A Heart A Day #1

I love love and I love hearts!

But oh, there’s too little of it, this world needs more love. So let’s change that, step by step. Away with pessimism. Away with hate. Let’s fill this world with love. And hearts. To show compassion towards each other, towards the planet, towards ourselves. It proves to be difficult for so many of us. But instead of judging it’s more meaningful to show love, to respond with love, to act out of love. Say it with hearts.

This is why I’m gonna share A Heart A Day. A homemade heart. Every day I will create a heart and post it on this blog. Will you help me make love and hearts spread like a contagious but healthy disease?

Here’s Heart #1. From me to you, who-ever and where-ever you are. Made out of leafs I found in my parents garden, with a little help from Siepie the house-cat.



This ain’t tree-hugging

While I sat down to write you a new post, I realised yesterday marked 6 months of Tessie’s Projects. Hurrah! And before I’ll continue putting down today’s figments, I want to say a very big THANK YOU. To all of you, where ever you are, taking the time to sit down and read the weird stuff escaping my brain. I honestly appreciate it.

One of the reasons for me to write this blog is so I can share happy moments and contentment. I like to tell about such experiences, hoping they put smiles on other faces too. And by writing about it – I’ve noticed – I learn to appreciate it even more.
Every day I hope for tiny moments and gestures that brighten up my day. Well, it’s not really hoping – the more I’m open for it, the more they seem to happen. These moments, I’ve come to realise, give me an extra boost when caused by connecting to total strangers. No matter how short the moment or how small the gesture.

I wondered about it for a while, about the why, but I think I know now.

In this massive and individual world we live in, there’s hardly any room left for acts of kindness and simple but true contact with our fellow humans. Apart from friends and family. But greeting someone in the streets, making eye-contact, a smile when passing by. They are the tiniest things, yes. But they make my day, always. The other day, strolling around the park, me and an old man almost bumped into each other. You know the awkward moment, when you both move in the same direction and then again… Often, myself included, this causes frowns and some sighing. This time our eyes met and we both laughed out loud. I took a big step to the right, to let him pass. We greeted each other. And that was it. A small thing, yet a moment to put in the 2015 Jar. Something we tend to take for granted. A situation we often allow to cause irritation. But there’s no need for irritation, is there? These moments may take 3 seconds off our time. Grab it with both hands and you’ll gain a big smile from it. Live these 3 seconds to the fullest and you’ll actually see this other person: how rare is that, huh? A person who, just like you, lives on this planet, breathes – or at least, you hope they do –, has a heart just like you and the ability to smile. Just like you.

Try it and soon you’ll realise it’s pure bliss. These little moments of contact, sharing a smile – for free! No judgement, because that ain’t necessary. Just two fellow humans. Passing by. Being aware and sharing a little piece of their heart. That’s all. And it’s no tree-hugging stuff.

After the nearly-bumped-into moment, I made a heart out of paper. And turned it into confetti. Confetti is always a good idea. My opinion. A confetti heart is a heart filled with feast and joy. A confetti heart is one big heart divided into many pieces you can share with others.

Scatter your confetti heart

Our hearts are our own, but sharing pieces of it with others will only make it stronger.
Make your heart a confettied one and scatter freely – it’s good and you know it!


[ the confetti heart I made, now has a double meaning. it is a huge thanks, right from my heart, to all of you ]

Signing. Not singing.

When I was six I met a deaf girl on a campsite in Limburg, The Netherlands. Intrigued by the sign-language she and her family used, I started practising and soon I dreamed of being a deaf-interpreter. Later that became singing-and-laughing-biologist-and-deaf-interpreter due to another interesting meeting, also on a campsite. In the U.K. this time. By the time I was 12 the Conservatoire was calling and I wanted to become a singer.
Still the sign-language intrigues me. Unfortunately I never kept up practising the actual language so all that’s left are the signs for sailboat, geography, I love you and an alphabet full of gaps.

And then this morning I watched this video by Channel 4

Did you see Patrick’s face at the end?! A whole new world opening for him. Finally tools to communicate. Express himself. Share stories and experiences. Say his name. Beautiful! What an inspiring start of this Sunday.

Imagine you live in world that’s incomprehensible for you because you can’t speak nor have other ways to communicate. I can’t even begin to imagine, really… What I can begin to imagine, however, is how this teacher and his new pupils will continue to spread and share what they’ve learned so that one day, even in the most remote areas in this world, everyone will have means to communicate. You and me, we can start and teach ourselves. Youtube is a good place to start, obviously. Let’s keep it simple and start with the ABC and how to count to 10 and soon we’ll be able to follow the Universal Declaration of Human Rights

However, be aware that no sign language is the same. Just like spoken languages. There is ASL (American Sign Language) and BSL (British Sign Language) and so on… These differences mean you can’t communicate with every deaf person in the world once you’re fluent in a sign language. So start with Spanish sign language if you’re Spanish. For the Dutch amongst us the lessons Suzette Pauwels posts to her blog are a nice start.