Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Speak Out

The Ancient Egyptians had at least four creation myths. We have to read them complementary!
  • Hermopolis. Frogs and snakes make in water the egg (read: primeval mound) from which the sun and world is born. 
  • Heliopolis. Eel in water who creates by separating: water and land; man and wife.
  • Memphis. The heart of a god thinks and the tongue makes the world come alive by speaking out their names.
  • Thebes/ Aswan. Cosmos is made from clay by a potter on his turntable.

In all four myths we have water, a mound raising from the water and a sun coming out of the mound. An image most likely inspired by the annual flooding of the Nile River, after the withdrawing of the floodwaters fertile soil was left behind. Life re-newed like the first time.

Next to that. The scarab beetle lets the sun rise every morning. An image most likely inspired by their creating and rolling of brood balls.

Next to that the fly was considered courageous and brave. In the New Kingdom they even had a militairy decoration named 'Fly of Valour' or 'Golden Fly' (source picture: here).

Keen observers those Ancient Egyptians, aren't they?

P.S. Information from four creation myths is from exhibition 'Gods of Egypt' in Rijksmuseum van Oudheden, Leiden, The Netherlands. The details are slightly different according to Vergote, 'De Godsdienst van het Oude Egypte' (1987), Shaw and Nicholson, 'The Illustrated Dictionary of Ancient Egypt' (2008) and Wikipedia, 'Ancient Egyptian creation myths'.

Friday, March 8, 2019

Nobody Talks About Spring

Last week I joined a Mariza concert in Eindhoven. Two pictures I took:

I wrote a music-review 'Nobody talks about the spring' for Zuca-Magazine. A magazine for those who partly think, dream, read and ... - there must be more - with "A minha pátria é a língua portuguesa". You can find the review (in Dutch): here. Listen to Mariza? Yes!

I point in this review at the three Mariza songs I love most:

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Store for Eye Cosmetics

Remember the tridacne shell sculpted in the shape of an owl in my blogpost from 2016: here?

I saw another sculpted shell, two months ago, in the exhibition 'Gods of Egypt' in Rijksmuseum van Oudheden, Leiden, The Netherlands.

Glenn Markoe writes in his book 'Phoenicians' (2000) that over a hundred examples of carved tridacna shells have been found from Italy to the Near East. Similar in artistic style, they were probably produced in the mid-seventh century BC, made or distributed from the southern coast of Phoenicia. They were probably used to store eye cosmetics.

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

And Yet I Knew

"When I'm gone you'll be happy, you and your friends," he said. "You will be able to take yourselves seriously again and do all your artistic work. I'm just a disturbance in your summer."
I assured him of the contrary, that without him I would pine away, and yet I knew there was truth in what he said. With him I thought only of the present, I lived from day to day. When he was gone I worried about the life ahead for which I must be prepared. "Work is the only thing that makes one happy," my mother always said, and inspired by Betsy, we had all taken ourselves seriously that summer until Jean came.

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Small Hotel

Sometimes I have "Aristocratic dreams". Dreaming as in ... when I would have enough money I would:
  • Be a specialist in the field of Prehistoric and Early dynastic period of Egypt. On the cutting edge of archeology, egyptology and petroglyphs #Egypt #StoneAge #Desert
  • Be a specialist on 17th century Dutch WIC sources. Unlock these sources via translations into English #Writer #Translator #WIC
  • Make long distance trips in gliders. A couple of weeks a year #soaring
  • Read more
  • Run a small hotel on the Mediterranean Sea
  • Have long holidays in: Brazil, Greece, Italy, Spain, France, Portugal, Cape Verde Islands, USA, Canada, Rarotonga and Cook Islands
  • Make a long distance walk once a year 
  • ... - you know
P.S. Source image: here.

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Motherly Woman

Maria Nys was married to Aldous Huxley. She was the eldest of four sisters: Maria (1899-1955), Jeanne, Suzanne and Rose. Claire, the eldest daughter of Suzanne, wrote a family history in the book 'The Elephant and the Rose' (2003). Lovely read with a lot of details.

Did you know:
  • She was born in Sint-Truiden (French: Saint-Trond), a city located in the province of Limburg, Flemish Region, Belgium. 
  • 'The Elephant' was the name of a wholesale grocery shop and 'The Rose' of a dry goods store next door. The girl next door, married to the boy next door. Making a family fortune.
  • At home they mainly spoke French.
  • All four sisters were married to writers, poets and artists.
  • Maria was a motherly woman (a request of one of Aldous aunts) because above all that was what Aldous needed and she provided it.
  • Maria and Aldous met at Garsington Manor, near Oxford, England. The home of Lady Ottoline and her husband, Philip Morrell. Maria was the niece of George-Marie Baltus, a friend of Lady Ottoline.

Matthew, Maria and Aldous Huxley:

Maria Huxley-Nys:

P.S. The two pictures are not in this book. I found them on The Internet.

Friday, February 1, 2019

Still Here Sea and Sky and Seasons

Sophia. I read two books with poems from Sophia de Mello Breyner Andresen (1919-2004).

Here the sixs poems I like best (Portuguese original and English translation). Between [] the image I love.

Dionysos [The abundance of fruits]

Entre as árvores escuras e caladas
O céu vermelho arde,
E nascido da secreta cor da tarde
Dionysos passa na poeira das estradas.

A abundância dos frutos de Setembro
Habita a sua face e cada membro
Tem essa perfeição vermelha e plena,
Essa glória ardente e serena
Que distinguia os deuses dos mortais.

Oásis [The linen white and fresh]

Penetraremos no palmar
A água será clara e o leite doce
O calor será leve o linho branco e fresco
O silêncio estará nu - o canto
Da flauta será nítido no liso
Da penumbra

Lavaremos nossas mãos de desencontro e poeira

Quem como eu [Se dispersa nas coisas e nos dias]
Quem como eu em silêncio tece
Bailados, jardins e harmonias?
Quem como eu se perde e se dispersa
Nas coisas e nos dias?

Sua beleza [A home for humanity]
Sua beleza é total
Tem a nítida esquadria de um Mantegna
Porém como um Picasso de repente
Desloca o visual

Seu torso lembra o respirar da vela
Seu corpo é solar e frontal
Sua beleza à força de ser bela
Promete mais do que prazer
Promete um mundo mais inteiro e mais real
Como pátria do ser

Será possível [Simply lost]
Será possível que nada se cumprisse?
Que o roseiral a brisa as folhas de hera
Fossem como palavras sem sentido
— Que nada sejam senão seu rosto ido
Sem regresso nem resposta — só perdido?

Quando [Just as if]
Quando o meu corpo apodrecer e eu for morta
Continuará o jardim, o céu e o mar,
E como hoje igualmente hão-de bailar
As quatro estações à minha porta.

Outros em Abril passarão no pomar
Em que eu tantas vezes passei,
Haverá longos poentes sobre o mar,
Outros amarão as coisas que eu amei.

Será o mesmo brilho, a mesma festa,
Será o mesmo jardim à minha porta,
E os cabelos doirados da floresta,
Como se eu não estivesse morta.

Wednesday, January 30, 2019


A seller has customers
A restaurant has customers too
But a hotel has guests

Priest > believers
Shepherd > flock
Writer > readers
Noun > adjectives
Hunter > prey
Sex-worker > clients
Publisher > authors
Teacher > students
Fisher > fish

I keep on wondering about all the images and metaphors that comes with just another word for 'recipient'. Images that tell where they come from, what they dream of, what they reveal, what they hide, what ...

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Polishing This Week's Pearl

This week's pearl for me was the discovery of Sophia De Mello Breyner Andresen's book: 'Shores, Horizons, Voyages...: Selected Poems' (2006). In this book are some of her poems in English and Portuguese.

Sophia: "Poetry is my understanding of the universe, my way of relating to things, my participation in reality, my encounter with voices and images. This is why the poem speaks not of an ideal life but of a concrete one: the angle of a window, the resonance of streets, cities and rooms, the shadow cast by a wall, a sudden face, the silence, distance and brightness of the stars, the night’s breath, the scent of linden and of oregano."

She loooved the sea and wrote a lot about/ around/ on/ under/ before ... - there must be more - it.

"The sea! The sea!" The cry of joy of "10,000" ancient Greeks after their long way home. As told by Xenophon in his 'Anabasis' (4th Century BC). What a story. The cruelty. The murdering. A world of Others.

In our time and age #2018. I am always amazed by the unquestionable love of individual 'homo sapiens' for the sea. I mostly think - and almost never say!: only a couple of hundred years ago the sea was considered as dangerous, smelly and a dumping ground. Not a place of joy, sun and holiday. So ... historically and culturally biased. I repeat: it's something that I think and almost never speak out loud.

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

It's Getting Dark

It's still a mystery for me why I don't like most songs in Dutch. Too boring? Too close? Too melodramic? Too direct? Too not me? No emotional connection? I prefer songs in English, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Swedish etc. I love to listen to the music of a song first and after that puzzle on the accompanying lyrics secondly. In a way I seem to like songs more if the music and the lyrics are apart.

Anyway, I love this Dutch song from Stef Bos. A poem! Song (music and lyrics): here. I translated it for you into English.

P.S. I couldn't find this beautiful song on youtube.
P.P.S. I wonder what you "hear" if you listen to this song.