JOYFUL GRATITUDE #162
I am grateful for the good times with my friends based here in the Netherlands. As I don’t live in the same country as my close family, I appreciate how vital it is to be surrounded by people who I can really connect with and be myself around:) I hope these first weeks of 2020 set the tone for the rest of the decade.
We’ve had the chance to spend quality time exploring the Veluwe, inspiring each other, chatting about our hopes and intentions for the new year and making collage dream boards, having good laughs, watching a great documentary and sharing our thoughts about it afterwards until we got kicked out of the room, motivating one another to go for lunch walks together to refresh our minds amidst busy work meetings… I feel blessed to have such wonderful people by my side to make the days a little sweeter!
JOYFUL GRATITUDE #102
Last weekend we spent a lovely, slow-paced weekend with my Mum and her partner who were on a visit to Amsterdam. I must admit, for many years I wondered why my Mum would systematically come to visit at the end of October, when the wind is icy, the rain always ready to tumble from grey clouds and the days are getting shorter. But I think I’ve finally understood:)
It’s because with this weather no excuse whatsoever is needed to walk just 200 meters before feeling justified about going into the next cafe and indulging in some delicious cake, and staying cosily indoors while we catch up with each other and discuss possible travel plans for next year. Also, spending two afternoons in the dark of the cinema, being transported to other worlds through movies, is a totally acceptable pastime and way to keep warm. It offered the perfect occasion to discover a talented young pianist in the small room of the Concertgebouw and be moved by her stories and music, shielded from the cold outside. So grateful for these fun moments spent together!
I like going to the cinema with other people and though that’s what I do most of the time, going by myself from time to time feels like a treat.
Firstly, it means that I can go see whatever film I want at exactly the moment that suits me, deciding at the last minute based on my mood (I’m lucky that in Amsterdam there are tens of movies on at anytime). I love sitting quietly alone in the theater, waiting for the room to go dark and movie to start, watching the other movie-goers coming in or just lost in my thoughts.
Most of the time I choose those arthouse and coming-of-age movies that are beautifully shot and quite slow. At some point I often have tears rolling down my face and being alone I can unabashedly cry at the tough situations the characters are in, completely taken by the story, without worrying about whether anyone else is enjoying the film.
Afterwards, I can let the movie sink in and reflect on it without talking about it immediately with others and hearing their thoughts. The whole experience leaves me feeling recharged, like I’ve lived a sliver of another life for a couple of hours and opened to new horizons.
If you are looking for a great film to watch on a lazy sunday, I would recommend Paterson, the latest Jim Jarmusch film. It’s a lovely reminder about how beauty lies in routine and the small daily pleasures and struggles of life. I don’t want to give too much of the movie away as I hate spoilers. Just watch it and be transported.