« back to overview


Archive for June, 2010


published on: 29.06.2010 in: All entries

He is on facebook, and he comes recommended as a friend. But he is dead. He is on Linkedin too. His photo smiles at me. He is tanned and he is wearing a bow tie. Radiant. Alive. Where it says likes & interests he has filled in: Charlie Chaplin. He has friends and connections and […]


Oh what a night

published on: 26.06.2010 in: All entries

Location: the only remaining bar in Amsterdam that allows smoking.Occasion: monthly Friday drinks for writers.Flashback to four months ago: I met a colleague writer. His debut novel had sold 100.000 copies. He was now fighting depression. His second novel had been dismissed by reviewers and sold only a fraction. He was fighting anxieties and seeing […]


Basic psychology

published on: 24.06.2010 in: All entries

Remember when you were madly in love with someone? And then you thought “all right, if I just tell him then I’ll have it off my chest and it will disappear.” But it wasn’t true. It only got worse. Here’s the rule: putting feelings out in the open do not diminish them. They flare up […]


Laugh therapy

published on: 21.06.2010 in: All entries

Every morning, I bike through the park. I drop my son off at school and on the way back they’re there: the laughs. They rise up from beneath two trees next to a pond. Whoops of laughter in different tones, almost like a symphony.On nearing the trees, the people who produce the laughs become visible. […]



published on: 19.06.2010 in: All entries

The Stabat Mater, about a mother who loses her son. Then comes the composer who has lost three children. And just listen to the intensity of this final verse. At 3.06 starts the Amen. It is both suffering and release. It is painful to listen to, yet comforting. It is creation at its most frantic, […]



published on: 18.06.2010 in: All entries

A friend flew in from the Caribbean. It was a sad trip for her, she came to see her best-friend who has a fatal brain tumor. She stayed in a hotel close to my home and so I got to see her often. It had been years since we managed to connect the way we […]


Boulevard of broken dreams

published on: 13.06.2010 in: All entries

A dinner with women. I was in the same student-society with them. About midway the evening, I started feeling sad. Was it the excessive amount of wine? Was it the fact that fifteen years had passed in a flash? What had remained of our ambitions and dreams? Why did they laugh those ideals off as […]


Not in love

published on: 10.06.2010 in: All entries

Every once in a while, my sister and I go to a concert. This week, we went to Dvor├ík’s Stabat Mater. I had never heard this Stabat Mater before and so I wasn’t sure what to expect. On taking our seats, I was thrilled to discover how huge the choir was. This was going to […]


Two things

published on: 08.06.2010 in: All entries

Two things I had intended on putting in my new novel, but never did. That she (Leandra) wakes up in the middle of the night. There’s a subtle. pulse-like glow in her room. Brighter, then softer, then brighter again. It comes from beneath her bed. She leans over and sees a firefly. It is on […]


The thing with groups…

published on: 07.06.2010 in: All entries

I am not really good at groups of people. Whether a volleyball team or a Catholic family. Or 150 five-year-olds. It has nothing to do with the people in the group, neither with the reason for their having become a group. It has more to do with the fact that I tend to experience things […]