ‘Thanks to our pope’. And of course there will be than a big photo of a smiling and approving father figure 🙂
I see long tables where clergy and homeless people are eating together, sharing their bread.
I see top quality restaurants starting their businesses in Rome and giving away the leftovers to this foodplaces.
I fantasize about big Dutch companies which will organize the process to collect the garbage from the streets, to empty the overloaded vessels and to remove the refuse to the incinerators.
I see big shovels and excavators restructuring the city. I see that broom wagons are sweeping the streets. That graffiti will be forcefully removed and that the roads will be asphalted. And that there will be created underground bins, like in my birth city of Rotterdam.
Daily living can be at such ‘higher’ levels of quality and comfort. But it requires a radical redistributing of the abundant (and antique) resources of the forefathers and -mothers 🙂
Let the money flow in big rivers to real alife humans of flesh and blood instead to the restoration of dead stones which are laying useless already for more than 2000 years !
When Walter phoned me, it was two days before his death. He sounded ‘strange’, although I could not put my finger on it. For sure I knew that he was not a drug user. When I thought later that evening about our conversation I got the impression of ‘Distance’. He sounded distant. Like that he was sitting on a cloud. High in the sky.
That image proved later to be true. When he phoned me, it was meant to be a farewell. Though I did not know it, he had already left me.
Some days later his belongings were found at the edge of the platform. When he jumped, both his kids were sleeping. Walter’s wife was sitting at home, vainly waiting for his return.
I was remembering this when I was observing the deep blue sky and the white clouds. Far away, very far away were some seemingly small birds flying. They looked lost in that big amount of space, but did also give me the impression that they were just on track. Flying towards their destinations, like the planes far above their wings.
I realised that it was long ago that I watched for so long the sky and clouds. Too many times I am just quick glancing. Looking up, but not really paying attention to what I am seeing.
I thought about us humans. Travelling towards distant places and even planets, but nearly never exploring with our eyes the big blue dome which is spanning every day and night above our heads.
Than I imagined what I would do with billions of money. Would I spent it as an investment in space travel? Like so many billionaires are doing today? I said ‘no’ as an answer to myself.
Digging a tunnel through the planet
What I really would like to do with that amount of money is to invest it in the very big operation of digging a tunnel through the surface of the earth and through all the layers towards the other side of the planet. From Spain to that other distant nation. Because I would like to prevent that the channel would finish somewhere in the big blue ocean.
What a challenge would it to overcome the impossibilities of travelling through the fire inside the earth. To be confronted with the very heavy and inhuman gravity. So much tons of pressure. And the very high temperature of nearly 6000 degrees and the journey of nearly 6000 kilometers to reach that heat.
What an expedition would it be! To the core and heart of the earth. It would be a journey into unexplored territory. Like diving to the bottom of the ocean floor. What a possibility would it give to the branches of science, like archeology, history science, earth sciences and engineering.
And yes, it will give us an opportunity to explore the possibilities to make materials that are really indestructible. Things that can’t be destroyed by the hottest fires and the heaviest pressures. It would also create new inventions to bring within our reach a space travel towards the fiercefully flaming sun.
My brain was reacting at what I was seeing
Finally, I felt that – due to my gazing at the blue sky and the white clouds – my brain was reacting at what I was seeing for so long. I felt sensations like that my brains were electrificating. Small waves were going in all directions through the network of the veins in my brains.
Like that my brains were floating in that big and deep amount of space and intense blue. Having the same shape and structure like the white clouds above my head.
I felt no stress, just relaxed afterwards. Like a meeting with my inner self, but than in the big space outside my own body …
And somewhere I got the impression that the big blue dome is challenging me to leave my flat and sometimes hollow and narrow patterns of thinking.
Intense blue means now for me: In essence there are no problems or impossibilities. There is and will be always a permanent roof above our heads that is expressing the unity of Everyone and Everything … In, under and above the earth … Bridging all the seemingly difficult contradictions of our minds and imaginations … 🙂
I never expected to see my father with his face and a sad story in the biggest newspaper of the Netherlands, ‘De Telegraaf’ (Click here).
Also I heard my father (67) being interviewed about the same topic on the national television. In the daily news show of ‘Hart van Nederland’ (Click here). And in the following days nearly all the national and regional newspapers were writing about it.
And amidst that ‘news storm’ I felt inside me a strange feeling of ‘honour’. Because I saw that my father was acting calm, upright and clear. Just like how I always want to be … 🙂
And so I learned these days that when ‘shit and shame’ is crossing your path – specially when it is not your own created drama – that you even than can make the best of the situation. That it is possible to react wise, mature and honest. And to demonstrate virtue, character and integrity.
And again, I discovered that my father is a ‘hatchet man’. Structuring the debris of others so that it can be cleaned up. Working very hard to limit the further spreading of the oil slick.
Trying to prevent more damage and to protect others.
After all, he is an experienced leader. His analytical and organizational capacities are well developed.
I felt dominated by my father
The relationship between my father and me was for years not well.
When growing up I felt dominated and not accepted by my strong opinionated and directive father. I saw myself like a little plant wrestling for space and oxygen in the shadow of a big, overwhelming tree.
I was otherwise thinking and feeling than him. Making choices which were worrying him.
For instance: He is for decades a faithful churchgoer and elder, while I am not anymore visiting church services at Sunday.
But, I admit, in this time of church scandals and MeToo stories I felt uplifted seeing how my father was framing this ‘dirty’ story. For sure, I thought, this moment ‘the church’ did happily not appear to be ‘slow acting’, ‘ignorant’ and ‘foolish’.
Three long walks on the heath
It dured until my marriage – and thanks to my wife – that I finally found the courage to show my father my pain. After that revelation of my inner debris we made, at my initiative, three long walks on the heath.
I was surprised that my father was giving me full permission to ask him – without any limitations – every question. And he was patient listening and seriously answering.
And than, finally, I dared to ask him whether he loves me? I hesitated and hesitated and felt awkward, but happily I asked it. Not wanting to let this insecurity anymore exist inside me. And risking the possibility that I would never know, while he would suddenly be passed away.
And for the first time in my life he comfirmed that he loves me!
Finally, I am leveling with my father
And when my first child was born, I felt that I was at last leveling with my father. I had upgraded my life to the same essence of being a parent.
Seeing the smile on the face of my father and the light in his eyes – when he was visiting us in the hospital – I felt that we both were standing at common ground. For the first time in my life I felt the equal of my father.
And when we nowadays are disagreeing and colliding, having still a different mindset, we can reunite and regroup at a very small spot in the Universe. It is a thousands years old, fertile source. A powerplace, and, yes, I dare to say it, a ‘holy’ well. It is the ‘sacred’ commitment that we in the core of our being love to be a ‘good’ father for our kids and the next generations which will be uprising in the coming centuries.
This is ‘promising’ soil we both can’t oversee …
And both of us won’t be entering this far away ‘country’ in our aging form of flesh and blood … 🙂