to live a poetic life...


Red Bird, collage/paint

Yet again using something I brought back home from home.....
I found an envelope with the original linocut and a small stack of New Year cards I assume my dad designed and printed for his parents. You can still vaguely make out their names 'Gon en Herman' at the bottom, there are a couple of signatures below right, apart from mine that is, could be my grandparents.

I recognise my papa's handwrting:

weird how this affects me,
maybe it's not weird, just the way it is
death separates us

even though I do not go about constantly contemplating death, or my own mortality, or at least not consciously and am most certainly not burdened by it,

it is ever present and close by

and something that is a constant in all of my work

I believe Buddhism teaches us we should prepare ourselves for the inevitable instead of running away, distracting ourselves as we tend to do from our final outcome

I sense looking inward - or my immediate surroundings which is more or less the same thing, as our house, garden and the studio are all extensions of self = I need quite a lot of space I realise! -
observing just that is enough to fill a life-time

I am so easliy distracted!
wanting to see new places
meet new people
experience something d i f f e r e n t
but always looking forward to coming home

The hare


This story does not have a happy ending. We were driving home late last night, having spent a delightful evening at Villa Augustus. We had attended a so-called ‘meeting’ between the evolutionary biologist Menno Schilthuizen and entomologist and author Aglaia Bouma. Normally I would have loved to have told you a lot more about that part of the evening, as it had been highly entertaining, enlightening and informative. Still wrapped up in my thoughts on all the interesting insects they had mentioned, I wasn’t paying too much attention to the last stretch of our ride. My husband was himself completely absorbed by the news on his phone. All of a sudden I noticed a flutter somewhere farther along the road. A startled glare in the headlights. As we came closer my body reacted before I could make sense of what my eyes saw, I gasped, my stomach turned and I cried out  ‘no, oh no, there’s a hare, and he ……aarrgh.’ I could not find the words as tears trickled down my cheeks. I mumbled incoherently as I drove on. By now my husband realised something was up. He turned to me and asked me what was the matter. ‘A hare,’ I answered, ‘a hare and, and…..he was stuck, oh my god oh my god oh my god, he was stuck.….he tried to move away with his front paws, but he was stuck,’ I groaned. ‘Stop the car, we will turn, drive back and kill it, if needs be,’ my husband calmly replied. I did as he said: we drove back slowly and yes, I had not imagined it. There by the road side lay the hare, probably hit by a previous car. His lower half lame and stuck to the road.  His eyes full of fear, conscious enough to know we were the danger, the front paws grappling to get away.

‘Drive,’ my husband commandeered.  ‘I can’t, I’m sorry I can’t. I know I should but I can’t. You have to do it.’ I moaned. We changed seats and he did what had to be done. We drove, over his body, once twice three times to be sure, and checked, no movement, dead. Still.

We drove back in silence, or rather I sat sniffing, but not talking or if we did I can’t remember. Once we had parked the car I thanked my husband. We are born, we potter about, we die.


husband and I had a weekend break in Lille France because I wanted to visit this museum: LAM, Musée d'art moderne, d'art contemporain et d'art brut near Lille, specifically for their outsider art/art brut collection, it surpassed my dreams and I fell in love with the works of Theo Wiesen:

reminding me of OBK on dogback:

bought this fabulous catalogue habiter poétiquement le monde for continued enjoyment

let me end lightly with this piece by Isamu Noguchi 


Liz A said…
oh Saskia … how unbearably sad … I wouldn’t have been able to render such mercy …
jude said…
oh gosh, this was, well, I was right there, knowing I would have had to be the one, the man here cannot be part of anything that involves death. Gosh, I am breathing hard, you told this so well.
the hare's story, held between two stories/lives are
Marti said…
The mercy of death, the strength to do what was needed, the kindness in the end; how hard to do this yet how necessary. Thank you for deciding to tell this Saskia.
deemallon said…
Ugh. I’m so sorry you had to go through this. It was so graphically told. And just to say because I don’t enough: I adore your collages.
Nancy said…
Oh Saskia! This would have troubled me for quite a long time. I hope in the telling, your grief is eased a bit. We live with death, without sometimes knowing that.
The sculptures so interesting and have me wondering about the general lack of arms and what meaning that holds.
Take care
CatherinE said…
A sad tale of the hare - and I see you have painted something resembling his last moments. A brave, sad portrait. I can see the affinity between your work and Wiesen's. And "to live a poetic life," yes, that brings a resolution of sorts, doesn't it.
Saskia said…
it was horrible and sad Liz, I have thought a lot about that particular hare, (s)he even popped up in my head to me whilst meditating: the hare was me I was the hare
Saskia said…
I was immensely grateful he could Jude
Saskia said…
stories are probably all that remains Grace...
Saskia said…
you are welcome Marti, the sharing helped me
Saskia said…
ugh ugh indeed Dee, and thank you
Saskia said…
it continues to 'trouble' me Nancy, a reminder of the frailty we call Life

no arms, hmm yes you are so right, maybe the maker felt helpless, I have to get round to actually reading that book I bought!
Saskia said…
yes yes yes Catherine, to all your remarks

the poetic life - to me anyway - is not a sentimental flowery arrangement, but the ongoing effort of making sense* of what is basically purposeless, but I think you get that already;-)

*in our brief moment we are here
Marilee said…
Such a sad experience. I am sick at heart when I see an animal on the roadway and I always ask a silent blessing for their sweet, innocent souls. It doesn't help them, but for a moment it helps me apologize for the damage we humans do daily without even thinking about it.
This is my first visit to your site. I like your work very much.
Saskia said…
hi Marilee, thank you for dropping by and leaving such a heartfelt comment, and I agree with you: it does not help them.
I hope you'll keep on visiting;-)



Popular Posts