FREEDOM is: carving unknown own paths

20 01 2015



18 12 2014

Mummy: If you could take a pill that always made you happy, would you?

Santiago (age 8): No, because it’s important to feel bad about things you do. 

Mummy: So do you think happiness is something you go out and find or something you just have?

Santiago: Happiness is something you have. In my head it’s like a battle. Goodies against baddies. When you’re born you have happy and sad but then as you grow older,  you have to chose. I’m still young so I haven’t chosen yet. Right now the good side has taken over a little bit. It’s hard to say what will happen next.  


photo 1





photo 5

– Hayao Miyazaki

FREEDOM through humour

12 12 2014


Seeking Wholeness: Touche-a-tout

8 12 2014
The wonderful Doina Kraal:
002.DOINA KRAAL -'TOUCHE-à-tout 2014.PH.GJ.vanROOIJ_72dpi PastedGraphic-15 019.DOINA KRAAL -'TOUCHE-à-tout 2014.PH.GJ.vanROOIJ_72dpi


Beauty: Valley of Astonishment

7 12 2014

IN the middle of the journey of our life, I came to myself, in a dark wood, where the direct way was lost. – Dante 

peter brooks

Heroes: Suleiman Bakhit

30 11 2014
Suleiman Bakhit in conversation with a group of Jordanian children:
Bakhit – Who are your heroes?
Children – We don’t have any heroes, but we hear a lot about Bin Laden, about Zarqawi…
Bakhit – What do you hear about them?
Children – That they defend us against the West because the West is out there to kill us. 


Aranim Media Factory is the one and only comic book company in the Middle East. It provides tens of millions of Arab youth the chance to enjoy comics, manga, animation, games and films inspired by middle eastern mythologies. Aranim was created by Arab youth in cooperation with international talent with new heroes grounded in the ancient traditions of the Middle East. Using authentic Arabic art styles, themes, heroes and villains, Aranim tells thrilling stories that capture the imagination of youth around the world with a middle eastern twist. Aranim is entertainment with a purpose. Hopefully, it will change the way Arab youth see the world – and the way the world sees them:




21 11 2014

“I think hard times are coming, when we will be wanting the voices of writers who can see alternatives to how we live now, and can see through our fear-stricken society and its obsessive technologies, to other ways of being. And even imagine some real grounds for hope. We will need writers who can remember freedom: poets, visionaries—the realists of a larger reality. Right now, I think we need writers who know the difference between production of a market commodity and the practice of an art. The profit motive is often in conflict with the aims of art. We live in capitalism. Its power seems inescapable; so did the divine right of kings. … Power can be resisted and changed by human beings; resistance and change often begin in art, and very often in our art—the art of words. I’ve had a long career and a good one, in good company, and here, at the end of it, I really don’t want to watch American literature get sold down the river. … The name of our beautiful reward is not profit. Its name is freedom.”
Ursula K. Le Guin

FREEDOM in San Miguel de Allende

11 11 2014

Nothing is original. Steal from anywhere that resonates with inspiration or fuels your imagination. Devour old films, new films, music, books, paintings, photographs, poems, dreams, random conversations, architecture, bridges, street signs, trees, clouds, bodies of water, light and shadows. Select only things to steal from that speak directly to your soul. If you do this, your work will be authentic. Authenticity is invaluable; originality is non-existent. And don’t bother concealing your thievery – celebrate it if you feel like it. In any case, always remember what Jean-Luc Godard said: “It’s not where you take things from – it’s where you take them to.

Jim Jarmusch

Freedom in San Miguel de Allende

Reimagining EDUCATION

5 11 2014

An education is a labour of love. It is developing a longing, developing a want to feed an aching hunger of curiosity. An education is the empowerment of the self—in spirit, mind and body—and the self in relation to her environment. An education means attaining wisdom; the wisdom to survive and the wisdom to sustain; mostly, the wisdom to be humbled by mystery—by all those questions our society has yet to find answers to. An education is about reinforcing free will, the will to act and to change, the will to improve the world we live in. An education should liberate the mind, develop the confidence to draw inside as well as outside those lines that contain us. Learning to read, to calculate, to draw, to remember the past, these are ultimately only tools to help children communicate. These skills alone is not what makes for an educated child. An educated child is the child with the most questions, the child with an insatiable appetite for exploration, a child that pushes the boundaries around them in pursuit of a greater truth — a greater truth than that which has already been taught to them.


Consciousness: mindfarts & mindfulness

29 10 2014

Mummy: Is something on your mind?

Philomena –  No. I’m just thinking about stuff. Well not really. I’m just kind of, you know, I’m just being spacey right now.

“Like just about every other aspect of the human condition, our consciousness operates on a spectrum. On one end lies conscious awareness, or mindfulness. But all the way on the other end, there’s something you could call mindlessness. And mindlessness brings many benefits that are being overlooked, like creative thinking and personal problem-solving.”

– Melissa Dahl  Link to Dahl’s uplifting piece:

In Praise of Spacing Out   

LOVE: “The game of life is love.”

18 10 2014

“let’s be love.” – Υ.Π. Σ.Κ.Τ.

(Graffiti in Nea Makri)





FREEDOM flashing

25 09 2014

Freedom contains the mystery of the world. God wanted freedom, and from this came the tragedy of the world. – Nikolai Berdyaev

No one is free; even the birds are chained to the sky. – Bob Dylan 


Philomena – Mami, when am I going to be free to do whatever I want?

Mummy– What do you mean? What would you like to do that you don’t do already?

Philomena – I don’t get to choose anything. Not even what I eat.

Mummy – Are you kidding? You have so much more choice than I ever had as to what you eat.

Philomena – Maybe I have more choice than you but that doesn’t mean I can choose what I want. I don’t get to choose anything. I have to go to school. I have to eat pasta with cheese sauce even though it makes me gag  just smelling it.

Mummy – Once every few weeks they serve you pasta with cheese sauce.

Philomena – But I hate it. It makes me sick. And no one listens to me about it. I’ve asked politely a million times. It is not respectful not to listen. I am perfectly happy to eat the pasta but not the sauce. It is absolutely terrible to be a child sometimes. I can’t wait to grow up so that I can do whatever I want.

Mummy – Believe me Philomena, growing older doesn’t necessarily grant you the freedom to do whatever you want. You will always be fighting for your freedom (and the freedom of others) in one way or another—you will fight for the freedom to do what you want, live where you want, behave the way you want, love what you want, freedom to change the world around you, to make the world a better place, it is always a battle. Participating in that battle, that struggle, it’s what makes us human. Fortunately, what also makes us human is our imagination. The only place you are ever truly free is in your mind. Freedom is your creative force. And even that takes some practice. I promise you, your mind at age 7 is a whole lot freer than my mind at age 40.


CREATIVITY: the power of resistance

24 09 2014


resistance is invisible

resistance is insidious

resistance and procrastination

resistance and self-doubt

resistance and mating

resistance can be beaten

AGAPE: Dancing a Waltz of Peace

18 09 2014

BEING HUMAN: The UK’s First Humanities Festival Nov 15-23, 2014

12 09 2014

institute of philosophy

What does it mean to be human? How do we understand ourselves, our relationship to others and our place in nature? For centuries the humanities have addressed these questions. Artists, writers, philosophers, theologians and historians have considered who we are, how we live and what we value most. But are these long-standing questions changing in 2014? We are more connected than ever, yet we spend more time with smart phones and computers than face to face. The world is becoming smaller, yet the digital information we can access and store, even about ourselves, is vast and growing.  Developments in science and technology are moving fast, challenging our understanding of the self and society. What sense can we make of these changes and what challenges do we face? We need the humanities more than ever to help us address these issues and provide the means to question, interpret and explain the human predicament.

The festival is held as part of the School of Advanced Study’s 20th anniversary celebrations and draws on the success of the 2013 King’s College Festival of the Humanities. Being Human will be the UK’s first national festival of the humanities. Led by the School of Advanced Study, University of London in partnership with the Arts and Humanities Research Council and the British Academy, and universities, arts and cultural organisations across the UK, it will demonstrate the value, vitality and relevance of the humanities in 2014. Find out more at or follow the festival on Twitter at @BeingHumanFest.



CREATIVITY: What do you see?

17 08 2014


Philomena: what would happen if we didn’t have any books in the world?

6 07 2014

An original song by Philomena (age 7)

(Thank you Song Academy for giving Philomena the gift of confidence)

Happiness is watching mothers come together to change the world

19 06 2014

“Motherhood makes you more employable, not less.” – Mariella Frostrup





6 06 2014

Push the Bush: The Mostar Diving Club

5 06 2014

Tonight at the Bush Hall –  the beautiful poetry of Mostar Diving Club: with Vicky Osterberg, Will Worsley, Michael G Moore and Damian Katkhuda.