All I want for Christmas

‘War Is Over! If you want it. Happy Christmas, John & Yoko.’  Billboards in eleven world cities showed these words. It was 15 December 1969 and The Beatles singer John Lennon and his wife Yoko Ono launched the peace campaign War is Over (if you want it). The peace message appeared on buildings and walls in the streets of London, New York, Paris, Los Angeles, Rome, Toronto, Athens, Hong Kong, Amsterdam, Berlin and Tokyo. At that time the Vietnam War was raging on with no end in sight. 

Not just advertising, the couple must have thought. John and Yoko’s message was accompanied by a Peace For Christmas concert in London to which famous musician friends, such as George Harrison and Eric Clapton, contributed.

Ukraine

Fifty-three years and some wars later, not much has changed. We may disagree on an aweful number of political issues, no one wants war. In the last month of the year, there is no prospect of an end to the war in Ukraine, which was unleashed by Russia’s invasion at the end of February this year.

After two difficult and uncertain ‘pandemic years’ for many, 2022 has also by no means been a jubilant year. First, the outbreak of war on the European continent, not even that far from our safe havens. Second, all sorts of crises, such as the energy and Dutch nitrogen crisis, which have created chaos and uncertainty among countless (Dutch) citizens. And leaders don’t seem to know the way out of the chaos and noise. 

Disunity

As facts have become opinions and opinions have become facts, the social climate is unstable with ever-increasing strife. What is truth? For instance, climate change, besides natural climate change also at the hands of humans, is for some a leftist ideology, a belief. And a belief, of course, only serves to instil fear. If it isn’t the earthly sacrifices for a place in heaven instead of hell, it is the hell and damnation hanging over us if we do not act now. Fear as a driving force, in other words. Don’t fall for it, say the deniers. As if the unprecedented, apocalyptic floods that hit Pakistan this year and the ongoing drought and water shortages in southern Europe in particular, were not clear signals that we must start living differently.

Culture war

Rather, we war – between the believers and non-believers, the liberals and conservatives. Not bombs and grenades as war language, but rather moral superiority for instance in the battle over climate, one of the main subjects of the culture war which blew over from the United States. According to the non-believers, we can sit back, nothing is wrong. With Christmas just around the corner, the steaks and pork tenderloin are served in large numbers because “they won’t take that away from us”. Some think we will soon find ourselves in such an unlivable world that freedom no longer has much value and others think our freedom is being taken away under the guise of climate change. 

‘War is over! If you want it’  fifty-three years later is not just about the war in Ukraine. It is also about the culture wars that divide countries and families and friends to the bone. Verbal violence may one day no longer be the only weapon.

Awareness

John Lennon said the following about the campaign at the time: “When we stick posters around saying, ‘War Is Over – If you want it’, we’re trying to promote an awareness in people of how much power they have, and not to rely on the government, or leaders, or teachers so much that they’re all passive or automatons. They have to have new hope.”

For hope and confidence in the future, we do not depend on governments and leaders.  A universal and timeless message. A billboard can’t change that wars will always be there, I hear you thinking. By the way, the campaign is still running – after all, the desired result is still lacking – and posters can be printed from a website to stick on your windows. I once saw such a poster on a window in Amsterdam and I had to take a picture of it. It may be just a seed, a pebble that ripples in the river as soon as it hits the surface of the water. But that seed grows and the ripple effect reaches further than you think. If enough people want something, it happens. The idea of the billboards was to make people aware of this power. Enough people actively wishing for peace can make war stop, John and Yoko thought. Naive? Maybe, yet we all know what King and Ghandi set in motion.

Anti-war Christmas song

Two years later, the War is Over slogan turned into a Christmas song with an anti-war message, Happy Christmas (War is Over), and – it took a while – eventually became a worldwide Christmas classic. And every time, the images of the music video give me goosebumps. 

‘So this is Christmas and what have you done.’

In spring 1969, John and Yoko proclaimed their peace message at the Amsterdam Hilton from their hotel bed. For a week between white hotel sheets, the famous hippie couple called for world peace. For this, they invited photographers and journalists to spread their message. “It didn’t smell to fresh in there,” said Henk van der Meijden, a tabloid reporter at Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf, and John’s hair remained unwashed. A crazy idea, but the bed-in got a lot of publicity and worldpeace became a mantra – without, incidentally, the desired result.

Band Aid

Flowerpower may be decades past, but wouldn’t it be nice to hear a similar message from contemporary musicians? The time is now I tell you! Just like Band Aid at the time. Musicians coming together to record a song with a (political) statement? As happened in 1984 with Do they know it’s Christmas to raise money to fight famine in Ethiopia. Later in 1985, USA for Africa followed with the legendary song We are the world

Music connects and makes hope come alive. I can only think of old(er) rockstars, like Bob Dylan, Bob Geldof and Bono, who remind us – through music – of the power of the individual to start a movement that can make a difference. Is the power of the individual perhaps weakening in individualistic times we live in? Are today’s famous artists too busy with themselves?

Concert for freedom

U2’s singer and guitarist Bono and The Edge played at a Kiev metro station in May this year, at the invitation of Ukrainian President Zelenskyy, in solidarity with the citizens of Ukraine. A concert for freedom.

John & Yoko’s War is Over, Band Aid, USA for Africa, U2 for freedom, that is what I want for Christmas. Europe for Climate maybe. Who will lead the way? You don’t have to be a floating hippie or a sentimental old geezer to know that music is the catalyst for change and connection. It is a primal feeling and I dare say it’s what we all crave so much. 

Merry Christmas! 🌟❤️🥂🎄

Con Amor,

Eva

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  

New home in rural Mallorca.

The year 2020, it’s a dramatic year so far. My wish to retreat to a peaceful place and to be disconnected for a while is present. In fact, we (my man and I) have found such a place and each time I’m there, I feel more free and safe than ever before. A freedom which I haven’t felt for a long time. Although it’s just a dry strip of land with an old little shed, olive trees, fig trees, and more, I can see with some imagination that it’s possible to make something beautiful here.

Peace of mind

A few weeks ago, we went to the notary — all wearing masks — to sign for this piece of land in rural Mallorca where we have begun to build a tiny home for the two of us. It was a step, but I believe it’s the right one for us, as we can finally work on a place for ourselves. Somehow the decision to purchase this land has given me peace of mind and it made an end to the uncertain feelings which could gnaw at me at times since the moment we emigrated to Ibiza six years ago. This new project even made my sleep better and less restless. There’s lots to do and at the end of each — hot summer — day I’m exhausted of shovelling rocks after Dorus’ digging to create space for his ‘earthship’ design.

Neighbours

Yes, it feels like an escape, this little piece of land in an isolated area, but still very close to our ‘eco’ friends and not far from the village. I could never have imagined I would live in such a rural area. Last Saturday an older couple living next to our land had invited us for homemade pizzas and wine at their place. An Argentinian couple in their eighties. It was a long and such a cozy evening. The fierce lady of the house even made me a glutenfree and vegan pizza, isn’t that sweet?!

My wish to create our own place where we don’t have to ask for permission to change or make something and where we are free, has never been so big. Our living situation since we landed on Mallorca isn’t the most ideal and often lacks privacy. It’s sweet, a little girl jumping around in the garden, opening the window, sticking in her head, to have a little chat with us and goes off again, but to say we have complete privacy, no. Privacy is such a great thing.

Also last year when we lived in our tiny home in the ecological centre, Casita Verde, I felt we didn’t have complete privacy. People could be standing at the doorstep wanting to talk with us, sometimes it felt like we were living in a museum. So, my wish for privacy has become huge and each time I’m on our piece of land, what will become our new home, I feel thankful to finally enjoy this valuable thing again. 

I have to be patient and know that each stone we will move, gets us closer to our goal.

The garden will be a little paradise with plants and flowers, lots of lavender for sure! The other day I spotted a mama bird patiently sitting on her cute mint-blue eggs in one of the pomegranate trees. Last week Dorus made a start with preparing the soil for a vegetable garden next year. 

Clarity

Meanwhile our plans to organise Sustainable Living Courses in spring have been totally shattered due to the pandemic, but we will continue, although they won’t be held in the Resilience Centre (RC) as we had planned before. Finally, after long discussions in the past months, the sky had cleared. Due to legal and personal reasons our friend and owner of the place, Luis, decided not to use his place for the courses. It has been an interesting experience to have had the discussions and to try to develop an eco community and centre together, but it’s certainly not easy. Clear communication is key. Also we had to give up the idea of building pallet tiny homes in the RC. Dorus has finished the first one and it will be the first and last one at this place. 

Right before the lockdown our friends, Howard and Nicky, travelled back to the UK, but couldn’t return to Mallorca. Only our friend Vanessa is here, together with Luis. Although you can’t really speak of an eco community at the moment, on weekdays and often on Saturdays we come together to cook and have lunch at the centre.

In October our group will organise a Sustainable Living Course in Howard’s home near Bordeaux in France. We are working on a new website for our courses: Green Gorillas. More about that soon!

Con Amor,

Eva 

#silentsouldiers

Started something new: a poetry account on Instagram. Silent Souldiers. On here I share short poems, writings and just some thoughts with the crazy and beautiful world 😎

It’s fun to fight a little with words, to discover the power of words and perhaps we even end up loving the words 💚

Give it a follow if you like 🙏

>> instagram.com/silentsouldiers

Love & Peace from Ibiza,

E.

 

PS. @silentsouldiers has been changed into @evalunes.poetry

 

Peace, Love & Caffeine



Oooohh I would loooove to have a coffee right now! This is my 5th day without and I miss you my friend. 

It’s one of the best ways to start a day..drink my coffee and awake slowly – I’m not at my best at mornings so I need my coffee even more 😉 – After I drink the first I need  “one more cup of coffee for the road” like Bob Dylan sang.

Instead I drink herbal tea these days. Got myself some spicey ones. Fortunately…



Usually tea makes me quite feebly, while coffee – CAFFEINE – gives a boost. A shot of energy! Joy of life even! Yes, coffee nurtures my spirit! Here obviously speaks a coffee-addict, who still loves filtered coffee – I like it old-school:) 

This Sunday I allow myself to drink coffee again (yay!) We just have a break coffee and I. That’s all. This is part of a detox I’m doing with my man. Actually it was his idea! It’s just an experiment to see how we feel. To see if we don’t kill each other. To see if there will be peace and love without caffeine. Today only fruit & veggies, tomorrow we fast for 5 days (only juices, water and -tadá ! – herbal tea). I’m curious if we’re gonna make it 5 days. I’m in doubt already, which is by all means not the best way to start a thing like this 😉

However, an experiment like this I find quite interesting and it’s the right time to try it. 

Unbelievable how you can feel so dependent of certain tastes, isn’t it? 

Luckily on Ibiza we have Cafés Meke, organic, ethical coffee and roasted on the island (my favorite) and Cafés Ibiza. Both good coffee. Other brands in stores are shit here. 

Stop drinking coffee caused me headaches and an unstoppable yawning at strange times the first four days. It’s the lack of caffeine which causes the trouble. Anyways, can’t wait to hear our bubbling coffee machine from Amsterdam again in our little kitchenette and to start the mornings full of hopeful expectations with the smell and taste of some nice Cafés Meke . 

Meet you soon my friend! 

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