Tag Archives: architecture

Carla Drift – Years of Flourishing 2


Suddenly at the beginning of my first spring in Delft, my great love came in my life. I turned around and there he stood. A friendly smile in a moon face, with a lot of blonde curls. I opened my mouth in surprise and his smile became much larger; I started to laugh. He studied architecture, was several months younger and he lived on the other side of the city. It seemed like we knew each other for ages. He invited me to drink coffee together – I invited him to dinner after my rowing training. In the evening we visited an organ concert in the “Nieuwe Kerk” in Delft with music of Johann Sebastian Bach.

[1]

After a few drinks in the “Waag” [2] we said goodbye; two days later he would come to me for dinner.

At the beginning of that night I could not sleep; I felt tingling all over my body. In the middle of the night I fell asleep. The following two days I felt myself floating; everywhere I went, I felt a warm glow around me. At the beginning of the evening I prepared my best meal; he had a bottle of wine with him – I sinned against my rowing training. Long dining with lots of talk and laughter and during the preparation of the dessert he laid his hand on my shoulder, I turned to him and smiled happily. After finishing diner, we listened music and kissed. Everything was familiar, our hands and tongues found their way by themselves: experience of a lifetime of many millions of years.

[3]

We slept in my bed – spoonwise – underwear still on. The following afternoon he went on study trip for one week; before his departure we promised to meet again a week later.

This week I used to explore my body and to get the contraceptive pill. Better not to play hide and seek on this point. As the oldest, I preferred a small advantage: some control over the intimacy between both of us. From the library I borrowed several books about physical intimacy. In a few evenings I found out what I certainly liked – after some tries, I discovered that orgasm [4] seemed to me like making turns while biking – the rest would follow later.

A week later after the rowing training, I was waiting for him at the beginning of the evening. He beamed when he saw me. We went to his room. He slept while I ate my dinner. I read in his books about architecture: Ernst Neufert-Architects ‘ Data and some books about the American architect Frank Lloyd Wright. By the end of the evening I woke him; he looked sweet and vulnerable. I put up a record and I laid myself next to him. Slowly we merged together on the flow of the music. A number of times I was completely one with everything. I felt an infinite love; a transcendence of the “I”. Later we slept for a few hours. The next morning I sang while I made breakfast for us. We lived alternately in each other’s room. That spring, summer and autumn lit up in a golden glow. In addition there were the necessary practical matters: study, rowing, holiday, meeting each other’s family. And, of course, living together with other students.

Around my rowing, we went away on weekends – camping in Belgium, staying with friends in other cities, visiting musea and buildings.

During Ascension we stayed at my parents in South Limburg. We met my primary school boyfriend. He mentioned that he had fallen in love with a female school friend. The next day we met her. She was very surprised to see my great love and me together. She thought that I had a relation with my primary school boyfriend – she really liked him. At Pentecost we invited them both in Delft. That was the beginning of their later marriage.

[5]

The summer holidays, the four of us moved through Europe by train. A carefree summer.

Around the autumn holiday his attention for me diminished; it first showed with small things. There was a small forgetfulness – for example: an appointment for a weekend away coincided with another appointment – may happen. Then I felt increasingly in all kinds of gestures, that our fully togetherness was no longer mutual. Not much later he asked for more freedom and he soon fell in love with another fellow female student. This transition took him trouble and it caused a landslide for me. The landslide was not caused by his interest in other women, but because we started drifting apart and an increasing disharmony crept in our relationship. It was just if the left and right hand, eye, ear, foot began a life on their own. Before, we felt one with each other and with the world around us. Around the autumn holiday our relation slowly split in two. First we tried a love triangle. At that time the relations between men and women were already on drift for a while. The second women’s emancipation golf was in full swing in our environment – I think I was not easy at that time. From a love triangle we drifted to an intimate friendship for more than a year with a lot of talk about life and about ourselves and very occasionally we had intimacy. Halfway through my third year in Delft, a students’ psychologist said to me the honest and very painful words: “Wrong partner choice”. After this visit, I wished to shout over the canal: “The only true partner choice”. Now looking back – so true. After my great love, occasionally I had several vague relations that can be described with a line from a song by Joan Armatrading [6]: “I’m not in love, but I’m open for persuasion”.

Our friendship diluted, but my inner loss remained. The full moon of love that first shone from his face, had now passed in a new moon. It was painful to see him in Delft – I wasn’t kind anymore. I had no permission from the faculty of the University to pursue my study in a direction that I wished. In the next post more on this development.

In the last semester of my Bachelor I sat next to a charming middle-aged man during colleges philosophy. Since some time he was a senior scientific researcher in architecture, but soon he would start helping his godmother on the farm about ten kilometres from my village. A number of times we had lunch together. I had told him my plans for the continuation of my study in Amsterdam. He arranged my first room in Amsterdam with friends of him. Occasionally I visited him in South Limburg when I was at my parents. I helped a little on the farm and we ate together.


[1] Source image: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Delft

[2] See also: http://nl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Waag_(Delft)

[3] Source image: http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amour

[4] See also: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Orgasm

[5] Source image: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Delft

[6] See also: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joan_Armatrading

Man Leben – Everyday life


Wie soll man leben – How to live

Now you continue with your contribution to society and your everyday life in Amsterdam:

“I have completed my general education at a Catholic primary school in South Limburg and a Christian grammar school in Rotterdam. In my grammar school time my aunt promoted the regular study of the Jewish scriptures. At that time these were complete different worlds. Looking back, I mainly see the similarities.

Open-minded I started my study Architecture in Delft without formal obligations. On my 21st birthday the disillusionment followed. My aunt explained to me how she had handled the legacy of my parents and family. She had done well, but the time was not well-disposed to her. Hereinafter I finished my studies in four years with a reasonable to good study in the field of utility-building.

Everyday life took me on. A short period I worked at an architectural firm on utility projects. Through this firm, I ended up in the trade of building materials. In the early sixties more money came in society and there was also more money available for building materials. I lifted on this tide.

[1]

Through my work on the architectural firm I met my wife and mother of our three children. In grammar school and the first two years of my study, I have been in love several times, but there was always a distance. Now I saw her and she appeared in a white glow; not as bad as when in primary school I fell in love for the first time. Then lightning struck me and everything was completely white, now it was gentler and only she stood in a white glow. Fortunately I could utter a few meaningful words. The second time I had the courage to ask her out. So it went on. We are quickly engaged and we married in 1959. A short time we have lived in an apartment and when the children came, we moved to a house near Amsterdam.

The trade in building materials was very successful. For me my “Jaguar year” started.

[2]

I will keep the description of these “Jaguar years” brief, because Lucy Irvine [3] in her book on the stay on a deserted island in the Pacific could not stand it when her companion “G” began about his “Jaguar days”. Our success increased and we moved to a detached house on the outskirts of Amsterdam; we went with vacations further and further. The children went to primary school and everything seemed quiet and fine.

With the increased wealth at the end of the 1960s, there was a underneath sense of uneasiness in society that also got a place in our family. Structures and ways of living changed, values and ways of behaviour changed and we felt a great increase of freedom [4]  and possibilities. The imagination seemed to come to power. The routine of a fixed family with fixed ways of living together changed in a free family with free manners. Our marriage changed in an open marriage with room for other relationships. The Jaguar was exchanged for a Renault 4 as family car – a delicious moving car, which flowed like everything else in that time –, because we felt we were still young and alternative; we enjoyed life.

[5]

The trade prospered and required another car – a Saab 99. Looking back the joy of this freedom and entering into other relationships was fleeting and shallow; the latent discontent remained.

[6]

The second-wave feminism rolled into our family. After our wedding my wife stopped working, she took care of everything in and around our house, and for the children; I took care of the income, for all official business and for the management of our possessions. We made plans for the future and considered together important decisions. Everything was nicely divided as usual in that area. We started with a normal marriage like everyone else in that time. The hippie time made everything loose and more jolly; clothing was alternative and the relationships as well. In the early 1970s my wife wished to develop and orient herself on her place in society.

My wife started to develop herself; she began a study languages at the University of Amsterdam. Her social life changed – her new friend came in our life and not much later they moved on with the children: she was my ex-wife and a visit arrangement with the children followed. My social life changed: there were several female friends in my life and my circle of friends changed because our separation also resulted in a separation in the family and friends – “partir est mourir un peux”. My inner discomfort and dissatisfaction remained.

With these changes also the view on other religions came in my life: Catholicism, Christian and Jewish faith had already found a place in my life – the last 25 years more or less dormant. With the alternative movement also Eastern religions like Buddhism and Hinduism came into view. Later these religions played an important role in my life.

At the end of the 70 ‘s I was – additional to my work in the trade – a few years part time teacher for modular construction elements at the Delft University of Technology. I had transferred part of my job to younger colleagues. In that time I followed the lectures in philosophy by professor W. Luijpen. His view on society had a major influence on me.

In 1980 my aunt died after a short period of illness. I have organized her funeral and the additional matters. At that time she was again my closest member in the family. I visited her grave annually in the Catholic fashion around 1 November. I still could not fulfil her wish to honour her with traditional remembrance of the dead [7] according to the Jewish tradition. I still was not ready for it.

In the spring of 1982 my godfather in South Limburg suddenly died. My life was ready for a change. I decided to help my godmother on the farm: I moved to South Limburg and I was temporarily farmer. Before I left, I handled my business in Amsterdam, sold our house and for the children I have – like my grandparents had done for my parents in 1923 – a small capital base in deposit. My family has not appreciated this change. When I look back, I shouldn’t have taken these steps so bold, but in that period of my life I felt that this change was on my way”, you say.

“I remember that confusing time. In Limburg these changes happened later, but at the end of my grammar school time everyone had long hair and colourful clothes. During my study in Delft I felt resistance against men because I had the opinion that women had an unjust place in society”, I say.

“When we married, the society was organised differently. The changes came later. On my return in South Limburg, I went back in time. In Limburg the relation between men and women were not so much changed”, you say.

[8]

The following post is about your return to Limburg and how you started to drift.

 

– “Who are you – Part 1″ ready for download –

– Please, see page: “Who are you – Part 1”


[1] Source image: http://nl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bestand:Piping01.JPG

[2] Source image: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Jaguar.3point4.750pix.jpg

[3] See: Irvine, Lucy, Castaway. Harmondsworth: Penguin Books, 1984

[4] The verb root “Vraj” means in Sanskrit “go, walk”. Source: Egenes, Thomas, Introduction to Sanskrit – Part Two. Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass Publishers, 2005 p. 395. According to the electronic version of the dictionary Monier-Williams – MWDDS V1.5 Beta, “Vraj” also has the meaning “to go to (a woman)” and “have sexual intercourse with”.

[5] Source image: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Renault_4_R_1123_1968.jpg

[6]  Source image: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Saab_99_EMS_1974_(UK_Spec).jpg

[7] See also: Zie: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kaddish

[8] Source image: http://nl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bestand:Ford5000.jpg

Man Leben – your study time


Traume soll man leben

You continue with your years of study in Delft:

“After receiving my grammar school diploma, I hiked with two friends for four weeks in the Netherlands, Belgium and France. My aunt encouraged me to study and to life on rooms in Delft; she liked to see me following the footsteps of my father. Due to the rebuilding after the war, I got interested in architecture and as a consequence I started studying architecture in Delft. I settled in a small room in a house at the “Oude Delft”. I enjoyed my student life, my student association, two year rowing as oarsman, jazz, trips to Amsterdam, Paris, and of course architecture. The shock of the new: “Amsterdamse School”, Frank Lloyd Wright, “De Nieuwe Zakelijkheid” or “New Objectivity”, Glasshouse.

[1]

[2]

[3]

[4]

Just after my 21st birthday a disillusion followed. My aunt explained to me how she had managed the legacy of my father and mother. She had done well, but the time was not well-disposed to her.

She explained how the small base capital – that my grandparents had deposited around 1923 in Amsterdam – was used by my parents in 1933 to make a new start in Netherlands. With part of this capital they bought a house in Amsterdam; the rest was used as reserve capital for trade. The trade was rather successful until the other regime from Germany installed barriers of trade for my parents. During their deportation to Germany, all our movable property was seized or has disappeared. Their house was confiscated for housing of others.

The first letters that my aunt in 1945 received on her return in Netherlands, were tax bills from the Dutch Government for recovering taxes not paid by my family during their absence due to their deportation to Germany. My aunt understood that after the war the Dutch Government had to rebuild everything from the ground, like everything and everyone. As heir and guardian, my aunt had to look after the obligations of the deceased relatives and for me. All possessions were gone or not accessible. My parent’s house was inhabited by other people. Many bills for maintenance were not settled or were paid by others. The ownership of the house was also disputed. By transferring the property of the house officially to new owners, all debts and tax bills could be settled.

Luckily my aunt got a post at a Trade Office with which she could start a new life. From this base she could get access to the other base capital my grandparents had deposited in Switzerland. With this base capital my aunt was able to cover my the costs for me and for my study. She wished that I had a good time in Delft and that I enjoyed myself without a worry during the first two years of my study.

One wish of my aunt I could only fulfil much later, when I was in my 50’s. She requested me to honour my father and mother not only with my life as I had done before my maturity, but also to honour my parents with the traditional remembrance of the dead. First I thought of “Dies Irae” [5] – or “Day of Wrath” – as a commemoration of the days of doom and horror that befell on my father and mother during the war. The request of my aunt went further: she asked me – when I ready to do so – to honour my parents according to the Jewish remembrance – named Kaddish [6] – with the opening lyrics: “You are praised, and holy is your name in the world – created according to your will”. This text is very similar to the Christian equivalent “Thine Be the Glory” [7]. Many years later I finally reached the maturity and humbleness to say these texts for one year and thus to fulfil the wish of my aunt. I could only start this task after a monk in a monastery saw that I had trouble with bowing down. “Do you know for whom you bow down?”, he asked. I replied that I had trouble to honour God in this humble way. Thereupon the monk said: “These bows are bows for yourself”. The meaning of this answer dawned upon me years later.

After this disillusion following up on my cheerful first two years of study, I received my engineering degree at the University of Technology four years later. My final thesis involved utility-building: a reasonable good job, but outside the level of the best architects”, you said.

[8]

“I do not have this maturity and humbleness. I am still full of rebellion “, I say.

“It took me a lot of trouble to get it”, you say.

The following post is about your fruitful years in the society.

 

– “Who are you – Part 1″ ready for download –

– Please, see page: “Who are you – Part 1”


[1] Surce image: http://nl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bestand:Scheepvaarthuis5.jpg

[2] Source image: http://nl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bestand:Michel_de_Klerk_Spaarndammerplantsoen_Amsterdam.jpg

[3] Source image: http://nl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bestand:Wrightfallingwater.jpg

[4] Source image: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Glasshouse-philip-johnson.jpg

[5] See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dies_Irae

[6] See also: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kaddish

[7] See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thine_Be_the_Glory

[8] “Ketelhuis” near the “Rotterdamseweg” in Delft. This “ketelhuis” is an example of the “New Objectivity”. The design is made by the architecture-office van den Broek en Bakema – see also: http://www.broekbakema.nl/. Source image: Screen-print from Google maps.