(not) black & white

'a sign'
 a friend of my mother's owns a jewelry shop and she advised me to ditch the leather ribbons and make proper necklaces with the clay pendants; here's the first batch worn on the almost naked body
I'm trying not to be too critical of self in bikini and reading glasses, which I must wear otherwise I can't see what I'm photographing

 I suddenly get the love for black&white Jude


 this has got to have been the weirdest year in my life so far; first I collapsed August 2018 (if you are interested read more about my burn out here) within that same month my then 87 year old dad had a heart attack, was in hospital and nursing home for almost 2 months; came back home where my then 84 year old mother took it upon herself to look after them both, with a lot of help from my younger sister and brother and myself! None of us lives close to them, as they live 'down south' in Maastricht, we've settled in Heukelum, Rotterdam and Amsterdam, that's at least 2,5 hours away......so in the midst of my personal crash, trying to heal I found self travelling back and forth dealing with the parents (every visit was an exercise in placing buckets under proverbial roof leaks, mini-crisis management, as well as patiently deflecting personal frustration at their stubborn resistance to 'outside' help) 
We siblings each faced the task of juggling two households relying on our spouses/girl friend to hold our own forts in our absence; fortunately, we get on really well together and make a great team!
Still it was a lot to deal with. We celebrated our dad's 88th birthday in April of this year and things seemed stable, albeit a very fragile balance. Unfortunately our dad tripped on the street, fell on his face (arghhh!) lost several teeth, having managed to keep most of them for 88 years....that was yet another crack in the foundation, but still we all marched on. Our mother was determined to celebrate her 85th birthday in June and she did, the 5 of us and 35 of her girlfriends, yes she has many friends and despite everything the two of them were pretty active in many ways (theatre/museum visits, book clubs, bridge, the 5 of us being together an enjoying that!, at the same time the seemingly endless bickering, nagging, guilt trips, forgetfulness, anger, frustration, sadness, tears, stress about everything and anything, growing old isn't easy, having aging parents isn't either)
But, then a couple of days after her birthday party she finally crashed full stop, ending up in hospital, where she spent almost 2 weeks.....Suddenly our dad had to be the brains again, ha! And of course, we kids were there full-time, one after the other, but this time we said: enough's enough! now we are going to get more professional folks involved in keeping things going; you want to remain living in the house you've lived in for 48 years, something's gotta give.
They agreed. Of course they did. We are finding our footing, getting used to a the new circumstances.
The reason I have been so absent here and elsewhere online is due to the above, my mind has literally been too pre-occupied..........
hopefully there will now be more time, space and peace for me to get better and be here and in my studio once more 




Marti said…
Saskia, for you to be able to come here and tell of your life; to be able to create beauty and art in so many ways; to share and write from the heart and mind in such an honest way, this to me shows a woman of strength and spirit. It is how I see you. You don't shy away from the many ups and downs of life. How we see ourselves as women during this time of change, this aging that we all face, the aging of our parents, for those of us who have parents still living, all of this takes us on a journey that teaches us who we are. It is not easy, it is confusing, causes us at times to doubt ourselves and what we think we know but we get through it and we do so by doing the best we can, facing what presents and trying to do so with no regrets.
Mo Crow said…
life throws some strange curve balls love your new necklaces but they would look good on leather too for a softer more organic look!
Dana said…
You look amazing and your necklaces are mysterious and beautiful. It does sound like a very trying interval has just released you and for that I'm glad. Your presence in this forum is very valuable.
i am so glad for your Relief...having Time
will ease so much and i look forward to all
that you will create.

i agree with Mo...to not give up on the softer look of leather
or even some kind of silk twine. You could offer both?

am so glad you are "back". Love and Love
Nancy said…
I'm here with nothing eloquent to offer. So, for whatever it is worth...your necklaces are beautiful and much larger that I imagined without seeing them worn - by beautiful you. I wouldn't be caught dead in a bikini at this point, plus they are too uncomfortable for me. I too hope you have more time for the parts of you that need it. And I am grateful you are surrounded by those you love, in the many ways you can be surrounded. May life treat you well and as said in Where the Wild Things Are..."We'll eat you up we love you so". From my heart to yours xo
jude said…
i feel the magic that has taken hold. glad to feel your energy returning.
Saskia said…
well Marti, I do try to share how it is for me; and I thought long and hard about sharing the aspects relating to my parents as they are still alive, and then I thought: well they're not going to read this, ever.....and should anyone they know read it, I imagine they will know the truth of it too. This whole year has been so much about peeling away the many layers of 'non-me': the pleaser, the perfect daughter, the peace maker, the responsible-for-your-parents-happiness-child (a tough one), the successful one(whatever that is) and I still have A Long Way to go....and I'll probably keep falling into old habits which are basically self-destructive, but and it's a big but, I am once again starting therapy, after an of itself therapeutic visit to my GP this morning and he's a really good listener, he's my age and he called me 'sweetie' which was just what I needed; 'sweetie', he said 'you have got to start taking care of yourself and distancing yourself emotionally from your parents; you need to live your life, not theirs'
so onwards and upwards

Saskia said…
Mo I will take your advice and experiment with leather too......

I'm not sure I feel released Dana, however I now know I must look after myself and my own family better than I have done these last few months! and thank you for appreciating my presence here, that is most kind, I value your visiting and sharing your thoughts here in our virtual circle too

silk, now there's another useful suggestion Grace, who knows where that might lead? it's good to BE back (have scrolled though your many posts I've missed, must start commenting soon)

ha dear Nancy, your words are most definitely eloquent, and even if they weren't, your words are always heartfelt and hit the mark most lovingly, xxx

oh Jude, so much of what I have done and am still doing these past 9 years has been thanks to your classes and teachings, your particular way of daring to share your thought processes, the searching and the many, many layers of how you do what you do unfolding before my eyes in the video's; the Circle of mainly women, and okay a few men, that came into existence through these classes has energized, inspired and motivated me to just keep on going, not just creatively in my Studio, or wherever the creating takes place, but also in a more profound way, to be(come) the person I am



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