Moved forward, a learning experience

Just came across this post I drafted once, last modified 2015/10/30. Titled in English, written in Dutch, obviously unfinished and never published.. I’m keeping it unfinished and As Is. Somehow that feels right..

Het kan verkeren. Ik las vanochtend mijn blog-entry van maart 2014 terug. Een fictieve briefwisseling die de intentie had om het einde van een Periode en een voltooide transitie naar een nieuwe ik aan te geven. Een transitie die toen voelde als een van droge rups naar veelkleurige vlinder die op zijn prachtige vleugels uitvliegt. Teruglezend, is de impact op mijzelf heel anders na de afgelopen periode en komt het op mij over als een “ship-burning” exercitie. Was het dat ook? Did I burn ship?

Daar ben ik de afgelopen maanden veel mee bezig geweest. Wat ik nog altijd als key-asset ken van mijzelf zie, is mijn vermogen om te leren onder veranderende omstandigheden, mijn adaptability. Ook nu weer, geobserveerd, geleerd en gegroeid van de vele levenslessen in de afgelopen periode. Leren is voor mij continue verandering, leren doe ik niet zomaar uit een boek, maar vooral ook van ervaringen die minder prettig zijn. Voor mij is leren gelijk aan niet-stilstaan, ontwikkelen, reflecteren en verder gaan.

Dat reflecteren deed ik, inclusief alles een plek geven en verder gaan. In een leven die sowieso al diverse malen op zijn kop heeft gestaan, een leven die sowieso in al het negatieve graag op zoek gaat naar het positieve, een leven die in oplossingen denkt en risico’s ontleedt om ze dan bewust en beheerst te nemen. Keuzes maken heet dat. En voor die keuzes staan. Elke keuze is goed, vandaar uit verder. Toch is de leerervaring van de afgelopen periode zo groot en met zo veel impact, schokkend zo je wilt, dat ik het niet deelde op social media, ook niet in dit blog. Wel in real life, met deze en gene die daar open voor heeft willen staan. Het zou kunnen dat precies dít effect het resultaat is van het belangrijkste leerpunt.

Want wie heeft nu echt wat uitgemaakt in de afgelopen periode van leren? Van alleen zijn in overmannende eenzaamheid? Van je identiteit hervinden en begrijpen dat die toch echt anders is dan je dacht? Van herkennen dat een weg terug indruist tegen je eigen gevoel van leren, ontwikkelen, verder komen en verder gaan? Van onbegrepen zijn in je deskundigheid bij onbekendheid met een sluimerend wereldwijd gevaar? Van je moeten “invechten” op eigen grond als donkergekleurde, als “koelie”-afstammeling, als niet-elite?? Van impliciete doodsbedreigingen en uitsluitingen omwille van reeds lang daarvoor bevochten vrijheden als mens, als Moslim-geborene, als Mohamed van voornaam en als homo? Het waren de mensen in real-life die veelal wel aanwezig zijn op social media en internet, maar er niet actief zijn.

Een handvol, zoveel als telbaar op 5 vingers, …ok 10 vingers dan :-). Mijn partner, mijn vrienden in Nederland, mijn schoonfamilie, mijn ouders ondanks dat we elkaar 9 van de 10 keer niet begrepen, vaak oude vrienden in Suriname die nog steeds vrienden waren. Soms nieuwe vrienden, vaak vanuit een gedeelde actie of motivatie, bijvoorbeeld sporten, race-finisher willen zijn, duurzaamheidsgedachte, open minded people. Met het sporten erbij en door introducties bij sportverenigingen die meer social clubs zijn, werden het er meer. Maar die introducties zijn schaars en eindig en daarbuiten is het kort door de bocht gezegd moeilijk(-er) mensen tegen te komen voor een goed gesprek op niveau, een glas wijn, of gelijksoortige interesses en opinies.

Ze zijn er zeker, maar dat is vergelijkbaar met de oude reden voor gay clubs in de jaren 90 en daarvoor. Binnen de club kon je er vanuit gaan dat er mensen zijn zoals jij, daar buiten lag het meer voor de hand dat je een stomp kreeg als je een gesprek aangaat. Het draaide niet om oppervlakkig of diepgaand, maar vooral om het “zijn”. Niet eens of je er bent vóór elkaar, want dat veronderstelt verplichtingen, maar meer dat je er bént met elkaar. Geen verplichtingen, gewoon zijn, een “hee kom je, we hebben een gathering en bizar veel eten, kom!”. Dát is wat het verschil maakte. Real-life interactie met mensen waar je je goed bij voelt. En die je je goed doen voelen.

Lijkt flauw misschien naar alle mensen die geliked hebben, gelachen hebben, gerelativeerd hebben bij vele posts die geschreven leken als met een korreltje zout. Maar is dat zo? Was het een korreltje zout? Of was het een poging om alles vooral draagbaar te houden, contact te zoeken en een échte schreeuw om hulp onder water? De post zelf was in vele gevallen om het van mij af te zetten, afsluiten en verder. Een beetje zoals tijdens meditatie: plaats die random thoughts op wolkjes en laat ze afdrijven, observeer ze, maar laat ze daar, op steeds grotere afstand. Daarom ook begripvol naar sommigen die zich verwijderden van de vriendenlijst of mijn posts uit hun feed banden. Maar evenzo..

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May I Have a Word With You ~ reblogged from Frank Sonnenberg Online

Communication matters. While a few words can make someone feel special, words poorly chosen have the power to kill a relationship or tarnish a reputation.

Source: May I Have a Word With You

2014 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 830 times in 2014. If it were a cable car, it would take about 14 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

Promises and Choices

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I promised myseld I’d be there for him, always. But, 7000km away there were two, who I needed to be near to now at this stage in their lifes, my parents. He looks as if he’s on the look out, haven’t seen this particular facial expression a lot, never before actually.

Sorry little guy, I have to / want to chip in here for them, physically. Can’t be on both sides of the Ocean at once. You are well taken care off, it’s your special place. You’d die in a day with the traffic over here.

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A List And Just One Good Caipirinha

Right, so here’s a list, written sipping on a caipirinha

Chances are small if not substantially slim and insignificant, that you have

– Spent a night or more in a room on the Penthouse Floor of Naples Florida’s Ritz Carlton, with personal Butlers

– Visited the most natural blue sea surrounded Captiva Island in the Pacific and while there, stayed in the South Sea’s Island Resort

– Visited most of Western Europe for work and leisure, not being on a budget

– Drank wines of vineyards and class of which you will never even start to understand why they are as exquisite as they are priced

– Dwelled and spunked as friends amongst both the creme the la creme of first world society as well as others, which are closer to you.

No, chances are even more slim and attributably low, that you have

– Visited the wonderous and unimagineably beautiful interior of that Country on The Atlantic you live in all your life

– Understood anything about sustainability, living with nature, loving animals and plants for what they are, a luxury for you in oblivion, perhaps -wrongfully so – in abundance

– Grasped an idea of general and business ethics, without thinking in terms of facilitation and thus oops, corruption.

Yes, chances are indeed not very high, for you. Not for me, did it all.

Than why, oh why, do you dare to reflect your – in all kindness on my side – stupidity, ignorance and smallmindedness on me?

How dare you, really. Go travel, see the world, create your own opportunities, grab them, win them, live them, fail at them, fall on your face, twice more is better, get back up, find new ones.

Than, maybe, than, get back to me, and in all kindness I will embrace your ignorance. If still there. I loved the caipirinha, it was perfectly sweet with exactly the right twist of sour. Feel it?

22 Days on Easter Sunday

Easter sunday 2014, 22 days since I moved on to New Frontiers. Mr. Poes and M. connecting every day, thanks to now “common” advanced tech like mobile and wifi. Alone, not to be mistaken by lonely, there is a difference. Not easy but still close to loved ones.

22 Days, living and working abroad, or is it home? Thought so, am in the process of finding out. Whichever it is, it’s good for the Soul.

See you guys soon!

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Udil’s Letter To Abraham L., “Moving Forward, It’s My Time!”

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Dear Mr. Abraham L.,
My Dearest Abraham,

How’ve you been? I enjoyed your letter on your trip to the South, what a wonderful place it is! Saying that as if I were there with you, your letters do that, don’t they? On another note, I wanted to thank you in person, more than others so. Weird? Bare with me there:

I am not sure which year it was, was it 2 years ago you and Mrs. Abraham L. were here, at the ball in fall? That’s where you confided in me that you derived and understood from my letters there was some kind of transition on its way. And, you touched me right there and then. You were one of few, if not the only one I knew of in real life, to recognize this for a fact. And speak to me about it. So there, that’s the first thank you reasoning.

On yet another note, leading up to the next thank you will need more work, you might want to sit down for that and perhaps get a coffee with that. Being in transition, I had no clue of what was going on. I understand better now. It took something as insignificant as a so-called children’s fest and people who stood up as a small civil rights movement to actually open my eyes. It took Jeremiah and myself going to Savannah, Georgia, Charleston, South Carolina and St. Augustine, Florida, on historic vacation, to understand what was happening. Or better yet, what was not happening.

There was no connect. Two and a half decades here, I have been and still am nothing more than an outsider to – apparently most – Dutch people. Autochtonen Dutch people, as they refer to themselves, to keep the rest of this story readable. Of course, I dislike and disapprove of that segmentation, but for reading purposes, it helps, here. They have not come to terms with the historic burden of their relationship with my ancestors and with me for that matter.

We can speak about what others did to the Dutch, we cannot speak about what the Dutch made others endure, including, but not solely, my grandparents. It’s not that far away, it’s not that long ago. How different it was in Savannah, Charleston, St. Augustine, where e.g. the musea we visited detailed not only the beauty of the artifacts but also, and with much respect, the blood that made the artefact reach historic value.

So yes, I believe my transition is final, I have always been self-confident and have fought discrimination and stood above it, but only now I know what the other side of that medallion is, which one not of the dominant party can do nothing about: racism. I am more self-confident than ever before, conscious of my past, which does not start with me.

That being said, I can no longer live in The Netherlands, knowing what I know now. Still learning about white privilege and dominant historically burdened relationships, which most Dutch still have to learn about and are in denial of on subject. “Many are in denial, but to deny you must first know what it is you are supposed to be denying, hence for themselves, they are not in denial.” As opposed to the US, racism is their, but there is no denial of the fact that it is. Do not deny my existence, and that is what the Dutch are actually saying. Through not saying it.

I do not want to be part of that society anymore, who after more than 2 decades does not fully accept me as part of society being a National, but merely sees me as a Guest. The odd thing is, “we” were always Dutch, it was just that the Dutch had their plantations on the other side of the Ocean and in heritage and tales for most it became non-existent. Guests, pfft, far from that! Very different from the USA, who had their plantations within the same continent, where the whole of it grew through good and bad and went through an evolution together, and still is going through that. We haven’t even started!

Only as of recent events in the last 6 months, I have started educating myself on what white privilege and historically burdened relationships mean, and, to me the above in between quote characterizes what is happening (or not happening) in Dutch society.

In discussions on voice-online.co.uk with truly academic scholars on subject, I am starting to understand now. I am sharing this with you, in full admiration and being thankful of knowing you, and knowing that this does not in any way apply to you. It does for lots of Dutch people I know, sadly including lots of friends, many of whom I feel I have lost just because of addressing the issue, which fits the roles nicely: the suppressed is not allowed to discuss with the suppressor.

Another quote opened my eyes:

“when someone not of the dominant party speaks about racism (not being equal to discrimination, self-confident individuals will and can stand above that), do not disrespectfully qualify them as victim. Try to listen and absorb. There WILL be no answers to your questions. Your questions cannot be validated, EVER. Just educate yourself. Listen. And do the right thing when you see it.”

Whether or not that is the case, I am hoping to have found another ally in you, through your Dutch connection with the Missus. It does not matter if I say it, I cannot exercise my white privilege to positive, simply because I don’t have that. Only through actually exercising your white privilege to positive things will start to change. I say another ally, because the only other I consciously know of in Dutch real life, is Jeremiah. He is on board, he knows now he has to do his part in that. Most of my friends of many years, are still in the dark. As are most of the Dutch. Should I not have had a role in that? I have asked myself that question, and conclude to no, I tried but not having the privilege, it makes no sense whatsoever.

I am tired of fighting against people who are and want to stay in denial, always having to rationalize that I too can be intelligent, having to rationalize that I too can be just Dutch and add to culture.

It’s my turn, my time, and I am not waiting for the Dutch to understand. That is a privilege I do have. So, again, thank you, with all that I have in my heart.

Sincerely Yours,
Your Friend from the South until recently living in the Old World,

Udil

**Abraham Lincoln (February 12, 1809 – April 15, 1865) was the 16th President of the United States, serving from March 1861 until his assassination in April 1865. Lincoln led the United States through its Civil War—its bloodiest war and its greatest moral, constitutional and political crisis. In so doing he preserved the Union, abolished slavery, strengthened the national government and modernized the economy. Lincoln has been consistently ranked both by scholars and the public as one of the greatest U.S. presidents. (Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abraham_Lincoln).

To date, long after abolishment, and long after indentured labour, successors of slaves and indentured labourers are still fighting the relics of both. We still have a long way to go.**

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H.I.M. Is Watching Over Us…?

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Oh Dear, I didn’t think I’d ever say this again, but it seems H.I.M. – like Lady Gaga refers to the Playful One above –  is actually still watching over us.

H.I.M. will,

  • put it on your path, when the time is there,
  • make you struggle for years and years, you will have to overcome,
  • make you fight for it again and again, you will have to want it,
  • want you to open your eyes wide, you will have to discover,
  • present cross roads, you will have to choose.

And, the weirdest thing,
H.I.M. doesn’t even need you to be thankful in praise. I wasn’t.

Humbled though. I guess,
H.I.M. asks for only that, be humble and kind. That I try to be.

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