George Birdseye’s poem “Honest and True”, read by Gretchen Mol in episode S5E01 of Boardwalk Empire. The text is as follows:
Be honest and true, boys!
Whatever you do, boys,
Let this be your motto through life.
Both now and forever,
Be this your endeavor,
When wrong with the right is at strife.
The best and the truest,
Alas! are the fewest;
But be one of these if you can.
In duty ne’er fail; you
Will find ’twill avail you,
And bring it’s reward when a man.
Don’t think life plain sailing;
There’s danger of failing,
Though bright the future seem to be;
But bright honor and labor,
And truth to your neighbor,
Will bear you safe over life’s seas.
Then up and be doing,
Right only pursuing,
And take your fair part in the strife.
Be honest and true, boys,
Whatever you do, boys,
Let this be your motto through life!
Detail from the frame of a painting of Hieronymus van Beverningk (painted by Jan de Baen) at the Rijksmuseum. The Latin roughly translates into: "Do not look outside of yourself."
What is meant is that human beings need to rely on themselves (their ideas), follow their initial instincts, and refrain from allowing society’s norms and ideals to dictate their thoughts.
Beautiful architecture and details at the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam.
Some of the things that I saw at the Rijksmuseum, photographed for different reasons; either because of their beauty, importance or simply because of the awesome story behind them.
The picture on the top right for instance, used to also include the father of the children, but after they got divorced, the woman decided to have him literally cut out of the picture.
The picture on the left next to Rembrandt’s Nachtwacht (Night Watch) is of (one of?) the first female ice skating contest in the Netherlands in 1805. The first, and for a long time also the last, because of the fact that the contestants had removed their coats and rolled up their sleeves to do so. It caused quite the scandal in society!
Directly under that picture is a decorative item that reminded me of a D12 dice and next to that an old board game that soldiers used to play.
The last two images are both drinking glasses. On the left a drinking glass disguised as a book, on the right a drinking glass which contains a dice in the silver globe.
We went to Amsterdam for a couple of days, to visit some museums. The hotel we stayed at (Tulip Inn Amsterdam Riverside) had this awesome van Gogh theme in the lobby and the restaurant.
Work in progress: 1 Harry Potter mug done, 15 more to go!
Depression is humiliating. It turns intelligent, kind people into zombies who can’t wash a dish or change their socks. It affects the ability to think clearly, to feel anything, to ascribe value to your children, your lifelong passions, your relative good fortune. It scoops out your normal healthy ability to cope with bad days and bad news, and replaces it with an unrecognizable sludge that finds no pleasure, no delight, no point in anything outside of bed. You alienate your friends because you can’t comport yourself socially, you risk your job because you can’t concentrate, you live in moderate squalor because you have no energy to stand up, let alone take out the garbage. You become pathetic and you know it. And you have no capacity to stop the downward plunge. You have no perspective, no emotional reserves, no faith that it will get better. So you feel guilty and ashamed of your inability to deal with life like a regular human, which exacerbates the depression and the isolation.
Depression is humiliating.
If you’ve never been depressed, thank your lucky stars and back off the folks who take a pill so they can make eye contact with the grocery store cashier. No one on earth would choose the nightmare of depression over an averagely turbulent normal life.
It’s not an incapacity to cope with day to day living in the modern world. It’s an incapacity to function. At all. If you and your loved ones have been spared, every blessing to you. If depression has taken root in you or your loved ones, every blessing to you, too.
Depression is humiliating.
No one chooses it. No one deserves it. It runs in families, it ruins families. You cannot imagine what it takes to feign normalcy, to show up to work, to make a dentist appointment, to pay bills, to walk your dog, to return library books on time, to keep enough toilet paper on hand, when you are exerting most of your capacity on trying not to kill yourself. Depression is real. Just because you’ve never had it doesn’t make it imaginary. Compassion is also real. And a depressed person may cling desperately to it until they are out of the woods and they may remember your compassion for the rest of their lives as a force greater than their depression. Have a heart. Judge not lest ye be judged.
I found myself losing interest in almost everything. I didn’t want to do any of the things I had previously wanted to do, and I didn’t know why. The opposite of depression is not happiness, but vitality, and it was vitality that seemed to seep away from me in that moment. Everything there was to do seemed like too much work. I would come home and I would see the red light flashing on my answering machine, and instead of being thrilled to hear from my friends, I would think, “What a lot of people that is to have to call back.” Or I would decide I should have lunch, and then I would think, but I’d have to get the food out and put it on a plate and cut it up and chew it and swallow it, and it felt to me like the Stations of the Cross.
And one of the things that often gets lost in discussions of depression is that you know it’s ridiculous. You know it’s ridiculous while you’re experiencing it. You know that most people manage to listen to their messages and eat lunch and organize themselves to take a shower and go out the front door and that it’s not a big deal, and yet you are nonetheless in its grip and you are unable to figure out any way around it.
centre-of-my-universe heeft op je fotoset gereageerd “Last April we went on holiday to Kurdistan, to visit my family in-law…”
Ik wil graag iets zeggen om je gerust te stellen, maar ik heb echt geen idee hoe het voelt om je zorgen te maken om familie in oorlogsgebied… Sterkte voor jou en je man en ik hoop dat je familie veilig blijft.
Dank je voor het berichtje, ik waardeer het echt! Ik snap dat dit een situatie is waarbij het moeilijk is om te bedenken wat te zeggen. Tot voor kort zou ik zelf namelijk ook geen idee hebben wat hoe het voelt en wat je kunt zeggen in zo’n situatie.
Nu moet ik erbij zeggen dat wij, ondanks dat we ons zorgen maken en het nieuws op de voet volgen, verder weinig te klagen hebben. Onze familie is tot nu toe immers nog veilig, dat kunnen helaas veel mensen uit Mosul, Sinjar en omgeving niet meer zeggen. We voelen dan ook vooral pijn in ons hart voor het leed van al deze mensen en hopen dat de helden van Peshmerga ISIS snel kan stoppen, hopelijk zonder zelf al te veel verliezen te lijden.
Wat vooral ook hoop geeft is de saamhorigheid en verhalen van heldenmoed die je in de (Koerdische) media hoort. Mensen die zich massaal bij Peshmerga aanmelden om te vechten of op andere manier te helpen, kleding/eten/geld inzamelen terwijl ze zelf ook niet veel hebben, massaal bloed doneren en in bezette gebieden zelfs vrouwen en meisjes met hun eigen geld kopen van ISIS om ze zo veilig te houden totdat ze weer met hun familie herenigd worden…
Last April we went on holiday to Kurdistan, to visit my family in-law in Duhok. On the way back to the airport I filmed a bit. These are screenshots from that film. This is in Erbil, where on the left side of the road you could see a Mosque and on the right side of the road almost opposite the mosque, there was this Church. Neigbours in peace, for many years. Let’s hope Peshmerga defeats ISIS/IS once and for all and it stays that way…