Friday, December 30, 2005

Light in your winter

Most religions have a festival of lights. In Christianity this is Christmas. It started only in 381 when they fixed the birthday of Jesus on 25th of December. The actual celebration was actually a much older feast of non christians. But very clevery they kept the midwintercelebration while converting the "pagans". The Joelcelebration is still celebrated in the Scandinavian countries, but has now a christian meaning.
Anyhow, people want to be enlighten in the darkness. People are everywhere the same. So everybody try to brighten the heart of wintertime.
And isn't our word guru, not of the same origine. Gu is darkness, Ru is light. He/she who guides you from the darkness to the light, is the GURU.
So i hope for everyone:

" May there be light in your winter"
(and i mean divine light and your winter is just a methaphore for any kind of darkness.)
This reminds me of something else i want to share. I am a great artlover. Finding my way through most of the classics, i try to understand modern art. Very often, i think it is not very artistic (in terms of skills), but it definetly makes you think about our reality.
Last summer we had a large exhibition in my hometown, with several new quick rising young artist. They were from different eurpean backgrounds, many of them never heard about sikhism. So i took a few of them to Gurdwara and gave them a brief introduction. One of them, Dirk Braeckman, he is a Belgian very famous photographer, wanted to create "something" with sikhism. I was very afraid of course, knowing how sensitive the sikhcommunity is about their relgion. One way or another i trusted the artist as being respectful. He was especially interested in Operation Blue Star and ask to borrow one of the photographs of a young martyr which was hanging in the gurdwarahall.
The exhibition was on several different locations. Dirk's masterpiece was installed in the intact crypt of the old abbeye, which burnt down in 1975. It was pitchdark in there (aha, finally i come to the reason of this story), one comes from broad daylight into this dark space. Every person immediately stops until his eyes got used to the darkness. This time the artist guided us, because in the back you could see some pale light. Slowly step by step the visitor moved to this light and then he could see the enlarged photograph of the young martyr. Only in black and white, i think ( sorry if i am wrong, but this was my impression) about 2 metres on 4 metres. The photograph was draped on a "table", so it gave the impression of a tomb. Like a last and just tribute for this man who gave his life for his faith. It was very quiet there, it smelled like a grave, but it was not frighting. And suddenly in the face of this young martyr i saw the face of Jesus. I mean the archetype of Jesus, because lately they discovered that Jesus looked completely diffferent from the archetype we believed he looked like. The beard, the long hair, the half smile on his face, the half closed eyes. Suddenly i understood the artist when he said to me that he was fascinated by this young religion in a town with this very old relgion (roman catholic). The face of the young sikhmartyr was a universal image for all the brave in the world who laid their life for their faith. I was very moved, understanding by modern art that all was in everyone and everyone in all.
On one of the earthen walls Dirk Braeckman made a video screen and slowly he went with a camera in full detail over the sikhmartyr's face. One could see lines, but not recognise anything. Like if he wanted to say, look at the details of every human, whether he is sikh or any other religion. Don't stare at the generalisations because this way you do not see these beautiful people.
And isn't he right? Do we really, really see to other people? Do we use the light to notice other people? And do we use the light to see Him in everyone?
I hope we do...
Happy Newyear!!!

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

my father

It is almost Christmas, the first Christmas without my father. The first Christmas without a tree full of lights in my parent's home. My mother says she has no reason to put a Christmas tree while papa is not around.
The death of my father is the most important happening this year. Even going to my beloved India is nothing, compared to that last day i (we) spent with him in the hospital.
My father was a wonderful man, humorous, sociable, caring and compassionate, Godloving and fair. Of course he had his weaknesses like everyone, but mostly he was just wonderful. He was a very loving father, a pillar for all his children.
When my parent's neighbour rang me that morning, i ran unwashed and uncombed to him. He was laying on the bedroom floor. The doctor was there and the ambulancepeople and the firebrigade. They had to evacuate him through the bedroom window, because the stairs where too narrow in the old house. He was unaware of this all.
When we arrived in emerency i said goodbye to him, his eyes were open then and i talked to him. The doctor said he could not hear or see me. But i knew he could. I said to him not to fear that God was with him, i thanked him for all his love. I assured that everything was allright, that God would take care of him. I prayed Mool Mantra. I said Waheguru, Waheguru.
When my family arrived i hold his hand full day, somehow they seemed to be a bit frightened. I prayed silently, my family is not sikh and i did not want to upset them (my family is roman catholic).
One by one all his functions, all his senses fell out. He died peacefully in the late afternoon. My family left and i stayed with him till he was cold and there was no light in the room anymore.
I kissed him goodbye, i kissed this empty body goodbye and thanked him again. He is with me eversince.
I went alone to India, but i was never lonely. I was never in any danger, because he was always with me. I do not miss him, because he is never so close as since he left his body. He is always with me.
My beloved dear father...

Tuesday, December 13, 2005


men zegt dat jouw schrijn
van zuiver goud zou zijn
men zegt
men zegt dat jij er voelbaar bent
men zegt zoveel
ik was er en ik voelde
hoe jij daar was
zoals je hier ook bent
in iedere plooi
in iedere porie
en van mij houdt
dus nooit meer dwalen
nooit meer dolen
ik weet jij vindt mij ook
van zuiver goud
Last year i finished my "creative writing" course ( did very well actually). But it will be difficult to make a proper translation, because so many "things" are lost (like rhyme and rythmn); But i will try anyhow...
This poem was written before my last trip to Amritsar and now i find it ever so very true.
they say that your shrine
would be of pure gold
they say
they say one can feel you there
they say a lot
i was there and i felt
how you were there
like you are here with me
in every plead
in every pore
and love me more
so no more roaming
no more straying
i know
you find i am
made of gold
So i tried, i just tried. Hope it is not too plain....

Sunday, December 11, 2005


Sat Shri Akal!

To my big surprise there were any comments on my blog. I promise i will answer them; i really feel sorry that i was so neglective.
At this very moment i feel rather sick, because of campylobacter i brought with me from my trip to Amritsar( This was not meant as a present, but a stupidity of me, because I brushed my teeth with tapwater).

My trip to Amritsar made me completely confused, i did not feel the serenity i felt the first time. I am not disappointed in sikhism, but very in sikhs.
It was Islam "Something" (aka Cat Stevens) who said: " Thank God I knew Islam before i knew the muslims!". It is the same with me, i am sooooo disappointed by the behaviour of the sikhs( some sikhs of course)
I am licking the wounds i got by stating all the things they are doing while our gurus gave such great advice to the people. So few people are turning to our Guru. Maya is everywhere and like blind people they are running behind it ( i do not want to offend blind people, because very often they see more clear, but you know what i mean)

Okay, i am not going to overreact, i will take my time being sick on reflecting being Sikh!!!!
I am back soon!