Friday, 23 June 2017

Turning 50 hoping for cards or letters, will reply. Inge

This is the 1001 post I write on this blog. As it happens I am turning 50 in about two and a half weeks’ time (14 July – Bastille day when the French population stormed the Bastille as the start of the French revolution, as well as La Fête de la Fédération – where peace was celebrated one year later). After contemplating what I would like best … the only meaningful idea sticking to my mind, is to ask you for any type of Postal mail you might want to send me.
I would love to come over to all of you I have (virtually) met over the years, simply sit down, and have a real talk… but I do not have that type of money. Otherwise, yes, I would go on a talk-about combined with a walk-about.

So, to all my (virtual) friends, family, and colleagues… if you find the time, it would really be wonderful to receive a postcard or letter.
Inge de Waard
Sterrewijk 58
9880 Aalter
If you add your address, I will reply with postal mail in return.

The reasons I would like to receive postal mail are divers, so adding them for anyone who wonders.

Object traveling through physical space.
The reason I thought of this idea, is because a card or letter is an object, and you would have selected the paper or card, touched it, reflected… and put your selection of ideas, art or wisdom on to this to-be-posted-surprise. It would travel its own route, be passed on … until it reached my doorstep. So to me, it would feel like a handshake or a hug passed on through time and location to arrive and be given in order to tell me: you are 50, that’s okay.

50 seems rather strange.
I do not know where it came from… although I do have a lot of actions that I know I took. But, it feels like all of a sudden time is catching up on me and less options are available: no Olympic gold, less of a chance to become a celebrated neo-contemporary artist, no more thoughts on time being endless in this lifetime. I might be wrong cognitively, but it feels that way emotionally. I never had a limit on my potential (or the thoughts of my potential) like this before. I also really start to look old with grey hair and a beard increasingly appearing (yes, I come from old ancestors where all the women that grew old eventually had a beard… it is true, and part of a specific ancient Celtic region).

My life is mostly virtual, but I love cards and letters.
Although I feel most at home and at ease within virtual environments, I have this lifelong pleasure in sending cards and letters. There is something about it that I really like. Postcards are like time stamps… you see the buildings, the people, the dresses, even the timbre of the colors and you feel the time in which it has been made. Letters are personal, closed, more private, shared thoughts between individuals, close to the heart, with a potential to enter open hearted conversations on multiple subjects. Letters are what history is made off, the letters told historians what keeps us busy, what is going on, what type of people we are. They also have something tactile, they smell a particular way, the paper has a special texture… it is personal without an effort.

I suddenly feel I might know something.
This is also new, I might know something? Although admittedly, most is still far from known, but a bit, just a couple of things seem real. Or maybe they are only truths (truisms?) to me, maybe it is my mind playing tricks and just simply reassuring me that it all makes sense and at the end I will have learned a bit for sure. Let me share briefly, what I think I know by now:
  • All people are the same, but we do not all live in the same worlds.
  • Say yes, so opportunities can be lived (and trust your intuition). 
  • Technology is just part of life, some like it, some don't.
  • Take action early in life, early actions shorten the path to a personally satisfying life.
  • No woman is an island, adapted from John Donne.
  • I know little and it changes every day, but I learn.
It is the 1001 post … so immediately One Thousand and One Nights comes to mind, the set of folk tales gathered over centuries each originating from old and poetic civilizations (Persia, India, Arabia, Egypt, Mesopotamia…). Tales shaped by wisdom and fantasy to share amongst all of us, to exchange and recount those tales time and time again… I like that idea a lot.

The picture ‘all things are delicately interconnected’ is an interpreted, embroidered version of a Jenny Holzer Truism.

To end, a song I frequently play on my birthday: Aux Armes et Caetera by Serge Gainsbourg, the lyrics first, the song embedded thx to YouTube.

Allons enfant de la patrie
Le jour de gloire est arrivé
Contre nous de la tyrannie
L'étendard sanglant est levé

Aux armes et caetera

Entendez-vous dans les campagnes
Mugir ces féroces soldats
Ils viennent jusque dans nos bras
Egorger nos fils nos compagnes

Aux armes et caetera

Amour sacré de la patrie
Conduis soutiens nos bras vengeurs
Liberté liberté chérie
Combats avec tes défenseurs

Aux armes et caetera

Nous entrerons dans la carrière
Quand nos aînés n'y seront plus
Nous y trouverons leur poussière
Et la trace de leurs vertus

Aux armes et caetera