The life of this bird is quite simple, as actually with all animals. Daily activities consist of eating and drinking, sleeping, reproducing themselves and making sure that dangers are avoided. That is hard work, but in the meantime they find time to be curious, to discover new possibilities and to anticipate changes in the environment. Of course there are also acts of violence and predators that you have to watch out for. And there isn’t always enough food for everyone. But life has a natural cadence, without too much complexity. Most people actually want that too, longing for peace and a well-organized life. It’s just that they rarely get that. And mainly because as species they do that to themselves.
Joseph had been a gifted painter. In his own style he captured scenes, tranquil moments in which time slows down a little and a hidden message is revealed. Usually a moderately positive image, and rarely dark and cold. Yet the play of light and dark was in all his work, just like in his thinking and way of life. Prosperity and setbacks alternate, and both have their use, just like rain and sunshine. If things go well you should harvest, and if things go wrong, it is time to take some distance and rethink.
“You know,” says the neighbor in goodbye, “in that group I saw some people that I experience very differently during the day. Then they are friendly and open, and not at all as aggressive as tonight. To me, such a parade is not the problem. The danger is in that one single ambitious politician who uses this mass for his own gain.”
You remember what we always said to each other: how people think about something, what they say to others about it, and what they ultimately do, often are three very different ones. You may call them hypocrites, or liars, but in the end it’s only about what they do, how they convert things and how they treat us. Anything else doesn’t really count, even if you feel challenged, or treated unfairly.
Surprised John and Edith look at the ruins that cover the vast terrain. Of course they knew houses made of stone, but these were usually just one storey high. In rare cases there was a 3-storey tower, with an additional wooden structure on top of it. The buildings they are currently looking at must have been gigantic in the past! Steep walls everywhere, high windows, big doors, huge buttresses to support the walls… Such an overwhelming thing they’ve never seen before!
The word “Ego” has a somewhat negative aftertaste in recent decades. “Having a big ego” or “caressing your ego” indicates someone’s exaggeration of the self-importance. When somebody is self-centered, it is said that he only pursues his own interests and shamelessly places himself at the center of his world. If such a person is also selfish, he makes others suffer by selectively not taking account of them, their feelings or interests.
Yet we give someone who thinks too much of others and obliterates himself the good advice to grow a “healthy dose of selfishness”. A person who is completely lost in the complexity of the community must “put himself more central” in his decisions and considerations. With this kind of advice, it’s possible to go through life less vulnerable and more consciously.
Amused, with a hand in her side, Edith watches the flute player. Although peaceful, he still looks lively. Edith can not see any emotion or value judgment in his glistening eyes. Apparently he is doing well. The pieces of fabric and leather hanging around him hardly succeed in concealing his large figure, apparently something he absolutely doesn’t worry about. Yet no wealth can be found here. It seems as if all worldly values have vanished.