Tuesday, November 28, 2006


A few years back i read an article about a young family. The woman catched my attention, because she was a writer of children's books. She seemed very nice.
So i went to the library, read her books. Wah, she wrote darn good books!

Today i met her and indeed she is very nice. She is full of humor, humble and honest.
And she still writes very good books and meanwhile got several important prices in literature.

When you teach you are a teacher. When you clean, you are a cleaner. When you drive, you are a driver. So when you write, are you a writer????
So i asked her: "When are you a writer?"
When you write a book (but leave it in the drawer of your desk)
When you publish?(think of all the books that have been remaindered)
When you are actually read by the people?(yes, read but maybe not liked)
When you win a price?(and fall short of expectations)

The author gave a very honest answer about her fears, her doubts. How every time you are waiting for the phonecall of your publisher or your critics, you stay trembling.
She answered so vulnerable.

Kaat Vrancken, that's her name (www.kaatvrancken.com) reads well too.
She went reading for children in different places. Of course in Flandres, in the Netherlands, in Aruba, in Iran.
So i was brave and i asked her if one day she could come and read for the sikhchildren. She was very positive about the idea.
So hopefully one of these days Kaat Vrancken, the famous and so nice author will come and read out of her own work for the sikhchildren. Because she is right, a child's feelings are the same everywhere, whether they are born in this country or not.
Kaat Vrancken you made my day!!!!

Sadho eh tan mithiya jano

This body is a lie, O Seers,
The spirit of God within the only truth.
Why do you wallow in sweet illusions,
Why are you attached to wordly possessions
When nothing will go with thee?
Put away all thoughts of praise or blame,
And fix your mind on His glory.
In every heart dwells the Perfect One,
Says nanak, know him as the Lord.

by Guru Tegh Bahadur
(translation Khushwant Singh)

Tuesday, November 21, 2006


a rose is a rose, is a rose... (Gertrude Stein ? i think)


the main theme in my library...
the main theme in my life...


so much to read and reread, i am a sikh, a learner in every way...


The precious gifts we recieved from our Guru's.
The Dutch translations we give as gifts to all the visitors in Gurdwara Sangat Sahib.


knock and my door will be opened... (Bible)


here lives a sikh, so welcome...

friend's hands

it is amazing how hands are the spitting image of their "owners"...

hands made of bronse

sweet young hands

tabula rasa...

sweet old hands

My mama's hands with the ring i brought her from Amritsar.
How many slices of bread she buttered, how many tears she wiped away, how many clothes she made, how many....The sweet hands that cared for me, for us...

and yes as you can see, rheuma runs in the family, so my sisters and me will have the same kind of hands if we ever reach her blessed age.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Zen scene 5

At last we talk again.
"Can i hug and kiss you" i ask my zen master. For a moment he doubts.
I kiss his old bony cheek. "Thank you!"
His skin is soft as a baby's.
His eyes are pure light.

Zen scene 4

We practise Zazen.
i sit on my meditation bank (my knees are painful again).
Everything is still. My hands are in meditation mudra, i feel my kara against my belly.
Inside i am singing: Satnam Satnam Ji, Waheguru Waheguru Ji.

Zen scene 3

we did not talk for 2 days now.
i eat my meal with caring attention.
Ben, the youngster of our group, sits next to me, he catches me staring out of the window. i see the beautiful woods.
" It's autumn" he whispers in my ear.
I smile at him. He blushes.

Zen scene 2

We quietly go to our places. When all the sounds have died and we sit in meditation positions, we hear the pure gong.
i start to cry, with no sound, just tears out of my half open eyes.
i breath in and breath out.

ZEN scene1

It is so quiet, though 23 people are there in the zendo. Just breathing and sitting.
Our zen master switched of the light in the hall. i am aware of the half dark glow, then the day light starts to fill the room. The light is so soft, as a veil.
And i think: we call this amrit vela.

Monday, November 06, 2006

sonnet 2

by Edna St.Vincent Millay

For you there is no song...
Only the shaking
Of the voice that meant to sing; the sound of the
Voice breaking.

Strange in my hand appears
The pen, and yours broken.
There are ink and tears on the page; only the tears
Have spoken.