day 10: relative traveling fatigue

I am very titred today, a busy day at work followed by an exhausting slow journey home, not my home, I am house sitting this week, so a bit out of my routine. What a whimp I hear you say, I agree. Today is nothing compared to another journey I took in Nepal.

This is footage from 2007-2008. I was on my way from the capital Kathmandu to Lumbini on the border with India. A very different kind of travel with an maximum average speed of 40km/hours on rattling busses with noisy video players, loud horns, barely leg space and hard seats. Somehow that journey seemed less tyring than the half hour I spent today in the traffic jam on my way home. Part of the journey I traveled on the roofrack of the bus, just like I did 20 years earlier. Still as much fun, plenty of fresh air, no noisy music videos, great views, but a little more dangerous as these days electric wires can hang dangerously low accross the road. Riding busses in Nepal is not very safe, but apart from flying or walking there is no alternative. Danger is lurking around every corner, but traveling with the Nepalese is never boring, they make great company making you forget about the torturous long journeys that are only interupted by short chai stops. The scenery, well you can't get much better...

Day 9: enrichment process

The first bit of mulch the new mulcher produced.

I am making space for the new eco cottage I am planning to build. I need to clear bushes and the odd tree, none to precious fortunately. It is my intention to recycle everything that needs to make way on the site. All trunks and branched have been chopped to firewood size, the twigs and leaves are mulched so they will enrich the soil they sprouted from. Once the building is done I will restore the garden with native planst and trees, some from cuttings I have taken before I started chopping.

I also intend to have a small vege garden and have some chickens. It is a small site and steep, but with enough space to practice permaculture on the smallest of scales. The house will be super insulated. have solar panels and underfloor heating with a heat exchange pump. It is all part to an attempt to reduce my carbon footprint while increasing comfort levels (older NZ houses aren't the best, often draughty, barely insulated and poorly heated). I can't wait for the house to be ready because I am ready. I know the house will enrich my life greatly. It will be worth the wait.

For other posts from this series please visit:

day 7: to busk or not to busk...

I used to play music when I was in my 20's, accordeon, tin whistles, spoons. I wasn't that good, but I loved it and even earned money playing in a medieval inn in the city of Delft. I saw musicians playing on the Sunday market, entertaining the crowds. I love buskers. They can brighten the dullest of places, like the tunnels of the London Tube stations. I want to play again, sing again...

Day 5: start-up

Who wants to start the working week being nagged by a PC prompting you to press 3 buttons at the same time in order to the blimming machine going? Not me. It defies logic. Why button twice when once will do? It is a scary thought that PC's dominate. I am so glad I have a Mac. It assumes intelligence, intuition, logic and values my time.

Day 4: Yay day with tulips

The sign reads: This bed of (5500) Daydream and White Dream tulips honour the people of Dutch heritage who have made Wellington their home. Orange is the national colour of the Netherlands. That's me :)

You can never, NEVER have too many tulips. Seeing all these tulips made me melancholy as I woke up this morning thinking: "it would be nice to drop-in on my family", but they are 20.000 km away. I left The Netherlands in 1988, I have changed so much that I feel I could never resettle there if I choose to. I can play being Dutch, but so many other non-Dutch aspects of me would find no expression there, making it difficult for me to feel whole. So Wellington is home, my base in the world where I feel comfortable. I can't help but lament the fact from time to time that it is impossible to just pop over for a weekend visit. There should be a sign with this bed of tulips: This bed of pink tulips honours the queer people of Dutch heritage who have made Wellington their home.

Day 3: Yay day.

As I scootered through the city hills on my way to the pool, I got sidetracked to the Otari School fair. I found this Iranian hand-embroidered woolen cloth, a large Chinese bowl, an interesting ceramic object from Malaysia, a handpainted tray from New Zealand and a wooden sculpture from the Pacific Islands, all for only $21.00. Retail therapy that did not break the bank. All objects will find a place in my new house and garden.

Day 2: playtime

When lunchtime comes, even during short morning or afternoon tea breaks, games are pulled out and taken to the lunchroom. Who can say that they play games with their colleagues at work just for the sheer pleasure of playing games? I am very fortunate that I can. I like my colleagues and enjoy their company very much.

Day 1: shifting perspective.

This is one out of one hundred and nine photo's I took today. The days preceeding that day were grey as my mind only saw grey. I'd lost my mojo, shit happens, but I did not want to stay there and remembered the advice I once gave to a friend who had lost her mojo. "Take a picture a day" I suggested. Using a lens to view the world and your life provides a different point of view that allows for a shift in perspective. The day I took his picture I began to see beauty everywhere including in grey objects.

New blog: as if ... you only live once.

I intend to mark and honour each day for it's contribution to a life well lived with images and words.

This concept is inspired by my friends Lynsey and Marica and their site:

May you be inspired to copy this or develop a similar creative practice.

Jewelry of Impermanence

This jewelry is handmade and based on traditional "Sung 'Khor" or paper amulets from Tibet. Tibetan Monks make these amulets for the faithful who require protection for safe travel or from disease. They consist of a mandala with prayers on paper and may contain protective herbs. The paper is folded inward making images and texts invisible. The amulets are blessed.

The contemporary versions I make are created along similar principles. The concept is that the amulets contain:
mandala's on paper or special paper
contains a prayer, Tibetan, Christian, an affirmation or loving messages.
they are energised using 'Quantum Touch' breathing techniques

Contemporary Amulet 1
by Marcel Baaijens
Printed rice paper from Nepal with poly cotton thread
30mm square

I conduct workshops in which participants can make their own,
draw their own mandala's (geometrical or symbolic representations of the universe)
write their own prayers, affirmations or similar
include and herbs or essential oils
wrap their amulet
and energise their amulet using quatum breathing techniques

This amulet is my private one
60mm square
It took 3 hours to make.

The amulets are worn on the body near the heart, it's energy brushing off on the wearer. Is this effective? After attending a presentation by Mr. Emoto from Japan I am convinced it is. Mr. Emoto who featured in the documentary "What The Bleeb" has done interesting experiments with water, photographed water crystals exposed to both loving and hateful words. The photo's say it all. We humans are between 70%-90% made of water. Have a look at this link:

Contemporary Amulet 2
by Marcel Baaijens
Printed Nepalese rice paper with poly cotton threads
30mm square

The jewelry is made om temporary materials that will disintegrate after some time encouraging the wearer not to get attached to their precious jewel and let go of whatever it is the maker wished for. This ties in to the Buddhist concept of non-attachment as a way to achieve happiness.

Om Mani Padme Om,
by Marcel Baaijens
containing print with hundreds of Om Mani Padme Om's in Tibetan script.
32mm square

Jewelry of an impermanent nature challenges the notion that jewelry is very precious and should be treasured. This jewelry will guaranteed fall apart at some stage, unless you lock it away in a safe, but then you will not reap the benefits it has to offer.

Orininal amulet by Lama Sajan,
not for sale
approx. 15 mm square

Original amulet from Ladakh, India
This one has fallen apart with time.
60mm square, prints of this mandala (below) are reused for some of the contemporary mandala's

For orders or further information contact Marcel: marcel[dot]baaijens[at]gmail[dot]com