Tag Archives: Rowing

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

Carla Drift – Years of Flourishing


The spring Sun shines

abundant and generous

Her Smile for us

From an environment where “Yes” could mean anything depending on the circumstances – from a straight “no” to a “yes” said by Molly Bloom in Ulysses by James Joyce – I moved to a country where “yes and no” divided the world completely in half. It was a land that was incredible flat and where each group of people had its own church and faith based on a specific paragraph from the Bible. Only the water was omnipresent. Water was equal for all and everyone lived with it and fought against it. It was constantly pumping or wet feet – many floors of houses along the canals are well below the water level in the canal.

[1]

Later I understood that this pumping listens very closely. If too much water is pumped from the polder, the bottom of the polder will irrevocably drop further down. There must always remain sufficient water in the canals and the bottom of the polder.

In this country, I went to live and study, and here I met my great love – in that order.

As flat as the polders were in my view, also as flat were the manners of the inhabitants of that country. I was invited at a birthday party for coffee – including a small piece of apple pie for each visitor and later in the evening in answer to the offer of a second beer everyone said: “It is time to leave”. I remained seated with my second beer that I drank quickly. At festivity in South Limburg 24 fresh fruit pies were baked for the visit – one did count on several pieces of fruit pie more or less for every guest. And there was always sufficient beer and food.

My room in Delft was near a citizen Rowing Club. I visited the Club: the Club and I liked each other. My three years in Delft I was in a female crew for boat racing.

[2]

In this direct environment I started my study: it matched the straightforwardness of mathematics and physics. Later I noticed that the topics of my study and the inhabitants of Holland what less straightforward.

My study was still as easy as on the gymnasium. Many false securities disappeared during my study. If I had to design an amplifier in a practicum; there were too many unknown variables in the formulas in order to obtain an unique outcome. The solution consisted of adopting a certain bias current – based on experience or daily practise – and if this initial bias current did not fit, the bias was altered slightly.

Determining the results of Lab. tests consisted of measuring several times and then statistically calculating the outcome with a certain reliability interval – also daily practise, but structured and reproducible daily practise within a statistical sound reliability interval.

[3]

In the lectures philosophy we learned the falsification theory [4] of Popper and Kuhn as a criterion for science: an idea or model was only science if the idea or model in question was susceptible – and open – for other ideas/models that stood a chance to refute the first idea. Ideas and models that were not susceptible to falsification, fell into the category of dogma or religion.

During the lectures human sciences I learned the hierarchy of needs described by Abraham Maslow [5]. According to this model I had made a start with self-realisation with a huge hole in love – until then I had played hide and seek with my feelings of love.

The lectures social sciences about the “Milgram” [6] and “Stanford Prison experiments” [7] increased my concern and uneasiness that was arisen at the reading of the oeuvre of Jef Geeraerts and Erich Fromm. A very significant part of humanity was – often by circumstances – very easily moved to lewd, docile and even abject behaviour. In my last year in Delft I made acquaintance with theory of “bad faith” and “the look” of Sartre [8]. By this way of seeing people were severely hampered in their freedom. According to “bad faith” people become an instrumental thing by adhering a stamp to the people in question: a free man with all possibilities is solely by his role as for example a waiter reduced to a limited instrumental serving object. A similar mechanism is acting in the theory of “the look” in which a free man – with all possibilities – is in a glance reduced to a despicable creature. E.g. a man is looking through a keyhole of a room, a second man sees this: by the look of this second person the first man is reduced to a lewd peeper.

These colleges in philosophy and human sciences have influenced my entire further life. Later I will continue my study in a complete other direction in Amsterdam.

First I followed a technical scientific study for three years with amongst others the topics: electromagnetic fields, thermodynamics, fluid dynamics, relativity, quantum mechanics and mathematics about matrices and vector fields.

Of course I kept visiting libraries. The general library for literature, general development and relaxation and the technical library for deepening and enhancing my scientific knowledge.

In the second semester of my first year in Delft, love came in my life all-encompassing and inevitable.


[1] Source image: http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Koog

[2] Source image: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rowing_(sport)

[3] Source image: http://nl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rijnhuizen_(FOM)

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

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

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

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

[8] See also: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Being_and_Nothingness