Aquarelle on Paper, 2000
© HMH, 2018
Wouldn’t it be great having plenty of time to do exactly what one wants to do? Those days are gone, but they may still return. We live in hope, or so they say. Who’s they? There’s always a ‘they’, claiming deep insights and profound knowledge. Wouldn’t it be nice to be such a ‘they’? Perhaps it’s overrated like so many unachievable feats. Don’t we all haste to catch up with time? How silly is that? It must be one of those natural laws.
Very few people aren’t on some kind of schedule. Perhaps, that is a good thing: how many would be able to structure time, given complete freedom to do what they want? Still, we dream of being free to decide. The question is, if we ever have that freedom. We live in a social structure for better and for worse. Freedom is perhaps the greatest illusion. Time is part of the prison-bars surrounding the said freedom. Is a mayfly happy? Who can tell, but people are rarely perfectly happy. People are rarely perfect, maybe that has something to do with this. I digress.
Time and eternity. There’s something absurd about this: eternity can’t be measured, yet we try to do so through man-made divisions, seconds, minutes, hours. Admittedly, there’s a reason why. After all, we have two factors, namely, day and night although the length of days and nights vary with the year. Unless we stay at the north- or south-pole. There the day lasts half a year and the other half is night. At least that’s how it looks to a lay-man (or woman).
How can we hope to get to grips with time? We manage time, we have time-tables and schedules, but trains get delayed, flights cancelled, it’s next to impossible to boil an egg to anybody’s satisfaction. Here it may be a good idea to give a recipe for toast: when it burns it needs two minutes less in the toaster. Not so simple. No wonder so many plays with the idea of time travelling. On the other hand, would it be preferable not to have time? Can one conceive of timelessness? The first objection lies in our hearts, in our pulse. Without a pulse we don’t live, without life, we don’t exist. Pulse is Rhythm, pulse is life, it is the ticking away, second for second, of our little lives. And so on.
© HMH, 2018
Forced into marriage and out
Hapless and gormless
Career like nil
He takes to swill
Herbal teas and veggie meals
Making a temple out of his body.
Surprisingly, fat quills from every pore.
Dreams of eternal youth evaporate
As quickly as his weight grows.
His only redeeming feature is
His kindness, which
Only lasts until you get
Up, close, and personal
That sends him straight back to his shell
Where he resides like an old weary turtle
© HMH, 2013
This painting vanished in one of my moves around Europe. It’s gone, but I still have the photo. There’s a story behind it too. It was my first experiment with acrylics, and I painted it on top of somebody else’s work. Mind: they gave the canvas as they weren’t happy with their painting. As I remember, it was three or five narrow blocks of colour on a white background. The colour blocks were placed around the vertical centre of the rectangular frame. To my eyes, the colours were lacklustre and there was no movement, no tension in the painting’s expression. In other words, I had to agree with the one who painted it that it was a failure. Working on it wasn’t unproblematic. I had some trouble with the priming because the colours shone through. My question might be if my first attempt with this medium was successful.
© HMH 2000, 2018