Ode aan Amsterdam

Prachtig als een gedicht

Groen en rood en blauw

Ben ik nog steeds verliefd

Mijn stukje aarde

Budapest III

Wandering around the world in search of ourselves

Strolling down the road and found each other

People that makes us more and more us

That’s the romanticism this city brings

In all relaxation, stress-free appreciation

 

Life is about the relationships and friendships we build

The connection with one another we experience and how we maintain what is important/valuable to us

 

Budapest, May 18, 2019

#5mei Bevrijdingsdag | Liberation Day

Yesterday we commemorated the ones who died for our freedom. With commemorations, we too commemorate the parts of us that had died for us to become us. I am grateful every time that after everything I had endured, this is the version I have become. That’s why I remain hopeful about the world.

Today, while we celebrate our freedom, I am specifically mindful about my freedom. The right of self-determination I had fought for and protected my whole life, the freedom of thought I have cultivated, and the freedom of speech I am learning to use every day with kindness and responsibility.

I am specifically mindful about the friendships that blossomed in my life. Some are relatively old, others are relatively new. Some live relatively near, and others live relatively far. Some by choice, and others by coincidence. I have never known which friendships were made by choice and which by coincidence, because very often, it just happened. Sometimes we were united by a shared space, but very occasionally, they come as an unexpected surprise. Knocking on our door during a stormy night. Showing us how beautiful it is to be alive and free.

#4mei Dodenherdenking | National Memorial Day

Quaerens me sedisti lassus,
Redemisti crucem passus,
Tantus labor non sit cassus.

Once upon a time, Europe too was torn by war. People were killed who were different. Now we fight our battles in court and we debate our political differences in the parliament. We managed to protect what is worth protecting because of our independent judiciary and democratic governance.

Today we remember all those who died for our freedom. People who forget the past often forget to cherish the present. But we should not take our freedom and democracy for granted. Vrijheid is niet vanzelfsprekend.

Today, we remember those who sacrificed their lives for the world we live in. Let their sacrifice never be in vain.

#1mei A year ago today

He used to carry me on his shoulders and sing me to sleep
He never pressured me to get married like anyone else in his position would
Instead, he spoke with sparkling eyes when he called me a wise grown up woman
He always gave me the best, and supported my decisions

He would teach me to work hard towards my dreams, and to be kind to those around me

Sometimes I feel like I have failed him, but he never stopped believing in me

I can only promise him, that I will try to follow his example: to be a good and hardworking person
Because that’s the only way I can honour him with the respect that he deserves

One year ago today, my heart broke into such pieces I could no longer put back together
But it taught me that life is too short not to truly live it

Very often, in the face of life and death, we figure out what we truly care about
In the pain of losing a loved one who loved me from the moment I was born, I realised there is nothing earthly that I really care about
So I might as well dedicate my life on this Earth to something bigger than me
Live every day until I die

He too was a person full of life
Curious about the world outside of his comfort-zone
He had a zest for traveling, and an indefatigable ability to learn
Most of all, he was always there for his family and friends

He was a good man
I am blessed to have had him as my Grandfather