Visionary view

Dear All

In Yogyakarta again to do the last check before the furniture goes to Africa. Also this time not without difficulties; only after three days of getting up early early and motoring to the airport the flight departs, the first two attempts the airport is closed because of an eruption of a volcano on Lombok. The trip back doesn’t go smooth either; in Yogyakarta a plane slid of the tarmac, delays and an airport full of irritated people that had been waiting for many hours. Nevertheless, the furniture looks very good and is in the meantime on its way to Africa.

Morning-coffee. We both read the news, I on my laptop, Doni on his smartphone and we both arrive at the same time at the disaster in Paris. A long time we talk about it. The criminals whom want to incite a total war between Muslims and the rest of the world and the many people that will fall for it and will have a reflex of hate. The latter something that Doni, being a Muslim himself, doesn’t fail to experience. We talk about the anger, fear and sadness that people will feel, about all the condolences that go to the people of Paris and also about the selective way of looking that’s common in this world. The attack on a Russian plane nor the terrorist attacks in Beirut the day before evoke that many reactions; no Lebanese, Syrian or Russian flags over Facebook profiles. The message that we are all brothers, that we live in one world, care about each other and will have to do it together remains mostly just that: a message that isn’t supported by actions. And no, we didn’t distance ourselves of what happened; from normal people, Muslim or not, not one sensible person will expect that. The ridiculous sorting of people in boxes based on their religion, attribute sick ideas to them and then demand excuses and denunciation, it’s a madness we don’t join in. Between all the nonsense that comes to us about refugees a Dutch artist did put things in the right perspective in a tweet. “Do remember that those refugees fled a hell similar or even worse than that in Paris.”

Our prime minister philosophises about the coming Dutch chairman-ship of the EU. He wants to tackle ‘big problems’. Very good although some of his priorities are disputable. It his remark that he’s not interested in visionary views that is saddening and explorative. Tackle problems without a vision about the future; the drama of politics. Again and again, visionless and with the future not in sight, the wrong regimes are supported and we are perplexed about the bills that, often many years later, fall on our doormat. The criminals who thought to solve ‘problems’ in Iraq, without the slightest idea about reality and future became, as written in a recent article, the mother of Daesh (isis). The father, Saudi Arabia, still enjoys our support because of oil and their generous payment of armament. That the bombs on Syria that kill many civilians as well do sow deep hatred is, for those who are willing to think about consequences and future, clear from the start. Also to see that a hostile attitude towards refugees finally will destroy the roots of our own society, that blatant egoism erases the connectedness that supports our very existence, is something that only those with a willingness to apply a vision will see. Poor country, poor world where politicians for whom vision is a difficult word determine. “Where ideological poignancy is willingly buried and the language is that of economic interest” says a professor at a Dutch university and he makes a connection with secularisation. I don’t think secularisation it the problem though. Being freed of rigid rules and interpretations is a win. Loosing our feel for connectedness though, ignoring the religious feelings that exist in every human being (religare – connect) puts us outside the shelter that being brother and sister is, throws us back in a cold space of self interest and brings loneliness in a world that we’ve made the enemy instead of loving it.

I finish this blog, again, in Yogyakarta. This time we are here to order a machine to grind glass. A number of attempts to do so in Bali failed due to the disinterest of potential suppliers. It goes well in Bali. We in the meantime got frustrated by endless trips on the motorbike on roads full of traffic jams in extreme heat, looking for addresses that were hard to find to, finally, endure another disappointment. In Yogya we found a factory that can do it, a technician whom quite understood what we need, he even came up with lots of useful suggestions. We are optimistic again. And we have good times. We laugh a lot and find happiness in the small things that make life beautiful, often together with our friends here, of whatever religion. There are many nice views in that.

Love, Frank.