Swimming in the Rain

“Hey,” my friend texts me, “I’m 10 minutes away, do you want to go with me and swim in the rain?” ❤️

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In other words: Summer has arrived. Really really. I go to bed after the sun has just dipped below the horizon and is rising again. The birds start singing at 2 am. (This makes me happy.)

The sky and sky and sky

A documentation of the sky. This is my new diary, a documentation of different skies – although it’s the same sky, I suppose, like Monet’s water lilies. Painted in different seasons and different light.

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I want to put them in a little case because they’re becoming too many, carry them with me. Maybe put them in a journal, one on each page.

(We’ll see)

 

 

Meaningless Art Pt. 1

(Meaningless art; A new series I want to do, because I’ve been so preoccupied with art being useful that I’ve forgotten how to make stuff just cause I feel like it. I’ve been stuck in What do I do with this? How can I sell this? How do I use this? And I want to go back to just making some stuff, not really for any specific purpose. Meaning: not really for any commercial purpose. Sometimes not even specifically for it to be good.)

So, first out, here’s a digital version of an old photo I stumbled upon when looking through this blog. The photo’s originally from this post.

African Sky

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Motivation

I’ve always been more motivated by what I don’t want than by what I do want.

This fear has served me well. It has sent me out of the ordinary, out of where I don’t want to be. I think about the Twenty pilots song Leave the city that admits to not knowing where you’ll end up, or Brené Browns book Braving the wilderness, about leaving our clearly pronounced structures and stern belief systems.

And it reminds me of what a lot of people seem to be going through at the moment, or have been going through for a while. Churches, ministries, or just people. We know we’re not exactly where we should be, and so we lay things down, move out, take the first step in trust even if we don’t know where we’ll end up. The wilderness, or trench, as Twenty One Pilots call it, is scary, because it’s where we don’t have all the answers. And now we’re out here, not knowing the answers. 

It’s made me to think about my competitiveness. If you’ll stay with me for a moment:
I’m extremely competitive. Always have been. But it’s much more important to me to not lose, than it is to win. It’s bad, I think. People motivated by winning and succeeding will do anything for it, they’re fighters and victors. But for me: if there’s a chance I’ll lose I might not even want to try in the first place.

This is obvious in other parts of my life as well. I’m very motivated by what I don’t want. What kind of life I don’t want, what I don’t want to do, who I don’t want to be. The most motivating sentence to me has always been: “But what if I’m not?” in response to “What if I’m too scared to do all the things I’ve ever wanted.” My point: I am fully aware of what I’m moving away from.

Too aware.

Truth is, anyone can be a rebel. And our courage has served us well. So has our eagerness to obey God, to move out into uncertainty. But I’ve been out in the wilderness for a while now, and the problem with it not being a place for answers is that there still seems to be no answers. And so what I’ve decided is this: There comes a moment, out in the dust – with that city looming in the background – when we have to stop looking back at what we left and turn our heads to where we want to go. 

It is time to stop being motivated by what we don’t want and start being motivated by what we do want. If it hasn’t yet, the looking back, the awareness of what you don’t want, will make you desperate. What takes actual maturity is to look forward. To make a choice and move towards it. To be brave enough for what you want, even if you think you don’t know (Which, you do, you actually do, otherwise you wouldn’t have left that other place behind. It might just not be in the shape you think a dream should be.) Grow up, look forward. Maybe it’s a mirage, that city you see in the distance, I can’t promise that it’s not. There’s no way to see from this distance.

But I know you’ll never know if you don’t start moving towards it. 

Direction

Yesterday I was walking home through the sunset and I was thinking about how in philosophy, both everything is movement and movement cannot logically exist. That everything is movement makes sense, all atoms are vibrating and spinning and twisting, otherwise we’d fall apart. It’s a solar system in miniature, it couldn’t stand still. But the thought that there’s no such thing as movement, that makes sense as well. The classic example that some old greek dude whose name I’ve forgotten spoke about is of an arrow flying through the air. If you would observe that arrow at any point in time it would be still in the middle of the air. Another moment, it would be still at some other point in its path. But if at any given point it is not moving, how then can it be moving at all?

I’ve been thinking about that because I’m curious about how it’s supposed to work in our own life. Are we supposed to run or stand still? Is everything movement and direction, or do we live better by being empty somehow, content.

There’s argument to be made for both. But I do know that we’re not good at being directionless (and direction must be a form of movement, or at least an indicator of it). You feel it when you have too much time, walking in slight circles, don’t know what to do when you put your phone down. Your direction is off, you’re not exactly sure what you’re pointing towards. That’s dangerous, makes you feel lost.

So about arrows and philosophy or whatever, I side with movement rather being everything. We can not live if we’re not aimed at something, can’t breathe if we don’t have a moment to move into. But then I think it can also be paired with stillness. Actually, what it is maybe – I think I’ve got it now – is this: Movement is a necessity for stillness.

The cure to restlessness is sitting still and letting your mind flow towards something. And it’s not what my prayers sometimes become, an oops-I-thought-about-that-instead, need-to-think-about-God, but it’s the freedom of believing that our hearts are created and redeemed to be aimed at Him. Sometimes you need to control your mind, but sometimes you need to let go of the reigns and believe that when you allow silence, your spirit will know direction.