Goede Vrijdag / Good Friday: Landscapes of Utrecht, sticks & stones, and the rooms that house my experiences.

Hallo, goedenavond, and welkom. My name is Lindsey and this is my first official blog post. Ever. Wow. So I’m new to this & while I’ve used social media on face book, I have yet to create such an interactive narrative within the scope of my life & experiences. If face book is a window within the outline of my academic career, social beliefs & politics, love & family, I would imagine this space to be an open door to those who wish to walk with me on this journey I have recently engaged on. This blog is meant to be a reflection of my transition from child / adolescent / young adult, and transformation into a Woman. While its hard for me to explain all in one moment, I hope that it will become all the more clear to me as time transgresses, and what was always meant to be, is.

I want to kick this party off my inviting you to visit me here in the Netherlands where I will be living for the coming six months, through the end of June. As you may or may not know, I am a student at the University of California, Los Angeles, or commonly known as UCLA, where I major in American Literature & Culture, with minor (and yet completely massive) understudies in Social Thought, theory, and construction. I have a lot of fun learning, reading, and acquiring knowledge. School is awesome — I highly recommend it to anyone who may ask or is interested. 🙂 So yes, I am now FES, a foreign exchange student for fans of that 70*s show, at the Universiteit of Utrecht, a half hour outside of Amsterdam by train. This place is a trip. Really, I’m loving it. There is an old ancient energy alive here, and its exciting being able to sense, see, hear, and experience it. So I really hope that the images I have captured and shared here in this forum will translate the incredible beauty that is highlighted in the rooms, windows, and landscapes of this magical parallel universe that I inhabit.

As this blog progresses, I will also share some very exciting recent developments in my life. Most joyfully & happily, my Lover, Friend, & Partner of nearly 13 years, Jorge Luis, asked me to be his Wife at the close of our first tour of Paris over the 2015 New Year celebrations. It was Perfection. Everything. So I won’t reveal to much at the moment, but trust that I will revisit our collective memories in time, and invite you to share in on our love story. Its a good one. 🙂

Finally, I want this blog to an outlet for self-expression, and my growth as an artist. A self-described artist without an art, I have consumed many hours, days & nights pondering my own existence & place in this world. It might as well be on my resume – Unknown. I write, I take pictures, I tell stories. But at the end of the day, I am a young woman struggling to come into her own, to define herself in the creation of identity. I imagine many young people out there are working to overcome obstacles & struggles with insecurity, self-doubt, anxiety, depression, and disillusionment. These fears have weighed heavily on me over the years, and the only thing I had to hang onto was my own life. And trust that there were times when I was hanging on by a single string. Were it not for a collective of very special people in my life to push & pull me through the fog, I would have been lost. George. Mom. Dad. Maria Amelia. Grandma. Andrew, my brother. My Sisters – Lauren, Kristen, Jessica, and my light, Grace. You give me strength, and its everything to me. So yes, many thanks & love to the extended support system that keeps an eye out for me, sends me prayers & wishes, and keeps me humble, grounded, and gracious.

So here I am. I’m Lindsey. Lindsey Anne Lee. I’m 29, nearly 30. I’m a Woman & very happy about that biological development. 🙂 I’m a student, an eternal learner & songbird, daughter, sister, friend, lover. I am a reflection of many — refractions of diverse color & shade. And then there is me. The seed, the center, the root, and the core. In the pages of Jazz Toni Morrison wrote, “There’s only one apple… Just one. Tell Joe.” (213)

Take a bite. Lindsey living life.

The soundtrack to this post was powered through the music of Madonna: Ray of Light, Music, and American Life. Edits made with Confessions On a Dancefloor. I would also like to recognize that I began this post on vrijdag, friday, the 23rd of januari, and submitted it for completion on zaterdag the 24th.

Utrecht, Netherlands
Somewhere under the Rainbow. Funny how light hits the clouds to create prisms of color. Is it illusion, refracted light — distortion, manipulation of image? Or is it magic…
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Utrecht at Dawn from a third story window
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I seriously jumped out of my 2nd story bunk bed when I saw this Vision shining through my 3rd story window. I still can’t believe my eyes held such a sight.
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Reflection in the Eyes of God.
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The Gates of University College Utrecht
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LEGIT.
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This is the College University where I took a couple of pretty intensive classes in the Dutch language, and a history of Dutch culture & colonialism. We had a lot of fun, us foreign exchange students from Californie. LOL. Its really a treat to get to experience a 2-week taste of dorm living with UC peeps up & down the Golden State. I love watching these people do their thing cause Cali people look so good doing it! I realize there are no people in this photograph or at least none that i can see with my naked eye, but trust me, they are there behind the century-age old stone getting some knowledge.
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Oh look, a pathway.
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Our Dutch language instructor, Maud, teaching us the foundations of polite Dutch society. Perhaps one day in the future, when we meet again, I will address & welcome you in Dutch formality. LOL. But until then, Alstublieft.
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Some dark blue, indigo dusk viewing from my annex window.
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Perhaps one of the most beautiful & surprising things about Utrecht is how lovely they dress their trees. I love to see trees glitter. Youthful & timeless.
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I swear when I took this picture on my i-phone i heard bells in my ear. And it only lasted like 10 seconds so i was like whoa, was that the bells of the Dom telling me to take the damn picture, or am I just nuts? A debate for another time.
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A room with a view.
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My life in its most simplistic form…
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An invitation for free expression.
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I lived in this room, sat in these chairs, climbed these ladders, slept in its bed, and peered from its windows. I have documented this room that has served as my transitionary home for the two weeks of introductory classes. Let me show you around.
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Where do ladders lead to? Another level.
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How’s the view from up there? It looks smaller, but its still quite a lovely angle.
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I love it when light, mirror, reflection, and darkness play a fun game of hide & seek.
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Don’t why but in the eye of my mind i see Vermeer. An absolute must for the near future, visit the Rijks museum in Amsterdam. Field trip! Who or what do you want to see? https://www.rijksmuseum.nl/en/explore-the-collection/overview/johannes-vermeer
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Because I love the night sky, and the moon & the stars are my constant friends.
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I’ll tell you, there is an energy thats quite bewitching about this city. Something mysterious about the canals and the stone towers. Something old & dark – altogether terrifying.
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Light chatter from the commissary windows.
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Darkness over the rooftops.
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I kid you not, I took these pictures at something like 5 am, pre-dawn. On the roof, in the open wind & cold. I was, as my Lover likes to say, “night-crawling” it. This is the night light landscape of the Dom Tower and the performance art theater.
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It was worth it.
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Reflections in a hall mirror.
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The annex window / escape hatch.
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When I walked these halls at night, I often sensed that I was in some strange alternate universe, that was not entirely different from the reality of my life, but almost like a parallel existence. Strange. And i like this picture because it reminds me of the Matrix, and I love Trinity. {Alstublieft, please, give Trinity her own feature films – We need badass subversive women undermining the system stat]
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173 — first door on the right. I’m really feeling the color groen. It’s like an open invitation to go, exit the premises & experience the outside world.
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Selfie.
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Yes, I maintain a healthy & sensible amount of vanity. Humility, in that i am humble in sight of this world, its magnificence, its beauty, but also that which is horrific & unbearable.
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Dawn comes swiftly here. for a moment it will be incredibly sunny & gorgeous, warm & inviting, but no, its cold as f**k here, a totally deceptive lie. Seriously, one day I was walking from the student health clinic to the apotheek in the midst of a light rainy mist, and it started hailing, like raining little stinging bits of ice. I just held my hands out & let them singe me. It felt like little bits of rapid fire. And then the pain set in. 🙂
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Another view in daylight. The contrast is fun & I love how Utrecht plays with the light settings, integrating them into the natural landscapes.
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My first friend in Utrecht, Bree, the homie from UCSD. She’s my badass partner in crime, scaling high roofs, puffing thick doobs, riding our bikes through the Utrecht hood.
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a friendly neighborhood cat.
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Children playing.
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Hallo Dutch Kat.
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Honestly, Dom Tower is very frightening to me. At night, when you get up close to the cathedral, its quite intimidating and oppressive, like something out of a nightmare. It looks harmless during the light hours of day & perhaps quite lovely on first viewing, but there is something creepy about the way that it looks like a demented panopticon candle burning & watching.
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And here’s me. Aren’t I the Dutchy Dapper Dan. My Lovely & Amazing Grandma knitted me this beautiful orange hat & gifted it to me for Christmas to keep my head nice & warm in the Winter chill. Orange is the official color of the Netherlands, and everywhere here I will see oranje’s through grocery windows, in round baskets on square tables, skinned peels in the streets. The color is also symbolic of the Dutch national and ancestral heritage to William of Orange, the founding father of the Netherlands. Ah, methinks I smell a scent of patriarchy. *sniff*sniff** In the meantime, I love my beautiful Orange hat that my Grandma crafted for me with such purpose & delight. I love you Grandma Lois! Thank you for teaching me how to climb such great heights.
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Socrateslaan — this must be the right place.
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Welcome! De deur is blauw.
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My room.
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A place to lay my head.
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Inhabiting time & space.
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Thank you Milou for sharing your room with me while you venture out on your own travels. Say hallo to those Beautiful Brazilians friends for me, and think of me when you enjoy the perfect caipirinha on the Salvador sands.
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Good things come in threes.
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3. Peace
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2. Protest
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1. Prayer
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Inspired by Abbey Lincoln & Max Roach, We Insist!: Freedom Now Suite. “Triptych: Prayer, Protest, Peace” http://youtu.be/q5Dj7HQEasQ
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Found beauty. Reflections of the artist in the refractions of shattered glass.
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1. Jail Bird
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2. Friendship & Community
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3. Collaboration in the Creation of Peace.
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Twilight from the annex window.
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Its always so funny & comforting how friends can find one another halfway around the world. This reminded me of a class project I did when I was in the sixth grade making ornaments out of special paper, tracing & coloring my favorite Disney friends. Cheers to my roomies & friends Roosmarijn, Anna Maria & Bree.

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6 thoughts on “Goede Vrijdag / Good Friday: Landscapes of Utrecht, sticks & stones, and the rooms that house my experiences.

  1. Beautiful job, Lindsey. I was so excited to see your new home away from home and “hear” your feelings and insights about your new adopted country. I will be looking forward to your future blogs. (Funny thing: you in Holland and Emily blogging from Peru this year.)
    Praying for you and sending much love.

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    1. Dank je wel Grandma! It was a labor of love. I was up until past 5 in the morning here getting everything in its place, and even then there are some hiccups as I’m learning to use the blog format. I’ve been trying to take lots of pictures these past three weeks, almost a month I think since George & I arrived in Amsterdam. The idea is that I would first introduce readers to the parts of the City that I have been navigating, the school, and my homes away from home. I’m always instinctively attracted to the natural environments, landscapes & trees, so I imagine there will be a lot of that, but as time progresses, winter gives way to spring, I hope to share more experiences of going out on the town, social dinners with my friends & roomies, and cultural excursions outside of Utrecht. I am also thinking about how I can set up a video recording device on a bike, and document the stone city & canals. Its really a delight, and so different from our car culture at home. I miss you Grandma. I love you.

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    1. Awe, warm cuddly hugs to you Roos! Thank you so very much, not only for the love, but also for opening up your home with Anna Maria to me, and welcoming both Bree & myself. I am so very excited because this is only the beginning, and we’re going to have an amazing collective adventure together. Museums, shopping, weekend excursions outside of Utrecht. I feel so blessed for you & Anna Maria to have found me. Social media in the Netherlands is AWESOME! Take care my friend – sending positive healing vibes your way.

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  2. Congratulations on your very first Blog post! Reading this beautifully insightful post made me feel as if I was standing by your side & experiencing all these delightful moments with you. I must say that I’m hooked! Your stunning pictures have documented the beginning of your adventure flawlessly, I have a feeling people will see how all the passion you inspire is compleatly justified. Looking forward to your next post. -Your biggest fan J.L.A.

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    1. Thank you Jorge Luis. I feel relieved. You are absolutely standing by my side in all i do. I take you & everyone I love in my adventures, keep you safe in my heart & mind. I wish i could inspire passion, I can barely light a fire myself. 🙂 haha lol. Thanks for all the love & encouragement my sweet as pie fiancé, cuter than Beyoncé. Now lets see something from your documentary lifestyle… i shiver with antici… pation.

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