In this great blogpost (link below), Jon Danzig summarizes, both for a British audience, but also for European people that remain doubtful of the EU, what the true benefits of the EU really are. A sound summary that highlights why it is better to be in than out.
I my past posts, I pointed out a possible roadmap of the EU. I also want to highlight one point: the ability of the EU to keep some of the member states in check and on the path of democracy. Europe has always suffered from dictatorships that blatantly ignored human rights. Such populist or extreme right carry-ons can currently be observed in Hungary and Poland. Only the EU is in a position to thwart such attempts; without the EU several states would have gone renegade a long time ago.
I try to write at least three pages each day – and likewise I try to make at least one drawing every day too. The picture of the swimmer (below) is one of such drawings. Creating is very fulfilling. Only through practice, practice, practice can perfection be achieved. Productiveness is a great way to stay motivated within the creative process. The relaxation moment is crucial. By getting out the pen and paper or the crayons and the sketchbook, and sitting down, switching off the mind and focusing 100% on the task at hand, thoughts dwindling by like little sparks that die out above the campfire, the author or painter gets into a flow that is quiet yet unstoppable. Yes, I know my sentences may be too long, yet the creative process is not controlled by everyday rules. You have to love what you do.
Dishwashing and Creating
Hard cut to dishwashing. “Oh, what this sudden change of topic? ” you will wonder. Many years ago, our dishwasher broke down. Buy a new one, or look at alternatives? Which alternatives are there to a dishwasher?! Doing the dishes by hand. We got rid of the dishwasher, and now I wash the dishes by hand two to three times a day. Dishwashing is an interesting occupation. It may not sound very creative at first, but through practice, you can become really good at it. The dishes have to be spotless in the end, but you also will want to be as economical as possible with detergent, hot water and spent time. Dishwashing is a creative process, but interestingly with a single outcome: clean dishes. It has a strong Buddhist experience to it. I couldn’t live without it, yet I also dislike it at times, especially in the evening. It is a bit like art.
And art is the only way to survive the apocalypse 😎
Crayon sketch of a swimmer
This is a very simple sketch, I don’t want to exaggerate its importance. I do like the dynamics of this tanned body, as it jumps into to sea and at a perfect angle. It reminds me of summer, my favorite time of year. Will I turn this into an oil painting, as I often do with sketches? Nope.
Connoisseurs of my work will recognize the motif of the lone Raven / Crow in the deserted landscape. Here a modest sketch, several full-blown oil paintings can be found here.
When sketching or painting, or writing for that matter, it always intrigues that each work is unique; an original. It is like with people: even though it is hard to distinguish Susan Sarandon from Sigourney Weaver or Kurt Russell from Patrick Swayze, each one is unique as a human. In the Alien trilogy I preferred Patrick; much better than Susan in Escape from New York… just goes to show: cobbler, stick to your last. But that is a different story altogether.
Excerpt from my new postapocalyptic novel (not published yet, work-in progress!), the sequel to Two Journeys and Fields of Fire:
She and my son had been looking forward to have a child, but it was not to have been. I had my suspicions why. The pandemic had not only caused the deaths of billions of people, so that only a few thousand or so had survived. Without humans, there was no maintenance, and so one by one all the machines had come to a standstill. Thus, the storage baths for the nuclear fuel elements weren’t cooled anymore, and the liquid had subsequently evaporated. Once that had happened, the uranium and plutonium rods of hundreds of reactors had overheated and Poof! Evaporated into the atmosphere. I shuddered at the idea, and hardly shared it with anyone; it would have a dramatic effect on humanity, on life on this planet, on each single one of us… I suspected that it may have caused my daughter in law’s miscarriage too.
Humanity has gone a long time without a major pandemic. Outbreaks of viruses such as SARS, corona or influenza (e.g. H2N2 or the Asian Flu H3N2; or bird flu) have occurred again and again. Are we prepared?
The story continues! If you love post-apocalyptic stories, these are the right books for you. If you love plain adventure, make sure to get a copy too.
We visited Paris a few months ago. As we left the train and the station, we met a beggar, and a few streets down the next one… and then the next. How to deal with this as a tourist? Emotionally, we wanted to give money, rationally we hesitated: would the Parisians be pleased if millions of tourists start funding homeless people, potentially increasing their numbers ? What will an individual homeless person do with the donation? Buy food, finance a roof for the night, or buy drugs? Or is the homeless person part of a commercial enterprise? Shockingly, there were couples getting ready for the night on the street with babies. Should we supported them too?
Just like tipping and charity, giving money to homeless people has a bad side to it. It crowds out community- and state-involvement. A minimum existence should not be left to the whims of tourists. Shouldn’t it be something that we collectively decide to guarantee for everyone? In the perfect society, there ought to be no need to beg, there shouldn’t be a need to rely on the irregular kindness of passing people.
A dilemma. In the end we think we found a way out of this. We started counting the number of beggars that we met. We tripled that number and after we returned home we searched and found a charity in Paris that supports homeless people. We donated the calculated sum to that organization. Not the best solution, but workable.
Tsk tsk tsk! Indeed, only a few minutes later, an elderly lady slipped on this banana peel and badly hurt herself! I continued to observe the situation for half an hour, but luckily enough no further accidents occurred. Clean up your garbage, folks! This isn’t a third world country.
Celeterra – a hellish novel set in heaven! Read the adventures of Vance and his one-eyed dog Eugene. Adventure and romance, humor and mystery, Celeterra is a book impossible to put down.
Available as eBook!
Nothing speaks against reading paperbacks. Let me guess, the biggest challenge, however, is something called “prejudice”. Ebooks are not your type, and most probably you find them too difficult, too messy, and definitely not sweet enough?
Shocking secrets hide within a simple cover
Vance descended into the cellar. He found the light switch. They entered the space where the Biedermeier desk had stood. Quickly, he walked into to the wine cellar. He passed by the empty barrels. His hand searched for the handle behind the paintings. He pulled it and the hidden door opened with a click. Fumbling in the semidarkness, he made sure that the lever remained hidden behind the old paintings. He switched on the light in the secret room. He retraced his steps and made sure that he hadn’t left any footprints in the dirt of the wine cellar. He turned off the basement light, reentered the room, and pushed the door shut behind him. After hastily opening the cans of food, he switched off the light in this room too, as he was afraid that it might spill into the night through some hidden shaft. Vance drank first and then allowed the hound to drink. They ate their food in the darkness, the dog wolfing it down hurriedly. Vance ate a can of cold peas, which was not very tasty but at least rich in calories.
After that, they stretched out on the damp sand. Vance was exhausted and he shivered uncontrollably. Obviously his body was trying to get rid of some substance, some poison – a drug. He tried to recall how to combat withdrawal symptoms, but under the circumstances, he could only think of drinking a lot of water. In a way, he had been lucky. His stomach had been upset the last few days and due to that, he hadn’t eaten much and had mostly turned to drinking plain tap water. The amount of drugs in his bloodstream must have gone down and as a result, his head had slowly cleared.
The pieces of the puzzle started to fall into place. He began to realize that the occurrences of the last weeks were all interconnected. The rococo table, Darwin’s letter, this mansion, the religious sect, Enrique and the fake heaven – they were all interrelated like threads that stick out of a ball of wool. He felt that if he would follow just one of those threads, he would arrive at the core of the ball. Again he imagined that an instigator was waiting there, waiting for him. An individual, pulling all the ropes, manipulating the lives of many people, the perpetrator that had organized Vance’s ordeal.
Who had been in the car that had driven away as he had arrived at the house? What had this visitor been up to at this mansion? He was almost certain that this person had seen him, possibly even recognized him. Had this been the mastermind behind the entire affair?
With that question in his mind, he fell asleep, exhausted.
His sleep was filled with nightmares. He was hunted by wild animals, lions, and tigers. He tried to escape by climbing up a tree, but its bark was wet and slippery and his hands could not get a hold. A male lion came closer and closer, staring at him, both evilly and indifferent.
Eugene woke him up. The dog trembled and growled softly and Vance quickly put his hand on the animal’s snout. They listened. After a while, Vance could hear sounds. As he had suspected there was a shaft or a pipe leading from the ground level down into the cellar. It ensured that fresh air could reach this hideout, even when the door was closed. Now, that shaft transported the sounds from the outside world down to him. A car approached slowly, its wheels grinding on the gravel of the driveway. The engine was almost inaudible. Vance imagined that it was a big vehicle.
Was this the same car that he had seen departing earlier? The car stopped and the engine was switched off. Absolute silence followed, only interrupted by the ticking sounds of the cooling motor. Then several doors opened. Feet stepped onto the small stones. After a few seconds, three doors closed softly. Vance strained his ears. Slow footsteps approached, toiling on the gravel.
With his eyes closed, Vance imagined three, perhaps four men. He imagined that they were going towards the back door. Suddenly it was silent again. Eugene stirred. Vance stroked the animal’s head and went sssh. They waited. It remained silent for a long time. Vance thought that half the world must be able to hear his breathing. He opened his mouth wide to reduce the sound as much as possible.
A man’s voice could be heard, whispering, but unexpectedly clear. They must have stopped very close to the exit of the shaft.
Want to read more? Follow this link: https://clemenssuter.com/2017/01/22/how-to-order-the-books-by-clemens-suter/