Sangre caliente.

Het zijn hete weken op Mallorca. De hitte is volop losgebarsten.

Ondanks de verlammende warmte hebben we nog het een en ander kunnen doen aan en rondom ons huisje: muren gestuukt, deur geverfd, ons bodemproject (aparte post daarover volgt!).

In de hangmat las ik vanochtend vroeg het boek De wijsheid van de heks van Susan Smit. Haar woorden zijn als rivierstromen, ze nemen je mee, betoveren en geven rust.

Toch na een tijdje kriebelde het en ging ik naar binnen. Er zit van alles in mijn hoofd, en ik moet nodig een artikel schrijven, waarmee ik het afgelopen weekend rondliep in mijn hoofd. Al is het maar, omdat het er dan ‘uit’ is.

Maar eerst dit. Ondanks het berustende effect van de zielvoedende woorden van Susan Smit ben ik eigenlijk best boos. Ja, pissig ben ik. 

Pissig op vleeseters. Ik denk dan aan de hartverscheurende beelden die ik een paar dagen geleden zag van opeengepakte, schuimbekkende, oververhitte varkens op transport naar het slachthuis. De straffeloosheid waarmee dit gebeurt. En de consument die vraagt om het vlees. Woest ben ik. De mensen: de dierenarts, onderzoeksjournalist en dierenrechtenorganisatie, die de bedroevende beelden naar buiten brachten, ben ik dankbaar voor hun werk (en dat heb ik ze laten weten). Ik ben woest op mensen die dierenleed normaal vinden. 

Boos op volksmenners. Die personen, vooral FvD-politici en diverse opiniemakers, die het vuur constant aan het opstoken zijn. Aanleiding nu is bijvoorbeeld de Nederlandse boerenprotesten. Op geen enkele wijze draagt men bij aan een constructief debat en het vinden van compromissen en oplossingen. Sterker nog, zij dwarsbomen het liever. De Amerikaanse cultuuroorlog tussen de conservatieven en de meer liberalen, die uitgevochten wordt op politieke thema’s als klimaat en vrouwenrechten, vindt ook geleidelijk aan in Nederland plaats. Ik ben pissig op die mensen die er veel vreugde aan lijken te beleven crises te ontkennen, van opwarming van de aarde, wereldwijde uitputting van landbouwgrond, tot de mensenrechtencrisis met vluchtelingen.

Pissig op zogenaamde ‘Putinverstehers’. Die mensen die geen oog hebben voor wat deze dictator aanricht en het zelfs goedpraten, omdat die andere (Zelensky, president van Oekraïne) ook niet te vertrouwen zou zijn, of andere excuses die massaal gebruikt worden.

Pissig op die vriendin, althans ik dacht dat ze dat was, die zich – nadat we de afgelopen jaren best veel met elkaar gedeeld en samengewerkt hebben – om onbekende reden van ons heeft verwijderd en ronduit onbeschoft communiceert (als er al sprake is van communicatie). Boos, omdat ik me gebruikt voel. Teleurgesteld, omdat ik dacht dat we vrienden waren. Pissig, om het onfatsoen van haar – en dan met name gericht tegen Dorus.

Pissig op geliefden van geliefden die enge, narcistische trekken hebben, maar toch weer aangehaakt zijn. Verdienen ze die kans echt? Eens een narcist, altijd een narcist? Hoop het toch van harte niet. 

Pissig op ziekte van bepaalde lieve mensen. Boos op het ongeluk dat we soms ook hebben.

Pissig op ongevoelige, tactloze, arrogante lui die zich onaantastbaar wanen.

En zo kan ik nog wel even doorgaan, maar ik vind het wel genoeg zo…

Ik ben namelijk blij met de lieve, geïnteresseerde mensen die er ook zijn.

Die mensen met een hart. Een hart voor anderen, voor dieren, voor natuur. 

Blij met de vrienden die ik kan vertrouwen, die echt durven te zijn. Ik heb in het verleden ook fouten gemaakt in vriendschappen. Missers, die hebben kunnen gebeuren, waarvan ik denk dat ze nu echt niet snel meer een kans krijgen.

Dankbaar voor 10 jaar verloving met de liefste. Dankbaar voor familie die om ons geeft.

Gelukkig met al diegenen die zich uitspreken over onrecht in de wereld, in wat voor vorm ook.

Blij met mooie verhalen, boeken die nagalmen.

Dankbaar voor een gezonde geest en lichaam dat meewerkt.

Gelukkig met ons landje op Mallorca, de poes en de kippen.

Poeh, tijd voor een frisse douche, want het zweet loopt weer over mijn rug.

Zo, wat maakt jou pissig en wat geeft je hoop? Vergeet niet te eindigen met het laatste 😉

Con Amor,

Eva 

Could I be braver?

Could I be better and listen to the narratives I don’t want to hear?

That it isn’t about restoring and protecting nature, biodiversity and environment, but an evil plan to expropriate Dutch farmers; a plan to take their land and build a million houses for those who seek refuge in the Netherlands? 

Why all of a sudden an old Dutch law is pulled out that enables the state to replace its own civilians from their houses in case of emergencies, such as (the threat of) war. Mayors of Dutch municipalities now have the responsibility to give Ukrainian refugees shelter, healthcare, education, living allowance in their towns on the basis of this law that is partly in effect. This means a far-reaching discretion of the authorities. Some lawyers say the government uses this law improperly. The ability to force civilians to take Ukrainian refugees in their houses and have the legal responsibility to take care of them or even to evacuate from their houses to make space, is not yet approved by the parliament. 

Is the Dutch government abusing its power (again)? Should I listen more to these stories I don’t want to know? Try to understand people’s worries better, especially if it’s your own mother? And not make them ridiculous and laugh about it?

The reason why I don’t like to listen, is because these stories distract us from all what matters right now: revitalise our soils, refuse to do any more harm to the oceans, the forests and animals alive, and to prevent the planet will be an unbearable place to live. Stories that don’t tell you to make the world a safer place for all. Stories that don’t tell you to break walls instead of building them. I don’t like such stories.

So, are we going to listen to those that indulge in chaos or to those that want constructive change?

What I miss so much in the discussion around the Dutch farmers’ protest is nuance (the same we lacked in the debate about the pandemic and Covid-vaccinations). It isn’t black or white, as some popular columnists of renown newspapers want us to believe. It isn’t ‘you are either with us or against us’, as you especially see on social media. The real truth why we need a radical change of the (Dutch) industrial agriculture and our food-system remains mostly unspoken, at least I don’t hear much of this reasoning from supporters of the protests. The nuance is totally absent. Especially populists have made an atmosphere around the Dutch farmers’ protests of: you are either with us or against us, fueling the chaos, spreading anti-immigration and anti-climate change propaganda. It’s about so much more.

We live in radical times and lies are easily spread. Here an example that I shared on Instagram last week: 

Closer to the (Dutch) truth is: no soil, no food.

Besides, the Netherlands are the second exporter of agricultural products in the world. Isn’t that globalism? The issue national conservatists as Eva Vlaardingerbroek are strongly opposing to. She says it’s all made up, there is no such thing as an excessive emission of nitrogen, such as ammonia, polluting our environment. The Netherlands is a so called pilot country for the (evil) Great Reset Agenda “you’ll own nothing and be happy” by Klaus Schwab’s World Economic Forum, that eventually will result in a communist state. Eva Vlaardingenbroek is just one of many who think this (conspiracy) theory is the one and only truth.

I thought this comment I came across captures the Dutch crisis quite well:

However, it’s a necessity to stay open to the stories we don’t want to hear and to fight them with our knowledge and facts. Living with eyes closed and ears covered is a weak strategy. Staying on track with an open heart and mind isn’t.

If we can’t tell each other anymore what we believe, where are we then? Aren’t we stranded in a poor way of life? Living in our own bubbles can feel safe, but is a potential danger. Wherever you stand on the political spectrum. 

I feel for the young ones these days where social media and phones dominate their existence; in times where people compare, exhibit and build personal brands.

I was lucky to be born in the 70’ies. I’ve had many chances, raised by loving and strong parents and never felt the need to compare my life to another. I felt carried by my environment without too many distractions.

Especially in these polarised times, don’t we feel the need to be carried by our circle of friends and family?

Also if that means we have to listen to stories we think are untrue?

Also if that means we have to step out of our comfort-zone filled with our own (narrow) views and believes?

Yes, I think we have to. 

Because it’s hard work to be more courageous. It’s hard work to be more free.

Con Amor,

Eva

P.S. If you’d like to support my Dutch articles on Reporters Online, you can do this here.

Thank you!

Photo: Eric Muhr/Unsplash

What health means (to me).

Peace, war, sickness and health, it’s all happening. More than 2000 km away there is ravage and death. Lost humans and homeless animals in stifling fear. It’s surreal to realise that battle field isn’t extremely far from our safe houses. In the meantime I have been to my motherland to be there for — and with — my family. My sister has been diagnosed with breast-cancer on valentine’s day. Her tumors were removed and she will get treatment soon. The hospitals still have lots to catch up due to covid-19, so my sister is waiting for her first treatment to begin. Let’s hope she can start soon. 

Another confrontation that life can change all of a sudden. A severe attack of the human body is not that different from an invasion of a country. You trusted it to be safe, but under the skin there was tension, sickness, an underground battle fought between parties. Worlds are turned upside down. The major challenge will be to regain faith in your body, to shake off the fear in fighting your enemies. Those in war are bearing arms, and eliminating “the other”, the sick are using mental bullets as their weapons. And the heaviest bullet will be trust. Trust in the body and mind that is capable of healing, in its incredible strength and flexibility. Despair bends into courage, pain into hope. Remember that rebounds are just temporary. 

But you will only know this when you are the one who must get through this. As everything in life, you first need to experience all of it yourself. Only then you will fully understand what it means to live in a sick body or having a sick country as your home. 

What do we know about war? Only our parents know what war is when they are old enough. But we, the spoiled generation, we don’t know a damn thing. What does it mean to flee our home and country? To be a refugee? We are not able to even grasp a thing of it. Maybe we will know when sea levels rise, fertile lands turn into deserts, biodiversity is gone and our soils are completely depleted. Maybe one day we will understand as we knock on other gates.

We live in a sick world in sick bodies. More than ever we need health in our lives; for both our bodies and minds. Health means to be a guardian of nature. It means respect, acceptance, knowledge, compassion, trust, love and friendship – with yourself and those around you. But also art, craftmanship, music and dance. It’s all that nourishes life.

Con Amor,

Eva  

Just a few fields away.

The neighbour on his search for wild asparagus a day ago, he also found you.

Just a few fields away from our house, you were there all along.

It feels like a punch in the gut to see this dead cat body, cold, lying in full sunshine.

Sweet soul — yes, animals have souls too — we will get you home. 

To our garden, between the flowers and plants.

I feel tears in my stomach.

That’s where deep sadness always goes.

I forgot, it burns and leaves empty.

Animals are our friends.

Like us, they feel, they guard, they comfort.

Animals communicate,

Even make up names for the people they live with (chickens…yes, it’s true).

We can do so much better in acknowledging animals for who they are, and stop killing them for profit and food.

This blind spot is cutting deep.

We will pay the price.

We will pay the price.

Planet and people, both will pay with our health.

Let’s stop with our human stupidities, with our belief in everlasting growth.

We can do so much better.

This is health:

H umans

E cosystems

A nimals

L iving

T ogether

H armoniously.

I connect the death of our beloved pet to how we treat animals in the ‘inhumane’ industry.

I feel we have to make the connection of how we love our cats and dogs, and still give our support to factory farmed meat.

My heart cries for the lifeless animal body I found today, just a few fields away.

But it also cries for all the others.

My sweet cat soul, you are connected to all the others.

To me you are. 

Rest in peace, sweet animal. 

I continue to hope that more and more people will become aware of what an animal really is and what happens to animals in terms of injustice, violence, manipulation, pure denial and humiliation. And people can become aware of this when they open up their inner self, when they look with the eyes of their soul. 

That people start to see in a new way, that they become aware of the intrinsic value of an animal, will not be the result of rational arguments, of studies and reports, discussions and debates. However necessary and valuable these may be, they are not enough.

What changes people, not only in this respect, not only when it comes to animals, changes them internally, for the better — what makes people more humane, more social, it is always a moment, a totally unexpected moment of emotion, profound emotion. Just think about how something, someone touched you to the depths of your soul.

Moments of emotion, profound emotion, they can occur anywhere. You will lose yourself, lose and find yourself in the eyes, the wise eyes of a horse, a donkey. Or you look like that man in his car, in a traffic jam, next to a cattle truck full of animals, in the eyes of a pig. Or rather, it was only one eye. One eye with one major question: Why, why? He could not have been hit any deeper. Everything inside him opened up, an expansion of consciousness that radically changed his life.

I continue to hope that more and more people, who are still blind in their vision, will understand what animals really are and what happens to them. Every human being is eligible — for such a moment of emotion, enlightenment, awareness. Every human being is no less than a human being.” ~ Hans Bouma, Dutch poet, vicar and animal rights activist. 

Con Amor,

Eva 

Taking back control.

Life is good on Mallorca this January month. The days are sunny and soft, mostly 13 or 14 degrees Celsius, it feels like a mild spring, like always this time of year. But the nights are cold. Colder than other years and colder than when we lived on Ibiza. It’s around freezing temperatures and when we wake up I see the plants and earth covered with a thin layer of ice.

Early mornings in January are cold when you live off grid. Sometimes I light the rocket stove and make a fire straight when I get out of bed, but today it was so cold I went back under my warm duvet. Soooo good, especially with a warm cat next to you! Dorus was already on his way to his building job he’s doing at the moment. He cycles each day 1,5 hours to get there. Yes, on this cold morning under my warm duvet I thought of him on his bicycle, and I said to myself: just enjoy for the two of you, to feel guilty is a waste of time girl!

Still practising to lose that guilt and to silence the Calvinist little voice in my head. Slowly making progress. While I was still in bed this morning I thought about my family, especially my mum and sister. It has been a year since I saw them. Luckily my brother and sister-in-law visited us last June. Next April my mother will turn 82. It’s hard for her to live alone, I know that so well. But still, knowing this doesn’t make me a frequent caller, and when we call we mostly talk about the state of the world, and guess what, covid is still part of it. 

Hope

It’s a fascinating time we are living in. The developments around covid, such as the covid-passport and the coercion to get vaccinated are disturbing. We went to a protest in Palma two weeks ago. Walking through the streets of Palma with so many people, some of them with drums and whistles, young and old. It was moving. It was peaceful. Police was only present, that’s all. No fights or aggression like you see in other covid protest around the world. None of this here. It gave me hope, although we still have the covid-passport and exclusion of a large group of people and medical discrimination are daily business in most European countries. 

Protesting against these shameful policies around the world is necessary, but there’s more than covid. More other crises yes, but also more life. Since the new year I promised myself not to dive into the media on this topic that strongly anymore, as I felt negative about it all.

Especially the cold November month was a difficult month because we lost our cat, Liefje. He disappeared and hasn’t returned. I miss him so much. Lately I have dreams that he’s back again, scruffy and hungry. But deep down I know he won’t return anymore. He now lives in cat heaven, leaving a little hole in my soul. 

Donate a compost loo

Dorus wanted to do something with our sadness around his disappearance. In December we received a message from an animal sanctuary here on Mallorca. They needed a compost toilet and asked us if we could make one for the animal sanctuary. Dorus did and we donated the toilet to them. Dorus felt he should do this in remembrance of our cat Liefje. I think this was such a sweet gesture. The animal sanctuary is a wonderful place, with abandoned, neglected, and handicapped cats, donkeys, pigs, sheep , etc. The owner, Nicole, does a fantastic job. 

To donate this toilet gave us a good and positive feeling. That’s why we need to support the things we believe in. To transform the sadness into something meaningful, into love and trust. I felt that too during the manifestation. To move into action, even if it’s just small. That’s what I try to do this new year, so I’m in the driver’s seat again (the symbolic one, as you probably know, I am carless 😉

Support what you believe in

That’s also why I gifted us a membership of the Dutch Party for the Animals over Christmas. Because we only can vote in the Netherlands, we want to support this party for its important work it does for humans and animals and planet. Also with regard to covid, the Dutch Party for the Animals are doing the right thing. In contrary to all other Dutch leftish parties, they are the only party that rejects the covid passport and the covid law and defends everybody’s freedom to choose to get vaccinated or not. Proud of this party! In Spain we have a Party for the Animals too, PACMA (Partido Animalista Contra el Maltrato Animal). Their approach is a bit different though, more case to case, instead of seeing the bigger picture like the Dutch party does. Anyway, maybe I will join them too in the near future.

Turning sadness into joy and positivity and hope doesn’t mean we don’t allow ourselves to be sad. Feel and sit with our sorrows first, accept we feel this way, and then turn it into a (small form of) action.  And to know what feels right and doesn’t feel right, such as for me, not to be overwhelmed by (social) media, is something to be more serious about.

Speaking about control…You remember this one? Janet Jackson’s Control. Always loved this song (and the moves..)

Here she’s again:

Con Amor,

Eva 

%d bloggers like this: