I need a man

Today I went to visit a business contact in reference to the Joint Vision of Humanity. It was someone I had met before and has been energetically weaving in and out several times the last years but we never got to really connect face to face. Today was that day and after about an hour or two of meeting we both said goodbye without fully understanding what is was we had connected for… but I guess both in trust that it will unfold in good time….

Driving home I was pondering on my insecurities and how the conversation had gone in every which way accept the way I had envisioned or hoped it would go… so I was somewhat disappointed and set back by the awkwardness of the meeting in which I didn’t feel I was able to connect. So my head was spinning in circles trying to figure out what I had done wrong (always a bad way to start a conversation with yourself by the way). And in that process digging myself a deeper hole each thought that went through my mind. The company I was with probably feeling me getting more depressed by the minute.

I started wondering why lately I had been so self conscious and unable to stand my ground. How I believe so deeply in what I do and wish this so profoundly, yet being unable to put this big wheel in motion…. again…. getting less and less in a positive spirit with each thought. At some point I literally said to my company in the car, and believed it wholeheartedly, that is was perhaps better to forget about doing any kind of promotion. Internally I was however much further adrift thinking it was best to quit the Joint Vision completely…..

But a thought kept wiggling its way into my mind: there were instances that I had completely been in my power… and now i was not….. what changed??? what was there that wasn’t here now…. it took me a phone call and some deeper diggin’ to find the answer under my nose.

I need a man!!… And no.. I know what you are thinking and no…. that is not what I mean.. I am not in need of a relationship or intimacy as a couple… but I need a partner. A business partner. A man… A man because currently I am trying to be both man and woman.. and in an ideal world I would be both equally… I would be balanced in masculine and feminine within… but apparently I am not.. no matter how much I try…

And in the Joint Vision I have made a solemn oath: no more drama!!…no more changing, no more bettering myself …. no more….. and sometimes I am able to live that and sometimes I realize I fall back to the drama I know……In order to ‘fix’ the missing link within me.. I would have to further confirm I am not perfect and in need of fixing… further stressing the need for imperfection to become perfect…

So let’s just say.. I am perfect … just as I am… my qualities exactly where they need to be…. what do I need….? SO the answer was…: a man…. a man that wants to be and work alongside me to create this worldwide network of heartconnected lightworkers. One that doesn’t need the drama… doesn’t need to change the world…. but is willing to trust and surrender into the process…

It felt deeply within me as a sigh of relief…. this ‘man’ person…. was exactly what had made my previous power moments so beautiful. The combined energies creating a balance beyond words…. but these same man had also needed to put themselves first, their ego’s pampered and importance established… and mostly they fought for this with me… and I let them win…. because for me when their is a fight for power…. no one can ever truly ‘win’….. mistakenly I had then understood I was not to work with others and perhaps in my minds eye seen confirmed I did not need ‘man’ in my life and have shut down the only thing that can unburden my load to share more…

A man.. along side me…. not wanting to be in front, or needing to say behind… right beside me.. as a partner… not a lover….

Suddenly I realized the two paths that lay before me: the one in which we possess everything we need and we no longer search for anything in others…. a world where you can completely function alone.. or so it seems.. but also a path in which you need to ‘work’ to get there… because if you are not experiencing complete happiness right now.. there is work to be done……and consequently this is also a very isolated path… I have experienced this path… It has brought me much and up till now I would have believed it to be where I need to go..

And then there is the path of knowing that whatever imperfection lie within you.. whatever is less then perfect, what is damaged or removed.. what has not had a cahnce to develop or has been killed before it bloomed.. what ever scars and whatever uglyness you see within yourself…. it is AAAALL perfect.. because your imperfections are the perfections of others. Your wounds are the healing for others.. the things you miss is what others have to give…  consequently this is the path of sharing and connection… and let me be clear this is NOT a path of co-dependancy-like relationships in which we cannot function without the other… in which we ‘need’ the other to complet us…. good heavens.. no…… this is the path in which you are perfect and in acknowledging your perfection you invite others to join you with their perfections.. and together we are whole and we are one… as individuals and as a whole humanity…
We need each other to be who we are so we can shine as we are…

I had unwillingly shut the door on ‘needing’ and man particularly.. and now it is ready to open these doors again… To ‘need’ help… to acknowledge when you alone are only a one-legged run. Until now I have pulled the weight of both man and woman together making me strong but also vulnerable, making me tough but also hard.

I need a man..not to comfort me of pay my bills.. not to bare my children or to make love to me… I need a man so that I can let go of the tough and strong for that is a mans trade… and I can be tender and soft.. which is a womans trade .

So yes, I need a man…. not to make me perfect.. or to find me perfect.. but I need a man that can make my perfection shine

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Responsibility

Yesterday I had a belated birthday party to celebrate my mother’s birthday. I had been looking forward to this. My sister, my mom and me would paint something.. just as a creative project to do when being together.

We had fun and were relaxed enough to just ‘ be’ around eachother. During the day my sister told me she had a headache and that struck me somehow. I almost felt like she shouldn’t have come if she wans’t ok. I know she struggles with severe headaches sometimes. But I didn’t take more notice then usual of my feelings towards her pain. It wasn’t until later that day that I myself started developing a headache and I started wondering why I had taken over her headache. By the time my sister left, I felt my head exploding from the inside

Starting to feel less and less good, I wanted to go home but also felt my mother’s need for company. I didn’t want to leave her alone for I could feel she needed the company and I want to be there for my mom as she is always there for me. Besides.. you start realizing your time with your parents isn’t endless and I should enjoy the time I have with her. My mom used some of her magic on me to make the headache less and I could only hope my sister was feeling a little better.

But feeling not so good I decided to go home after a while anyways. On my way home I started relecting on the day and wonderling why I had taken on the headache. I started to see how it had struck me deeper then expected that my sister wasn’t feeling well. … Looking back I could see that I felt somewhere inside responsible for her feeling better. I could feel how I desperately wished for my sister not to have pain and how NOT ‘ ok’ it felt to me that she wasn’t feeling well….. somehow along those lines I also felt that I needed to take of her.. so that she wouldn’ t have pain. And my mom not to feel lonely. It almost felt like it was up to me to fix this……

Jeeeeeezzzz.. if I felt so responsible for them.. no wonder I took on their stuff.. but why on earth would I feel responsible??? It was not up to me to ‘ fix’ it…. I could see that this pattern has been with me the longest time without me even being fully aware of it. As a child I would feel responsible if things didn’t go right….I neeeded to fix. it. My heart would hurt if others hurt.

But taking this further I could see how , clients, students, friends and more .. I had done the same thing: taken it upon me for them to get better …. and feeling failure within me if I did not succeed…… So many litlle ‘aha’s’ followed in my mind and I decided now was the time to let go.

I went to a nature connected place and acknowledged what I had done, and why I had done it and that it was now time to let go…. I gave this ressponsibility back to the world and realized that in taking this responsibility on, I had not only made my life heavier, but also not seen that with this I had taken away my trust in others to fix it themselves.. somehow in my mind twist I believed that without my help they could not succeed.. not because they weren’t capable of doing so.. but because it was my responsibility…. And I knew.. how ridiculous my ideas had been… however well intended….. I give it back…. and I trust and believe that eacht and every human is very capable of finding their way just fine with out me!!.

I needn’t worry… except about me taking responsibility for taking responsibility for taking care of me……..

Aho!

Cats and Dogs… the way things are

I used to have cats.. I love cats. I had rabbits, rats, mice, hamsters, guinnea pigs…. but never a dog… I wasn’t much of a dog person….

That all changed 3 years ago…. well actually long before that. I had been slowly turned to the idea of a dog. Perhaps it was a new phase in my life or just a need for company.. I don’t know.. But for 2 years leading up to me getting a dog, I could not concentrate as soon as a saw a little putch come through the door or pass me by. It didn’t matter how serious the conversation…. Seeing a Dog would always stop me in my tracks… it didn’t matter how many told me NOT to do it … and how much time and care a dog needs.. and how I wouldn’t have that time….it all didn’t matter.. I had made up my mind, so needless to say.. eventually the dog entered my life.

This ofcourse, to great dismay of my cats, who were not too fond of this new intruder in the household. I assumed it would work out somehow. I had fantansies of how my dog would sleep with the cat and they would be best buddies.. unfortunately this did not happen, not the first, not the second.. and still not….and it got me to wonder why…

They fight like cats and dogs they say….. what does it actually mean? To fight like cats and dogs? I can see how this is for cats and dogs (exceptions to the rule of course)…My dog (Jaylee) sincerely loves my cat (Morgaine). He wants to play with here and earlier wanted to cuddle with her but now is mostlly afraid of her and revears he. But when she meows he comes to her rescue. When she is sitting in front of the door, Jaylee let’s me know she wants to come in. When she does, he is the first one to greet her.. He moves away if the cat wants to sit and he waits for her and what she does before he comes close. He will lie on his back or get as close to the ground as he can as to tell her, he is no threat and he accepts her in the lead.

Granted, sometimes he wishes to play with her, making the cat feel attacked and she will hit him. But this never stops the dog from loving her and doing all the things he does because he loves her. (please note I call the dog ‘ he’ but he is actually a ‘she’.

Now this is what I gather how the cat perceives it: A strange, very threatening, black animal keeps attacking me from behind, barks at me.. follows me around, steals all my favorite places to sleep. I have no more rest no home since the dog came. I will try my best to act normal, for it seems to calm him down, but he better not be getting too close for I am fearless cat and I will do whatever it takes. I belong here. Well actually.. I am scared shitless of this dog but he cannot know I fear. I will prevail.

For the cat every effort to play is an attack, every help to get her inside a warning to stay away, his attempt to keep his distant a sure sign of an attack coming up etc etc.

This got me to think. Here I was this wonderful sweet loving cat, and this wonderful sweet loving dog. This should be enough to break the ice. They both want the same thing: peace & love. They both desire the same thing: quiet and balance. They both have respect for eachother.. so in human terms this should be enough to create peace, love and understanding. But it doesn’t. They both fear eachother and still trying to get along.

All I can see is they come from different worlds. A dog wagging his tail means ‘ play’ a cat rigorisouly using it’s tale means attack. A dog approachting another dog means, I fear not. I come in peace. For a cat this means: I will attack. When the cat gives love he excepts the dog to receive. the dog wants to give back to the cat which leads to more misunderstanding.

IS this just cats and dogs? Or are we as humans also not unfamiliar with this behaviour? What if we are all constantly fighting llike cats and dogs because we are simply not familiar with the others world. So we could argue we should be more aware of what the world of the other person looks like. To understand the other more. THe dog is sure trying to understand her and act aproapriately and so is the cat.

I think in our western society at large, we have refined, ‘thinking for the other’ ‘ anticipating what they might say and think to avoid conflict’ to an art. But the downfall of this is that we have lost touch with what we want. We are so focussed on what others tell us.. what’s right and what’s wrong… that we forgot to put ourselves first.

Perhaps acceptance is the way of the future. I accept that you are different from me, please accept me for who I am. I don’t think the dog and cat are enemies. I think in someway they have accepted the situation or are still in the process of doing so as soon as I accept the way things are…are just…the way things are…..

remembering my passion

A few days ago a colleague of mine had asked for a ride to work and back. Enjoying some company on a long trip home we now share the ride vtow days a week, and when you are in a car together for about four hours a day, you start sharing a bit about your life.
It being a work related colleague at first you try to keep things general but when all general subjects have been covered and a few remarks here and fhere reveil some common interest, I found myself talking to him about his past as a jehovah witness and my work around religion. We ended up in a very fascinating discusion about his study of the bible and my more gnostic interests and research.

And as one thing leads to another I ended up sharing a lot about my view on our brain, the things I share in the LifeChanger trainig and about the role of emotions, the heart and intelligence on our consciousness and much more. And all in a very casual way without trying to convince or enlighten..but just to share my passion.

At the end of our trip i drove the last miles home alone realizing what a fascinating conversation we had had about his passion and me sharing mine. In the silence that remained I realized that I had for a little while lost that passion because of general sortings of rent, bills, organization and more. I suddenly remembered there was important information that is ready to be share about how subtle mind manipulation is (even in spirituality ) and how my research can help you easily detach from it once you are ready to let go.

It felt like seeing an old friend after many years. i suddenly was connected again to that what I believe in and what I hold dear. A confidence I had lost somewhere. i almost felt like saying . ” aah, there you are!!”

In all follow up muddle of the mind after the Artic and the decision to follow the flow to our new ‘palace’, I remembered the reason why I am doing this. And I don’t mean the obvious reason that Light is such an important factor, but the knowledge of what the freedom of mind can bring. How much I enjoy sharing this knowledge but most of all…I remembered: I DO have something to say!!!

Perhaps the insecurities that run so deeply in my system had gotten more hold on me through mud and rejection up North then I had anticipated. And, as per usual, had it taken these months of integration to come to the point of rebalancing myself in my mission.

Or perhaps just because sharing your passion, creates a stronger field of passion. Or maybe by chance… Or luck… Or my some crazy timing.

Whatever the reason, it has made me very aware of how troubling insecurities can be and how, veiled and all, they can enter your mind like an untraceble drug. Anoyingly addicting, unnoticibly subtle but extremely limiting the mind ….

I feel the next chapter of selflessness starting with dealing with unfounded and limiting thoughts about your talents …because a takent should perhaps be not as much be about what your good at…but what brings you joy…and brings you back in connection with thatp what you know.

I know i DO have something to say…to share…and to tell…it might mean the world to some…and nothing to others,,,but all that matters is that I believe it is worth sharing….not because it is truth or important…but because I enjoy sharing it.

How lucky am I…

Today was our usual day of meeting at the Joint Vision. Right now we are all juggling schedules and other obligations and making as much room as possible to be in the Joint Vision of Humanity. We now are mostly set in our new place. This morning was needed for a bit of a cleaning of the house which we didn’t have proper time for before and was very needed. But cleaning isn’t that much of an effort when you do it together.

I could feel the energy shift while we were cleaning and tidying up. We were surely moving our energy and grounding it more deeply in our place. Even the change of energy between the ‘downstairs’ and the ‘upstairs’ is now becoming tangible. How lucky are we to call this our home. How lucky are we to be working here. The dinner across the streets has excellent salads so in no compromise over health I was able to enjoy a good lunch even though I had forgotten mine at home. How lucky am I to be here an write this blog here!

The road that has led to this decision and the constant trust I have to embrace to anchor myself here are tremendous. And each time I have doubts I ground myself deeper and think of the whales in the Arctic that have provided me with the strength and trust I do not walk alone.

Today two of us (Joint Vision) are in Hawaii and even though their energy in meetings is not very ‘contributing’ in words. It is in being. Their miss was felt. It makes me realize so much more how important it is we grow in numbers. More people, more strength, more light.. to make a difference. Not because so much needs changing but because we need to come together and be connected.

I don’t believe in this lifetime we will feel as ‘one’ but I do feel that in our connection our actions can be as ‘one’. And I need to trust and believe in that.

In our meetings I can be totally connected and then the next moment suddenly be aware of the task we have put before us…. and when I realize how much still needs to be done and how little time we have….. I get scared and react as stung by a bee.. luckily the amazing people around me too feel this panic.. listen.. respond.. and move on… next subject on our list…no stopping.. no adding to my drama.. just being there and moving on.

Sometimes I look back and realize that it is in fact pretty amazing that I am trusting these people around me and really seeing this come into form… because I know I sure had my share of people who weren’t able to deal with the way I am and the way I look at the world and the drive I have to make us thrive. It wasn’t them.. it was me…

How lucky am I to do this together now..

A million thoughts a day enter my mind… can I do this? Am I just crazy? How can we pull this off?… what were we thinking? Will we have the money? Will we have the resources? Is it just my ego creating this?  and each time.. I breath… I breath deep and I just realize… how lucky am I to be here… How lucky am I… and then I know all my thoughts are valid…. my doubts real… but in the end… I can rest and know.. whatever happens: at least I tried… and I tried that what makes me happy inside…

How lucky am I to feel that.. how lucky am I to experience this…

How lucky are we…. on this planet… together… as one…

Never more happy

Deep insight a knowing was familiar with what has been happening but on the outside doubts filled my head that wanted to understand… As predicted by myself the leap I have made from living carefree to carrying a huge burden (or seemingly so to the mind) of a big building has been a tremendous one!…

After a period of severe doubt in which I even (more then once) decided to stop this project I have ‘landed’ at our new ‘home’. As my mother always says (taught by her mother) is: your soul arrives by horse.. meaning your physical body might be somewhere before your whole being is.

After my last post the doubts were most severe. It was through the post of an old and dear friend: Dana Ross that I was reminded to keep breathing. Breath in my desired world and breath out my unwanted fears.. it worked to keep me going and remind me why I was doing this.

Most people would argue it was my mind or need or ego that wanted to have this great big building to show off… but people who know me understand the opposite is true.. my ego wanted no part in this.. there is so much room for failure, disappointment and being unable to fulfil what is needed that my ego has no reason to put me through this misery..The knowing within me however, is carefree and is not bothered by right or wrong or good or bad…. it just knows what is….. and especially what is not…

So after weeks of coming home with headaches and doubts, some help from friends and a LOT of help from my co-creators in this building… I landed….. I finally put my soul and being… bigger and stronger then ever….. down in this new reality… and ever since I have been on a roller coaster of gratefulness throughout my being everyday.

Never in my life have I defied my fears on such a scale, never in my life have I trusted so much beyond any reason to do so.. never in my life have I taken such an impossible to understand leap within me… and never in my life have I been rewarded so deeply, never in my life have I felt so supported … never in my life have I truly felt so on my path as today… and it makes everyday shine more and more.

My life of constant wonder what I was doing wrong and could be done better is replaces by a feeling of gratefulness for what I have.. gratefulness of what I do and gratefulness for who I am doing this with.. but the gratefulness extends to every corner of my being and everyday I realise more things to be grateful for and less things to worry about….

Except the worry perhaps.. that this too shall pass… which I hope it never will…… may this grow within me.. and may I radiate it towards you…. and may we together grow and grow in gratefulness of this wonder called life.. where when we conquer our fears….. life begins!!

Namasté and happy abundant 2015

moving in

We have now moved into our new building and spend the last two weeks getting all the furniture we have relocated to this place and putting everything in it’s place. But we have 15 rooms to fill, to get lights for, to get curtains for etc etc. So it actually takes quite some coördination to get this all organized. But we are slowly but surely getting there.

What is more of a daunting task is to energetically fill and align this building. There are so much energy lines crossing and old energies that are  very comfortable there. In our deep believe that everything has its purpose it is quite a task to be there, feel ok and not be bothered by all the vortexes that this place seems to hold.

Since I also have a (temporary) contract for a job on the other side of Holland for 4 days a week this task becomes even more daunting. I need time to relax and adjust and instead I find myself working working working and fearing all the bills we have to pay. I know fear is always a limiting energy and I am certainly experiencing that however at this point it doesn’t seem that easy to turn around…. it is just there staring me in the face…

And while my inner self tells me to relax and enjoy.. another part tells me there is no way I can….So I am there in this amazing building… trying to ground myself realizing I should really enjoy being here.. but somehow I am unable to.

A small comfort is that I  always have problems adjusting after a move. Usually it will take a while for me to really be able to ground myself somewhere and for the first couple of days I feel lost… but that is usually just a couple of days…. this is now a few weeks….

And as time passes I think: did I make a mistake? And the walls pressure me while they close in on me… my breath gets shorter and shorter and I can hardly breath… we signed a contract so whether I want it or not: this is where I will be.

Energetically the message only seems to be that I am right where I am suppose to be so part of me really want to feel that within….. but it is not easy…

I have daily headaches now…. the could be related to this all.. or could not be…. No time to think about it.. I have to get to my contracted job….

Give yourself time Iris.. breathe…. things always work out.. somehow they all ways seem to…..

Following the flow

110333480-66b491zFhoY9My post have been absent and long overdue for a while now…. but I decided in Light of what we are currently doing with the Joint Vision of Humanity, it was time to shed some light and share as much as I can again…

First of all I am so excited to start working in a place that will be all dedicated to the Joint Vision of Humanity. Because we did find a place that called us there and that we actually now hold the lease to. And when I get a change I will share with you how we got there and why this holds such importance to us. Right now however we are very busy moving things in, cleaning things up… finding the right places for everything and mostly: getting more stuff to fill all the rooms…. Of course we will do this in honor and light of the Joint Vision and see what comes our way naturally.

The building is insanely big and there is much to do.. but even in a short time I have spend there it feels more like our ‘home’ each day.

There is so much to share on what the Vision is and why decided to move in to a huge building and yet it can also be summarized by not letting fear and our minds take control and follow the path where wild flowers can grow and flourish…

Today Gabriëlle and I spend the day at our new ‘home’ to unpack some boxes, get a feel for the place and energetically land ourselves here. Tomorrow we will start moving the bigger peaces in that we gathered until we find better furniture.. right now: everything is welcome to get started.

First order of business will be to obtain yoga mats, meditation cushions and chairs.. lots and lots of chairs..

But for now… with all the work that is being done…. a good nights rest is what I need most. So I will venture out one more time tonight to walk the dog and then snuggle under warm blankets dreaming of what the Center will look and feel like when it is all done….

Home security system

Being in Michigan, I spend a few days at my sisters house. Her husband and two kids welcomed me in their house, as they always do: as part of the family. This time, the first thing that jumped up on me was their new addition to the family: hunting dog; Bella. It was the first thing that jump up at me when I arrived; a 30 pound slim black and white german short haired pointer. He is only 6 months old and bound to grow more even though he is already a fairly medium sized dog as it is. if I ever though my dog was hyper, this one beats it by about a mile. She is all cuddles and movement making her jump and lick as much as you can an preferably at the same time.

They got the dog as part of Tim’s (my sister’s husbands’) hobby: hunting. Although he now mainly hunts for deer, he wants to expand his hobby towards bird hunting, and that is where Bella came in. In reality it was also a promise ’daddy’ made when he came back from his 3rd and final tour abroad with the National Guard, to get the kids a puppy. I am not sure who was more excited about it, the kids or Tim. One person I know wasn’t very excited about it, was Karen, my sister. She is not much of a dog person, and I am sure she tried to push it back as much and as far as she could, but in the end the puppy eyes won and Bella entered their lives.

Hunting is a rarity in Holland, and certainly not practised as much as it is over here. Even though I used to be dead-set against it, I feel in my ever strive to become aware and open to any possibility, I also needed to open my awareness on hunting. Being in heart awareness makes it a lot easier to be able to see all sides to the story instead of ending up in a dead-end discussion and therefor it was a lot easier to try to understand a little more about live with hunting.

I had already talked to Tim about it the last time I was here. In the conversation we had and the differences between Holland and America, he wanted to show me something he was proud of, that he had just gotten. I didn’t know what he was going to show me, so I went with him to the bedroom and out of the blue magically a handgun appeared out of nowhere. It wasn’t any sad looking gun either, it was a huge handgun, that looked like something out of a hollywood movie. In reflex, I startled and backed away from the gun. I had never seen a real handgun before and something inside me was shocked at the sight of it. Tim showed me the gun that he had bought to protect himself and his family from house invasions, and a shockwave went through my system. Having never been confronted with a weapon before, I wasn’t prepared somehow but I didn’t know exactly what had caused it. It took me a while to figure out why it would shock me so much to see it. Was is because of all the television around guns? Was is because I had never seen a gun before? Or was it because the energy behind the object held many not so pleasant experiences somehow entrained in my brain. Or perhaps it was a little of all of that. I could not talk to him or hear him while he was holding the gun and I finally decided to excuse myself and walk out. 

It stuck with me and being back this time brought back memories of that one single moment two years ago. When I had lived here in 1991, my (host)dad had a bb-gun, and he did show me how to shoot properly once. However a bb-gun, which is more like a riffle, is relatively small and not-so-harmful. I couldn’t remember it having the same frightful effect on me. But hunting, in any case, was still the furthest from anything I could resonate to. The notion of it being fun, still eluded me, but at least I was prepared enough to be able to want to learn to understand a little bit more. I had a little time to prepare because Tim wanted to show off his new ’toy’ to other people and while Karen and I were inside, we heard the shots in the backyard. For a moment I fell quiet. This is real. This is what people do. Unreal for someone that lives in a crowed country where guns are illegal. When you are not raised with it, it has a really surreal effect on you to hear guns going off in the backyard.
“Wow”…. is all I said.
“Yeah, I know”.. my sister answered.  And with those few words everything we felt about it was exchanged.

Later that afternoon Tim invited me to see and ’take a shot’ with his new ’riffle’. An M4, from what I understand. But of course that means nothing in the eyes of someone that doesn’t know what that means. Probably it would be the same effect as telling someone you have a Mercedes that has never seen a car before. So all I could do is knot my head. My sister tried to protest because she didn’t want me to feel uncomfortable or feel obliged to say ’yes’. But this time I was ready and perhaps even a bit excited to be able to put this on my bucket list.

I must say that Tim was being really nice about it and really wanted me to understand and feel safe about it. He showed me the riffle and that is was ’safe’, being locked and unloaded and handed it to me….
“wow, that’s heavy”, I replied.
Tim laughed: ”That is actually quite light!”
That about showed how much I know about anything. Apparently riffles are usually quite heavy and this was one of the very light versions of it. This time again the rifle, much like the bb-gun, didn’t have the same affect on me as the handgun and Tim’s explanation for it made a lot of sense.
“A handgun”, he said after thinking about it for a little bit, “is …. personal”. He said this with the emphasise on the last word, indicating that it meant that firing a handgun is done short range and you see who you shoot and have a specific reason for shooting that person. “A riffle, being more long range, is much less personal.”, he added. It made sense to me and explained the difference in experience with this riffle and the gun.

He started explaining that his army gear was a little heavier but much the same. It wasn’t until then that the reality of ’a tour’ (a period of service abroad) really was. Even though he works for the National Guard and his missions were mostly to pick up wounded, it doesn’t mean it is without risks.

I suddenly saw an image of young men carrying real weapons around. He told me how it works when you are out in the field and images of how it must of looked liked entered my brain. What drives these men to risk their lives for others? And how nobble it is to do that even though you have a family at home that needs you. It was a change from the ’you have to be nuts to be dumb enough to sign up for it’ that I would have ’judged’ it before.

He took me to the back of the house and told me all I needed to know to fire. He showed me how and then handed it to me. A few minutes later, I had fired my first shot. It didn’t even feel that hard to do it. I took a few more shots and handed the gun to Tim, who then proceeded the finish of the round. When I walked back to the house with him. I realised how easy it is to shoot a gun, and not be aware of the consequences. I suddenly understood a lot better how kids can get into their father’s gun cabinet and ’play’ with them. I had just fired a semi-automatic riffle and it was easy. Except for the noise, not much different from any computergame I often see. But the reality did hit me that with that shot that I took at some scrap metal in the backyard was built to shoot living targets.

Tim took me inside and showed me the rest of his collection. He explained more about ammunition, the different kind of weapons there are and their effects. It was all very fascination and it was easy to forget how these weapons are used to kill and harm to protect what we have or get what want to have. I was excited to have fired the riffle and know more about weapons. I am proud that I did it, and it didn’t get me upset and I even learned a lot. I am happy to cross this off my list as another thing I never thought I would experience. But it also leaves a nagging feeling inside about the purpose of these weapons. I asked Tim what the reason he had for having them, because it didn’t seem to fit or be very intelligent to keep them for ’burglars’. He agreed and explained the real reason.. and in that moment, beyond weapons and ammunition, wars and fear .. we found common ground. A same believe and each our own way of doing what you feel you need to do, or can do… 

I realised how I got to this point and how I wish every ’fight’ or ’war’ could be resolved in this way… be open to what the others way of life is.. try to understand it… do your best to explain your own point of few without getting aggressive or defensive… .and.. find your common ground.

If we all do….daddy’s wouldn’t have to leave their family and home, to safe, fight or defend that of others.

Arriving in Michigan

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Michigan 

Arriving in Michigan, it didn’t take long to be aware of the heavy circumstances that this winter brought. Even though the weather now seemed to finally get better, the reminiscence of the long and hard winter they have had here, were everywhere around me. The coldest and iciest winter in decades. Apart from loss of power that was so widespread that utility trucks from Florida were called in, especially the ice storm took a big toll on trees and nature in this area of Amerika. Everywhere you go there are broken and fallen trees, giving the sight of a hurricane coming through. Due to the heavy ice on branches and whole trees, a lot could no longer carry the weight of the ice that grew overnight and my sister Jennifer was fearful of the roof caving in on them since they kept hearing tree branches crack, tear and fall.

Coming from Holland, where the temperatures are a surprising 22 C (73F), it was a bit strange to see sunshine but at the same times see puddles of snow everywhere. It was a small sign of just how much snow had been falling over the last couple of months. I cannot imagine how people here have to drive through snow and ice to get to work and school, with no excuses and chaos that seems to happen in Holland when we get under an inch of snow. But even for Michigan standards it had been tough. Snow days (ijsvrij) are normal here a few times a year, but Josslynn (the oldest of my oldest Sister Karen), missed one week of school at one time, because going on the roads was just not an option. That or temperatures just dropped so far below freezing that being outside itself was dangerous.

Most people in small-town america don’t have city heating so they nare reliant on propane, and the demand being so high, was unable to deliver and caused prices to skyrocket. Granted, Americans have no real understanding of how to really save on energy and are just born and raised under the assumption that energy is an unlimited source available to them. Even though this country alone uses up more of the energy reserves of this planet then any other country in the world.

I have learned not to judge their lack of being able to be energy-aware, because I (and most people I know) were raised to know what uses more energy and what uses less. I was always raised not to leave any light on, or any unnecessary appliances running. It is normal for me to look at the energy labels of appliances and in general most people will know the difference between the energy use of a hairdryer or wash dryer. We close the doors behind us and have a small entryway before we enter the house, to keep the cold out. We turn the heat down at night and when we leave. Airconditioning in your house is not a commodity and we usually don’t keep the television on all day.

But so different is life in America. I have been to Sedona where the temperature outside was above 40 C and the humidity was 10%, letting your laundry dry in less then half an hour when you hang it outside. But I was staying at a house where the airconditioning was running on high, and they turned on the dryer to dry clothes (because hanging them outside is just NOT done), heating the house up through the use of the dryer and then using the airconditioning to cool it back down.

Of course cars aren’t very fuel-efficient here either, even though the recent price of cars have driven most Americans to look at the fuel-efficiency more. But I have to say though, even though cars are no where near as efficient as cars in Europe, they do seem to be lasting a lot longer then our cars, so somewhere in the strive for efficiency we have lost on durability of the cars, making me wonder what is worse: building new car or driving longer on less efficient cars.

But I am getting side tracked. I arrived here being welcomed by Jennifer, Mom, Evalynn and Nicolas. The latter being the latest, and likely the last, addition to the Pierce clan. Since I wasn’t wearing my glasses it took me a while to realise it was them staring at me only a few feet away :-). We drove through the remains of the winter towards Attica to the house that I still consider to be my ’home away from home’. It, as always, gives me a familiar feeling of safety to arrive there and realise nothing has changed … still….. Since I make it a habit to never stick with something too long, change is the only constant in my life. Arriving in one place where nothing changes, gives me an odd feeling of safety I rarely feel anywhere. It makes me feel comfortable and at home. The house hasn’t changed even though kids grow up, move out, and introduce grandchildren back into it. The house stands and stays unchanged through it all. I usually sleep downstairs in the bedroom I once called my room together with my two sisters that were then, 17 and 13. Officially the exchange program that I originally came over with, made it mandatory for me to have my own (private) room, but for me, sharing a room with two sisters made the experience even more special. I had never shared a room with two sisters, and since everything I experienced wasn’t familiar to me anyways, this was just part of my new surrounding. I never thought about it or missed my ’own’ room. Perhaps having two really sweet caring sisters helped too.

I spend the next few days with my younger sister: Jennifer, that during my initial exchange year, really didn’t get along that well but us both growing up, made the bond stronger and are able to appreciate each other so much more. For me it is refreshing to be in America. In some ways it has always felt more like home then Holland, making my feelings always torn between my ’real’ family in Holland, and the pull the United States have on me. Having such an awesome and caring family there to call my ’second’ family doesn’t make the pull any less. As soon as I arrive on America’s ground my system relaxes… I am home… 

It will take about 3 -6 months here before I start feeling and missing my own family in Holland so much that I just have to return.. but the same opposite happens when I am in Holland for the same amount of time. I have learned to deal with my torn-ness between the two and just feel lucky and privileged that I am able to travel between the two.

But when you had a plane-ride that I had this time, in a very old plane in a 3-seat row together with two other, not so tiny people, combined with the horrid custom customs, I makes you not want to travel ever again. It is sort of (a mild version) of having a baby.. when you are in the middle of it you vow never EVER to do it again, but once the first pain subsided you are already diminishing the horridness of the experience.

I am here now.. and I am enjoying the family and the american life. I feel home… and I can relax. Here I am beyond time and space.. here I can observe life and have no obligations in it. This is my safe haven.. and if it wasn’t that it always makes me sad that I can’t be around this family all the time, I choose to just enjoy every minute… Not because I do so much to make more and a deeper experience. But by savouring every minute of it. Even though I might just be sitting on the couch, in my pyjama’s, while the day outside is passing us by…. I am content…..as I sit here right now, and as content as I am right now