Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Hullabaloo on the deserted beach





Is it a quiet and relaxed time here at El Triple in Baja California, Mexico?
Yes and no.
Of course being in nature and far away from noisy traffic, nervous people and irresistible enticements is of a paradise-like quality.
That is the yes.
But because the Fuso Szulc is equipped with satellite internet connection, the world of people enters at El Triple nevertheless.
That is the no.
One of the speakers at TED did a lecture after he had voluntarily stopped being on the Internet for 40 days.
It had changed his life, he claimed.
That is easy to imagine: one has only to go back in time and memorize how life was 20 years ago.

But a lot can be said for going along with modern and new inventions and technologies.
Not to reject them but to try to find a way to incorporate them in life and work in a harmonious way.
So that opportunities and possibilities grow while inner peace and balance remains.

This is one of the exciting challenges currently presenting itself.
Because the project “The most beautiful people in the world” is turning into a snowball rolling down a slope gaining momentum and volume.

For example, yesterday this came on line:




A much frequented website in Central and South America.
Immediately the visits to the website http://www.themostbeautifulpeople.org rose to over 1.800 people.


And e-mails started pouring in, like this one:

Good morning Michel, my name is Juliana P., I´m the international producer for W Radio in Colombia - South America. We have read your story about your project of The Most Beautiful People in The World, and we would like to know if it´s possible to schedule a telephonic interview with you to talk about this project, how did you come up with this idea, the reactions, discuss about different stories etc.

I Don´t know exactly where are you located rigth now, but if it´s possible to talk to you, just to let you know that our show goes from 4 pm to 8 pm NY time, so anytime that suits you the better between these hours, will work for us.

I really hope we can make it, it´s a great story that we´d love to diffuse to all our listeners!

This happening in the solitude of El Triple while deeply in retreat.
On the one side total meditativeness, on the other side total excitement.

The strategy applied in this remarkable situation is to not be carried away by all the hullabaloo surrounding the project “The most beautiful people in the world”.
To remain centered and to constantly realize it is all fantastic, spectacular and great but relative and temporary as well.
Therefore the time behind the computer and on the Internet is limited: a self imposed regime of only three hours a day is applied.
To remain sane and with both feet on the sand of the beach.


***************************************************
Check the project “The most beautiful people in the world” for Central and South America by clicking on:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/mundo/noticias/2010/11/101125_las_personas_mas_lindas.shtml





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Monday, November 29, 2010

Unable to leave

We have reached now November 29 and in the northern hemisphere this has brought winter time.

This can be clearly noticed at El Triple as well.
In the beginning of this retreat on October 9, the sun was rising at 7.25 am.
Now it comes above the horizon at 7.55 am.
During the day its orbit lower than weeks ago.

This makes the daily temperatures go down seriously.
Especially at night.
On October 10 at night it was 17.8º C. (64º F)
Needing one blanket only.
Last night it was a freezing 11.2º C. (52º F)
Sleeping in a T-shirt under a blanket and a duvet.

This is all not too dramatic because during the day in the sunshine temperatures go up reaching a nice 25º C (77º F).

But winter also brings wind to El Triple and this is a factor that is the most dominant.
The wind carries the temperature of the water of the Pacific Ocean that is very cool now.
And every day it blows more violently and aggressively.
Starting early in the morning and continuing long after sunset.
Daily the wind speeds are reaching now around 30 kilometers per hour (10 mph).

Any sensible person would easily come to the decision that to live in those circumstances is not pleasant and that it is time to go.
Time to move on to a situation that is more comfortable and meteorologically friendly.

This is easy to do.
The retreat at El Triple can be ended to pack everything in the Fuso Szulc and go.
To drive to the other side of the peninsula Baja California to stay with the Gonzales family along the Sea of Cortez.
Where it is warmer and more pleasant.

But being in the second period of the retreat, now in day 24, this is not as easy to do as it is written down in a blog.
It is like being under a spell.
Enchanted and mesmerized by the unique aspects of living in the current simplicity and purity.
Unable to give this up yet.
To wrestle free yet of the uplifted existence.

Besides, there is still food in the fridge enough for another week at least.
The water tank is at 50 % of capacity, the propane tank at 44 %.
There is still about 30 liters (8 gallons) of drinking water.

Hence, the violent wind and the cool temperatures are accepted: there is no other way.

Yesterday, while hiding for the strong wind down in the dry river bed reading a book, the sound of a car was heard.
Checking who had come, it was a rental car with a man from Paris, France and a woman from Montreal, Canada.
Living with two children in San Francisco and now on holidays in Mexico.
The man, called François, was into kite surfing.
They were staying on the east coast of Baja California but the wind there was from the south and not strong enough.
But at El Triple they found the ideal location for kite surfing.
A sandy beach, no rocks in the water and a strong northwest wind.
François happy and Hélène happy because François was happy he could kite surf.

For them the wind was fabulous and the water not cold.
Hélène was even bathing in the ocean.

It suddenly threw another light on the location of El Triple and the current conditions.
The wind and the temperature experienced as negatives and enemies were observed as able to be also friends.
Let’s stay some more days.





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Sunday, November 28, 2010

crippling the Internet





Above us in orbit are satellites and many of them are used for communication.
Like the SatMex 5 satellite.
It is the one used by the Internet system of the Fuso Szulc.
On the roof of the expedition vehicle is a satellite disk to which is connected a modem.
The satellite disk and modem can send and receive signals that are linking to the control center of the company HughesNet somewhere in the USA.
This is made possible by the SatMex 5: it receives and transmits from the one party to the other.
HughesNet put the signals on the regular Internet system and voila, the daily blog is published and fervent and loyal blog readers can read it on their computer screen.

Basically it is a good system.
Because one can be anywhere in parts of Canada, the USA and Mexico and with the satellite disk and modem remain on the Internet.
In the case of the Fuso Szulc, the modem is powered by solar energy, hence literally anywhere access to Internet is guaranteed.



Sometimes there are problems though with this system.
For example, HughesNet can suddenly change the transponder without warning and then suddenly access to Internet is gone.

But the main complain is the speed.
Every fervent and loyal blog reader can Google on the word SatMex5 and find many horror stories about the slow speeds that are suffered.

This is the case with the Fuso Szulc as well.
Certain times of day loading web pages is extremely slow.
Watching TV through website simply impossible.
Skype calls breaking off.

This is at certain times of days because the cause is twofold.
One is that the satellite SatMex5 by now is of outdated technology.
More modern satellites have higher speeds.
But the main reason for the slow speeds is that too many people are put on the satellite.
The more people use the system, the more down the speed goes.
For example, watching TV from a website is only possible after 9.00 pm when most people on the East coast of the USA have gone to sleep and are off their computers.

This situation also demonstrates how business is done in the USA.
When one sees the publicity HughesNet is making for their satellite Internet system transmission speeds are promised that are luring and impressing.
But the reality is that those speeds can never be experienced.
Because HughesNet is not limiting the amount of people using the satellite.
The more people on the satellite the more money HughesNet makes and when this means the speed drops dramatically they can’t care less.

Meanwhile in Europe something exciting has been happening.
A British company called Avanti Communications Group has launched on November 26 the HYLAS 1 satellite with a French Ariane 5 rocket from French Guyana.


This satellite will offer 10 Mbps speeds to some 350,000 customers.
10 Mbps !!
This compares to what HughesNet is fanfaring on their website. They offer: 1 Mbps..
Saying in small letters: “When you connect to the Internet using HughesNet, the upload and download speeds you experience will vary based on a variety of factors including the configuration of your computer, the number of concurrent users, network or Internet congestion, the speed of the Websites you are accessing, and other factors. Stated speeds and uninterrupted use of service are not guaranteed. During peak hours, actual upload and download speed will likely be lower than speeds indicated”.

In other words, and this is based on personal experience, forget about the 1 Mbps.
It is more likely to be 79 Kbps.

10 Megabytes per second or 79 Kilobytes per second: it is a world of difference.

Avanti is also developing a second satellite, called HYLAS 2 set to launch in 2012.
Which is to provide wireless high speed broadband in the Middle East and Africa as well as Europe.
Meanwhile in the USA the people remain in the Stone Age: while next year in Europe and in two years in Africa and the Middle East they happily surf the Internet at 10 Megabytes per second, the Americans are still digitally challenged at 79 Kilobytes per second.

Hey Avanti, put one up here, please!


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Saturday, November 27, 2010

Burlesque BBC

A peculiar situation has arrived on the doorsteps of the Fuso Szulc at El Triple in Mexico.
And for the moment it is not clear what to think of it.
If it is good or if it is bad.

The situation is this:
last week the BBC Worldservice, in their program Outlook, had a radio-documentary on the project “The most beautiful people in the world”.
There were interviews with participants in China and France, the project was explained and also the photographer was asked about his motivation and experiences.
It was a program very well made: interesting, appealing and balanced.
Listeners all over the world heard this program.

But then the next thing happened.
The makers of the program Outlook of the BBC Worldservice decided to also do a project on the most beautiful people.
They asked listeners to send the BBC Worldservice pictures of most beautiful people.
Like your daughter or your Mom.
To publish on the website of the BBC Worldservice and on their Facebook page.

It developed into a campaign and the last seven days, repeatedly on the BBC Worldservice, listeners were asked to send in pictures.
They even had interviews with persons that had been sending in pictures like a woman from the UK who had the opinion that her sheep was the most beautiful.

Now you can see many pictures of most beautiful people on the BBC Worldservice website as a result of their own campaign.
Fortunately reference is still made to the original project “The most beautiful people in the world” and a link is offered to go to http://www.themostbeautifulpeople.org

What to think of this?
Is this fabulous for the project “The most beautiful people in the world” generating more publicity and interest?
Spreading more the message of empathy and positivity?
Or is it an infringement of copyright and a blunt demonstration of hijacking a successful idea of someone else?

What do the fervent and loyal blog readers have as an opinion in this matter?

*************************************************

Clicking on this link brings you to the website where you can see the pictures and listen to the program:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/worldservice/programmes/2010/11/101126_outlook_your_beautiful_people.shtml




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Friday, November 26, 2010

A pregnant man

And then the idea grounded that the body was becoming too fat.
Especially in the front where the belly is, it looked like a swelling.

Result of an unhealthy life style during the four months in Europe.
Eating in restaurants too frequently where food is rarely healthy.
Drinking too often high calorie red wine in alcoholic quantities.
Eating too often large bars of white chocolate with whole hazelnuts and the Dutch speciality “Klene’s muntdrop”, a sweetened licorice.
And failing to do the daily exercises and the running.

To return after four months of this extravaganza to Mexico looking like being in the fourth month of pregnancy.

That is not tolerated.
And once back in the own and preferred life style, a rigorous regime was implemented.

No more chocolate, no more sweets, no more alcohol, no more soft drinks and no more fat food.
Additionally, every day exercises to strengthen the abdominal muscles, one hour walks and 45 minute runnings.

Also the food intake is seriously limited.
For lunch, always four slices of toasted bread were eaten.
Two with cheese and two with marmalade.
Now it is only one with cheese and one with marmalade.
And not more then one glass of fruit juice.
Lunch ended with a prune and an apple.

In the evening, dinner is only some cooked vegetables with a piece of tofu.
No rice, no potatoes, no lentils, no pasta.

The result is disappointing.
And makes suffering.
Because the whole day there is this feeling of being hungry.
The body asks and screams for more food.
Which it is not getting.

And how is the pregnancy ?
Well, if the body is put in front of the mirror in a state of total relaxation the pregnancy is not four months anymore but probably three months.
But if the body is ordered to stand up straight with all the muscles activated, spectators see a young God.




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Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Success for the project “The most beautiful people in the world”

Since the publication of the photo book of the project “The most beautiful people in the world” two weeks ago, over 400 copies have been distributed to persons all over the world.
They had been going to the website http://www.themostbeautifulpeople.org to obtain their free copy or to purchase the superb “DeLuxe Edition”.
This is an overwhelming start and now the expectation is justified that the whole edition might be gone soon.

Persons that received the book spontaneously send e-mails to share their excitement.

“Wonderful and inspiring”.

“Beautiful and moving at the same time. My heart opens fully”

“It is great to see among all the negative reporting we see in the press something that focuses on the beauty of the people”

“I’ve seen already many pages from your wonderful book but I save the rest to absorb eevry day
some positivity.”

“Thanks for this extraordinary project: you made the world a lot more beautiful”

“Hans loves it as much as I do. you must be very excited and proud of your work, it is truly unique!

“The book was in 2day's mail. Really fantastic!!”

“I just received the book and it is splendid !! A beautiful book.
Still much more than I expected”.

“This renewed attention to what us makes human beings, I see as the hope for the 21st century. We have to regain our identity and dignity from the influence of commercialism and the fast media.
By among others honest acting and statements.”

“I received the book. Very beautiful. I am very impressed.”

But also other responses came in to do with the specific marketing strategy behind the distribution of the photo book of the project “The most beautiful people in the world”.
Anyone can go to the website of the project and request a free copy.
Only a small fee needs to be paid for shipping and handling.
But there is also a “DeLuxe Edition” available.
This a person buys and with the proceeds the free copies are financed.
A democratic system for a non-profit project appealing to our solidarity and compassion.

Several people appreciate this way of making a book worldwide available, so that even if you are in a situation of economic hardship, a copy is available thanks to the generosity of more well to do friends.

Therefore, several people ordered more than one copy of the “DeLuxe Edition”.
To give the beautiful book that is signed and in a luxury box with a high quality original print as a present to family and friends.
And to make more free copies possible to lower income people .

One person even decided to make a donation to the project “The most beautiful people in the world” .
And a wonderful girl wrote she could not afford the “DeLuxe Edition” but would pay the shipping and handling costs for one book twice.


+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

In case you haven't got a copy yet, go to:

http://www.themostbeautifulpeople.org





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Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Monday, November 22, 2010

The wind blowing towards insanity

There was a storm in the north.
California, USA, was hit by bad weather.
Being 1.500 kilometers to the south of this meteorological event, which is 932 miles, it could be noticed.
Normally this time of year the wind at El Triple blows between 10 to 15 kilometers per hour.
That is 6 to 9 miles per hour.
But yesterday, because of the Californian storm, it howled at over 30 kilometers per hour.
That is 18 miles per hour.

The Fuso Szulc is, when in one place for a long time, supported by stabilizing trailer jacks.
This to avoid when winds are strong that the vehicle shakes like a cocktail mixer.
But when winds are over 30 kilometers per hour the Fuso Szulc vibrates on its jacks as if it is nervous or having mini orgasms.

The wind speeds in those conditions is watched carefully using the Davis Vantage Vue weather centre.
Because if winds would reach a speed of about 40 kilometers an hour, 25 miles an hour, the Datastorm Satellite Disk needs to be lowered and put in the storage position.

When at El Triple, Mexico, during these strong winds, memories return of the time when living in Cadaques, Spain.
In that village they have sometimes a strong wind that is called the Tramontana.
It comes from the nearby Pyrenees mountains and it can blow from a few hours to several days.
It is a merciless wind: very strong and in Winter bitterly cold.

When the Tramontana blows the inhabitants of Cadaques are influenced by the effects this wind has.
It makes people, when the Tramontana blows for days, irritated, annoyed, bad mooded and alcoholic.
This constant noise that sounds like being in a ghost house, the cold, the pulling at clothes when outside, the discomfort, the aggression and the violence the wind forces to feel.
Those are the days couples fight and separate.
And it is the time that many people get drunk.

If in Cadaques, Spain, people become crazy and get out of control because of a strong wind, it must be a worldwide phenomenon.
And therefore probably in El Triple, Mexico as well.
But being in solitude it is hard to determine when exactly the level of insanity is reached.
Yesterday, it was noticed the mood was not near getting a gold medal.
It was more on the level of a rusted copper junk thing.
That was due to the wind because it was not just very uncomfortable at El Triple.
For example, to sit in the sunshine to read quietly and peaceful another chapter in the marvelous book “Middlemarch” by George Eliot was impossible.
Too cold, too violent, too aggressive, too unpleasant.
And nowhere to go to be out of the wind: it was everywhere except inside the Fuso Szulc.
But that was vibrating on its jacks imposing impossible and therefore unpleasant fantasies.

It was imagined what would happen if in that situation a skilled and experienced psychiatrist would visit to do a mental health check.
Maybe her diagnosis would be: where are the men in white coats? Take him away now!!

The wind has calmed down.
11 kilometers per hour.
That is 6 miles per hour.
No more vibrations of the Fuso Szulc and in the mental health.




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Sunday, November 21, 2010

A tremendous victory

It was again like so many years ago.
Dumped in a boarding school to have to live and study there.
Basically locked up and forced into a strict daily discipline.
Having to lose identity and the only option offered to become a number in a large group.

The dream was principally not about being in boarding school again.
Although the buildings were there and the other students.
Even the white tunics that soon would be handed out and everyone was obliged to wear were present.

The dream was about one thing only: the strong feeling how to mastermind and execute the escape from this situation.

This was expressed to some fellows that looked sympathetic.
And one said that to run away was no problem.
He pointed to a nearby highway with a ramp from where it was no problem to hitchhike away.

But in the dream it continued to circle around the question how to get out of the situation without making a decision to actually do it.

These nights very clear and revealing dreams manifest themselves.
Open to interpretations to become educational and leading to better insight.

The current situation is in a way rather similar to the days of having been in boarding school.
Away from society, away from family and friends, away from the entertaining aspects of town.
And most importantly, a life ruled by discipline.
A strict schedule of what has to happen at what time.

So the dream suggests there is a straight line from the days spent in the boarding school to living at El Triple.
Suggesting that these El Triple-retreats are not more than an expression of a trauma never worked out properly.

Is that true?
Has there never been an escape from the boarding school?

At the time, to live and study in the boarding school was deeply hated.
The strict discipline, the intimidation, the violence, the physical abuse, the group culture, the smells, the absence of privacy, etc.
It was against all that was the core of the self.
But at the age of 14, there was not enough strength yet to decide to hitchhike away from the dreaded situation.
Where to go?
It was the parents that had decided that boarding school was what to have for the son so returning home was not an option.

Another strategy to get out was developed: to become very impossible and unmanageable for the responsible persons.
So that it would all become too much for them.
And indeed, after two years they requested to leave.
A decision that stalemated the parents.
This was felt like a tremendous victory.
Like a liberation and a return to the own life.

Rationally thinking back to those days, it can now be appreciated that a 14 year old boy managed to escape in that way from the situation that was experienced as horrible and destructive.

Having managed to escape from boarding school gives a feeling of pride.
A most positive feeling that drowns the negative memories of the boarding school days.
And allows to apply the undeniable positive things also experienced and learned during those two years.
Like living in retreat at El Triple with discipline.




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Saturday, November 20, 2010

The exploding spider





In 2000 director Robert Zemeckis made a film called Cast Away with Tom Hanks.
It is the story of a FEDEX plane that crashes but Tom Hanks survives and ends up on an uninhabited island in the South Pacific.
We see how Hanks tries to physically survive and how he psychologically deals with his solitude and rather desperate situation.
One way Hanks applies to avoid becoming insane is to have an imaginary companion.
This is his friend “Wilson” with who he discusses his perilous situation.
However, “Wilson” is not a person.
It is a “Wilson Sporting Goods” volleyball from one of the FEDEX packages that has washed ashore after the plane crashed.
Hanks has painted a face on the volleyball and makes it his avatar friend.



One could claim that the current situation in which the Fuso Szulc finds itself in is in many ways similar to Tom Hanks on his South Pacific island.
One aspect is similar for sure: here it is also out of society.
Away from the hustle and bustle.
No other people in the life for a while.

Then one evening, it getting dark, a spider was noticed making its web in the door opening.
That is a smart spider was the thought, because when completely dark, a light would be switched on inside the Fuso Szulc attracting flying insects coming to the door opening ending in the web of the spider.



The next evening the spider was seen again making his web and getting ready for his night snacks.
Until it was understood that the spider was living there.
A companion!
As of then, every late evening, the spider is watched how he makes his web.
And it is observed that he is doing well.
Mr. Spider is growing fat as a result of his smart strategy.

This brings back memories from the 70’s.
At the time life then was with a woman from the Netherlands and her son.
Living in a very large house where even was a space to play table tennis.
There was a dog too and dinners with friends and evenings with wood fire and red wine.
Those were happy days for years.
There was of course a bathroom in this house and one evening when brushing the teeth it was noticed a spider was making a web in the window opening.
That time there were also mosquitoes entering the bathroom attracted by the moisture.
The idea came up to catch mosquitoes and plant them in the web of the spider.
This was done and when the mosquito was put into the web, the spider would come running and eat the free food.
This was repeated every night: the spider getting a couple of mosquitoes for supper besides what he was catching himself later.
The spider was gaining weight and growing fat because of this five star restaurant life and that was not seen as an alarming condition.
Until one night the spider, who had become like a pet, was found dead with his main body burst open.
Obviously the spider had been overeating.
Swallowing anything in his web not knowing when enough is enough.
No! His motto was: more, anything, always.
Ending in a bulimia suicide.

It was not a happy moment to find the exploded spider.
Some feeling of guilt came up because there had been an interference in the animal kingdom.
And when humans do this, often it goes wrong with the animals.

So now, the new spider in the life, is seen being successful and growing more and more fat and concerns are arising for his health.
Should he be gently moved to another location maybe?
Friend Wilson made into a volleyball again?




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Friday, November 19, 2010

other ways of waterboarding



It is hard to understand why the American interrogators ever used this torturing system of waterboarding.
The victims would say anything they believed the interrogators wanted to hear.
Desperate as they had been made to feel.

While there is a way to have anybody confess the truth easily and peacefully.
Just make somebody listen to the music of Kitaro.

Kitaro is a Japanese musician who uses the synthesizer.


He lives in Sebastopol, California, USA on a 180 acre (730,000 m²) estate and composes in his 2500 square foot (230 m²) home studio he calls the "Mochi House" (it is large enough to hold a 70 piece orchestra).
Frequently he brings out CD’s with his music and these sounds he produces drives any sane person to a state of total desperation.
Through XM radio channel 72 called “Spa” sometimes they play music from Kitaro and that is always the right time to get out of the Fuso Szulc and check the sound of the waves of the Pacific Ocean.

At El Triple these days there are more sounds to hear that are unusual and possibly annoying.
On the dirt roads not very far from the location where the Fuso Szulc is parked, the Baja 1000 rally is taking place.
This Baja 1000 rally is a huge event and monstrous cars participate making a tremendous noise.
That carries for miles and reaches the peaceful and harmonious El Triple location.
It is a 20 minutes walk to the dirt road where the racing cars, motorbikes and ATV’s pass by and the option is to go and see how they hurry by.
But there is no interest at all to see the race: the sound of the Pacific Ocean is preferred.

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++


To learn more about Kitaro:
http://www.domo.com/kitaro/index.php

To learn more about the Baja 1000 Rally:
http://bajasafari.blogspot.com/2009/10/baja-1000-2010-to-finish-in-cabo-to.html





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Thursday, November 18, 2010

Alone while with thousands



It is a very weird situation to have the project “The most beautiful people in the world” explode in success while in retreat.

On the one hand reality is the deserted location of El Triple in Mexico far from society and deep into nature.
On the other hand it is the turmoil of a photo project that is successful, popular, in the centre of media attention and therefore in the minds and hearts of thousands and thousands of people.
The contrast to be alone while with thousands.

It is the result of being far from society by driving the Fuso Szulc to its current particular location but because of remaining in touch through the solar powered satellite Internet connection society remains dominantly present in a virtual way.

This is weird to experience but great as well.
It is like having a birthday party with family and friends but being far away from where it takes place.

These days it is very difficult to work as an artist and have with the results of the art work world wide media attention.
In general, life has become high speed and much more superficial.
What fits these days in the context of the media must be so specific, that very few artists manage to escape from obscurity.
The challenge for a contemporary artist is to remain 100 % close to oneself and come up nevertheless with a result that fits in the current media context.

This has happened with the project “The most beautiful people in the world” but it must be said it was never imagined it would grow into these proportions of current media attention.
Of course the dream was manifesting itself frequently as an artist-photographer to make at least once in the career a smash hit.
A work that would find access to the world stage.
This has happened with the sequences and now again with a photo project.

It is an excellent feeling to see this happen.
But like it was with the sequences, the success is not causing to lean back and bulemia-like swallow the self-satisfaction.
Everything that is now happening around the project “The most beautiful people in the world” is seen as the construction of a new platform from where the next project can be build and launched to reach even more people.







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Wednesday, November 17, 2010

In the heart, that is.

It is not accepted that the time becomes hectic.
But these days every hour is filled with activities.
All related to the project “The most beautiful people in the world” .
This is because the photo book was recently published and is now being distributed.
And gratefully the press is jumping on the situation.

Yesterday was an interview for a very popular program on National Dutch Radio together with the designer of the book, Mr. Teun van der Heijden.
And today the program “Outlook” of the BBC Worldservice is dedicated to the project “The most beautiful people in the world” with the background story, interviews with participants in China and France, as well as with the pioneering photographer.

This is seen as part of being a photographer who has a mission.
The project “The most beautiful people in the world” is about promoting empathy among the people.
To suggest that a choice can be made in life that betters the personal and communal social environment.
A choice for optimism, positivism and bliss.
To chose to be beautiful.
In the heart, that is.

It is no trouble at all to explain this message in an interview.
In the career many interviews have been experienced and the result is that there is not a feeling anymore of intimidation.
The knowledge that thousands and thousands of people are watching and listening does not make nervous or insecure.

An interview is seen as part of the job.
A professional activity.
It is nothing personal.
Not even the journalist who is mainly the person helping to transmit and promote the message.

Therefore the focus can be very much on how to give the interview.
Because an interview for radio or TV, it goes very, very fast.
Somehow the attention span of the viewer and listener is considered to be very short.
Hence, 10 minutes is seen as a very long time on radio and TV.
The reality is that in total maybe 10 questions are asked and each question can be replied to with max 3 sentences.
It is therefore vital to have very clear, very short but very impressive answers ready.
This is studied beforehand and even written down on a paper put in front during the interview.

A good strategy is also to have on another paper the essential points that want to be made.
Because what the journalist wants to know is not always to the benefit of the message and the project.
The main line is to get people interested in the concept of the project and to make them so curious that they go to the website http://www.themostbeautifulpeople.org.
To see the pictures, read the texts and to order the beautiful photo book.

The interview on Dutch radio yesterday can be heard on:

http://www.radio1.nl/podcasts/31-met-het-oog-op-morgen/feed_items/436783


The interview on “Outlook” of the BBC Worldservice on:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/worldservice/programmes/2010/11/101117_outlook_true_beauty_photos.shtml



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Tuesday, November 16, 2010

The fish that killed himself





It all depends what point of view one takes.
And one very convincing one is that we make a lot of trouble.
Worldwide we see wars take place, murders and killings.
If not carefully controlling indignation one would tend to think we live in a jungle and should be prepared for the worst constantly.

Actually, this is how most animals live.
We at least try to strive for peace and harmony.
We have the Ten Commandments and the Sutras and the Koran Verses and priests, the law and the police.
Most people live not doing anyone harm.

But not so with those other living creatures with who we share the planet.
The animals have organized a community for themselves where the rule is that if you don’t kill and eat, you will be killed and eaten.
Except for the pandas.
Most other live in constant fear.
They depend on defense abilities they have developed during their evolution.
Nevertheless, the chance they will enjoy a relaxed old day are minimal.
As soon as they are not in top physical condition anymore the crocodile or the owl will be able to catch and eat them.

It is a horrible world and be aware that animals are afraid of us not for who we are.
They are afraid of any living thing because they know they are hunted to be eaten.
Animals live in a tremendous fear and stress.
Nervous and tense, fearing for life from morning till the next morning.

Besides fear, many animals are vicious too.
Especially fish.
They have a voracity that even humans don’t have.
They eat as much as they can and then even more.

In the days of fishing it has happened frequently that a fish was caught who still had in the throat a small fish it had caught seconds before.

And yesterday the oyster diver friends came by who had found on the beach minutes before a large fish that had killed itself by overeating.
It was a fish called a white seabass who had caught a smaller one called a pompano.


The pompano was too big to eat but the seabass was too vicious and voracious and tried anyway.
The pompano got stuck in his mouth: couldn’t get it in and couldn’t get it out anymore.
To die and wash on the beach.



Better be human.




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Monday, November 15, 2010

No more nine

This morning in bed after waking up because of the absence of a partner to have activities with the entertainment and satisfaction was found in contemplating about numerology and mathematics.
This is how deep or how high a man can sink or rise, depending how it is looked at.

Therefore, no wonder the focus during the contemplation was on the number 9.
The number that represents the powerless condition a man can find himself in.
If the vitality is made right and bright, we use of course the number 6.

Therefore, the conclusion came up that if possible, we should eliminate the number 9 completely.
Like it is a strict taboo to use it.

This may sound like a far fetched and weird concept.
To have all the numbers between 1 and 10 except the number 9.
But excuse us, this is not silly or impossible at all.

To have it become effective, we must approach numbers as a religion.
Because there they do these things.

Like in the Jewish faith it is not allowed to use the word God.
Therefore they write JHWH that is pronounced Yahweh.
It is an agreement between people similar to deciding to all together not use the number 9 anymore.

There is also something similar in the Islam.
There it is not allowed to make a drawing or painting or sculpture that represents what God created.
So you never find in a traditional mosque an image of Mohammed the Prophet.
Artists could only express themselves in abstract patterns.
Result of a common agreement.
It is all that simple!

When we think about it more deeply, we come to the conclusion that if the Jewish faith and the Islam can exclude things, why not a horrible and depressing number, the 9, as well?
Think about it, why do we need number 9 actually?
If, for example, you make $ 900 a week, we will need to change that to $ 888.
You see, what is the problem?
And if your wife expects her 9th child, of course it has to be made available for adoption.
Besides all this, you have any problem closing all 99 Cents stores then?
It is all a piece of cake.

Now, some smart fellow in the back of the lecture hall raises his hand, that fortunately has 5 fingers, not 9, and claims that in mathematics we can’t do without the number 9.
That is a good point.
Because we can’t adapt a system like they have in the Jewish faith.
There, everybody knows Jahweh means God.
So when somebody says: “Jahweh”, the listener knows the person means in fact “God”.
In numbers we cannot go for that approach.
Like making a worldwide agreement through the United Nations that as of now the number 9 will be replaced by the number 3.
So that if somebody says to deliver 3 cars, in fact your driveway will be blocked by 9 cars.
And if you need 3 cars, how to avoid having to pay for 9?
That won’t work.
But fortunately there is a solution.
We can represent 9 with the concept 10-1.
In a calculation it will look like this:
10-1 x 3 = 27
Why do we need 9?

Even in daily life.
You can’t say anymore you have 9 friends.
So simply say you have 8 friends or 10, what is the difference?

Time to get out of bed.
This is all becoming too ridiculous.
Better have a partner to play with next time.





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Sunday, November 14, 2010

Most $ 1.25 but he $ 55.000 per day

Eighth days in retreat when a visitor arrives.
In a battered Ford Bronco with California license plates.
This is friend Mike who is from Canada but lives in La Paz in Mexico.
He is one of the few persons that know how to find the Fuso Szulc.
And he likes to pass by sometimes to have a chat overlooking the Pacific Ocean.

Then Mike tells beautiful stories from a world totally unknown at El Triple.
Like how a yacht arrived at the opening of the bay of La Paz.
Too big to enter with its 127 meter length ( 416 ft).
Belonging to one of the top guys of Microsoft, a guy called Paul Allen who is worth $ 20 billion.
This extraordinary yacht, the "Octopus", build in Germany at a price of $ 200 million, has a crew of 60 persons.
And has for example a door in the back that opens so the submarine it holds can come out and dive.
A submarine that can take 8 people and stay under water for two weeks.
Besides the submarine there are two helicopters, seven boats and a remote controlled vehicle for crawling on the ocean floor.
This boat doesn’t anchor: it has in different places propellors and a GPS system so it can be kept in one place wherever it is.

This yacht takes 849.446 liters of fuel to supply the 8 Mercedes Benz diesel engines of 2.400 HP each.



Friend Mike was invited to come on board this bombastic and exaggerated boat and he reported that he couldn’t even hear the engines nor feel any movement because of the computer controlled stabilizers.

He talked to the captain and asked some very good questions.
Like what was the purpose of the thing.
Costing $ 20 million per year to operate the question is justified what this boat is all about.
The reply was that the boat is about nothing.
They just cruise worldwide looking for exceptional things on the sea.
Like now they were checking if they could find some giant squids.
Once they will locate them, they call the owner of this extravagant boat, Paul Allen, to inform him.
He comes down then in his private plane, gets on his boat by helicopter, checks out the giant squids and travels back to Microsoft in the USA.
Obviously Paul Allen does not find one moment of reflection and contemplation.
Wondering how this excessive spending of money harmonizes with the current state of affairs in the world.
According to Wikipedia over 1.7 billion people live in poverty at $ 1.25 per day but Paul Allen spends $ 55.000 per day to have his boat.

A $ 200 million boat with a crew of 60 to find and see giant squids.
Fantastic.
These giant squids are sometimes right here on the beach of El Triple!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Chasing fog in London

These days is an exhibition of the photo project “Camden Interiors” in the Swiss Cottage Gallery in London, UK.

Now, a newspaper called “The Hampstead and Highgate Express” has published a story on the photo project “Camden Interiors” written by talented journalist Lucia Psenakova.

As an extra service to the fervent and loyal blog readers this story is published on this blog
today.

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Camden Interiors will take you back 38 years

Back in the 60s when Michel Szulc-Krzyzanowski was a student highly fascinated by photography, he promised himself to never work for anybody else. He started creating his own independent pieces of photography soon after graduating in 1970.
It was only two years later when he received an interesting invitation from Camden Arts Centre to take part in the project called ´Photography into Art´. This was his chance to work towards changing the unflattering status of photography into an independent form of art. Until then photography was thought to be an applied art form and wasn´t taken very seriously, but Michel´s work from 1972 made a clear statement and put photographs into the same category as paintings and sculptures.
Soon after coming to London, the work on three different projects commenced. One of the projects named “Camden Interiors” featured the photographs of people living in Camden as well as the captions of their own self made creation, in this case - the living room.
Michel reflects: “The photo project ´Camden Interiors´ was a personal idea and proposed to the female Director of the Camden Arts Centre. She wanted, originally, to show work that was already made - sequences on the beaches of an island in the Netherlands. But it was unacceptable to function as an artist photographer like all the other artists at the time - to make art and show it later in a museum.“
Michel felt that museums were like “an ivory tower” and that it shouldn´t be that way, so his instant urge was to create the exhibition that would involve people and something that they created on their own.
“There was this strong need to want to connect as many people as possible to the museum,“ he says. Michel was convinced that people would be curious and want to see how their neighbours live.


After being faced with rejection, Michel and his assistant found 50 people willing to be photographed in their living rooms. Pictures that clearly reflect people´s style, background and financial situation, were mostly taken in front of the TV sets – since, according to the artist, TV was becoming a dominant factor in their lives.
When asked whether he can recall any memories from the 1972 project, he says: “Hardly anything is remembered from trying to find 50 locations of which the occupants agreed to have a picture taken. The job was done together with a young woman and it was very nice to work with her. But in the memory not one visit to any of the living rooms is remembered. Hey, it was 38 years ago.“
Now ´Camden Interiors´ from 1972 is back to make an impact on a new generation of audience. Swiss Cottage Gallery presents the exhibition, with 35 photographs of living rooms and their residents in Camden.
The public can see the displays of photographs any day from 22 October to 19 December 2010 and this time around, the exhibition doesn´t only play on our social curiosity, but also carries a deep historical message.
Looking at Michel´s work from a perspective of a today´s Londoner, his work ´Camden Interiors´ brings a unique insight into people´s lives 38 years ago.
Even though Michel went on to create other highly acclaimed pieces of photography, his humbleness as an artist is obvious. When complimented on his work, he politely answers: “I appreciate it tremendously when people are gripped by my work.”

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When in London between October 22 and December 19, 2010, go and see this exhibition of the “Camden Interiors” in the Swiss Cottage Gallery on 88 Avenue Road.



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Friday, November 12, 2010

the fatal fantasy failed.



Two days ago there was the usual daily running.
This time not on the long beach but on the land.
Due to a strong northwestern wind.
The track on the land that makes a circle through the desert among bushes and cactuses and rocks and dust for about 50 minutes.

It is an exhausting and challenging run because the road goes up and down, is uneven and full of rocks.
And occasionally a big snake may be resting on the track.

But two days ago there was an additional experience running on that road.
Out of nothing a very, very strong feeling was experienced that somebody ahead was standing there.
Waiting to meet the runner.
And this person waiting was wearing a long black cloth with a cape.
With in his hand a scythe.
Immediately it was realized this was Mr. Death himself.

Of course many times in books this phenomenon of Death as a man in a long black dress and wide cape with a scythe in one hand was read being described.
And it has been seen as an image often.
But it was always believed that this image of Death was the result of human fantasy.
How man imagines how Death manifests itself when the moment has come.
A caricature.
A childish and naive representation of something or someone we can’t know anything about.



But then we don’t really know.
When the moment has come to die, why not could it be that a creature with a scythe in the hand comes to guide us to forever?
And while running and experiencing and feeling so incredibly strongly that in front Mr. Death was waiting, the thought grounded that maybe this is actually as it is.
When we die a creature in a wide black coat with a cape hiding the face and a scythe in the hand comes to meet us.

This is a frightening thought, fervent and loyal blog readers.
Becoming convinced that Mr. Death actually exists and is the one to meet as the last experience before to die.
And that in less than a minute he will be met because he is waiting there.

This conviction, how ridiculous and preposterous as it was, nevertheless was extra firm and royally reigning.
It was deeply believed the last steps in life were being made.
That in the days to come some Mexican visiting the area to dive for oysters would find the corpse of the athlete already partly consumed by coyotes.
A European man died of a heart attack while running.

And actually this is not an unlikely scenario.
In the family two generations ago heart attacks were common.
This because of genetic high levels of cholesterol.
Nowadays several members of the family have also this issue but live longer by taking medication, artificially lowering the too high level of cholesterol.
The pioneering photographer has been diagnosed having this family characteristic as well and doctors insisted to take daily cholesterol lowering medication.
This has been refused.
Never in the life the body was bothered with medication having the philosophy that when it is time to go, it is time to go.
But that meanwhile it is wise to have a very well balanced diet and regime of physical exercise plus being mentally balanced and in harmony as a strategy to stay alive.
This works well until now and the body is thankfull for not having to digest chemical substances with severe side effects.

But more and more it is becoming likely that Mr. Death might be met.
It can’t take more time than life has been enrolling itself already.

And there on this rough road running it was strongly felt he was there.
Total conviction the moment had come.
Goodbye life.

But then the book of Carlos Castaneda “A separate reality” was remembered in which a Mexican Indian Shaman called Don Juan explains that life must be lived as a warrior.
That one has to fight for independence, balance, harmony and enlightenment.
Not fighting as we humans do each other with weapons and napalm and waterboarding.
But in this context it is fighting in a spiritual way.
To remain in the own tracks and grounded in the own karma and to not being fished out of the stream of the own life.
By making choices out of total conviction.
From the heart and the soul synchronistic with life and the universe.

And remembering Don Juan and his wise lessons it was realized that Mr. Death was indeed there in front waiting to take the runner out of life.
But that still being alive a choice could be made.
The choice to deliver oneself to Mr. Death and go with him as a lamb to the altar.
Or to chose to stay alive and be stronger than Mr. Death.
To not allow even Mr. Death permission to terminate a process of growing.
Because it is far from finished.

The choice was instantly made without hesitation.
And the fatal fantasy failed.




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Thursday, November 11, 2010

Be one of one million

Today, on November 11, 2010, one million people across the globe will mentally project a unified vision of a new paradigm for our species... a new reality.

The very real physics that connects human consciousness with molecular structure will be harnessed en masse during the largest scale simultaneous manifestation transmission in recorded history.

Learn details on:

http://www.newrealitytransmission.com/







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Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Fighting from a Canadian point of view

Yesterday it was a great day for this blog and its many fervent and loyal readers when we all enjoyed so much pictures of an evening of Lucha Libre in Mexico.
Folkloristic wrestlers beating each other up, but symbolically only.
To the great delight of the audience and especially the kids went wild.
They wanted signatures of every fighter performing.
And then the wrestler who had been the mean and bad one, turned out to be the nicest guy on earth awarding every child with a beautiful signature.

But that evening in La Paz, Mexico, there was also another photographer.
A sympathetic colleague from Canada by the name of Daniel Gautreau.
Of course he made pictures too with a sophisticated Leica camera.
And here are some of his images:















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If you would like to learn more about the photographer Daniel Gautreau, go to his website on
www.vimeo.com/danieltv



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Monday, November 8, 2010

A party soon.



At El Triple in Mexico a phenomenal event today.
Which in fact happened all around the world at this latitude for those that noticed.
The sun went down last night at 6.40 pm and this morning rose at 6.40 am.
Giving us here exactly 12 hours of day and 12 hours of night.

That is today’s headline.
Now for other news:

Mexico is one of the countries that is in the project “The most beautiful people in the world”.
At the time, posters were put in the streets of the small town of Ciudad Constitucion.


Asking people to come to the house where Alma was living to report themselves when they believed they were the most beautiful in the world.
Alma is a long time friend who got deeply and enthusiastically involved in the project “The most beautiful people in the world”.

Also this way of finding the most beautiful people worked very well.
A large group of people announced themselves and they were all visited in their homes and documented.

Now the idea has been born to organize a new event in Ciudad Constitucion where everybody that was involved in Mexico in the project “The most beautiful people in the world” is invited.
The participants will be offered a book and there will be food and drinks.

What is so great in Mexico is that people know how to be enthusiastic and work together.
When Alma heard about the idea, she immediately went for it.
Having a concept right away how this event could be organized.
Who to involve and where to have it take place.

This makes being involved in the project “The most beautiful people in the world” in different countries in the world so fascinating.
Each country has specific attitudes and traditions and these decide in fact what is allowed to happen and how.

For example, a lot of effort has been invested in doing this project in Japan and the Netherlands.
And although people were found that were very interested, to actually do and perform the project turned out to be made impossible.
For different reasons but a central issue was the fact that before anything money was put first.

However, in other countries, it went by itself driven by the enthusiasm and dynamic nature of the people involved.
Not only in Mexico, but in the United States, Poland and China also.
How they loved to improvise and enjoy being involved making themselves the most beautiful persons in the world.

Early February is the event in Ciudad Constitucion and already excitement is intense to meet again all the Mexican participants and share an accomplished project.





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Sunday, November 7, 2010

Finally: a great picture

For quite some time not many pictures are taken anymore.
Although on many occasions and in many situations a camera is carried, it is not often being used.
The main reason for this policy is that there is no conviction anymore that it makes sense to make pictures.
Because immediately the question arises: why?
And because no adequate and convincing answer comes to this question it is experienced as a senseless matter to shoot images here and there.

In the past, this was a completely different matter.
Anywhere and anytime pictures were made.
Of anybody and any situation wherever and whenever.
But in those days it was easy to find platforms to present those images to an audience.
And to even turn them into a way of making money.
This situation has drastically changed.

These days books, features in newspapers and magazines, and exhibitions all always have a theme.
A particular subject.
Never anymore a group of pictures of a photographer is published or shown that are made at random.

In the past another way of marketing images was through the stock agencies, the companies that sell from an image bank to magazines and newspapers.
Pictures how people were living, what they were doing, how they had been building: any image could be added to the image bank and very likely one day they were published and paid for.
But many of the stock agencies have gone out of business over the last couple of years.
And the ones that are still selling do this in a minimal way for extreme low prices.

A whole other issue is that in the past it was personally very well known what to decide was a great picture.
But over the last couple of years what curators decide to show in their museums and galleries and photo festivals, and picture editors in their magazines and newspapers, there is no understanding why those images are selected to be presented.
Often it is seen as either lacking quality or it is simply not understood why a specific group of images has been chosen to be displayed or published.
It is clear that many curators and picture editors now in charge have a way of looking at pictures that is completely alien and not understood.
And therefore why make many pictures when they would not find curators and picture editors drinking such a cup of tea?

Nevertheless, just for fun, pictures are made like this one in La Paz.



It is considered a great picture.
That’s why it deserves to be published on this blog.
Then, why is this a good image?
Don’t know.
It just feels like it is.





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Saturday, November 6, 2010

Elsewhere where?

But elsewhere in Mexico on Friday, the arrest of two men believed to be part of the La Familia cartel in the Mexican state of Michoacan sparked violent clashes in the region, including the blockade of several roads with vehicles set on fire, Notimex reported.
A string of shootings and other violent attacks were believed to be an attempt to rescue them from police custody, Notimex said.
A number of passenger buses were riddled with bullets and set on fire, and two gasoline tankers were also set ablaze using molotov cocktails. A few homes and a convenience store were also targets of the attacks, according to Notimex.

Reported CNN today.


But elsewhere in Mexico, and that was for most of the territory of this country, everything was quiet and without unusual problems.

Reports the pioneering photographer.

Especially in La Paz where it was peaceful and happy.
Although no shop had running shoes size 13….

Now it is a return to a second retreat at El Triple.










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Friday, November 5, 2010

Hit hard but hot again






The six Trojan T 105s batteries have been replaced.



Costs: Mexican Pesos 12.819,30 = € 744 = $ 1050






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Thursday, November 4, 2010

Getting out, coming in

Day 28 of the retreat.
Still enough supplies for more days of a simple life at El Triple.

But the battery bank has now completely given up.
The voltage is now so low that machinery working on electricity is powerless.
That involves the water pump, the computer and most importantly, the internet system.

There is nothing else to do as to limp back to town.

Time now to break down camp, pack everything and head for help.



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Wednesday, November 3, 2010

within you without you

And then suddenly, while cooking the evening meal, a car came by.
Two good friends from La Paz visiting.
Bringing fresh sushi from town and a bottle of Shiraz from Australia.

In La Paz, they reported, the local business men had organized an event.
To make in the center of town the largest burrito in the world.
For this extravagant event all schools were closed for two days.

An opportunity for the friends to get out of the warm and noisy and dusty and polluted town and find some harmony and peace at El Triple.

Hence, from one moment to the next, life changed from being in solitude into being with friends.
Listening and talking and sharing and laughing.
Because for over 25 days nobody has been visiting and on not too many occasions conversations happened through Skype, the muscles in the throat that are used to talk had been going out of shape.
Therefore, talking became a painful activity.
Even losing the voice.

A most interesting observation was made that reality when in solitude is very different from the reality that is created when with a group of people.

Some people prefer to always be in a kind of solitude to pamper themselves with this status.
On the other hand, there are people who detest solitude and absolutely need to always be surrounded by others.
And then there are the people who take the best of both worlds.
To alternate periods of solitude with periods of having company.

With that approach life is always within you and without you:

We were talking-about the space between us all
And the people-who hide themselves behind a wall of illusion
Never glimpse the truth-then it's far too late-when they pass away.
We were talking-about the love we all could share-when we find it
To try our best to hold it there-with our love
With our love-we could save the world-if they only knew.
Try to realize it's all within yourself
No-one else can make you change
And to see you're really only very small,
And life flows on within you and without you.
We were talking-about the love that's gone so cold and the people,
Who gain the world and lose their soul-
They don't know-they can't see-are you one of them?
When you've seen beyond yourself-then you may find, peace of mind,
Is waiting there-
And the time will come when you see
we're all one, and life flows on within you and without you.

The Beatles.




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Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Congratulations for being in love


Who is responsible that I have no more appetite?
Who disturbs my peace?
Why am I doing everything wrong?
Who makes me warm and then cold?

That is because of Peter.
He is my ideal.
Wearing a gray sweater and a red shawl
He has blue eyes and dark hair
and he is tall and handsome and 18 years old.

Peter believes girls are stupid.
He doesn’t care for them.
That’s how is Peter.

Peter, can’t you see
that I am sick of sadness
Peter, I am in love with you.

Peter is in the highest grade of our school
I wish I was there too
But when he sometimes looked at me
I was totally confused

Many fervent and loyal blog readers may wonder what this is all about.
Who is this Peter and who is talking about him here?

What you have just read is the translated text of a popular song in the Netherlands in the 1970’s.
It was sung by a choir of young girls and played often on the radio in the days there was no MTV yet.
Yesterday, for some unknown reason, this “Peter” song was playing in the head during the post siesta beach walk.
Somehow the brain cells where this song is stored became activated.

And over there in the brains were more memories connected to the “Peter”-song.
Like the memory that at the time of the success of the “Peter”-song, in the 1970’s, the oldest sister had reached her dating age.
And unfortunately for her, she had fallen love with a boy who also happened to have the name “Peter”.
When her two brothers and younger sister discovered her emotional involvement with this Peter, she was mercilessly teased.

And that does questions rise when fast forwarded to today.
Why did the brothers and sister of a young girl in love for the first time have to tease her so cruelly?
Why couldn’t they have told her that it was something marvelous, that they were all very happy for her and were wishing her the very best?
This is so puzzling now, in 2010, that being in love, as was the older sister in 1970, was seen as something to tease the person about.

There are no children in the slipstream of the pioneering photographer and it is during these kinds of reflections that they are dearly missed.
Because as a parent the children would have been inspired to see being in love as a fabulous event in life.
Something to celebrate, respect and enjoy.
Instead of teasing the person for being in love, gifts would be given and a party thrown.

The older sister so in love with Peter but teased to death married another guy.
Whose name was Paul.




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Monday, November 1, 2010

The small dog that believes it is big



There is this friend in La Paz who is a cattle dealer.
He buys from ranches in the southern part of Baja California their cows.
Brings them to his own ranch near the town of La Paz.
There the cows get the best time in their lives.
No more roaming in the mountains looking for the meagre food that can be found there and needing to walk all the way back to the water hole.
No, at the ranch of the friend in La Paz, they are all cozy together in a large corral with plenty of food and fresh water available day and night.
In a short while they grow fat and content.
But then when the price of meat is high, the cows are sold to the slaughter house and soon they are juicy steaks on the tables.

When meeting the friend, the cattle dealer from La Paz, he shakes hands in a way that immediately concern is raised for the well being of the own hand.
He squeezes it as if every bone needs to be crushed.
It is that kind of guy: a fantastic aura and strong presence.
He owns the world.
He is good looking, well off, simpatico and clever.

But his marriage failed.
You can’t have it all, dear fervent and loyal blog readers.
His wife and the two kids moved out and they live now in a house somewhere else in La Paz.
The friend is these days by himself in the house where he used to have family company.

This is devastating for him.
His aura is not so brilliant anymore.
Doesn’t shave every morning as he used to do and his mood is down too.

But he came up with a solution for his misery.
A remarkable initiative to anesthetize his loneliness and feelings of failure.
He got himself a chihuahua.
This is a small dog.
Mexican breed.
An affectionate canin.
But very vicious when necessary.



It is the kind of dog that doesn’t realize it is small and slightly ridiculous but probably very able to imagine it has Rottweiler capacities in case of danger.
How they can bark!
And make these moves like attacking sending the intruder to hospital.

Somehow, this chihuahua alleviates the life of the friend.
But it looks weird though to see this big and strong man sit on the sofa in his empty living room with in his lap the small dog.
Finding a grip on life again thanks to this sausage doggie.

On a recent visit the metal gate was knocked on of the house the friend lives in.
To wake him up because now he sleeps a lot.
Immediately the chihuahua came running to the fence barking like mad suggesting that no one was going to step on the property to stay alive.

The friend woke up, controlled the dog and we sat down in the living room.
The chihuahua had calmed down and could handle emotionally better two guys quietly sitting and talking.
He even got a little curious to learn who was the visitor.
The chihuahua jumped off the friend’s warm lap and nervously moved closer and closer to the visitor.

Now, fervent and loyal blog readers, you know you must talk to dogs, correct?
To explain them things like you are not an intruder with bad intentions.
You say you could even be friends.
And this kind of talking to a dog calms them down and before you know he acts like a purring pussy cat.

It doesn’t matter of course what you tell the dog.
What is important is the tone.
It must be sweet and friendly and soothing and understanding.
Indeed, you can say the most awful things to the dog but if you do it in a beautiful sing song way the dog likes you a lot soon.

Because the friend was there, not only the tone was most friendly communicating with his chihuahua, but the nicest things were said.
“What a beautiful dog you are, Mister chihuahua!”
“Yes, there is a visitor and he likes you already a lot!!”
“Are you going to be the friendly dog you can be?”

The chihuahua was most curious.
Such a friendly person in the house.
And before it was known, he jumped on the lap of the visitor.
The small dog being shy and nervous for the situation he was talked into, OK, but keeping his ground nevertheless.

The friend’s mouth fell open.
He said that this had never happened with his chihuahua before.

How about working in the circus?





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