on the road

A half, torn piece of paper from a jotter with the clumsy writing of a child, found between my mother’s things in her little cupboard. For fifty-seven years she kept it and I think that, once in a while, she looked at it too. For fifty-seven years she saved a moment of happiness. Catch the beauty when it comes by, don’t look at the darkness for too long, let it go in the mist of the past. A lesson in the art of how to live your life through a scrap of paper.
Dear All,

For five weeks I was on the road and I hardly managed to write. He who travels a lot has a lot to tell is what they say. Maybe so – the travels within are still more interesting I think. Nevertheless, an update is in place.
First there were a few days teaching. Nice students and I learn as well. Then of course the opening of the exhibition at Glass Gallery Leerdam. Also for me it was the first time I did see all the works together; a relief when all is right then. And the opening; so many dear friends that made the effort to come and see, so glad to see them all and hardly any time for one of them. More than hundred people in two hours or so, less than a minute for each of them. And still, it was so good they all were there, it felt like a warm bath. Many compliments about my new work, a number of sales and more to come is what the gallery owner says. (For those that didn’t have the opportunity yet, it’s still open till July 26.)

Some work done, a nice weekend in Switzerland and after that to Africa. Africa, coming home in a place where my house isn’t any longer. Every time I land in Johannesburg I’m overwhelmed by melancholy that belongs to a love that doesn’t have a form anymore but never fades. Wrap my arms around that world, I’d love to.
Hello Frank, a bit of realism, Please! Yep, you’re right, Bali is good too, very good in fact.
Two weeks busy with all sorts of things. Dear friends are establishing a restaurant annex hotel and it’s fun to be involved a bit. The wall panels I made in the Netherlands are to their liking, I’ll make a few more later; another project of mine in Africa. Enjoy the quietness on the farm where I may stay, the beautiful sights, delicious meals and good wine and the best company I could wish for. I wonder if there is many people that are a lucky as I am.

And Bali is still Bali. Zoef was delighted to see me again but… how deep the love of my dog goes, I don’t know. During a little experiment last night, I let him walk without a leash, he disappeared direction my domestic help where two of his friends live. For a moment he followed me but before I could close the gate he slipped out of the garden. Ah, when he comes back later today he has another reason to be sooo happy.
Still ceremonies allover the place, the Balinese that live abroad are coming home one by one to attend the mass cremation in August. P. and his wife close the one hole with another, every hole a bit bigger and deeper than the one before, each upacara sets them back a bit more. The taxi-drivers complain about a lack of tourists, the conclusion of P. that, maybe there are too many taxies didn’t land there yet. The small road nearby is on its way to become a Main Street, new houses to let are build everywhere, most of them are empty; too much of everything. That tourism is affected negatively by all that too much, is a notion that doesn’t sink in.
But the weather is fine, the people are beautiful and friendly. For a cold shower I have to wait till all the hot water is out of the pipes is gone, the pool is lukewarm. Pool has an important role in loosing a number of kilos that, in mysterious ways, were added to my body during my trip.
And, oh yes, it was my birthday. Thanks for all your good wishes, your friendship and connectedness were important in marking the beginning of a new year. Sixty-three now and I think that the vague idea that I’m getting to understand a bit more about life is due to getting older, as if, on the road, something is added. It’s good this way.

Love, Frank