My favourite frames

Some things are just too beautiful to be left unframed. Since my latest move, I own nine frames: five big and four small. My landlord, Mr. P, is pretty keen on keeping his plain white walls free of nails and hooks, so I’ve had to improvise a bit. From my favourite spot at the table, I face my three favourite big frames on the dresser. I bet I spend half my time staring at them, since it’s quite a challenge to not see them when I detach my eyes from my 13-inch screen.

It’s sad to see beauty and not share it. After all, which beautiful piece of work would want to end up stuck inside a frame in my living-room, of all places? Therefore I thought I would share the beauty inside my three favourite frames with you. I hope you may be as inspired by this work as I am.

1. Lief kind (Rudy Kousbroek)

The first frame contains a poem titled ‘lief kind’ (‘dear child’) by the Dutch poet Rudy Kousbroek. If you’re a Dutch speaker, do ask your friend Google to fetch it for you; it’s absolutely superb. I wouldn’t dare to translate to English; instead, I’ll try to explain how the poem makes me feel. Imagine a child lying in bed, unable to sleep and eyes wide open, bravely affronting her worries and fears. Outside her bedroom door stands her father, worried and scared for her as well, silently speaking to his little girl. He tells her that he knows she’s not asleep. That the sounds she hears are in fact her memories. That all things have already happened before, and that that’s how they shall always be connected. I imagine the girl, feeling her father’s comforting presence and protection in every inch of her little body. It’s one of my favourite mental images. It makes me feel safe and loved.

2. L’église d’Auvers-sur-Oise, vue du chevet (Vincent van Gogh)

Frame two is my reminder that it’s OK to have been institutionalised. Van Gogh was there, too! It happens to the best of us. Nothing to worry about really. I’ll be fine.

3. Ik zou wel eens willen weten (Jules de Corte)

The third frame contains the lyrics of ‘Ik zou wel eens willen weten’ (‘I would like to know’), by Jules de Corte. It’s a pretty old song, it might have been old already when I was born, so you may now imagine sounds of a squeaking radio if you wish. I was always a thoughtful little girl, thinking about things other people never seemed to think about. Finding out that the Australians lived upside down, for example, upset me big time. For me, this song was like finally someone singing my questions out loud. It goes: ‘I wonder why the clouds move so fast’, and ‘I wonder why the mountains are so high’. It offers wonderful answers as well, such as ‘maybe it’s just the angels playing around’ and ‘maybe the mountains are there to collect snow’. An inspiring song for the curious and the creative!

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