JOYFUL GRATITUDE #137
Last night we went to see the Three Musketeers at the Amsterdamse Bos Theater, a lovely outdoor theater nestled amongst the tall trees of the forest. I love that to reach it you cycle away from the city center where most theaters are and instead head into nature.
As we pedalled along the water we passed a dignified heron who was watching the world go by while standing on one leg. After a busy week, it felt like a real treat to let myself be carried along by the story, laugh at the jokes and disconnect completely for a few hours as we sat surrounded by trees and clear sky, as night slowly fell over us.
JOYFUL GRATITUDE #124
I am sitting on my sofa, with the sun streaming through the wide-open window, warming my skin and I am wondering what to write about today. After a few false starts where I type and delete a couple of paragraphs, I decide to consult my angel cards and see if they have any suggestion about what I should focus on. I shuffle the cards carefully and choose one of the 80 glossy cards from the tiny stack spread out in my left palm, I turn it over and… the word on the card is GRATITUDE! Hahaha, OK, so much for that;) I guess it is a luxury problem not to know what to concentrate my gratitude on.
So here are a few things from the past days that I am particularly grateful for:
- having time to write Morning Pages at home while drinking coffee (and feeling light anxiety release its grip when I lean into it and write out my thoughts, making the day ahead so much easier)
- seeing a gripping and original play about 9/11 terrorist attacks (and the subsequent discussions with Paolo about it)
- gorgeous sunshine (and enjoying a lovely walk with a dear colleague and her son, discovering favorite spots in their neighbourhood)
- attending an intimate Q&A with author Kristen Roupenian (and learning all about her approach to the craft of writing, extremely inspiring!)
- keeping up the rhythm of writing two pages per week (and getting precious feedback from Paolo about which parts work and how to move the piece forward)
Wishing you all a great weekend!
JOYFUL GRATITUDE #121
Last night Paolo and I went to see People, Places & Things, a play about an actress struggling with addiction. The acting was superb, the stage set-up and lighting very clever and the play is so well written and paced that I sat on the edge of my seat for the full two and a half hours.
I feel gratitude about this experience unfolds in different layers. I am deeply grateful that the playwright and the Theatergroep Oostpool dare to address these hard topics, to break the taboo and raise awareness around addiction, the havok it wreaks in families’ lives and the incredibly tough process of recovery.
In preparation for the play the cast invited a doctor from a rehab clinic to ask him questions and understand addiction and recovery better, in order to more acurately and respectfully be able to portray the characters’ struggles. I am grateful for their sensitivity and effort in research which delivered a realistic insight so the audience could feel to a certain extent what it can feel like.
I was also deeply moved by how this play bears witness to the question we all grapple with of how to live our lives in these ever-changing times where things are often precarious, and how manage stay in the present moment in the face of uncertainty.
JOYFUL GRATITUDE #96
Lately with Paolo we’ve started going to the theater quite regularly. It turns out that at the moment this is a good way to spend the evening, without using up too much energy since seeing a play is less draining to me than having a drink in a loud bar or going to a concert. Also, the story lines tend to unravel more slowly than in most movies, meaning there is more time for me to process the plot and emotions.
There is real inspiration in seeing people doing what they love and being vulnerable and creative on-stage. I also enjoy the discussions Paolo and I have afterwards, about our favorite characters and new thoughts triggered by the play. I look forward to what new shows we will discover together.
JOYFUL GRATITUDE #87
So happy to have accepted a friend’s last-minute invitation to go to the theater yesterday evening. It was a great way to celebrate the end of my work week! The show took place in what turned out to be a tiny place tucked away in a narrow alley of the busy center of Amsterdam. As we entered the room, with its pretty balcony and bright green and red walls, a pianist was filling the air with calming music.
Throughout the performance, the actor casually wove a bond with the audience, an equal mix of typical Amsterdammers, tourists and expats, creating an intimate atmosphere. I particularly enjoyed how the story unravelled with its creative connections and loops, and I even learned quite a lot of fun (and not-so-fun) facts about Amsterdam.
JOYFUL GRATITUDE #60
I am so glad to have taken this week off work. January does not seem like the ideal time as it is cold and the days are short, but actually for me this feels like a deeply needed re-set before the year starts in full again. Free time is so precious and it is a real pleasure to have time to switch off completely. I feel like I’m filling the well little by little and my batteries are recharging.
It’s funny how a few days feel much longer being away from our daily routine. These days have been a perfect blend of relaxing, creating new memories and laughing with friends and family, enjoying going to the theater and being inspired by art, exploring local places by foot in the sunshine and going further afield to discover a medieval village above the clouds…
JOYFUL GRATITUDE #18
I’m very grateful for a lovely weekend with Paolo discovering Nijmegen for the first time. Despite the cold, we walked around the park overlooking the river Waal from Nijmegen’s hill and wandered down the little streets of the town.
We had to warm up regularly and which was a great excuse to stop in wonderful cafés and indulge in hearty sandwiches and rich cakes:)
Thanks to Paolo’s perseverance and good luck, we even got the last two tickets to watch a play version of Jack Kerouac’s On The Road that just happened to be playing that evening at the theater. The actors were captivating and their way of telling the story was gripping!